by Hannes Wessels
Inevitably, as the father of two spirited and opinionated girls I find myself criticising them for a multitude of perceived sins which involves a lot of me grumbling and remonstrating while reciting tales of yore about ‘when I was your age’ and how tough it was for me and how easy it is for you. Most of these admonishments fly in the one ear of the recipient and out the other at the speed of light and my fulminating becomes more furious as I note eyes closing slowly and a general blankness enveloping the demeanour of the child under attack. But when I’m done moaning, I look at the world today, the journey they have traveled compared to mine, and what might lie ahead, I feel a sickening pain in my gut.
The truth is, now I think I was bloody lucky. Rightly or wrongly, from a young age I watched wholesome Hollywood heroes who excited and entertained me. One of them was the Western movie-star Audie Murphy who performed magnificently on screen in battling the ‘baddies’ whoever they were but he was also one of America’s most highly decorated soldiers in WW II. He had all the ingredients that a young boy might have aspired to and I revered him.
At home and throughout my school years, I and my peers were instilled with enormous pride in our country, our leaders and our history. We were constantly reminded that we were indebted to those who had built the country, that we had an important role to play in its future development and that if required we should be prepared to fight and die for it. We read in some awe about F.C. Selous, the great hunter-explorer and naturalist who perished fighting the Germans in then Tanganyika during WW I and Allan Wilson who died bravely on the banks of the Shangani River along with all his men at the hands of Matabele warriors. We learned of the hardships endured by our forebears in the settlement and development of southern Africa and all the changes that had been wrought bringing an end to tribal wars and primitivity while replacing it with peace and prosperity.
Beyond our borders we also learned about the huge contributions made to Western civilisation by European scientists, writers, explorers and philosophers.
We heard from Douglas Bader, the legless legend of the Battle of Britain when he toured the country’s schools on a visit from his home in England. He reminded boys and girls of the valiant service the country’s small population provided Britain in the war against Nazism. We heard about our Prime Minister Ian Smith, the Spitfire pilot who flew and fought with such courage and commitment and we felt blessed to be Rhodesians. Out of this sense of pride came the confidence and moral strength that helped us to go forth; some to war, some to other places and challenges, but we had our heads held high and our chests out.
My children, despite efforts made in the home have not been blessed thus. They watch few films where white people are anything but the villains. I know every father complains about the music their children listen to but ‘Rap’, replete with ugly lyrics about sex, drugs, torturing women and killing cops is de rigueur.
The history they have been taught concentrates heavily on the European’s perceived sins; slavery, colonialism and apartheid. They know nothing about the people who stopped slavery or of remarkable men like Generals Jan Smuts and Louis Botha. Most have not heard of Professor Christiaan Barnard but they have heard of Jean-Jacques Dessalines who rid his island of French rule and established the failed state known as Haiti. And of Nat Turner who led a slave rebellion in North America in the 1830’s. And of course they know all about Nelson Mandela to whom they must pay homage for the rest of their lives for the bountiful blessings bestowed upon them in the course of 26 years of ANC rule. They know all about Mapungubwe the great African civilisation that flourished near the Limpopo almost a 1,000 years ago, and ‘Great Zimbabwe’ but less about the Romans, the spread of Christianity under Constantine or The Renaissance.
The message to them from all quarters; their teachers, the press, social media, Hollywood and the political class is clear; being white carries guilt so be sorry to everyone for a curse visited upon you by your parents, your forebears and your genetic composition. The fact that they belong to a racial group that comprises roughly 12% of the world population and are entirely blameless of any of these alleged ‘crimes against humanity’ is utterly irrelevant. They must take responsibility and understand, for the foreseeable future they will be classed as pariahs who must concentrate a large portion of their future energies on compensating and apologising to the ‘victims’.
Terrifying Instagram accounts are now set up in schools to give vent to the ‘victims’ frustration and to them the power to destroy innocent young lives upon a whim and the press of a few buttons that transmit the dreaded word – ‘racist’. Because of the ease with which damning but unproven allegations can now be transmitted far and wide and with immediacy the current purge makes the Salem Witch-hunts look tame. The fact that all of those calling for retribution against whites because of slavery never suffered it and that young South Africans never experienced life under apartheid is simply ignored.
As a result of the ruthlessly effective manipulation of young minds throughout the Western world much of the new generation has accepted this false narrative with alacrity and today fill the streets of America and England, alongside ‘Black Lives Matter’ and ‘Antifa’ activists while seeking to lend a hand in the destruction of some of the most successful and benevolent societies in history.
It seems the twisting of history has seeped to the very top of academia. At Oxford, the ‘Rhodes Must Fall’ mob is back with a vengeance, attracting support from the media, politicians and academics. Simukai Chigudu, Associate Professor of African politics at the university is fully supportive stating, “..the phrase ‘black lives matter’ resonated because of a history of white supremacy that has denigrated, exploited and subjugated black lives”. Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran and the leader of the local council have also voiced support. PhD student Ndjodi Ndeunyema refers to Rhodes as a ‘genocidaire’. What these strangers to the truth and the morons who believe them ignore, is the fact that in the territory settled by Rhodes that became known as Southern Rhodesia the indigenous population exploded under white rule from several hundred thousand to approximately 10 million in 70 years. If this is what they teach at that once august institution then God help them.
Growing up we all learned that winning a Rhodes Scholarship which gave one access to Oxford was the ultimate academic accolade. Were one of my children offered one today I would strongly suggest to them they give it back. For them the world they must navigate seems hostile, the airwaves are filled with lies and they are to be discriminated against at every level and in every sector for alleged crimes they never committed.
I weep for them.