Fact over Fiction
A hysteria around the end of white colonial rule in southern Africa has afflicted the American far right for decades. Recently the allegation in neo-Nazi circles has been that white farmers in South Africa are being genocided.
This damned lie, picked up by right wing commentators like Ann Coulter and by Rupert Murdoch’s phony news outlets like Fox, is going mainstream via Trump, who has asked Mike Pompeo at the State Department to look into the ongoing mass murder.
About 8.4% of South Africa’s population identifies as white. It has fallen from 8.6% in 2010. The South African population is 57 mn. so self-identified whites (mostly Afrikaners) are a little less than 5 million. The reduction in numbers of two tenths of a percent is owing to emigration, not genocide.
This is an important finding to underline. Most of the decrease in white ownership of farmland has come about because black Africans bought it from them, now that they are able to.
There were only 74 farm murders in 2016-17, out of 19,000 murders nationally. While that is up from 58 in the previous year, the numbers are so small as to make it absurd to speak in Trump’s exaggerated terms. Moreover, the victims are not reported by race, and many farm workers are Black, so it is impossible to know how many of the 74 victims were white.
To have a Dylann Roof foreign policy imposed on the Department of State by Trump, whose father was once arrested at a Ku Klux Klan disturbance in New York, is beyond shameful.
It should be remembered that Nazi Germany itself sought close relations with segregated South Africa in the 1930s on the grounds that there was a global groundswell of colored people and that the white nations had to stand together against it.