By Thabi Myeni
White farmers took to the road on Monday in what they called the “Black Monday” march to protest the alleged genocide of a white race they call farmers.
First of all, white genocide doesn’t even qualify as cause for protest action because it’s a myth. It’s fueled by white supremacists who want to walk freely in the footsteps of their ancestors. At the heart of this myth, is white people’s disdain for a “free” South Africa, their disdain for black lives and the idea of a society where they are no longer the default humanity.
They came out waving the apartheid flag because they miss those days and they are proud of their murderous heritage. They paraded that flag to remind us of the blood of Black people that once stained it. This was an act of violence in itself. The police were eventually called to the violent march, no arrests were made, no rubber bullets and no casualities. In contrast, Black people are always victims of police brutality whenever they take to the streets to voice genuine concerns. This is evidence of how the law regulates, validates and enables white supremacy to thrive.
Racism persists not because of white people doing roadblocks and flying the Apartheid flag, but because we’re a country that settled for friendship instead of justice. One of the breeding grounds of white supremacy is this country’s unwillingness to address the racialisation of social and economic systems. It’s allowed white farmers to glorify the dispossession of Black people and simultaneously play victim.
White people perpetuate this myth so that they can justify their inherent violence and racism. Forget the fact that most statistics that they put out about white genocide have been debunked at every intersection, there’s no definitive proof that would lead any sane person to conclude that white farmers are systematically and deliberately being killed.
Violent crimes are rampant in South Africa and this affects the poor and marginalised the most. In fact crime statistics recently released suggest Nyanga, a predominantly Black community, is the murder capital of the country. If anyone had the right to claim special victimhood of violence it would be Black people. It was in a farm where they forced a black man into a coffin, where they killed a black child for allegedly stealing a sunflower, where they pay Black people with spoiled food and where they are openly racist towards black farm workers.
The white genocide myth has travelled globally. In fact it achieved what I imagine is its goal when it became one of Dylann Roof’s motivations for brutally killing nine black people in a Charleston church, USA in 2015. In his manifesto “The Last Rhodesian” on his website, Dylann Roof paid homage to South African white supremacists by referencing imaginary discrimination against white people here. He also praised apartheid as evidence that a black majority can be controlled by a white minority.
White victimhood is simply Apartheid nostalgia, it is criminal and demands to be treated as such.