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Is there light?

24 April 2013, 13:00

The prime motivation for writing this short article is a deep concern for (but certainly not limited to) the on going farm attacks in our country, and violent crime in general. Whilst it is very disturbing I believe for most citizens (at least one would hope so), it is just as concerning to note the complacency with which many Black south Africans and indeed even our own government approach this issue.

Farming/Agriculture is one of those industries that are absolutely essential to a nation. But it’s not just the survival that is essential, but indeed it is of paramount importance that this industry sees growth. The reason being of course that a nation grows in numbers and therefore the demand for food increases, and thus to meet the ever increasing demand we need an ever growing/improving agricultural industry. Not to mention of course the export market that in turn creates jobs etc etc.

It is therefore of grave concern, as indeed it should be for every citizen, that our government does not regard the attacks on farmers as a national concern. This ‘non action’ can, and I believe is being interpreted as an extremely sinister and deliberate government stance and thus raises some very serious questions indeed because it is opposite to what one expects a government would normally do under the circumstances. Of course, it’s not just the industry but also the very farmers and their families that are being physically attacked with such obvious & vengeful brutality. In this light, for a government to remain silent clearly raises very serious concerns. Are we very sure this is not racially driven hate crime? The on going lack of concern from both government and ordinary Black South Africans (who after all also need that industry to thrive) would strongly indicate otherwise.

But there’s more to be very concerned about, and even more sinister questions can be raised. Given that it is indeed hazardous to try and attach race/colour to crime, there are some questions that should however be faced, due thought applied and answers sought. For example, we never hear of White South Africans hijacking vehicles; raping black women; breaking into Black homes tying up and torturing the occupants, just to mention a few.

It is at this point that most people would throw their hands up in the air and say: “Oh boy, here we go, here’s another White racist”. Well actually no, just stop for a second because this is not the case and nothing could be further from the truth. I’m absolutely no racist, but I’m seriously raising such question for serious debate and I really hope that thinking people will identify, as I have, that we have to move beyond calling each other racists and start finding some answers. In other words my issues and questions are NOT ‘loaded’.

I feel very strongly that as a society we really need to start asking serious questions and forget about being politically correct. Once we face facts we can talk, once we’re talking we can find solutions. The longer we deny facts, and rather call each other names the further back we go and one day we’ll reach the point of no return.

Remember however, the socio-economic and demographic ratio ‘answers’ that people so quickly use for the above crime facts do not hold water. These ‘reasons’ are pure fallacy and there is too much evidence to dispel such theory. Simple maths dispels the demographic ratio ‘explanation’ as to why we never hear of Whites committing these or similar crimes. If it were indeed a demographics phenomenon, then we should read at least every other week or so about Whites raping a Black women; Whites caught breaking into a Black mans house; Whites attacking a Black farming family etc. – yet we don’t do we?

Also in the case of Black on White violent crime such as rape and farm attacks, these are not committed because the perpetrators are hungry. You don’t rape someone because you’re hungry and you don’t kill a farmer because you need money to buy food. Besides, very often nothing or very little is in fact stolen indicating money/socio-economic factors are definitely not the motive in the majority of these cases. When did you hear of the perpetrators of a farm attack clearing out the pantry, fridge and deep-freeze. No, these are not socio-economic crimes at all.

This does not mean that socio-economic causes are never present, but certainly it would seem that in the majority of violent crime committed by Black South Africans this is not the case.

Another common ‘excuse’ is to quickly point to some equally heinous crime recently committed by a White person, but of course this is also just a juvenile attempt at throwing up a smoke screen because it still doesn’t change the fact that the overwhelming majority of such violent crimes (by far and inexplicably so) are committed by Black South African males. 

We must remember with regards to the above, that it is not only White people who are the victims, but for the sake of this specific article there are three very important points/questions I’m trying to highlight and yes specifically with regards to Black & White relations suffering due to crime:

1)     Why are the perpetrators of these violent and heinous crimes almost always Black males, and by far disproportionately so even when considering the countries demographic ratio?

2)     Why the intense surprise when White people cry foul and get angry, as if we are being completely ridiculous or as if we don’t have the right to raise these issues.

3)     Are we as South Africans, and in particular, are Black South Africans prepared to go along with our governments silence and ‘non-action’ on these very grave issues, and if so, where will this lead us as a nation regarding the relationship between Black and White South Africans?

There is much one can add, and certainly there are many aspects to these complex problems one can throw into the pot, but for the sake of a short article, these are the issues I would like to raise for open debate and comment. 

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