The more I read about the xenophobia issue, the more I realise why the rainbow nation is experiencing teething problems. We are so busy putting labels on things that we miss the real issues.
“Xenophobia”, “racism” and “criminals” abound in every article we see, but very few actually deal with the problems of Alexandra, Soweto and Diepsloot.
Why is it that the whites, who fought the two biggest wars in history and gassed six million innocents of their fellow race, are not asked why whites hate whites? Because in each case the real debates revolve around the reasons why those wars were fought.
The question I’ve posed in the heading is not being put by white journalists and commentators but rather their black counterparts and letter writers to the various newspapers and websites. Whites wouldn’t dare pose this one.
The truth is that, like every race, blacks don’t hate blacks for being black but have some other issue that is causing the friction. The people of Alexandra don’t hate the immigrants because they are black. Whoever came up with that garbage knows absolutely nothing about the situation. They resent immigrants whom they perceive to be committing crime and taking their houses and jobs — nothing more and nothing less.
Of course I’ve read the geniuses who claim that white immigrants are regarded as wonderful and loved by all, while blacks are pilloried, reviled and abused because they are black. Whoever came up with this cock-custard I can’t say, but if you get it from a newspaper, cancel your subscription immediately.
Firstly, the residents of Alexandra and the like are not competing with those white immigrants for resources.
Secondly, many of our white tourists and immigrants have been hijacked, robbed, raped and even killed. This is primarily down to the fact that the crime rate in this country is high and whites are believed to be affluent. Robbers believe the prospects of a successful haul are increased with white victims. Ask me — I’m a criminal lawyer.
The fact that by far the majority of victims of crime are black — including the crimes above — is down to demographics.
Thirdly, white immigrants are not thrust upon the residents of Sandton or Mondeor in the same way that the Zimbabweans and Mozambicans are in the case of Alexandra and Diepsloot.
The reasons are endless, but the common denominator is that it has nothing to do with blacks hating blacks for being black and everything to do with socio-economic factors on the ground. If you knock this one down to blacks hating blacks, you are playing into the hands of those who wish to duck responsibility for our immigration laws, possibly corrupt local authorities and a failure to deal with poverty.
Do not let local or government politicians use labels to avoid dealing with the problems of these communities — blacks do not hate blacks for being black. They fear or have contempt for foreigners based on issues that have absolutely nothing to do with skin colour. The government and local authorities must now start dealing with the problems and tell the label manufacturer to take a holiday.
Let’s widen the argument a bit: How often do we hear about what blacks have done to blacks in Uganda, Kenya, Zimbabwe and so on and so vomit? The same “authorities” conveniently forget the world wars, Bosnia, Kosovo, Ireland and many more that bring whites into conflict with whites.
Where blacks do go horribly wrong is that they forget to point out that the vast and overwhelming percentage of those populations is black. For example, if (when there was still conflict) a Catholic was looking to bomb a Protestant pub in Northern Ireland, what were the chances of the victims being black? Virtually nil unless it was the odd second-generation immigrant or tourist in for a pint.
So if there is a civil war in Kenya, of course the participants are black. Yes, we can put it down to tribalism, as was also the case in Rwanda, but is that any different to Catholics and Protestants? Does the latter offend our sensibilities less because the words “tribalism” and “racism” are left out? If they do, we need help.
By focusing on the word “black” in African conflicts or even issues like xenophobia, we are missing the point completely. We also afford the opportunists of Africa a gap that they use against the very people they are purporting to help.
Take the examples of Rwanda and Zimbabwe. In the case of the former, Bill Clinton — then president of the United States — knew what was going on in terms of the genocide but ducked the issue. Uppermost in most European and American minds in cases relating to Africa is concerns about being styled colonialist or racist. Here, Rwandans were massacred until the planet could just not stomach it any more.
Perhaps it is time for the United Nations to point out to African leaders that if they abuse the term “racism” to keep the world at bay so they can do what they like to their populations, it will be deemed a crime against humanity in itself.
Would anyone dare suggest that the reason why the Tutsis and Hutus began killing each other was because they hated the fact that the other was black? Yet wars that affected Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Congo burned long and hard and the death toll was unbelievable. The wars were about dominance and had nothing to do with hatred of the skin colour of opponents. The UN, Europe and the US must learn to laugh off guilt tripping by local opportunists and act immediately where large-scale genocide or humanitarian disasters threaten.
The hell with claims of racism and imperialism.
Zimbabwe is another excellent example. Because the whites are marginalised, Mugabe is calling the struggle anti-colonialism — strange, that, when there seem to be an awful lot of Chinese arms and military about. Of course he also labels anyone who won’t vote for him as a counter-revolutionary. I’ll leave the answer to Pallo Jordan in this fabulous article on Sunday.
The issue is not Mugabe hating blacks, I’ll spare him that much. He hates anyone who wants to take power away from him, just like many, many white politicians hate being dispossessed. What he has done, primarily to blacks, is as a result of his refusal to give up his toy.
The lesson we as Africans need to learn is that by focusing on the “black question” we blur the real issues. This gives people like those running the councils in Alexandra a gap because everyone is looking at the labels and nobody is looking at the issues.
The residents — both local and immigrants — are thereafter shunted together without any regard for what caused divisions in the first place.
And that, quite frankly, is bullshit!