Richard Calland: In the Land of the Blind, the one-eyed man is King – Desiderius Erasmus

IN a Mail & Guardian ‘Thought Leader’ piece ‘Beware the one-eyed Middle East critic’ (a rather unfortunate title given the casualties on either side, status of critic Salman Rushdie) Richard Calland myopically opines about what he ‘observed’ during his year 2000 sojourn in Israel.

If all that was required were a sunny disposition expressed in outward liberalism, as Calland has it, in proceeding to outline what he views as a ‘progressive political stance’ on the subject, we could all simply ‘make a cup of tea’ and the problem would be solved.

It is difficult and near impossible to square Calland’s narrow-casting of contextualisation, alongside pronouns and micro-aggressions, that sit together with a somewhat effete claim that ‘international law matters’ in the absence of any sign that either Hamas or the Israelis actually support international law — whether resolution 181 (which created the State of Israel) or resolution 242 (which demands a return to the borders of June 14, 1967). Such is the enormity of the tragedy of the past month — the reality of a situation whose genesis includes two major world wars, and at least seven regional wars since the establishment of Israel.

Initial jubilation by the Pro-Palestine brigade over the October 7 massacre of over 1400+ persons including women and children, nothing less than a ‘victory for Palestinian Resistance’ has turned into dismay and outrage at the long-term humanitarian consequences for Gaza, with little or no prospects for peace for the rest of the world.

The mass gatherings in support of an Hamas theocratic “End the Occupation”, with annihilationist calls for Jihad and Global Intifada, and chanting of ‘From the River to the Sea’, have been referred to as ‘hate marches’ by UK Home Secretary Suella Braverman, since according to her, this is a demand for the ‘elimination of Israel and its replacement by an Islamic State’.

Nevertheless, Calland persists in his intellectual parlour game, which from a post-October perspective, is really an anachronistic attempt to fit the Middle East into a South African playbook. We all know how apartheid turned out, it must follow that if we assign the right labels, impose politically correct contexts and virtue signal within our individual matricies of morality, (sprinkling Rainbow-coloured fairy dust on the situation), then peace will break out and we can all go home for, yes, another cup of tea?

“Substitute “Arabs” for “blacks” and you can hear a South African cop of a certain demographic say exactly the same, can’t you? And with the same level of outrageous presumption — that because of one’s own race, the level of prejudice will be the same” he writes. Callend is quick to call out “the bantustanisation of Palestine; apartheid Israel.”

The trouble with this analogy — it is only vaguely useful when discussing the dynamics of the West Bank & Gaza, which has other comparators — the San Diego-Tijuana border for instance, thousands of labour migrants cross it each day, so too the partition demographics already in place between North & South Sudan, India & Pakistan and Greek & Turkish Cyprus.

When stating our experience under apartheid is somehow an exemplar, a template for analysis (you can read my piece debunking this here) , one can only conclude the wholesale redeployment of this narrative is wholly inaccurate when it comes to historical claims, mutual land rights , security and demographics within the MENA region at large. Let us not forget some 800 000 – 1 Million Mizrahi Jews (who include Arab Jews from Morocco, Egypt, Yemen Lebanon, Syria, Iran & Iraq) who were forcibly dispossessed prior to and immediately following the creation of Israel.

The Farhud

The dropped narrative of the Farhud massacre and dispossession of Bagdad Jews in 1941 which immediately preceded the Shoah, both events where Palestinian leader Amin al-Husseini was one of many Arab supporters of the Final Solution — represent an extremely long list of similar massacres and forced removals of Jews at the hands of Islamists.

Massacres like that which occurred on 7/10 last month, stretch all the way back to the 1066 Granada Massacre, in which ‘Jewish vizier Joseph ibn Naghrela was slaughtered alongside most of the local Jewish population’ and the earlier 1033 Fez Massacre in which some 6000 Jews were similarly dispatched following the ‘conquest of the Moroccan city from the Maghrawa tribe by, the forces of Abu’l Kamal Tamim, chief of the Banu Ifran’.

That today’s Pro-Palestinian activists openly call for Jihad, whilst readily reciting a religious text referring to the Khayber Pass battle in 628 CE between early Muslims, led by Muhammad, and the Arabian Jews living in Khayber, fuels ethno-religious lunacy in which ‘Bibi the Butcher of Gaza’ has been equally reciting similar passages from the old Testament referring to the ‘Tribe of Amalek’.

As many South African’s reach back into anti-apartheid theology, the eschatological distraction may appear to be of necessity rather than simple virtue. It is most certainly inappropriate and futile when it comes to apportioning blame, pressurising the belligerents, and arriving at mutual agreement and cessation of hostilities.

Nevertheless one must strive, hope and pray that a Secular Freedom Charter and TRC emerges in the Middle East?

Fanonian rhetoric

For all the Fanonian rhetoric of ‘oppressor and oppressed’, the easy resort to the apartheid libel, (which echoes the earlier blood libel of the Middle Ages, where Jews were accused of murdering Christ and worse), what has occurred over the past month, and even past decade, has been an increase in polarisation.

Painting the conflict within Manichean terms of good and evil, black and white, has merely acted to provide those who advocate terror a blank cheque to ‘do what thy will’, whilst emboldening the far right with similar ambitions within Israel.

Nations are not races. Strip away the misaligned academic hypothesis, the unproven intellectualism posited by career bureaucrats who never bother to peer review nor debate their findings, and what you have are mutually incompatible systems of justice. Religious disagreements on which law and which state should govern, over which territory — and a proxy war being fought over the Final Status of Jerusalem. It should not be possible to reduce this conflict to a moral proposition of which is the lesser of the three evils — a Jerusalem controlled by Israel, a Jerusalem partitioned by Fatah, or a Jerusualem erased by Hamas and renamed Quds?

Yet the blathering ‘progressives’ of the myopic middle, those who merely echo the lunatic left, continue to issue their ‘dime-a-dozen’, pronouncements. Statements such as: “analysis and understanding must always be contextual, because non-progressive politics is so often characterised by acontextual and ahistorical claims. Seeking to identify the underlying structural and other causes of a “wicked” problem, rather than baying at the symptoms, is what sets progressives apart“, appear callous and hollow if what occurs is precisely that — the dropping of contexts and assertion of ahistorical claims?

If Calland were actually seeking a diagnosis with a prognosis, he would immediately call-out the dropped contexts and missing narratives of the Nakba-grifters, those who forget historical Palestine was once a British Colony alongside Transjordan, accuse all and sundry of wholesale land theft, then dispute the outcome of both World Wars, before proceeding to inflate & conflate their own oppression, whilst denying the historical oppression of others in the region?

Intersectionality is neither the sole preserve of queers nor feminists but of necessity also includes Palestinians, Jews, Arabs and Israelis. Only by addressing objective historical facts, can there be hope of a justificable solution, one that is capable of being resolved under International Law. And by that I mean embracing the ‘progressiveness of realists’ instead of over-identification with any one cause.

SEE: The belief that Israel is analogous to apartheid South Africa or Jim Crow America has no basis in history.

SEE: No, Hamas is not struggling against ‘apartheid’

US historical relations with South Africa are being mischaracterised by Putin propagandists

RONALD REAGAN’S REPUBLICAN USA may have been a tough nut to deal with during the 80s, but harping on about the perceived slight caused by his party’s treatment of Nelson Mandela, whom they Republicans’ labelled a ‘terrorist’, ignores the substantial contribution of many other personalities from within the ranks of the Democrats and broader American civil rights movement.

Personages such as Dr.Martin Luther King Jr., late John F Kennedy, the late Robert F Kennedy, the Reverend Jesse Jackson and UN ambassador Andrew Young, demonstrate the enormous USA impact which ultimately boosted the anti-apartheid movement (AAM) both within and outside the country.

The first American political leader to show genuine interest in South Africa was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. By the time of Senator Kennedy’s visit in 1966, Dr. King had publicly linked the Civil Rights Movement in the United States and the struggle against apartheid in South Africa.

“Our responsibility presents us with a unique opportunity. We can join in the one form of non-violent action that could bring freedom and justice to South Africa – the action which African leaders have appealed for – in a massive movement for economic sanctions.” Martin Luther King’s London address 1963

It was this democratic movement for universal rights which formed the basis for the anti-apartheid movement, a movement whose historical trajectory spans decades of progressive extra-parliamentary activism and whose aims were far broader than the narrow ideological constraints of party politics.

Robert F. Kennedy’s historic visit to South Africa in 1966, remains one of the most important visits by an American during the worst years of apartheid. As Senator Kennedy’s address at the University of Witwatersrand and meeting with Albert Luthuli, shows, he was a strong advocate for liberty, equality, human dignity, democracy, human rights and justice.

Later it was Andrew Young whose trip to SA in 1977 first raised the spectre of serious economic pressure on the apartheid government and ushered in a sanctions campaign which did more to liberate the country than any Russian-supplied weapons and Soviet-style rhetoric.

The Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986 was thus a law enacted by the United States Congress. The law imposed sanctions against South Africa and stated ‘five preconditions for lifting the sanctions’ that would essentially end the system of apartheid.

It is an historical fact that the conclusion to apartheid and white minority rule came as the result of broad economic pressure and that the military campaign at the behest of MK and others, at the end of the day, played a rather minor role.

Partisan propagandists stuck inside Cold War rhetoric forget that Paul Robeson’s American Committee on Africa (ACOA) was the first major group devoted to the anti-apartheid movement, and predate the later boycott movement formed in 1959.

Later incarnations played an equally important part, with the result evolving into the African Growth and Opportunity Act of 2000, which lowered trade barriers by lowering tariffs, and providing economic opportunities and incentives.

It would be a shame to see South Africa lose its beneficial trade status in exchange for appeasement of a Russian dictator opposed to the democracy and civil rights we take for granted? It is no secret that Putin’s United Russia Party is opposed to LGBTIQ rights, and perceives the conquest of Ukraine as a colonial and imperial endeavour.

In 1984, TransAfrica became a founding member of what it termed the Free South Africa Movement resulting in demonstrations on US campuses. While supportive of UN resolutions against apartheid, and the chief supplier of weapons during the conflict, Russia played a marginal role and absolutely no part in the transition process. In fact it was the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, and end of the USSR in 1991 which brought a wave of democracy and freedom  across Eastern Europe, whose impact is still felt in South Africa today.

DEBUNKED: Palestinians and Jews, each form a distinct race & the conflict is thus like apartheid

IT WAS South Africa’s Hendrick Verwoerd who first resorted to the apartheid analogy in 1961 when he dismissed an Israeli vote against South African apartheid at the United Nations, throwing blame and deflecting attention by saying, “Israel is not consistent in its new anti-apartheid attitude … they took Israel away from the Arabs after the Arabs lived there for a thousand years. In that, I agree with them. Israel, like South Africa, is an apartheid state. (1)

The primary objection to the apartheid analogy which may be raised is that Nations are not races. The result is what philosopher Gilbert Ryle referred to as a ‘category error’. A semantic or ontological error in which ‘things belonging to a particular category are presented as if they belong to a different category’. While ethnicity plays a part, there is no scientific nor any legal basis for making such a claim.(2) (3).

Attributing race to Jews in order to make a false comparison with apartheid is racism and anti-Semitism, and meets definitions of anti-Semitism proposed by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA).

A 2020 academic paper on the question Is Replacement Theology Anti-Semitic? begins by defining anti-Semitism as “normally understood as prejudice or hatred against Jewish people as a race” before concluding that since Christianity doesn’t perceive the Jews as a race, Christian theology cannot, by definition be anti-Semitic.

Advocates of the analogy often refer to the infamous 1975 UN resolution 3379 ‘equating Zionism with racism‘ which was overturned by an overwhelming majority of nations in 1991. The same assertion was voted out of the final text of the controversial 2001 Durban Conference on Racism  and the text reaffirmed at Durban II

A highly flawed 2017 UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) report examining the policies of Israel within the context of a UN definition of apartheid, admits the error of race, proceeds to supply “reasons for the error of comparison” and states, there is ‘no single, authoritative, global definition of any race’ at the same time that it attributes race characteristics to Jews for the purposes of analysis.

The ESCWA report was withdrawn by UN Secretary-general Guterres in 2017, while the Goldstone report was similarly retracted in part. The same category error appears in an equally flawed 2009 local HSRC report written around the time of Durban II. 

While the policies of Israel may, for many of its critics, be reprehensible and morally indefensible, the root cause is not race, (a loaded term) but rather the confluence of religion and nationality and in particular, religious schism which results in nationality on the basis of religion, a fact common to many Middle Eastern countries.

Jozi Mayor Thapelo Amad: ‘No Homos please, we’re Muslims’

WITH the colors of Pan Arabism and the words ‘Palestine’ written in bold, Johannesburg’s new major Thapelo Amad made his inaugural appearance. The politician and imam is a member of the far-right, minority Al Jama-ah (Arabic: الجماعة, lit. ’the Congregation’) party, which has found itself with a golden vote, as part of a strange coalition between the Metro’s ANC and EFF.

All three parties have diverging, and perhaps irreconcilable policies when it comes to the status of LGBT, women, secularism and the Middle East.

While the Al Jama-ah manifesto opposes “moral sexuality education for primary school children to ensure they not issued with soft porn material in violation of the sexual offences act”, it has a host of feel-good policies on poverty alleviation, economic upliftment and the like.

But it significantly also opposes events such as Gay Pride, much like its counterparts, Fatah and Hamas, and is actively positioning itself to introduce moral policing in the Metro, informed by scripture.

The ‘Palestinian Embassy’ in Johannesburg were quick to shower Amad with awards in the aftermath of his successful mayoral campaign (see photo left).

One need look no further than a press release by the party in October 2022 which takes issue with News24 and its supposed “Diabolical Headlines” where the party strangely felt the need to respond to a news-story about a potential ISIS attack.

Amad’s party proceeded to upbraid reporter Qaanitah Hunter for ‘implying that only Muslims are opposed to Gay Pride’. The party then went on to claim there are several Christian organisations also ‘vehemently opposed’ on religious grounds.

Hunter claims the News24 report referred to, “implies that only Muslims are opposed to the Gay Pride event; they are aware that there are several Christian organizations — based on religious grounds – that are also vehemently against it.”

Amad’s Party ‘vehemently opposed’ to Gay Pride

The Party according to spokesperson Shameemah Salie “does not identify with any LGTQ (sic) activities whether it be Gay Pride parades and even comedy shows, it rejects any insinuation in which Muslims are not just negatively implicated but persistently fingered for wanting to cause chaos in that city. Whether – from a religio-theological perspective – we determinedly disagree with their forms sexual orientation and their queer belief system, it should unambiguously be stated that most of our communities do not support these LGBTQ groups.”

According to Salie: “Their lifestyle is condemned and unacceptable with the practices of Islam and Muslims. “

She also accused News24 of Islamophobia and said: “The paper’s repugnant headline undoubtedly is an unambiguous expression of purposeful Islamophobia; they want communities of other faiths to view Islam and Muslims negatively.”

The statement also said the party was “aware of constitutional rights” of LGBT and would find ways to ‘deal with them’.

Ed note: Secularism, as the man who coined the term George Holyoake asserted in his principles of Secularism, is not the absence of religion, but rather the absence of religious rule.

In particular Holyoake stated “A Secularist guides himself by maxims of Positivism, seeking to discern what is in Nature—what ought to be in morals—selecting the affirmative in exposition, concerning himself with the real, the right, and the constructive. Positive principles are principles which are provable. “

UPDATE: The press statement now appears to have been taken down alongside all the party’s press material and is no longer available on their website. However the document pdf and its url is still referred to on the Net and a copy is in our possession, and available below:

Most of all I am offended as a Secularist

IN 2010 I led evidence in a South African court that ‘Judaism was not monolithic’, or to use the parlance of Amma Khalid (see link below) ‘monothetic’, i.e based on a single basic idea or principle. There were many different expressions of Judaism I told the court, in particular there were those who disputed claims made by the Orthodoxy regarding the origin of the Torah, as too were there divergences on issues of Sabbath observance.

The Torah itself was unclear and contradicted itself. Since the Haskalah (Jewish Enlightenment) or Reform, progressives such as myself believed in a ‘separation between Synagogue and State’. Instead of upholding my right to privacy in the face of the obscene ecclesiastical charges and racist propositions put to me by Kahanovitz SC acting for apartheid media company Media24, the court decided to adopt a moral position consistent with ultra-Orthodox, Rabbinical Judaism.

AJ Cheadle found that since I was a ‘Jew in breach’ of my alleged religion, I could not claim discrimination i.e. Antisemitism on the basis of the offensive inquiries and objections made by the respondent in the matter, who not only disputed my Jewishness but had proceeded to impugn whether or not I was indeed a Jew and outrageously denied they knew I was Jewish even though they were now insisting on authoring and issuing such inquiries.

As Thomas Jefferson put it in an 1803 letter to an English politician, 26 years after establishing an Act enshrining religious freedom in 1777: “I never will, by any word or act, bow to the shrine of intolerance or admit a right of inquiry into the religious opinions of others”

Cheadle then claimed to reserve judgement in the doctrinal dispute, despite his open bias towards the respondent (who it turned out was not simply his client, but also a business partner) demonstrated by his adopting their position in the matter.

The company had initially objected to my attendance at a ‘mixed race’ music venue on the Sabbath, and appeared to also object to my use of a company vehicle on Shabbat, supposedly in contravention of Jewish law. My own pleadings in the matter were simply ignored and mocked, with the respondent’s version of the case along with false and misleading narrative, uplifted and handed down.

The result is an anti-Secular screed at best, the product of a kangaroo court lacking objective reality.

Thus Cheadle upheld a false claim inter alia, reiterating apartheid-era justifications for separate development, whilst proceeding to trash the findings of the Truth & Reconciliation Commission, an inquiry into gross violations of human rights under apartheid in which the company had essentially been found guilty as one of the ‘handmaidens of the apartheid regime’.

The company had also attacked my byline, infringed upon journalistic privilege, sought a gagging order, and made a number of frivolous and vexatious allegations regarding several interviews conducted with jazz musicians. In turn I accused the company of censorship, race profiling of readers, de facto newsroom segregation and denial of my rights as a journalist. Restrained from calling any witnesses in the matter, I was forced to lead my evidence from the witness box, sans an attorney.

I was not given leave to appeal nor even present when the decision was handed down and a petition to the Labour Appeal Court was turned down in my absence. You can access a repository of material related to the case here.

Today I was thus surprised to find pretty much my own case regarding the racist Anti-Secular Inquisition by Media24, reiterated in support of an Art History Professor, cast out due to similar sensitivities to do with religion. It is a welcome respite from the machinations of the religious police and theocrats in my own country to read the argument in support of an Enlightenment in Islam.

Almost 17 years since the initial incident which led to my complaint being filed, I continue to condemn the anti-Secular, partisan,1994-denialist decision of the corrupted Labour Court of South Africa. I once again demand that my rights to an identity independent of the state’s religious authorities and especially religious policing, be restored alongside my rights as a journalist.

SEE: Did ‘ou krokodil’ Ton Vosloo just wake up to the fact that his company continues to mock the TRC report?

SEE: Living in the Heart of Kakness

It’s 2023, enter the ‘woke’ anti-everything brigade

NEVER in my wildest dreams would I expect to be confronted by a ‘woke’ self-proclaimed Anti-Racist in my own home over the festive season. The young man from New York, is “studying colonialism and apartheid’, proceeds to challenge me with some academic BS, by throwing race labels around.

In particular he insists on calling me ‘white’ in front of my Rainbow household and busies himself with a George Floyd narrative about how his ‘unique black experience’ is particular to his ‘skin colour’ ‘ and how all the stats equal to non-racialism being dead, which to him is merely a ‘neo-liberal’ concept. You can read my experience of apartheid race labelling here

I explain that Steven Bantu Biko was correct in his analysis that blackness is not the result of skin pigmentation but rather a mental attitude. I don’t get very far in narrating the story of the Unity Movement as it relates to Black Consciousness and Non-racialism. Instead he takes umbrage and insists that he doesn’t know who Biko is, as if the name of a key figure in the anti-apartheid movement means absolutely nothing to him. It is clear he is being totally ignorant and throwing offensive race labels around.

The incident lead me to pen the following:

Note to self, when confronted by the next woke anti-racist nitwit issuing a confused assault against non-racialism as yes, ‘nothing more than racism’, remember to remind the aforementioned idiot that non-racialism is not ‘non-racism’ per se as in “I’m colour blind and don’t see racism” OR “I’m not a racist but”, OR ‘I’m not woke to racism, nor institutional racism, so please provide me with a woke lecture on why I should be”.

Rather non-racialism, as the late Neville Alexander would say, is ‘opposition to the racialisation policies of apartheid’, the pseudo-scientific categorisation according to now defunct categories of race, the entire racist endeavour and its opposition that the above dolt is now attempting to negate by pseudo-scientific, obsessive, wokeness. (see note below).

As I write, the death of Adriaan Vlok, apartheid-era Minister of Law and Order has been announced. Lest we forget.

When Anti-Racism manifests in true opposition to Racism, for example, Rwanda’s attempt to remove ethnic distinctions between Hutsis and Tutsis, it may be considered positive Anti-Racism.

Negative Anti-Racism of the woke variety, on the other hand, is essentially another form of Anti-Humanism. Yet another attempt to exclude persons, to otherise and ostracise individuals, on the basis of pseudo-scientific pet theories about race, this in an absurd and tragically flawed effort to forge some form of hip counter-Hegemonic Narrative, one based upon moral brinkmanship, cancel culture and ostracisation.

So let’s get this one sorted for the New Year — racism according to most contemporary definitions is ‘hostility, prejudice or discrimination towards another person on the basis of their membership or association with an ethnic or racial group’. It is also ‘the belief that different races possess distinct characteristics, abilities, or qualities, especially so as to distinguish them as inferior or superior to one another.’

Therein lies the rub.

Racism is certainly not challenging one’s strongly held opinions and beliefs about race, and it is by no means the act of refusing to be racialised or race labelled. I am pretty much done with ‘woke’ youngsters attempting to lecture a struggle veteran, on racism whilst upholding race categories that deprive persons such as myself of a defence against the problem, this at the same time my very real lived experience of apartheid and case against an apartheid media company (see here) is trivialised.

NOTE: Wokeism is a form of virtue-signalling but often going beyond what may be required. When one offensively treats everyone else as if they were asleep, or insists on lecturing from a primer on a subject to experts in the field. Thus amateurish over-compensation. Blind scholasticism without reference to actual evidence and research. Purposeful misreading of history to score short term popular goals. A denial of individualism in favour of a hive-mind or group-think. A platformism strategy, where an individual hogs the mic or assumes the mantle of expert even in the face of real expertise. The person who claims to be awake, is more often than not, the one still asleep.

SEE: Masilo Lepuru: ‘Africa, for the Natives Only.’

EXPOSED: Did ‘ou krokodil’ Ton Vosloo just wake up to the fact that his company continues to mock the TRC report?

TON VOSLOO, the former Naspers chairman, appears to have suddenly realised that he is ‘living in a different country’. A piece published by Tammy Petersen of News24 carries details of his sudden change of heart, in which he selectively refers to events effecting the company’s standing in relation to the Truth & Reconciliation Commission.

In 2010 the company mocked the TRC Report during a hearing before the Labour Court of South Africa and proceeded to oppose a 2015 application before the Equality Court, brought to review the company’s opposition to the TRC Report and its continued hostility.

Vosloo makes no apology for acting in this way but appears keen to put other matters to rest. His employees think nothing of assisting the ‘Old Crocodile’ in his latest spin on events, in the process we uncover yet another fraud, courtesy of the Internet Archive.

Referring to a letter published on Netwerk24 and Die Burger, Petersen relates that after attending a graduation ceremony, Vosloo suddenly became ‘ashamed of his beliefs and actions’

Why did we act “so mockingly” against those who warned about the dangers of apartheid? Vosloo appears to ask.

These musings of an elderly Afrikaans speaker are far too late. Why did we, in our fiery youth and with our prowess as seasoned journalists, act so mockingly against those who warned us about the perils of forced racial segregation?” he wrote.

Why did we support the government of the time when it violated the Constitution by filling the Senate with staunch Nationalists to remove the so-called coloureds from the electoral roll?

Past tense, not so fast

The piece is remarkable for in placing emphasis on the past tense, Naspers appears to narrate a new version of the historical record, one varying the company’s previous attempts at revisionism and spin-doctoring.

A previous 2015 mea culpa issued via the company, was essentially a case-limited half-apology by Media24’s Esmerie Weideman, issued two days after I filed a review application before the Equality Court citing the company’s opposition to the TRC. The apology referenced a sole individual, one Conrad Sidego, who had experienced difficulties with separate facilities at the company.

Peterson now seems to have discovered a news report purporting to be from that time claiming:

“When apartheid was abolished, the Afrikaans press declined to make a submission to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), News24 previously reported.

“However, more than 100 Afrikaans-speaking journalists later submitted affidavits to the TRC in their individual capacity, acknowledging the Afrikaans press had been integral in helping to keep apartheid in place and should have accepted moral responsibility for what happened.”

According to the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine, the report was published no earlier than the period surrounding 4 October 2022, when it was first recorded by the Archive’s webcrawler, and is thus fraudulently introduced as if it were published in 2015 and contemporaneous with events from that period. The archive has three snapshots of the page stemming from this later date, when it was presumably published with the fraudulent dateline.

Lying once again

Media24 manager Ishmet Davidson had at the time lied about the TRC episode on camera — the company, keen to manage its apologia and mea culpa, essentially suppressed its own history and continues to censor any negative criticism of its operations. In 2006 the company sought a gagging order in its attempt to quash criticism.

Peterson then out of the blue, and in the light of Vosloo’s regrets, now suddenly refers to hard facts first published on Medialternatives: “JBM (Barry) Hertzog formed the Nasionale Pers (National Press) in Stellenbosch in 1915, soon after founding the National Party. The party later governed the country and enforced a system of racial segregation.”

None of the statements released by the company at the time acknowledged the independent submissions made by journalists in their private capacity. Instead Ton Vosloo is recorded by his biographer as having taken a bleak view of what he perceived to be nothing less than ‘an act of betrayal’, a view-point which continued under Koos Bekker.

Vosloo’s page on Wikipedia is a self-authored hagiography (one treating its subject with undue reverence) in which the term ‘apartheid’ along with the Krokodil’s association with the regime, is simply airbrushed out of history, aided and abetted by corruption within our justice system.

A review application brought to examine the above in the public arena, has been wrecked due to lack of attorney representation following the absurd 1994-denialist outcome of Lewis vs Legal Aid SA (LASA). A scandalous decision in which AJ Bernard Martin of the High Court in 2019 proceeded to support the assertion by John van Onselen of LASA, to the effect that ‘the TRC Report would take a long time to read and may be ignored’.

For the record, the author condemns the crude High Court decision as ‘repugnant, vulgar, indefensible and contrary to our constitutional order’, one which includes a Preamble urging ‘recognition of the injustices of the past’.

Useful idiots, that Fish Hoek ‘Anti-Racist’ saga

IN A VOICE recording taken by a pupil, Asanda Ngoasheng, the principal facilitator of a controversial diversity course held at Fish Hoek High School can be heard saying ‘Black people can be mean, they can be cruel, they can be prejudiced, they can be nasty, but they can never be racist against white people … because racism requires power.’

The contentious idea is apparently part and parcel of a political re-education programme being punted by the Department of Education. All part of a so-called diversity training course, one which facilitator Caiden Lang claims, is predicated on Critical Race Theory (CRT).

Lang writes in The Daily Friend: “To imagine that what happened on Monday at Fish Hoek High was a diversity training session gone wrong is to fundamentally misunderstand what anti-racist education informed by critical race theory is all about. It is to assume that anti-racist education is geared towards social cohesion by teaching people to be less racist, sexist and so on and to help them to coexist.

“This is a mistake.

“Anti-racist education is about being on the right side of history. The discomfort and anger experienced by those kids is an intended first step to becoming ‘anti-racist’. It is a feature, not a bug.”

Unfortunately race typology, the division of society into black and white, and blind obedience to authority, is not what CRT teaches: “CRT is an academic concept that is more than 40 years old,” writes  Stephen Sawchuk in Education Week. “The core idea is that race is a social construct, and that racism is not merely the product of individual bias or prejudice, but also something embedded in legal systems and policies.”

Civil Rights history

As Professor Kimberlé  Crenshaw, the civil rights activist who coined the term put it: “It is a way of seeing, attending to, accounting for, tracing and analyzing the ways that race is produced, the ways that racial inequality is facilitated, and the ways that our history has created these inequalities that now can be almost effortlessly reproduced unless we attend to the existence of these inequalities.”

Though there appears to be some disagreement on the finer points, where CRT was once a theory firmly situated within the discourse of civil rights and thus secular humanism, as a cross-disciplinary subject it has increasingly turned into nothing more than a radical political platform, a campaign gateway by politicos introducing unverifiable concepts such as dialectical materialism (all history is about power) and political notions such as ‘oppressor and oppressed’.

The result is invariably traumatising for young learners, bringing to mind Soviet-era political re-education camps. An affront on ones psychology, and most certainly a violation of a number of clauses in our constitution, including freedom of thought, belief and opinion, academic freedom, right to receive and impart information (in this case, you may receive the Department’s dogma, but don’t talk back or impart), the right to psychological integrity (the Dept seeks to impose discursive sanctions whilst assaulting learner’s mental functioning).

Criticism

Critics of CRT state that the theory leads to ‘negative dynamics such as a focus on group identity over universal, shared traits; divides people into “oppressed” and “oppressor” groups; and urges intolerance’.

CRT in its current form, as rolled out by the Dept commissars, presents caricature and stereotype instead of facts and information, and appears more applicable to the context of black persons living as an oppressed minority in the USA where “white Americans are the racial and ethnic majority, with non-Hispanic whites representing 57.8% of the population”.

Peter Wood in Where Did We Get the Idea That Only White People Can Be Racist? published by the National Association of Scholars writes “The idea that “black people can’t be racist” is just a meme, not a coherent argument.”

Michelle I. Gao in “Who Can’t be Racist” responds: “This argument’s main point — that minorities can’t be racist because they have no power to act on such antagonism — is also reductive. We shouldn’t have to take stock of each other’s race and relative power in society before making a judgment on an act itself. We shouldn’t have to condone prejudice or discrimination against anyone, for any reason.”

In South Africa where persons who define as black are in the majority and have been part of a black majority government for nearly 30 years, there is an immediate rebuttal. The assertion that ‘black people can’t be racist, ‘because racism requires power’ and ‘blacks have no power’ is only even vaguely reasonable if one believes personal power to always be bound up with economic power, instead of the vote.

It is a tired narrative that our country has one of the highest Gini coefficients in the world, the measure of the gap between rich and poor, and that wealth often correlates with our demographics, which says nothing about the Human Development Index (HDI) where SA ranks relatively well.

Here the debate is rather between the haves and have-nots. Providing learners with intellectual tools, rather than prescriptions and injunctions and avoiding a party-line if you will.

Racialising the issue and dispensing with ‘non-racialism’, presents a unique set of problems since not every person informally categorised as black is ‘poor and underprivileged’. There is no universal truth in stating ‘black persons are always poor, have no economic power and therefore they can never be racists’. Saying this, merely gives credence to another ridiculous proposition, ‘black people can’t be litterbugs’.

In the same way as maintaining apartheid’s many Askaris and turncoats, were not traitors so much as heroes, even though they murdered on behalf of the regime?

Philosophical Considerations

Consider the first statement’s corollary, ‘if black people can’t be racists, then whites can never experience racism’.

And Afrikaners can’t be oppressed by the British.

And Jews can never experience Anti-Semitism.

Or ‘white folk’ can never be poor, because, well being poor depends upon … power?

In this jaundiced, reductionist view, those white activists detained, tortured and even murdered by the apartheid regime, were not experiencing racism per se, but merely the brutal instrumentality of the regime. As an activist classified by the apartheid regime as ‘blanke‘, I cannot be spat at, slapped and smeared by right-wing extremists.

The descent from humanism along with its universal truths, the Freedom Charter and its exemplar, our non-racialist Constitution, towards the narrow political objectives and moral absolutism of anti-racism’s pundits, articulated by a radicalised Education platform, is a slippery slope one which invariably ends with denial of the self-same history its zealous advocates profess to teach.

In this jaded current state-of-mind, there were no white people in the civil rights movement as such, nor even the anti-apartheid movement for that matter.

And if there were, such persons like myself, were merely allies at best, or worse, useful idiots.

SEE: Palesa Morudu dismisses ‘diversity grifters’ at the same time she downplays the incident as a mere ‘reading of a poem to a captive audience of 800 pupils

SEE: FF Plus lays complaint with SAHRC about Fish Hoek ‘diversity’ session

Misguided academic rails against Die Antwoord’s postmodernism

Adam Haupt’s stock ideas are derivative and contrived. Deserve to be rejected by anyone supporting freedom of expression. There is no rock without drums. Without the cross-pollination of African rhythms, there would be no jazz music, and likewise hip hop. Ditto, Die Antwoord.

In a piece published on The Conversation, the UCT academic launches into support rather than an appraisal of several allegations of ‘cultural appropriation’ leveled at South African alternative hip hop group Die Antwoord. Immediately reaching towards conclusions and an opinion-based misapplication of what he terms ‘dominant and marginalised subjects’, which borrows heavily from the work of a solitary UK academic Rina Arya, in the process, dishing out the Encyclopedia Britannica whilst ignoring the work of continental theorists.

Haupt thus appears oblivious to the earlier writings of literary theorists such as Julia Kristeva and Roland Barthes, who once championed the idea of inter-textuality. For Kristeva intertextuality was a “mosaic of quotations” where “any text is the absorption and transformation of another”. Roland Barthes argued “a text is made of multiple writings” because writers “blend and clash” existing meanings.

Books are not written in a vacuum. According to Michel Foucault, they are “caught up in a system of references to other books”. Each of these theorists made the same point: “the meaning of a text owes more to other texts than the writer who puts their name to the work.”

The concept may be applied here to music culture, language and even fashion. In fact, Haupt’s criticism was once leveled at Eminem.

Rapper Marshall Bruce Mathers III, was slammed for ‘appropriating’ rap music, a genre which ‘began at block parties in New York City in the early 1970s, when DJs began isolating the percussion breaks of funk, soul, and disco songs and extending them’. That’s right, black rappers, appropriated Disco, the Bee Gees, ‘white boy music’.

Take the context of Apartheid which was all about preventing cross-pollination and hybridity to the point where ethnic identity was preserved on bantu reservations by the selfsame logic used by Haupt – ‘for your own good’ and to ‘stop whites going native’.

It may feel good to object to the postmodern intertextuality and cultural hybridity of Die Antwoord, whose work he criticises for being associated with Afrikaans, but doing so places the writer alongside other puritans, Strydom, Verwoerd, Vorster and Malan. The academic merely demonstrates how fatuous, pompous and censorious he has become in a mode of writing that eschews the requirements of rationality and evidence-based research, to posit that the mere position of the subject within, generalised and unequal power relations, is enough to aver, racism?

In Haupt’s weird weltanschauung the reception of words such as biltong, blatjang, dagga and kwagga into Afrikaans are the result of a plot to eradicate a language he calls Kaaps, forgetting that the Dutch Creole emerged as a Gamtaal, an attempt, often by sailors, to communicate, so elegantly described by Daniel Defoe in his novel Moby Dick.

Haupt goes so far as attacking Yolandi Visser for painting her face with makeup, and the result is somehow redolent of ‘Swarte Piet‘, a Dutch character associated with the ‘colonial gaze’.

Women have been deploying makeup for centuries. It is a false equivalence to raise the spectre of Hollywood ‘blackface’, in other words, a ‘white actor playing the role of a black person’, since Yolandi is clearly just being Yolandi. There is no harm caused by her self-expression. Nobody is out of a job. So far as the misguided academic is concerned, artists and musicians labelled white should be placed on mute, and should not express themselves, because, well, they are white and he is not?

Haupt’s assertion of linguistic imperialism is tenuous at best, appearing to rely on the fact that similar accusations may have been written up, by other academics, and thus he engages with another logical fallacy, that of circular logic (circulus in probando), a problem inherent to deferred investigation and meaning, in an obvious scholastic bias — inauthentic criticism which at the end of day, rings hollow, since Zef is a style which emerged from the polyglot and patois argot of Parow, not the armchairs of moral policemen like Haupt.

Zef may have a passing association with so-called Afrikaaps, but saying this language or mode of expression should be reserved for certain people, is like saying all language is copyrightable, which is clearly not the case. Nobody is going to fine you for speaking German without a license. Doing so would place one alongside those who seek to suppress language. In fact such activity would resemble the self-same stratagems of those dastardly colonialists.

Culture is always fluid, it does not live in a museum and deserves to be seen within an intertextual continuum. Die Antwoord are a living cross-referential subject-object, not a mere expression or mode of power-relations. Speaking and singing are not always an expression of two basic stereotypes — the oppressor or the oppressed, — as if we are all mere government bureaucrats rather than artists creating living works of art, books, music videos? Haupt’s position is essentially anti-humanist for it seeks to subjugate his subject, fixing and doctoring the other’s creativity to his own fanciful interpretations.

We are anything but stereotypes.

The cheap parlor game played by Haupt invariably involves throwing around stock objections, bald assertions which may be based upon Marxist class analysis, and thus contrived academic notions of power and power relations — ideas obviously gleaned from narrow contemporary proponents of historical materialism (where all history should be strictly-speaking the history of classes). The result is a major contradiction — an historical dislocation and distortion leading to internal inconsistency.

Inconsistency which, at the face of it, tends to break-down the minute one bothers to actually read history — engaging with facts instead of mere, discourse. He could do better by getting to grips with Post-Marxism, which provides an anti-essentialist approach in which class, society, and history are no longer treated as unitary, universal, pre-discursive categories?

If apartheid wasn’t about cultural purity, what was it, mere materialism?

By the same token do we avoid food which isn’t cooked by Gogo?

Is there really an ever-present ‘grand narrative’ always reducible to geopolitical categories such as colonialism and empire?

Whither ones own private meaning, existence and right to language?

Do we have to remind Haupt to object whenever he encounters a black man in a French suit wearing an English collar and tie? Ditto those Celtic tattoos you just acquired at the local tat-shop. Why would anyone want to deny Die Antwoord‘s right to freedom of expression, if not to pursue a personal vendetta, or simply to get ahead in academia? Power-relations are not corrected by an inversion of power. We can turn the map of the Earth around, but we cannot change the fundamental fact of our common humanity.

So herewith my attempt at another definition. If the shoe fits wear it:

Wokeism is the purposeful misreading of history to score short term popular goals. Blind scholasticism without reference to actual evidence and research. The person who claims to be awake, is more than likely, still asleep.

We all one species folks