On the New Boer Republic

2014-07-27 18:06

Sakkie Van Der Merwe, a member of the Boer-Afrikaner Volksraad (News24.com)

TimesLive recently reported that an obscure Afrikaner organisation, called the Boer-Afrikaner Volksraad, would be engaging with the South African Government to discuss their possibility of secession. Specifically, they were seeking to negotiate a process of self-determination that would see them and ‘their people’ (whomever those may be) afforded part of South Africa’s land to set up their own state. Boer-Afrikaner Volksblad, it seems, exists to act as the standard-bearer organisation for those South Africans who want to return to a pre-1994 era.

The negotiation was as a result of the South African Government’s decision to talk rather than litigate. The Volksraad had filed papers before the North Gauteng High Court to initiate their process of separation.

Self-determination is an important right. The United Nations protects it and, as Hillary Clinton recently pointed out, if legitimate legal procedures are used to pursue it, like in Scotland but unlike in the east of Ukraine, then the outcome must be respected.

However, a respect for the legal entitlement of self-determination does not amount to an acceptance of its abuse. The desires of people to set up ethnically homogeneous societies from which they can exclude difference, rather than overcome their prejudice to deal with it, is one such example.

The great hypocrisy of course is that people of this ilk, who now think it perfectly acceptable for them to set up their own whites-only state, were acutely critical of elements of the liberation movement who, erroneously, argued along similar lines for a blacks-only South Africa. In fact, so sharp and shrill was their criticism that they advocated various models of coexistence that would have allowed whites a disproportionate amount of (formal political) power in the new South Africa: a veto with which to thwart a democratically elected government. Indeed, some (such as the AWB) went further and sought to derail peace because they believed that a black majority government would ethnically cleanse the state of white people and that the only way whites would survive was to maintain the then status quo.

Without any sense of irony, these people genuinely believe that whites were always justified in pursuing whites-only benefits. But blacks, no matter how ignominious their existence under 350 years of white oppression, could never do the same. And further still, any attempt to even moderately dilute the ‘rights’ of white people, no matter how justified in a pluralistic and democratic society, serves as evidence of South Africa’s black-on-white race war.

The democratic dispensation introduced in 1994 did much to ensure that white South Africans felt, and continue to feel, included. Some argue that it has done too much and that it has done little to radically alter historical imbalances. Whatever the difficulties experienced by the black majority, of which there is much, and which much more needs to be done to address it, such difficulty should not be manipulated by racial-nationalists of any strip to divide us as a people. Racial nationalism of any kind is reprehensible and irresponsible.

The sense of compounded entitlement is evident: blacks must sacrifice their freedoms so that whites could achieve theirs. And this pathetic attempt to set up the promised land is yet more evidence of it. White South Africans, and Afrikaners in particular, must be moved to reject this kind of initiative. For the more they remain silent and allow this histrionic minority to speak in their name, the more maligned they will be. And the more our racial healing will be undermined. Afrikaners belong in South Africa. We all do.

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