Open letter to Chris Warnes
For an academic I was quite surprised by your un-academic condemnation of Dr. Roodt’s wish to be present at the “Woordfees” festival. Indeed a sign of moral decadence, if there ever was one.
Once again the age old comparison of Apartheid as being equal to Nazism is alluded to in your comparison of David Irving. Before and after the Second World War, there was a clear reduction in the number of Jews and Gypsies…genocide no doubt. There were concentration camps and openly declared hatred aimed at these minority groups from a majority group. Could you please show me where those odious architects of apartheid built their concentration camps to incarcerate Africans? Or perhaps fragments from political speeches made by Verwoerd, Vorster or anyone claiming that apartheid was a system designed to obliterate Africans?
The only people who were victims of genocide in South Africa were the Afrikaners, during the Anglo Boer war and today. During apartheid Africans in South Africa enjoyed the highest standard of living compared to Africans elsewhere in Africa. Up to the 1950’s, the French tortured and killed 60 000 Algerians, the Chinese communists murdered 90 000 Tibetans, the Americans had thousands of Indians killed or forcibly removed, the English killed approximately 80% of the Aboriginal Australians, while Verwoerd had schools, free housing, universities roads and hospitals built for Africans in the same period.
Other than the Swedes, Germans, English or French, the Afrikaners never supported theories of racial superiority. From this perspective, Roodt’s claims that Apartheid was basically good is not a value judgement, but an empirical fact, considering that the African population multiplied itself twenty times in the period 1900-2000, which one can hardly call a genocide at all. Other than this, 40% of the entire South African population, that incidentally counts eight times more blacks than whites, claims that even though Apartheid led to excesses it was basically a good idea. If you consider that 51% of the same South African population does not trust the government, Dan Roodt might just have a point, as painful as it may seem. The current political system in South Africa resembles Nazism and fascism much more than Apartheid ever did.
According to Dr. Gregory Stanton, head of Genocide Watch, South African farmers are in the semi-final phase of full blown genocide, and farming in South Africa is considered the most dangerous profession in the world at this stage. The number of farmers murdered is twice as high as the number of Africans killed by the erstwhile police force during 40 years of Apartheid. Incidentally, during the first 18 years of Apartheid, the number of Africans killed in politically motivated acts is 183. Compared to the number of Africans killed for political reasons in 1990, which stands at 14 000, this could hardly be called some upmarket (or should I say bourgeoisie) proclamation. It surprises me that while all these horrors are happening, Stellenbosch University is doing its utmost to pretend that this isn’t really happening, and anyone claiming otherwise is deemed a racist, or fascist.
Other than your use of undefined, emotionally laden terminology, dr. Roodt simply states facts that could be read in everyday English liberal newspapers or World Bank statistics. What surprises me is how South Africa’s intelligentsia feels threatened when he speaks, as if the moral guardians themselves have something to hide. Where Roodt quotes statistics, he is deemed a racist propagating hate speech. If Nadine Gordimer states that Afrikaner women are “lower than rats, closer related to plants, just fit enough to be raped in an act of genus preservation”, she wins the Nobel Prize, as well as a Knighthood and some honorary doctorates. She still has to come up with scientific evidence to prove that Afrikaner women are genetically (or otherwise) inferior to rats. But no, she’s not considered a fascist! Is it perhaps because she writes in English?
Personally I believe that the liberal predominantly English “Boerehater” elite is so well socialized in childishly proclaiming a puny sense of superiority over Afrikaners, that if all of a sudden an Afrikaner who doesn’t fit the “dumb Dutchman” profile makes himself heard, it catches them off guard and renders them insecure. Hence the strong words against him to attempt to stay in the saddle. An interesting article written by McGregor and Marigold (2003) posted in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology vol. 85 nr. 5 p. 838-852, gives a clear perspective how this defensive zeal works.
The fact that dr. Roodt dared to write his “adapt and die” article should be read in the same context as his words state that one should not treat the symptom, but the problem. Considering his article racist, says more about the reader than the writer. In any scientifically responsible community, one must see this as a problem as the statistics prove this to be such. The next step is to hypothesize as to why this is the case. Nowhere is mentioned that blacks are more violent because they are black. The question ’why’ lends itself to scientific enquiry which should be treated as such. Unfortunately this topic is heavily laden with political correctness which makes a scientific enquiry almost impossible, and shooting the messenger is to go from bad to worse…very ’uncool’ for an academic.
If Stellenbosch University still regards itself a university at all, dr. Roodt of all people should be given a speakers podium. Unfortunately it has become an institution of anachronistic dinosaur worship that has shown it’s loyalty to a system that collapsed before Apartheid did and killed, starved and incarcerated hundreds of millions of people more than Apartheid even dared to do. I suggest that, in order to get ahead, one must address these problems that fundamentally tear at the social fabric of South Africa. One can only deny reality so much by fleeing to ideological convictions. Ultimately reality does catch up with one. The collapse of Berlin Wall is living proof of this.