Sunday, September 27, 2009

Transcript of interview between Lara Johnstone and Cape radio station

The following post is the online version of an interview conducted by VOC with Lara Johnstone and posted on their website. VOC's author claims to have gotten the better of Lara but I can't see that. Lara comes off quite well and many kudos to her. As for the interviewer, besides peddling the "you're a racist, justify your position, how could you?" angle throughout, he had nothing to add beyond the standard fare most old media in South Africa is pushing: Huntley is wrong and we are all really one, big, happy multi-cultural rainbow family. Bullshit. Again, we're talking about a non-white(?) making the call for whites on whether whites feel victimised in South Africa.

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An interview conducted on VOC's Drivetime show on 14 September has secured a prominent spot on the website of a group of white South Africans under the banner "Why we support Huntley's White Refugee Status" (WwAwR). The group was formed in response to a ruling on 27 August by the Canadian Immigration & Refugee Board (IRB) who granted white South African, Brandon Carl Huntley (seen here), official Canadian refugee status. In his judgement William Davis said he found Huntley "was a victim [of persecution] because of his race (white South African) rather than a victim of criminality," who had "presented clear & convincing proof of the state & security forces' inability or unwillingness to protect him."

During the interview with Lara Johnstone on behalf of WwAwR, Drivetime presenter, Shafiq Morton repeatedly raised the issue of the blatant racism that was evident in the blogs and website of the organisation and its affiliates. In response, after the interview, Johnstone tackled VOC for not covering the story on its website or making it available in its podcast.

"I noticed that the interview has not been made publicly available by VOC on your podcasts. Alternatively, I doubt you record all interviews. If you did record it, I would appreciate it if you could provide me with a copy of it. I did make an audio copy, but unfortunately it only contains my answers. I am making it publicly available, with a paraphrased transcript of your questions, for anyone interested in listening to it," she wrote.

In response VOC provided a recording of the show as well as a transcript to the organisation which was carried in full on their website. "All our interviews are automatically recorded, but given the stories on the day, this had been an interesting interview, but it was not one of the biggest stories of the day. As a result it was not written up, more so because we did not believe that the interview did Ms Johnstone or her organisation any favours. However, we have no issue with publishing the transcript of this interview for readers to make their own judgement," VOC said.

Transcript

Shafiq Morton (SM): "When news broke that news that a young white man from Mowbray Brandon Huntley had been granted refugee status by the Canadian government the world was stunned from South African. Consequently 133 academics from 13 Universities have condemned the move. And so have many white themselves such a Tony Weaver from the Cape Times, who says that Mowbray were Huntley comes from is a lilly white suburb...Tell us, what is the reason for this mass of support is for Brandon Huntley. Must South African whites become refugees?"

Lara Johnstone (LJ): "Well, I would not say they would have to, but certainly Huntley raises issues regarding the violations of the social contract about how the government is not protecting people in particular people whites feel. Maybe certain of his friends in Mowbray don't feel unprotected but a lot of people do. White farmers over 3,000 white farmers have been killed and tortured. And if you lodge a complaint with the police it disappears. It just goes nowhere. I've lodged one. It's about issues that he has raises in his complaint regarding the breakdown of the social contract. South Africa is no 1 in rapes and no 1 in murders."

SM: "I hear what you're saying, but haven't blacks suffered just as equally under crime?"

LJ: "If there is pressure to on the government to improve the state of the social contract then everybody benefits. Blacks continually say that whites must not speak for them. I am concerned about crime in Black neighborhoods for Blacks as well but I don't profess to speak for them. I hear that and no problem."

SM: "Sure but why do we have to talk about Blacks and Whites. I mean the South African Constitution..."

LJ: "Because we are all Black and White. Let's not deny where we come from. We have different cultures and we can recognize and respect our different cultures, but we don't all have to be the same. That's what individuality is, that's what multi-culturism is - appreciating people that people have different cultures."

SM: "It certainly is, but isn't this issue at the end of the day that we are South Africans? We're not White South Africans, Black South Africans, Indian South Africans, Asian South Africans we are South Africans."

LJ: "Tell that to Xhosa South African, tell that to a Zulu South African and boy will they tell you no brother we are in our different tribes and we can enjoy that like a rainbow. We don't need to make everybody pale faced or grey. The differences are there to be enjoyed and appreciated but I don't know why force people to say we all have to be the same. Why can't we acknowledge people from different cultures and say yeah that's great and we all support each other."

Patronising

SM: "Now I agree with what your saying in terms of everybody must recognise each others differences. But you've used some words that would offend some isiXhosa people that I know and some Zulu people you've used from their tribes isn't that a bit patronizing? You've used the words tribes in the interview when you were referring to various population groups and it comes across as some what patronizing when you say groups are tribal. That's what's coming across."

LJ: "That's you're interpretation...I had a roommate previously and he was Venda and that's how wanted spoken to. He said we are tribes and we are from different tribes and I'm proud to be from the Venda Tribe. So I said is that how you prefer to be and he said yes. There was no if you're from a Venda tribe he did not take offence to that. Maybe some do, but that was my conversation with my flatmate."

SM: "Now let's look at the situation of Brandon Huntley. Let's be honest, most people are fairly astounded that he went to Canada and asked for refugee status in Canada. Do you support Brandon Huntley's move?"

LJ: "I certainly have felt unprotected and I don't think the South African government gives two hoots about white people, particular white people who voice a bit of a complaint. I think if you are silent and don't criticize the government in anyway, then perhaps you will get yourself listen to. But if you demand principles that the constitution provides for everybody, then that government should be criticized where it is making big messes. Then you don't get no protection brother. In fact you've got policemen at your front door to shut you up...I was told by one policemen that yes, I am being arrested because I had too big a mouth."

SM: "He arrested..."

LJ: "Brandon is being accused that he did not file complaints and stuff like that, but I have filed complaints. They go nowhere... Maybe they are just sitting in an office somewhere, but they certainly are not investigated and that's not just with the police. So I would not hold it against them. You can file with the public protector unit, you can file complaints with any civil complaints boards, the ombudsman. You don't get far."

Better under Apartheid

SM: "But Lara let's ask you a question would you rather be in South Africa 2009 than in 1969 or 1979 which South Africa would you prefer?"

LJ: "I did some work in prison and stuff and a lot of black people told me that things were better under apartheid under us because we did not have to six million people from the rest of Africa taking our jobs."

SM: "How do you know that there is six million refugees in South Africa most..."

LJ: "From the police report."

SM: "That's not a police report. Most authorities have said that that number is grossly exaggerated."

LJ: "Well, that's possible. We can investigate that."

SM: "We have investigated that number at this radio station, as have many journalists. We have discovered that 6 million people pouring over the borders has all been hugely exaggerated. And it's exactly this kind of figures that have led to a lot of the xenophobia that we are experiencing at the moment."

LJ: "I can only tell you what people tell me. Certainly not everyone feels that way. But people who are disgruntled don't get their voices heard. They get called a racist or they get called names without a conversation occurring as do they have justified complaints.

SM: "What has been the nature of your compliant? Have you being feeling victimized as a person with a white skin colour?"

LJ: "No..."

SM: "Are you worried about crime? What has been the exact nature of the complaint?"

LJ: "In 1994 I was elated with Truth and Reconciliation Blah blah blah... I donated my future inheritance. I was so committed. I put my money where my mouth is. I was overseas at the point and then Nelson Mandela said whites must come back we need your skills. Some of us believed this and we come back. We wanted to make our contribution. I did a lot of work on rehabilitation issues in America. I worked with the most famous rehabilitation programme in America, the Lancey Street. And you come back you want to do stuff and you're told you white what do you know. There is not a commitment of ‘let's work together'. But let's not discuss the causes. It's about being politically correct and walking on eggshells and we all pretend. So I have come to the conclusion that Truth and Reconciliation process was a farce. It was a joke it was a dog and pony show to convince the masses. And a lot of people are waking up to that reality."

Racism

SM: "I have looked on some of the coalition of (your) websites. The person who represents this organization, Mike Smith his got something on his website that is racist. He has got one picture and it says ‘niggers they are f..... greedy'. Another term on the website says ‘coon loving detractor'. Those are downright racist statements."

LJ: "Different people mean different things by the term racist. So what do you mean...?"

SM: "Calling somebody a ‘nigger' is pretty damn racist in my book and calling somebody who defends black people a ‘coon loving detractor' is pretty racist too."

LJ: "When I lived in Oakland, I was the only white women living in the ghetto and they then asked me ‘what you white bitch doing here?' I laughed and said ‘is that like saying hello?' And his like ‘yeah, what's up with a white bitch here amongst us niggers?' I asked him if that's what he wanted to call me. He says, ‘yes, I am a nigger'. There's a reclamation of the word nigger that is an affectionate term. ...The word nigger has many different meanings to different people."

SM: "OK, that's you're view. Let's hope that the K word does not become endearment. God help us if it does."

LJ: "But it does. For some people it is. For Barack Obama nigger is... I can play you a tape where he says ‘hey nigger, you're not my bitch and stuff'. Because there is a much more open and honest conversation in some areas of America than there is in South Africa. We are overly political correct. We are obsessed with being nice to each other and behind each others back we are two faced and I won't be that. I have black friends and I will tell them to their face what I think of them and I appreciate them for telling me to my face what they think of me."

SM: "One has to be very careful about these things. Your people have petitioned the Canadian court is that true?"

LJ: "Yes, we do have a petition up to be submitted to the Minister of Citizen and Immigration, Mr Jason Kenny." - VOC

2 Opinion(s):

Andrea Muhrrteyn said...

Thanks Doberman,

The full text of my original email to Mr. Morton (who by the way is 'white' in pigmentation, not mental attitude), is at http://why-we-are-white-refugees.blogspot.com/2009/09/transcript-of-voice-of-cape-radio-why.html

My follow up email to him, today, is at: http://why-we-are-white-refugees.blogspot.com/2009/09/white-refugees-take-on-voc-or-voc-take.html

Thanks

Lara

Exzanian said...

"We are overly political correct. We are obsessed with being nice to each other and behind each others back we are two faced"
Ha, so true! I saw through the hypocrisy, both white and black, a long time ago and it was probably my main motivator to leave SA (after I tried harder than just about anyone else to actually buy into "transformation")