Politics and History

My Best Friends are Black.


by Hannes Wessels

Maybe it’s just me, with my dystopian view of this fast-changing world which I fear, (and sincerely hope I’m wrong), is careening in the wrong direction, but I’m finding the company of others, increasingly pointless. While I still have the occasional pleasure of being with dear friends of old, more and more, I get the impression that people are inclined to say, not what they think, but what they think they ought to say and I find this irritating and underwhelming. Needless to say, they probably also find me irritating and underwhelming and are all thrilled to see the back of me; but being someone who enjoys good company, lively discussion and a laugh, this is not a stage in life I celebrate.

To some extent I suppose it is understandable. With ever tightening rules regarding what is loosely referred to as ‘Hate Speech’, the Mainstream Media black-out of contrarian opinions and facts, and the crack down by social media companies on anything they consider to be deviating from their ‘progressive’ view of the world, I sense I now know what life might have been like in Stalin’s Russia or Mao’s China.  Then, as now, people were afraid to talk frankly and honestly because articulating dissenting views was similarly dealt with; by banishment to where those ‘dangerous’ voices could not be heard, loss of employment, public humiliation and sometimes worse. But with that said, there seems to be a slavish desire from the majority to toe the line, no matter how idiotically their leaders behave, and no matter how distorted and untrue their sources of information are.  The rump of the population appears to be sleep-walking into democratic totalitarianism imposed by a liberal dictatorship.

Out of this milieu I find myself increasingly drawn to engaging, and being in the company of black people, some of whom I have known a long time and some only recent acquaintances I have made in the course of my work. In a way this is nothing new. In days gone by, when I followed a different lifestyle and lived and worked more closely with black people, I always relished their earthy, uncomplicated approach to life, their cheerful resilience in facing adversity, and their wonderful ability to laugh at themselves no matter what was said. Conversation was relaxed, convivial and invariably enlightening and seldom had I to worry about giving offence as I do in the company of most white people.

Recently, in the course of my research, I have been in touch with several men who once tried to kill me while I tried to kill them and astonishingly, out of my current gloom about the state of Africa and the world, they have boosted my morale and given me renewed hope.

They are all senior, hardened combat veterans of the armies raised with strong Chinese and Soviet backing, and the support of most of the world, to end white rule in Rhodesia. Although we differed strongly then, I respect them for having had the courage to risk their lives for what they believed would be a better dispensation and I have welcomed the discourse.

Somewhat surprisingly, they are one voice, in lamenting the course of events since ‘liberation’ in 1980 and, unlike most white liberals I know who seldom have the gumption to acknowledge their mistakes, they are utterly unafraid to say they erred. From this platform we have had discussions which have fascinated and frustrated me because these voices of sense and reason are seldom heard from Africa, and coming from them with their provenance their words carry an unusual potency.

They are united in stating bluntly, the departure of the whites from their homeland was a tragedy and the fundamental cause of the country’s socio-economic collapse. They are scathing in their criticism of African politicians throughout the continent who do little more than abuse their power for self-enrichment. They acknowledge a huge governance deficit, the existence of bloated, useless bureaucracies and the fact their country was far better run by the whites they sought to dislodge. While Europeans everywhere are being vilified for their historic links to slavery, they point out slavery remains alive and well in Africa, but nobody is doing anything to stop it simply because there is no European involvement.  They are scathing about their erstwhile allies the Chinese who they see as avaricious racists plundering the continent’s resources for their own enrichment while, unlike the white colonists, they contribute little or nothing to the welfare of Africans in general and do not regard Africa as ‘home’. They are gravely concerned about the spread of militant Islamic groups south and the fact there is no effective opposition to stem this tide. We are Christians, they say, but where are the Christian soldiers of the ‘free’ West to fight these people?

The list of endemic, post-colonial woes is a long and expanding one; but when all is said, I ask, ‘so what is to be done?’ And they say quite unequivocally, we need the white people back on the ground here; we need the Americans, and we need the British and we need the French and we need the Germans. We want them to invest but we also need their expertise in the private and public sectors; we are rudderless and badly led they say. If the Europeans come back, they assure me, we will all prosper together.

Irritation, and a measure of anger follows when I point out they are not coming back; not because they don’t want to; these countries are brimful of the people and resources they so desperately seek; but because powers of the West are cowed by guilt relating to their imperial pasts and connection to slavery. And herein lies the ongoing tragedy of Africa. A powerful media peddling a false narrative, bolstered by a relentless propaganda campaign in schools and universities, have destroyed the confidence of hitherto great nations and people who hold the key to making Africa and the world a better place.

To my former adversaries I say, I can only help transmit your message, but I’m white in a white-hating world, and ‘illiberal’ to boot, so few listen; but you men of war  have the skin colour and hard-won credentials to make people in high places listen and I’ll do all I can to help.

24 thoughts on “My Best Friends are Black.

  1. Hi Hannes. You may be aware that more than 700 Australian veterans have taken their life post-discharging from the ADF. Some of these were from the Australian SAS and Commandos. With your past-experience and eloquent writing, I wonder if you could reach out to these guys and make contact. I am sure they would appreciate it. Heston Russel was a Major in the Australian special forces. The video link:: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8KCKmiNH0ZE Thanks.

  2. Again, wonderful insight and the ability and words to express them. As you say, the Russians, Chinese and elsewhere do not regard their stay in Africa as home. The real problem is those in power don’t want the West back in case they challenge their power and ability to manipulate elections.. Those other countries simply want the raw materials and debt payments from the inhabitants, without challenging those in authority

  3. Hannes, as you know, we share a keen interest in what happened to Rhodesia. We both worked to investigate and expose the legal status of he Rhodesia catastrophe and we finally came to the conclusion that culpability was squarely on the shoulders of the British Government, PERFIDIOUS ALBION. However, through legislative enactments in the House of Commons and the ignorance of the Rhodesian people, there is now no remedy.

    At first instance, the white Rhodesians were sacrificed. It took a few years but eventually, in the second instance, the Zimbabwean people were sacrificed.

    The Rhodesian and later the Zimbabwean diapora took flight and settled throughout the world.

    It goes without saying that some were successful and we have no reason for complaint in Australia.

    My gripe is that western societies have failed in their parental responsibility, to ensure that Judeau-Christian memes are passed down from one generation to the next. The failure to keep up these values as been a drift to Marxism and Socialism. The education, especially of USA children has been abandoned, and replaced with the values of the USA Teachers Union interests.

    My further gripe, is that political structures in the West have become corrupt and rendered virtually useless. Politicians have sold their political influence and enabled a bureaucratic SWAMP to become criminalized.

    My biggest gripe is that the United States Supreme Court (“SCOTUS”), which has a primary duty to protect the USA Constitution, refused to do its duty. The SCOTUS used specious and flimsy excuses to deny ‘certiorari’ ‘produce the evidence’ to enable if the 2020 General Election had indeed been stolen. By refusing to hear the matter, it was in my humble opinion guilty of serious dereliction of Judicial Office.

    Finally, my gripe is that so few people have tried to inform themselves of what is happening. It is very disappointing.

    1. Thanks Will, I’m sorry to say I share your concerns and I also see little light ahead for our particular ethnic group.

  4. Hi Hannes, one of the best articles I have read for a long time and so true. I have never had the privilege to speak to an ex combatant from the other side but have heard of a few who have and they all say they experienced the same you did.

    1. Yes Phil it’s been quite heartening but also so sad so much damage done through mistakes of the past and I’m afraid some of it is beyond repair. The great tragedy is that, as you know, the vast majority of white and black Rhodesians got along really well and left alone, we would have found solutions but that was not to be.

  5. Hannes, another excellent article. You may be interested in how the US House Committee changed the rules in order for the socialists to vent their visceral hatred towards Trump, prior to impeaching Trump for the second time. Watch 1 minute and 53 seconds into the following video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tFW60srYRzs Please note Democratic Representative Ayana Pressley’s advocating violence, and Pelosi’s quote.
    After working as an Intensive Care nurse (private contractor) to the Australian Federal Police and Army in the Solomon Islands and then later to the Australian army in East Timor, I became aware of the mental health issues (namely PTSD). At the age of 61 I undertook a Masters’s (Qualifying) degree in Social Work. I only completed 18 months of the two-year course, because I knew that I was writing assignments to beat the ‘gatekeeping’ not because I believed in the rhetoric and jargon. I offer this background so that your readers may have a better understanding of the socialist, Marxist thought process. I need to acknowledge that there are a few social workers in Australia who do not subscribe to this vitriolic rhetoric and thought process.
    Firstly, I would like to address Chris Rogers’s (no offense Chris) reference to Trump being a narcissist. Narcissism is on a spectrum, we all have it to some degree, as it is what gives us self-worth. Listen to the socialist left’s self-loathing of being white or being born in a colonised country; or the patriarchal/man-hating feminists, they have no self-esteem, so ‘project’ this onto the rest of us to pull us down to their level, in other words making us ‘equal’ to their morbidity. ‘Projection’ is one of the manifestations of a Narcissistic Personality Disorder, which also include: a sense of entitlement, grandiosity/self-importance, lack of empathy and desire for revenge. Some statistics claims 6% of Australians are affected by personality disorders. During the Iraq war the US military discharged 23,000 soldiers with personality disorders in one year. Some statistics claim more than 15% of the US citizens may have personality disorders clusters A, B, and C. Narcissistic Personality disorder is in the cluster B group along with anti-social and histrionic, all of which manifest narcistic traits. I believe that this was the tinder box that set off the riots in the capitol rather than Trump’s tweets. Have a look at the riot videos, you will see the self-entitlement, grandiosity (Nordic and battle dress) the desire for revenge, the omnipotence, omnipresence and the lack of empathy.
    It is important to understand socialist/leftist jargon. The socialist, marxist love words that end in ‘isms’: 1,2, and 3rd wave feminism; black feminism, colonialist feminism, (it is of note that many of these forms of feminism contradict each other); socialism, Marxism, colonialism, and activism to name a few. The social work course is more about local, national and international activism on the above ‘isms’. Activism is a major force in social work.’ Compliance and advocacy’ are the key words. Is there a policy/law that can be used to force compliance e.g discrimantion/racism? Use this law to force the organisation into complying. If there is no policy and law, then advocate for policy change.
    ‘Patriarchy’ is another word that all those radical feminists, socialists and Marxists love. They believe that patriarchy is responsible for all the feminist and social woes. The Christian God/Jesus is patriarchy; all our sciences: biology, anatomy, chemistry, medicine, maths, engineering etc. were all developed by ‘patriarchy’ and therefore should be dismissed has having no value. Hence the LGBT cry that gender is a social construction and should not be defined by patriarchy. Have a look at self-proclaimed feminist Julia Gillard subjecting Tony Abbott to feminist visceral condemnation. Note, not one of the Liberal coalition females’ members stood up to shut the bullying down. You can formulate your own opinion on what this behaviour is. Link to this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fCNuPcf8L00

  6. I identify with your words. If they weren’t so well written I could perhaps imagine I’d written them myself.
    But don’t despair Hannes. – yes our world is changing perspective but southern African people of colour are changing with it.
    My latest book Long Walk To Nowhere, published in London a few months ago, has enlightened me to this fact. Many of my most avid readers are black. Such a demographic was not what my publisher nor I expected.
    Upon deeper analysis we have discovered that some are of the generation you speak of but there are hundreds of others who never experienced southern Africa under white rule. They were not born yet and desperately want to learn of the truth of a southern Africa’s recent history.
    They have learned that History is not a prison and that those who fashioned it have served their time. There is a fresh consensus that History should not be changed, it should be kept relevant to be understood.
    Africa’s younger generations have aspirations for their family’s futures. They have become disillusioned with the lies of their ruling Kleptocrats and suspicious of patronizing western whites, who hide behind post-colonial guilt syndromes. Tedious and fearful time has taught them to distrust the masks that camouflage the true objectives of the colonizing eastern powers.
    Witness the current somewhat suspect but nonetheless encouraging published election results in Uganda. The new generation is demanding democracy.
    There is a tide of awakening. Africans know that human survival will have to rely upon collective understanding. People all over the world are hurting and need each other more every day.
    It’s a painfully long process, but the voices you and I crave to hear, the sound of sense and reason, will be heard from Africa.

  7. A good piece as always Hannes. My wife and I left Rhodesia as newlyweds in 1976 as I concluded my employ with the Ministry of Information after University. Our houseboy at the time was a mdala with the Episcopalian church. He gave us a chicken to eat when we said our goodbyes – for luck, he said. But I clearly remember his parting words. “You’ll be back. Maybe not you, but the whites. Because we do not know how to run a country.” I’m sure Michael is no longer with us but I still believe in the truth of his words. Onwards….

  8. It is with much sadness and understanding that I read this saddening article, Hannes. I too am at that stage of life where self-isolation is preferable to company, in most cases. It seems we have been censored by patriarchal Governments since central control over populations was instituted. However, the stifling of free speech by social media monopoly oligarchs is a few steps too far. IMHO. If we were taught the fundamental principles of courtesy, respect, dignity and humility, amongst others, I believe, probably naively, that self-censorship and control would be a natural outcome. Alas, I fear, I am a myopic relic of a bygone era of lofty ideals and probably not meant to be in this dystopia. Your voice is a refreshing storm in this parched landscape of hate and subversion and I look forward to, with thanks, your next missive. Regards as always.

    1. Thank you Simon. I most certainly agree with you on the fact that much of our world today is bad mannered and if the daily code of conduct was a more respectful one the world would be a better place.

  9. Thanks, Hannes, I copied this to some friends I hope that was ok. When you try to tell people about these things, they tend to look at you as though you are an idiot or are mad. Go well and keep writing these fantastic articles. Regards Doug Banks (a Rhodesian born, breed and Feed).

  10. Be good to see your friends write articles and appear on TV etc to tell the world of their experiences. It is so ironic that liberal fascism has emerged with the same aims of stifling true democracy. The times were different and humans evolve or at least those not in the herd do

  11. Hannes I never had the privilege of knowing you as a second generation Rhodesian who with a broken and heavy heart left Zimbabwe in February 1983 to start a new life. Just wanted to let you know how much I have enjoyed reading all your books and articles as you have such a great gift to write so eloquently. Knowing so many of the names mentioned brings back to life so many memories of the call up days which remain so dear. I have also so enjoyed your interviews with such fine brave soldiers, most of them which I knew personally. Keep up your great work and hope I might have the good fortune to meet you someday. Kindest regards. Rob

    1. Thanks Rob, I think we are all sad in some way or another. I think we all now know the Zimbabwe tragedy could have been so easily avoided. regards hannes

  12. Thanks, an interesting and entertaining read. When I was engaged in doing my part in bringing into being the first integrated company (one made up of a third ZANLA, a third ZIPRA and a third former army) of the ZNA in 1980 at the 4 Bde Battle Camp, with Armstrong Gunda as OC, the 2Ic (a ZIPRA cadre) mused one evening that he thought he had been on the wrong side! It was amazing to me how well we all got along after years of warfare. There were parallels at the end of WW2 when my father was at Lubeck flying on the Berlin Airlift and spending time, often, with former Luftwaffe pilots and RAF, and USAAF, and very little enmity. It IS the self serving politicians, all the time – and in Africa more so than elsewhere.

  13. Great article Hannes, as a true rhodesian I feel the same way as you. I never grew up a racists and could never understand why we never integrated with blacks earlier. I played with black kids yet couldn’t go to school with them.. Joined the bsap was scouter bravo byo with GC.. All my guys were blacks with far more experience than I did, but I had the education and rank. Why I would ask. We fucked up in many ways. Liberals are my pet hate in life. To much to say but think we on the same page. I recently made contact with Mike Mulligan
    Big mate and natorius for his flying achievements in Rhodesia. Give us an email or call sometime and maybe we can arrange a good old Rhodie chinwag in Sedgefield. New Beaver Shaw and enjoying your YouTube links with some of our hero’s.
    Take care
    Peter Rossiter
    0846246897
    rossiterpeter@yahoo.com

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