In the racist anti-Afrikaner L.A. Times article, White Couple Backs Reforms From Behind an Electric Fence, Scott Kraft, interviews the Afrikaner Van der Merwes family, who reside on a small holding some 30 kilometres outside Johannesburg. Kraft paints a picture of a racist family detached from an American neo-liberal notion of how one MUST think and act in 21st century South Africa.
The piece, which by now has probably reached hundreds of thousands of impressionable American readers, has to be one of the most egregious examples of anti-Afrikaner bias in the mainstream media I have ever witnessed. To say it was a hatchet job (or should I say panga-job) of the wealthy but politically moderate Afrikaner family, would be an understatement of the grandest proportion. Some claim that the tone of the article, a copy of which was widely circulated by the ANC after it was released, incited violence and hatred. But this was no ordinary anti-Afrikaner attack as we have seen so often in the press. This was a carefully worded piece of propaganda and hate speech, penned to incite violence and foment discord and hatred.
And in spite of the criticism it faced when originally penned, it has been re-released on the world wide web this past week. For what purpose we do NOT know.
As most of us are painfully aware, South Africa is an extremely dangerous place to live, especially if you have the racial misfortune of being of White, Asian descent even mulatto descent.
The hatred the black South African population feels towards all non-black peoples (and animals as evidenced by the spate of black perpetrated incidents of animal cruelty we have seen in recent weeks), far exceeds any hatred whites and Asians may or not have harboured ‘for blacks during the country’s turbulent past.
Still, Marxists like the author of the story, who seem to be under the impressions that they’d be safe living in a South African township by way of their liberal beliefs, unfathomably continue to incite & excuse racial hatred and violence, 20 years after the fall of Apartheid. Instead of understanding why whites are fearful, he vilifies them, almost excusing black on white violence.
In the article the couple talked of how they voted for the ANC because they wanted South Africa to move forward as a democracy. They addressed how they were having misgivings about their decision because of the daily threat of violence and land grabs whites faced in South Africa. Kraft framed the article in such a manner his liberal audience felt disdain for the family-talking about their swimming pool, tennis courts, the fact that they only learn enough Zulu, so they’d be able to boss about their staff etc. He also intentionally failed to mention the senselessness behind the violence at the heart of non-black fear, and the reason the family had regrets. He painted non-black, and specifically Afrikaner fear, as one that is their own doing, implying quite conspicuously, that it is their own selfishness and greed that makes them the target of black hostility. Kraft’s hatred of the Afrikaner people, and the family that apparently invited him into their home for the interview, only served to encourage violence, incite hatred and facilitate class division.
By referring to white Afrikaners as the most ‘privileged species’-yes he used the term SPECIES in an attempt to denigrate the Van der Merwe family, when more than 30% of SA’s Afrikaner population live in poverty, he distanced his audience from the Afrikaner people, so that they felt little empathy when next reading about a woman’s head being chopped off. The fact that he and his audience are themselves the single most privileged species on the face of the earth (White, Jewish, American & liberal), never registered in his deluded mind. My guess is it still doesn’t!
And who is Scott Kraft? And why would he write such a vitriolic article?
The author of the piece is a racist Jewish Champagne liberal-in the same vein of the vile Nadine Gordimer and Joe Slovo. As is the case with most liberals, Kraft grew up in a wealthy home, studied at a university that costs $54,000 per year to attend, and is the definition of privilege. In spite of all his pro-black rhetoric, my guess is he invites few or no black friends into his home. Like white liberals in the ANC, Kraft uses his position as columnist/editor at the Times, to divide people and incite animosity, by selectively attacking society’s most productive citizens. Growing up in New York, I can tell you from first hand experience, Jewish liberals do NOT like blacks. Of all the gentile groups they feel superior to, blacks garner the least respect.
The LA Times writes that Kraft, “joined The Times as a national correspondent in Chicago and went on to serve as a bureau chief in Nairobi, Johannesburg and Paris. He covered the end of apartheid, earthquake in Haiti, the ill-fated U.S. military mission in Somalia and the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, among other major stories. His piece for the Los Angeles Times magazine on the AIDS epidemic in Africa won the SPJ Distinguished Service Award for Foreign Correspondence.”
As evidenced by his LA Times biography, Kraft has a penchant for penning pieces critical of colonialism. As South Africa in particular is seen by the American left as the last vestige of Northern European colonial evil, and the Boer, the poster boys for it, it was only a matter of time before the man dipped his pen in South African blood. He has in fact been criticised by more level-headed liberal journalists for making anti-Afrikaner misstatements. Kraft once wrote that “the Afrikaner is a rarity in anti-apartheid literature especially as Afrikaners were rare in the anti-Apartheid movement.” We all know this to be false. In fact the Van der Merwe family voted twice for Nelson Mandela and were in FAVOUR of ending Apartheid.
In my opinion this article is one of the most vile racially charged pieces I have seen disseminated by the international media. The fact that it has been re-released in the summer of 2014 speaks volumes about the man, his agenda and what the mainstream media are all about.
I have highlighted Kraft’s most despicable rhetoric.
White Couple Backs Reforms From Behind an Electric Fence
By Scott Kraft
Of all the signs of the new era dawning in South Africa, one of the more eloquent is attached to the 8,000-volt wire fence that rings Willie and Celeste van der Merwe’s four-bedroom home, swimming pool, tennis court and 25 acres of fruit trees and flowers..
The sign, in Zulu, Afrikaans and English, reads: “Noosi. Gevaar. Danger.”
The fence keeps the dogs in and the troublemakers out. It wouldn’t kill anyone, though it would deliver a painful jolt. But that’s enough for Celeste van der Merwe. “It makes us feel a bit safer, you know,” Celeste said.
The Van der Merwes (pronounced fan-duh-MERV-ah) are part of a privileged species in this country: white, Afrikaner, mid-40s, high income, health club membership, two cars, plenty of land, housekeeper, gardener, two daughters in college and a third just graduated.
In any other society in the world, that would give them high hopes for a comfortable, prosperous future. But not in South Africa in 1992. On that well-tended landscape behind the $5,000 fence are some mightily worried people.
Like so many of the 5 million privileged whites, the Van der Merwes are friendly, intelligent, Christian folks who support apartheid reform–but dread the day that their 29 million black compatriots get control of the levers of government.
They already see trouble brewing everywhere. Crime is soaring and trouble is on the horizon. Millions of poorly educated blacks–a result, many whites admit, of apartheid–hope to use their new voting power to grab back what apartheid has stolen.
As a collective whole, whites know they owe blacks for the oppression and discrimination that have left so many penniless and jobless. Everyone agrees blacks deserve a bigger piece of the pie.
But, as individuals, whites don’t believe they should have to give up their homes and cars and dining room suites to the black housekeeper living in the one-room “servants’ quarters” in their flowering gardens.
The Van der Merwes worked hard for their success and believe they deserve it. (note – ‘believe’ is often used to insinuate something negative)
They bought their 25 acres of South Africa from Willie’s father 22 years ago, when it was a wild, scrubby rural tract with a small cottage. It fulfilled their dream to own a “smallholding,” as it’s called in South Africa, far from the noise and smog of Johannesburg, now a growing metropolis of 3.5 million people, including Soweto, 20 miles away.
Willie and Celeste poured their savings and vacation days into the smallholding. Willie slashed back the brush and planted peach, plum, apricot and fig trees. They built a large new house, put in the swimming pool and, later, the tennis court.
A visitor to the Van der Merwe home finds them in the traditional weekend attire of white South Africans–Celeste in dressy slacks, blouse and jewelry and her husband, barefoot, in jogging shorts and T-shirt. China cups of tea and pieces of cake from their oldest daughter’s recent wedding are served as the sun sets on another picture-perfect day in Africa.
Theirs has been a happy life.
Willie’s job as the financial manager of a livestock auction firm allowed Celeste to stay home to raise the children. She ferried the girls to years of afternoon tennis, ballet and piano lessons as well as private elocution classes to remove the rough Afrikaans accent from their English.
Every Sunday, the family has slid into the pews of a nearby Dutch Reformed Church, a repository of Afrikaner culture and tradition. Celeste also attends a weekly Bible study and joins other white homemakers in a sewing class.
The more comfortable they become, though, the more they worry about the direction their country is heading.
To them, Nelson Mandela, the most powerful black leader in the country, seems to be speaking out of both sides of his mouth. He raises black hopes by promising to nationalize key industries and restore to blacks the land that is rightfully theirs. But he also tries to reassure whites that their property, savings accounts and jobs will be safe under a black government.
“A lot of blacks think that we whites owe them something and that we’ve got to give it to them or they’ll just take it,” said Celeste, a slender 44-year-old who imagines the worst. Like many whites, she believes that most blacks “don’t realize that we’ve worked for what we’ve achieved.”
Now that their daughters have left home, Celeste has grown even more worried.
“What’s going to happen,” Celeste asked Willie the other day, “if they decide, OK, it’s only the two of us living in this house now and we don’t need it? What’s going to stop a black government from taking it from us?”
Her husband, a tall, blade-thin man of 46, looked around his tastefully decorated living room.
“There’s space in this house for 20 people,” he admitted. But he said he was counting on the “good sense” of black leaders. “If the government of the day was to allow something like that, this whole country would be rack and ruin in six months’ time,” he said.
That is no idle fear. Five million blacks are homeless in South Africa, and the demand for land to hold them is building.
Only a few months ago, a white suburb threw up a 24-hour blockade to prevent Randburg city officials from moving 6,000 black squatters next door. The city eventually promised to look elsewhere. But that squatter community is just seven miles from the Van der Merwes’ front gate.
With the growing problems of joblessness and homelessness comes crime. (note – Isn’t the ANC responsible for the joblessness?)
Two houses down the road from the Van der Merwes, three black men broke in on a family eating dinner last year, killing a young white woman and severely beating her mother. The intruders escaped in the daughter’s BMW with a television set and 200 rand (about $80) in cash.
“That is why we whites have a fear of blacks,” Celeste said, reflecting a view held by most of her neighbors. “They’ve got no regard for human life. I don’t think life is as important to them as it is to us.
“I can’t imagine them governing this country,” Celeste added. “But it’s a new South Africa. We’ve got to accept it. And it’s the right thing to do.”
Just a month ago, the Van der Merwes and their daughters were among the 70% of whites who voted “yes” to end apartheid and negotiate the future with blacks. But for them, and for most whites, that vote was no road-to-Damascus conversion or even an endorsement of black-majority government. It was the reluctant mandate of an electorate with no options left.
Whites’ attempt to maintain political power, first by suppressing the black majority and later by sweeping it into autonomous ethnic “homelands,” had reached a dead end.
They could either try it all again, inviting the certain wrath of the world, or barter their power, privilege and maybe even their wealth for protection from the rising demands of that sea of black faces.
Had the Van der Merwes been born with black skin, in this country that reserved 87% of the land for a white minority, life would have been very different for them. But they don’t give much thought to such hypothetical questions.
Willie van der Merwe traces his claim to the land to his Dutch ancestors, the Afrikaners, the first whites to arrive on the southern tip of Africa three centuries ago. As the years passed, the Dutch-, German- and French-born settlers shared a language, Afrikaans, a strict Calvinist religion and hatred for the British colonizers.
In the 1830s, a band of Afrikaners, among them many Van der Merwe clans, set out on a great wagon train trek into the South African heartland in search of religious and political independence from Britain. They fought the British and, later, the black African tribes, until the Afrikaners controlled vast tracts of South Africa’s interior, including what is now Johannesburg.
“Our forefathers fought for this property, just as the Americans fought their Indians,” Willie van der Merwe said. “And it legally belongs to us.
“You have rich and poor people in America, and they have rich and poor people in England,” he added. “But here in South Africa everybody thinks we must redistribute the wealth among the people. Nowhere else in the world are those demands made.”
Afrikaners account for about half of all whites in South Africa, and the Boer traditions live on in the Van der Merwe household. Although the family speaks flawless English, their home language is Afrikaans. And they consider themselves culturally distinct from non-Afrikaner whites.
“If I could choose husbands for my daughters, I’d prefer they marry Afrikaners rather than English boys,” Celeste said. “You can’t bring children up in a split home like that.”
Many English-speaking whites also hold passports from European countries and, if the going gets tough in South Africa, they can emigrate. The Afrikaner, though, is here to stay.
Like those of most whites, the Van der Merwes’ opinions of blacks have been shaped largely by the day-to-day contact with their black employees. Their housekeeper and gardener live behind the Van der Merwe house, in rooms about the size of their front porch.
Celeste van der Merwe has spent hours urging her “house girl,” a single mother of three in her 30s, to use birth control and protect herself against AIDS.
“They complain about all these children they have to support, and I tell them we would have liked to have more children ourselves, but we knew we wouldn’t be able to afford it,” Celeste said. But she said her lessons fall on deaf ears.
Adding to Celeste’s insecurity is her maid’s and gardener’s command of English, Afrikaans and an array of African languages, which she believes puts her at a disadvantage in her own house. (note – command of languages my ass. Attempt to show the civility and abilities of blacks)
“Very often, I find these two talking in front of me, and I know they’re talking about me,” Celeste said. “But I can’t understand a word. And I can’t even talk on the telephone without them knowing what I’m saying.” (Celeste once took a short course in Sotho, but she didn’t learn much because the teacher was more interested in grammar than conversation.)
Zulu lessons are required at the school where the Van der Merwe’s 20-year-old daughter, Noelene, studies food preparation and clothing design. But the class focuses on commands that a white employer might need in a clothing factory, such as “Pass the scissors” and “Sew that.”
All three Van der Merwe daughters grew up in whites-only primary and high schools, and, like their parents, none has ever had a black friend.
“I think maybe if we had had blacks with us in school when we were growing up, we might have understood them better,” Noelene said. “But we don’t know them, and they don’t know us.”