by Hannes Wessels
Despite having been twice elected US president thanks to millions of white Americans who desperately, albeit misguidedly, wanted to salve their collective guilt and bury a past tainted by slavery, Barack Obama has chosen to end his tenure in wrathful mood, bitching about race and prejudice and how tough it is being black, or in his case brown.
In a rambling, to my mind, somewhat incoherent interview with the incredibly unfunny Trevor Noah, he lamented the fact that “… we have, by no means overcome the legacies of slavery and Jim Crow and colonialism and racism..” What he’s saying is his white compatriots have not done enough to atone for the alleged sins of a few of their forefathers and so they must continue to grovel while shelling out hundreds of billions every year to subsidise the Afro-American population. The fact that Obama owes just about everything he has achieved in life to the benevolence of whites is seldom mentioned but my problem with him and the millions he speaks for is their twisted presumption that only blacks suffer and only whites cause the suffering. I have no wish to write about myself but I do so here simply because I am only one of millions of people of European ancestry who can prove the converse.
I was nine years old when Ian Smith unilaterally declared Rhodesia independent of Britain and my country and the citizenry became international outlaws. White Rhodesians were reeling from recent events in the Congo where independence from Brussels brought butchery and bedlam and thousands of Belgians fled for their lives with only what they could carry. Some came to Rhodesia and their tales of horror were heard.
From that day on the 11th November 1965, I and my generation have lived with constant hostility and uncertainty and all because we happen to have made the mistake of being born white in Africa. As a child I was bewildered. I did not know any white people who were horrible to blacks so I could not understand why we were being treated so harshly. Then, post school, it was off to war and the horrors. I witnessed atrocities committed by the enemy and could not understand why we were the ‘rebel racists’ and the people we fought were ‘freedom-fighters’ and ‘liberators’. Why the entire world sought our destruction yet we had done nothing wrong. The reason was we were white so we could not possibly be right.
Late 1974 I was sad witness to the sight of thousands of Portuguese running for their lives to escape the ethnic cleansing that immediately followed Mozambique’s independence from Portugal. Most that did not make it ended up in Samora Machel’s tropical gulags.
In 2000 I was in the midst of the pogrom initiated by Robert Mugabe which saw white farmers murdered and over 4,000 lose their homes and their livelihoods leading to economic collapse.
My president set the stage by telling an audience that, “the only language the white man will understand is the language of the gun. The more you kill, the nearer you get to your objective.” At a party congress immediately prior to the onslaught he said, “our party must continue to strike fear in the heart of the white man, they must tremble, … Africa is for Africans, …. the white man is part of an evil alliance.” This was followed by his vice-president saying quite simply that “.. whites are not human beings”.
In South Africa, a favourite politically inspired song sung by the president and Julius Malema, the increasingly powerful leader of the opposition EFF (Economic Freedom Fighters) includes the words ‘Kill the Boer’ (Afrikaner farmer). Zuma is now on record blaming the country’s current woes on Jan van Riebeeck, the Hollander who arrived at the Cape in 1652 to set up a victualling station for passing ships, while Malema insists “.. we are poor because of whites,” but give him his due, he was kind enough to say, “.. we are not calling for the slaughtering of whites – at least not for now.”
In my time I have lived and worked in Zimbabwe, South Africa, Zambia and Tanzania. While I have been blessed to lead a fulsome life with much excitement all those years were stained by sadness being witness to the wanton destruction of virtually everything the Europeans had built in the public and private sector during their brief but remarkably productive colonial tenure. Having dispossessed the majority of Europeans of all they owned in Africa it would have provided some relief had they nurtured their ill-gotten gains but the opposite is the woeful norm; destruction and dereliction where there was once beauty and platforms for prosperity.
Against this backdrop, as Africa continues along the path to self-destruction we remaining whites are exposed every day to morons, criminals and fools masquerading as politicians who are virtually guaranteed a racially motivated monopoly on power. Whites, no matter how well qualified and how well intentioned, are in the main excluded from the political and bureaucratic mainstream. To us falls the lamentable burden of watching powerlessly the awful actions of national leaders who in the famous words of Donald Rumsfeld, “Do not know they do not know.”