Friday, August 17, 2012

"Post-apartheid" South Africa shocked at killings?

I've just read the headline at Yahoo news, but that's what it says. Some platinum miners, all black Africans probably, were on strike. Police moved in, black and white (and I'd be willing to bet cash money they were mostly black) and shot a lot of 'em dead.

And this, according to the writer of the article, has "shocked' post-apartheid Africa.

What's to be shocked? That black African police/army will kill striking black African workers just as heartlessly as white police/army are supposed to have done? (Although the only one we've heard about - admittedly bad enough, was Steve Biko.

But what people have to realize is that whites in no way have a monopoly on racism, and that if you're in Africa, which is full of mostly black people (there are white Africans but they are descendants form the Boers, etc - immigrants. ) racism is rampant. If you're the wrong tribe, you're scum and they'll go after you with a machete.

The Hutu and the Tutsi in Rwanda, for example. Ever heard of the Burundi genocide? That wasn't white Burundians massacring those inferior black Burundians. Nope, that was the black Tutsi massacring 100,000 Hutu. Including some poor souls who'd sought refuse in a church and were burned alive. Rwandan genocide? That was 800,000 killed and millions displaced. And again, it wasn't whites doing the killing. It was one tribe - again the Hutu and Tusi - killing the other.

Kenya? About a thousand Kikiyu were killed a couple of years ago after unpopular elections...and they weren't shot, they were hacked to death with machetes.

White rule in Africa ended in the 1950s, except for the holdouts of South Africa and Rhodesia. Rhodesia became Zimbabwe in 1980 now, 30 years later, where it once was the "breadbasket" of Africa, it is now one of the poorest countries there. Johannesburg, the capital of South Africa, is now the carjack/murder capital of...if not quite the world, then pretty close. It has had a black President (Nelson Mandela) since 1994.

So the tragedy of the killing of these striking miners - what's to be shocked about? (Saddened, yes. Even outraged. But shocked?)

According to Wikipedia:

In post-apartheid South Africa, unemployment has been extremely high as the country has struggled with many changes. While many blacks have risen to middle or upper classes, the overall unemployment rate of blacks worsened between 1994 and 2003. Poverty among whites, previously rare, increased. In addition, the current government has struggled to achieve the monetary and fiscal discipline to ensure both redistribution of wealth and economic growth.

Since the ANC-led government took power, the United Nations Human Development Index of South Africa has fallen, while it was steadily rising until the mid-1990s. Some may be attributed to the HIV/AIDS pandemic, and the failure of the government to take steps to address it in the early years.

In May 2008, riots left over sixty people dead. The Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions estimates over 100,000 people were driven from their homes.

Migrants and refugees seeking asylum were the targets, but a third of the victims were South African citizens.

In a 2006 survey, the South African Migration Project concluded that South Africans are more opposed to immigration than anywhere else in the world. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in 2008 over 200,000 refugees applied for asylum in South Africa, almost four times as many as the year before. These people were mainly from Zimbabwe, though many also come from Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia. Competition over jobs, business opportunities, public services and housing has led to tension between refugees and host communities.

While xenophobia is still a problem, recent violence has not been as widespread as initially feared

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