Flat White

#AllLivesMatter – white lives too

16 March 2018

7:35 AM

16 March 2018

7:35 AM

Cyril Ramaphosa, the new President of South Africa, has decided that it’s time to take out the trash. The poor white trash that is. At least, that’s what these innocent white farmers will become when Ramaphosa fulfils his promise to forcefully re-appropriate the land without compensation, and then redistribute it to black South Africans.

But make no mistake. South Africa is no “Wakanda”. And what’s more, Cyril Ramaphosa is no “Black Panther”. Indeed, he already looks to be fulfilling the role of the villain, “Killmonger” with his plan to annihilate the ‘colonialists’. But tragically, in so doing, he will almost certainly destroy the very nation he has been elected to lead.

As usual, Miranda Devine has put her finger on the central issue. And that is, why is it that only some lives matter? More to the point, why are black lives today viewed as being more valuable than white ones? As Devine comments:

If it was compassionate to admit an extra 12,000 Syrians on the strength of a single photo of a dead toddler on a beach, surely the pictures and stories of bashed and terrified South Africans published this week by Paul Toohey and Gary Ramage mean something.

According to Sky News, the implication of Ramaphosa’s announcement is that “White farmers in South Africa are being murdered at a rate of more than one per week.”  Paul Toohey from The Telegraph likewise, reports that farmers of being murdered and tortured. But not everyone is as concerned about this issue as they should be. As Devine has rightly observed:

Yet there’s silence from the organisations which usually hammer us about our moral failures. Toohey asked the Human Rights Commission, The Refugee Council of Australia, Australian Lawyers for Human Rights…. Not interested.

This is a rancid betrayal of Australians who thus far have backed a generous refugee program that favours Muslim and African refugees because it is our duty as good global citizens to help the oppressed.

But if our oppressed white, Christian, industrious, rugby and cricket-playing Commonwealth cousins from South Africa, who would integrate seamlessly, are not afforded the same compassion and taxpayer largesse, it will undermine our entire immigration program. It will make people suspect it’s designed deliberately to change Australian culture.

As a result, Peter Dutton, Australia’s immigration minister is already seriously considering the fast-tracking of visas for white South African Farmers who will be displaced. According to The Guardian, Dutton said:

The people we’re talking about want to work hard, they want to contribute to a country like Australia…We want people who want to come here, abide by our laws, integrate into our society, work hard, not lead a life on welfare. And I think these people deserve special attention and we’re certainly applying that special attention now.

Dutton’s intended commitment here is to be applauded. These people need our country’s help. I know personally a number of people who immigrated from South Africa years ago because they saw that the writing was on the wall. But for the friends and family that they left behind, time is quickly running out.

Ironically, when Ramaphosa first addressed the country’s parliament last month, he said that his priority was to heal the divisions and injustices of South Africa’s colonial past. And the way he is going about achieving that is through the confiscation of people’s property without any financial compensation. But, just as Robert Mugabe did in Zimbabwe, this will prove to be an absolute disaster. As Simon Black, from Business Insider explains:

Astonishingly, he followed up that statement by saying, “We will handle it in a way that is not going to damage our economy.”

Wow, what a relief. For a minute it sounded like South Africa wants to do what Zimbabwe did several years ago.

Oh, wait a minute.

That’s exactly what Zimbabwe did.

Seeking to correct similar colonial and Apartheid-era injustices in his country, Zimbabwe’s president Robert Mugabe initiated a land redistribution program in 1999-2000.

Thousands of white-owned farms were confiscated by the government, and the farmers were forced out.

Bear in mind that Zimbabwe used to be known as the breadbasket of southern Africa.

Zimbabwe’s world-class farmers were major food exporters to the rest of the region.

But within a few years of Mugabe’s land distribution, food production plummeted.

Without its professional, experienced farmers, the nation went from being an agricultural export powerhouse to having to rely on handouts from the United Nations’ World Food Programme.

Hyperinflation and a multi-decade depression followed.

If there’s an economic model in the world that you DON’T want to follow, it’s Zimbabwe.

And you’d think that the politicians in neighbouring South Africa would know that.

They had a front-row seat to the effects of Mugabe’s land redistribution, not to mention they had to absorb millions of starving Zimbabwean refugees who came across their borders.

Yet this is precisely the policy that they want to adopt.

However, you might feel about social justice, it seems pretty clear that copying Zimbabwe is a pretty stupid idea… and will only end up hurting the people they claim to be helping.

Yet the president claims that they want to initiate a land redistribution program that won’t impact the economy or South Africa’s food security.

Yeah sure. And I want to be the starting quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys next season.

This is not just an economic crisis but a humanitarian one too. And it is occurring right before our very eyes. And as such, we need to show compassion, especially to the refugees fleeing South Africa at present. For unless we’re going to be inherently racists, we need to acknowledge that All Lives Matter – white lives too.

Mark Powell is the Associate Pastor of Cornerstone Presbyterian Church, Strathfield.

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