Thursday, September 24, 2009

Is there a place for and tolerance in South Africa of everyone - Afrikaners included?

By Pieter Mulder FF+ leader, original article in Beeld with regards to Heritage Day Debates

Two viewpoints have been heard from government circles about this in the past decade. The one viewpoint was developed by the Thabo Mbeki intellectuals and was again recently voiced by Dr. Nico Smith.

This view is in short the following: Europeans came from Europe to colonize Africa. When they started experiencing opposition from the local inhabitants, the French, the Belgians, the Portuguese and the English went back to Europe. The stupid Afrikaners did not realize the crisis, missed the bus and are now trapped in South Africa. That is why they should be tolerated as “Settlers of a special kind”. They however should not make any waves or put any demands to the rulers. “Be reasonable, see it our way”, a clever ANC negotiator tried to convince me.

This viewpoint is unacceptable to me,
is historically wrong and creates more problems than it resolves.

The other government viewpoint is the Jacob Zuma and Matthews Phosa view. In interviews Mr. Zuma, described Afrikaans speakers as true South Africans whose language is not spoken anywhere else in the world and who do not have any other passports and who have to come into their own right here.

Naturally this view has also led to some reactions. The future will show to which extent this view was only electioneering and how it will be applied in practice. This view is however more realistic and acceptable.

Unlike the French in Algiers, Afrikaners do not have a motherland that will take care of it or to whereto they could escape. Afrikaners are not colonialists but citizens with rights. There demands around affirmative action, minority rights, the place of Afrikaans as a language, self-determination etc. are reasonable and in line with the latest international tendencies.

There are Europeans who live very well as individuals in African countries such as Kenya and the Ivory Coast. They however put there money in banks in Switzerland, enjoy holidays in Spain and send their children to schools in Britain. This is colonialism and adheres to the criticism of Dr. Nico Smith.

Afrikaners’ position is different. They have made a huge contribution to help make South Africa the strongest country in Africa. As a result, Mr. Zuma becomes the only representative from Africa to be invited to attend the G20 Summit. Afrikaners are still making a contribution because we know that if the South African ship sinks, we all sink together. But Afrikaners also demand more than the individuals in Kenya and the Ivory Coast. We want to survive as a community in Africa. A community has its own communal life; has schools and universities where their language and culture is carried over to the next generation without any discrimination against them.

Is it asking too much to be one's self in Africa? If you have to sacrifice yourself to be accepted and to survive in Africa, then the price is too high. Remember, to cling to a piece of driftwood in the sea after a disaster, is also a very primitive form of survival.

Everything mentioned above however does not mean that Afrikaners can just continue as they have up to now. A debate as to how Afrikaners have to adapt, is a more sensible debate than a demand that Afrikaners have to sacrifice everything for survival.

Here follows four guidelines for such a debate:

1. In looking for answers, Afrikaners have to scale down their expectations and put forward realistic demands.

Some Afrikaners are hoping for an instant solution where for example the ANC breaks up or at the next election is defeated at the polls. Deeply underlying to this is an effort to have something of the old order re-instated. It will not work like this.

Other Afrikaners again are hoping for a total collapse of the country – the sooner the better. The mistake in their reasoning is that they believe that after such a collapse the old order can be re-instated again. The opposite will happen. After such a collapse, South Africa will most probably be stuck with a military junta by one of the new generals and no constitution or other protective mechanism.

The lesson that most Afrikaners still have to learn is that the Afrikaner, after the events of 1994, has to bring its expectations and demands in line with its own numbers, with its real economic power and its capability to retain that which it has.

2. In searching for solutions for its continued existence in Africa, the solution has to be modern and fair toward others – but also fair towards the Afrikaner.

Our situation is not that unique as most people want to make it out to be. In the world there are many modern examples of how minority groups’ languages, cultures and other needs can be accommodated sensibly. Political correctness has lead to an avoidance debating this issue.

3. The Afrikaner has to make peace with Africa and the fact that he is in Africa.

The future of Afrikaans and the Afrikaner will not be decided in Europe, Canada or Australia, but in Africa. The Afrikaner is quick to say that he is from Africa, but his actions often indicate the opposite. There is no way the Afrikaner can escape the realities of Africa and also that which he does not like. Leaving Africa, could be a solution for individuals but not for a whole community. To make peace with Africa does not mean giving up our Western cultural roots. It does however mean that the Afrikaner identifies with the problems of Africa and with its expertise play a unique role in Africa.

4. The Afrikaner will have to create its own future and not put its hope in a government or other groups to rescue it.

On the one hand it is irresponsible to wait passively for the government to solve all the problems. On the other hand, a government does not have to be a stumbling block. A wise government can, through cooperation and negotiation, make it easier for itself and for such a minority group to live sensibly and make a contribution in the interest of all.

Just like many Afrikaners still have to adapt, many of Mr. Zuma’s supporters still have to adapt. Too many Cabinet Ministers and ANC supporters still choose the Mbeki viewpoint, as their comments clearly show. It is a more popular viewpoint in speeches and can be used very easily to explain problems and to point the Afrikaner and/or white people out as the scapegoat for everything. It however does not bring any solutions.

4 Opinion(s):

Anonymous said...

"Europeans came from Europe to colonize Africa. When they started experiencing opposition from the local inhabitants, the French, the Belgians, the Portuguese and the English went back to Europe. The stupid Afrikaners did not realize the crisis, missed the bus and are now trapped in South Africa."

If this is the way Mbeki thinks, then all I can say that he is a bigger moron than I ever thought possible.

Sure the French, the Belgiums and the Portugese colonised Africa, but so did the Dutch, the English and to a lesser extend the Germans.

The article is incorrect because it paints the Afrikaners as a seperate group to the Europeans listed above.

Fact is that most of the Europeans left, but some French, German, Dutch and English stayed and collectively they became the Afrikaners.

So the Afrikaners weren't too stupid to leave, some EUROPEANS didn't leave and thus they became
Africanised. One would imagine that a black president like Mbeki would have a bit more knowledge than the average dumb boon, but alas that is a pipe dream and explains why Africa is in the state it is in.

Anonymous said...

Mulder is absolutely correct. I couldn't have put it better myself.

Viking said...

What I think is funny is the idea that the Europeans ran away when there was "opposition" from the "local inhabitants".
Damn those pointy spears!

FV De Wet said...

The real issue here is that Mbeki thinks the Europeans left when they received opposition from the local inhabitants (Blacks), but what he doesn't realise is that his so called local inhabitants in South Africa were not originally Black, but coloured (San people). These original local inhabitants (San People) were killed off by the Black settlers that came from East and West Africa (mainly Zulu's).

His whole argument is irrelevant and hypocritical, simply due to the fact that he does not practice what he preaches, when it was his people (Blacks) that murdered / enslaved and oppressed the real local inhabitants of South Africa. The Blacks of South Africa arrived roughly the same time the Blacks did from East and West Africa so none of us have real claim to South Africa, yet they preach that they are the owners and it is their land that we took away.

Truth is that we took land that belonged to them that belonged to the San. And that is if you can say that we WHITES stole the land from them, as I see it, we merely developed the land we lived on and this grew to about 70% of the country. This did not stand well with the Blacks because they did not develop and evolve as fast as we did, thus they were left behind. It is in not our "white" responsibility to develop other races / cultures or people except that of our own people. Why should it be whitey's problem when other races / cultures do not develop or evolve. Simply because we do it faster, it's our "JOB" to see to it that they develop too? BS!! It's nature that selects who develops and evolves and not us, evolution is a natural process that occurs in life and has done so for millions of years, it's not our fault if we whites did it faster than others! Is it the Cheetha's fault that he is stronger and faster than his pray or should he be forced to slack down in order for the antelope to learn how to avoid danger and get away from him. Please, we have been forced to adopt this "develop the weak and support them" structure that is corrupting out world today (I am not saying whites have superiority over others but simply that we have the ability to develop and evolve faster than any other race, the same applies to the Chinese / Japanese that has superiority over technology today), it's not their fault that they are smarter in technology than other people. If someone does not have the ability to develop / evolve why should we support him if he is only going to be the cause of disruption / destruction when he cannot get what he wants? Races / Cultures should be left to develop and evolve by themselves and if they do not catch up, that's their problem.