My last letter here was not met with the reaction I expected and found many South Africans to be rude, crude and arrogant. Perhaps today we can find some common ground.
Last night at my hotel I got chatting to a local man who works in construction. We spoke as strangers do, asking what we do, where we from, etc. I landed up asking him, ‘What would you say are your country’s biggest problems?’
He said, ‘I’d say government corruption, crime and a big problem with rhinos.’
We spoke about hunting. I told him I’ve been hunting all my life, from Colorado to Montana. He said so had he, but in Africa, not the States. I said that I’ve brought down deer, bears, mountain lions, just about anything looking to make a meal out of me. He said he had shot mostly buck. I haven’t yet been on an African safari but there was publicity in the States about it after Donald Trump’s boys took down some lions and tigers. It wasn’t all good publicity of course, but I’m an experienced hunter and would respect the local traditions. Rhino would not be on my list and I don’t think ivory is allowed into the States anyway.
When he told me what’s really going on, how syndicates are grinding up ivory for so-called Chinese Viagra, it made me sick. And yet you people allow the Chinese to take over your country and you wonder why your horns are being stolen. I think your government needs to protect the national reservations and send in the army if necessary. Our bison numbers have dwindled over the years, and although their horns are not in demand, we don’t want to have to spend a day at the museum one day just to see what those creatures used to look like. But it’s a sensitive issue because of conservation, yet on the other side there are few things that rival facing down a wild animal, and when it’s you and the beast, you take the shot.
I don’t mean to be presumptuous but considering everyone has so much to say about America, perhaps we can apply some American wisdom to these African problems?
Government corruption – You guys seem to have different politics to us in the States. I don’t really understand it but it seems to be quite racial. I don’t have a problem with other races, but in America our racial mix is the opposite of yours. You need a balanced government that comes down hard on all politicians who steal your money. No second chances. This seems to be an African thing regards the theft and I am not sure how to solve it.
Crime – Well obviously you need strong law enforcement; well-trained police who don’t take any nonsense. I feel the world’s gone too soft with liberals demanding human rights when we’ve all but forgotten about the rights of the victims. This is just B.S. and your police need to show the criminals who’s boss. But I think most South Africans will agree with me so you don’t even need my opinion on this.
So if you can receive it, these are my humble recommendations, and if we can discuss the issues without the personal attacks, I’d appreciate it.
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