"The Good Guys"

I love a good documentary. I love to learn about new things and hear people’s story, a chance I might not normally get. I used to think that this form of storytelling was somehow more ‘pure’, as if somehow documentaries were somehow less fictitious than the Hollywood movies which were made-up, make believe – fiction. The difference with documentaries is that they are much more subtle in their spinning of fiction, choosing to manipulate real life in ways that highlight certain causes or beliefs or ‘truths.’  An obvious example of this is Michael Moore’s documentaries but it happens no less in other titles in the genre.

Last night I sat down and watched “Mugabe and the White African,” a documentary chronicling the plight of two White farmers in Zimbabwe under Mugabe’s rule. I had been searching for something to watch and the movie review sites were trumpeting this one as the best, Rottentomatoes.com even going so far as to put it in their Top 10 Best of 2010 movies with a 97% approval rating with reviewers stating: “The film serves as a testimony on behalf of all of Mugabe’s victims” (The Sunday Times, UK); “This extraordinary profile in courage starkly bears passionate and brave witness as two flinty farmers stand up for their rights in a good vs. evil fight” (filmforward.com), and the Los Angeles Times’ critic writing that the two farmers are “two unforgettable heroes.”

I watch a lot of films about Africa, read a lot about Africa and write a lot about Africa so it seemed like an interesting watch on an evening when my wife was out at work.

The film shows the farmers’ fight to keep their farms all the while Mugabe’s government tries to evict them, harass them and ultimately beats them up and successfully seizes their land. It is meant to be a sad story, and it is–highlighting the plight of the White farmers in Zimbabwe.

It is also a blatant attempt to rewrite history, to cast the White farmers in a new less revealing light, to gain international sympathy, and to bury the sordid colonial history of Zimbabwe under a barrage of White apologetics.

Throughout the film I couldn’t help but feel that this was a big puff piece designed to showcase the farmers in a certain light: not as the monsters of colonialism that they’ve so often been cast in, but as old men who are clinging to their precious homes in the face of crazed dictators, as the real victims in the story. It’s a grand piece of propaganda which succeeds primarily by ignoring Zimbabwe’s history, by making no mention of what has gone before.

When we see White farmers being evicted, threatened, and beaten it is without the knowledge that Blacks were routinely mistreated, beaten and moved off of their land by White farmers and their government. When the White farmers talk of being vulnerable and scared, in my mind it only seems to echo the past and serves to remind the viewer about how the Black population must have felt when they were dominated by White rule, scared as to what might happen next. There is no mention of the horrors of Rhodesia, the White power ideologies that were all too similar to apartheid South Africa, the way Cecil Rhodes and the British played Ndebeles against Shonas to grab land and power, the long ugly history of White rule in Zimbabwe which ended with a nasty, withdrawn retreat.

In this Youtube video (part 4 of the film posted online), the same farmer in the film, Mike Campbell, states “I didn’t steal anyone’s land” and in “Mugabe and the White African” he proudly shows his deed to the land, making sure the viewer is reminded that he bought the land “fair and square.” It reminds me of a statement in Dionne Brand’s book, “A Map to the Door of no Return”, where she talks about Canada, another past colony – “It never occurs to them [White Canadians] that they live on the cumulative hurt of others. They want to start the clock of social justice when they arrived. But one is born into history, one isn’t born into a void.” The farmers in the film are seen in a void, as the beginning, as the first victims.

Great pains are made in the film to equate the situation of the farmers to the Holocaust. A Mugabe quote where he compares himself to Hitler plays ominously at the beginning of the film, a newspaper headline comparing White Rodesians to Holocaust Jews is displayed prominently. Not only is the comparison grossly out of line in terms of severity, but it reminds me of an Aime Cesaire quote where he states, “What he [the White European] does not forgive Hitler is not the crime in itself, the crime against the white man, it is the inflicting on Europeans of European colonialist procedures which until now were reserved for the Arabs of Algeria, the coolies of India and the Negroes of Africa.” If we are going to talk about the Holocaust, the apt comparison is colonial Rhodesia where Whites ruled supremely, where discrimination and killings based on color/race/culture was built into the system and were routine.

Not only is there great pains to paint the White farmers as victims of a Holocaust but Brand’s mention of ‘social justice’ in her quote is also pertinent, as the film works hard to project the farmers as benevolent, caring, God-fearing, and caring men–as White saviours. They employ five hundred people (with special mention of women and children) who depend on them for wages “if they don’t work for us, where else will they work”; they are also a safe haven “they know that when they come to us, we’re there to help”. But these platitudes ring hollow, these are merely the paternalistic, colonial phrases heard elsewhere and which Mike Campbell himself echoes in the previously mentioned Youtube video, where he explicitly states that, before the White people came to Africa, the Blacks couldn’t feed or take care of themselves and if they were to ever come to their senses, they would choose to let White farmers stay in Zimbabwe so that they could eat instead of starve. I kid you not. Without White intervention, Africa would have starved to death and without further White intervention it will starve to death. As writers such as Memmi and Fanon have noted, colonial power works by scripting the colonizer as an innocent, benevolent and imperial savior in contrast to the hapless, savage and beast-like colonized. The White farmers in Zimbabwe follow the script.

The film is a thinly veiled attempt to see Whites as victims, saviors and heroes against the craziness of Mugabe. An article by Philip Howard talks about how Whites need to feel that they can speak from a position of victimhood to somehow legitimate their claims to ‘good, non-racist behavior’, when in fact all this does is show that they don’t even recognize their own power, position and privilege. The film, in this way, fails to see the power and privilege that the White farmers have – they employ hundreds of people, live in British-styled homes where Mike is seen drinking scotch after a hard day, they can afford legal counsel and trips abroad, etc…

And yet, the film chooses to prominently highlight a quote at the beginning of the film, a quote where the White farmers claim: “We’re all in this together under Mugabe, we’re all the same.” But the Blacks in the film don’t drink scotch or drive Range Rovers. In fact, they are completely silent throughout the film. They are seen taking orders or apprehensively smiling when the White farmers try to joke with them, silently staring when they are told they need to behave while the master is gone. There is no mention of how Mugabe’s reign has destroyed most Blacks in the country as well. Instead we see Blacks as either passive servants content to have the Whites provide for them (like the ones on the farm) or crazed villains, as shown by the ravings of a government lackey who comes to take the Campbell farm – the type of Black that Campbell states in the Youtube video that he will kill many of before they take his farm from him.

When the farmers go to Windhoek, Namibia to have their case heard and it is postponed for a second time, they bitterly talk about the “heavy irony” of delayed justice, yet the move is filled with such heavy ironies that go unspoken. When the farmers travel to Windhoek to have their court case heard, the camera focuses on them driving down Robert Mugabe Blvd., highlighting that ironic passage. Yet, in the very next frame, the car continues down a road which has a street sign stating “Van Den Heeverstraat”, named after a famed White South African writer who celebrated Afrikaaner culture during apartheid.

Irony after irony: The White farmer’s lawyer states that, if they lose the case against Mugabe, Africa will have a precedent that allows discrimination on the basis of race–ignoring the 500 year precedent that the Europeans have already left Africa, one which clearly outlined the multitude of ways that discrimination was allowed based on race.

The irony of stating that there is no difference between Blacks and Whites under Mugabe, while the setting of the scene sees the Whites drive the truck and the Blacks ride in the back.

The irony of White farmers claiming that God put them there for purpose, when Whites said the same thing a mere 30 years ago in Zimbabwe, except their ‘purpose’ was to dominate the Zimbabweans under the guise of civilization and religion, bringing White power rule in God’s name.

The movie fails to highlight the great irony in hearing White European lawyers argue that democracy is not merely about majority rule but about protecting basic human rights, basic human rights that White Europeans ignored in Zimbabwe for hundreds of years. I guess these basic human rights only need to be protected when White human rights are at stake.

None of this is to take away from the violence that White farmers have suffered in Zimbabwe – it is devastating and appalling. But to position this story as somehow separate from history is wrong. There are events that led up to Mugabe becoming leader of Zimbabwe and events which pushed him to take the stance he has, events that modeled for him what ‘government’ was and how leaders should act. There were events that led Blacks not to trust Whites, events which might make them want to exact revenge – events which don’t exactly place Whites in the victim role.

I also understand the sadness of farmers like Campbell, who went into debt to buy the farm and now he is losing everything – it’s hard to see what you’ve worked for taken away. Just ask the indigenous Shona and Ndebele. And as much as the movie tries to cast Campbell as innocent, he isn’t. He knowingly bought into a system, into a Rhodesia, that was built on oppressing Black people as much as possible, built on denying them basic human rights to maintain White privilege in society. He is not innocent. In the Youtube video and other clips he is seen espousing typical White racist ideology that buttressed Rhodesia for so long– the proud, White arrogance that believed there was nothing in Africa before the Whites came, just starving, barbaric people in need of saving.

Finally, it’s a question of belonging. The film tries to position the farmers as having long-standing rights to African land, to being African themselves. The one farmer asks, “Can you be White and American? Yes! Can you be White and Australian? Yes! Why can’t you be White and African?” Ignoring the fact that America and Australia are countries and Africa is a continent, this type of thinking is exactly the problem. It is the type of thinking that ignores the realities – that being White in America is about building on the oppression of the First Nations people and that to be White in Australia is building on the oppression of the Aborigines. To be White in Zimbabwe means building on the oppression of Indigneous Ndebele and Shona peoples. This film not only ignores this but also tries to obscure it, instead hoping to posit White farmers as outside of history.

As this other fine review of the movie states, the danger of this movie is that is posits the White farmers as trying to help, as just being ‘good guys’. Too many other people are trying to pass themselves off as ‘good guys’ in Africa (see: International Development), there’s no need for any more. Thank you.

Comments

comments

22 Comments
  1. I think at some level we have to get past this kind of response to this kind of presentation of history. I mean, everything you say about the film's slant (and the precedent presentations it builds upon) is true in a way, and yet in another way, it keeps us trapped in a bad Punch-and-Judy structure of argument that ultimately favors Zimbabwe's authoritarian rulers (as it once favored Smith's authoritarianism).

    You incidentally end up creating a sort of purity test for claiming to be the victim of injustice or oppression, the way that conservatives in the US often set up a discursive structure that aims to differentiate the undeserving poor from the innocent impoverished. the second category is an imaginative one that is perpetually off-stage from conservative denuciations of the undeserving poor, much as I think here the "really oppressed" are the off-stage Africans from whom land was taken and on whose behalf the Mugabe government has justified a project of land seizure which then usually ends up granting land to ministers instead. The thing is, if we want a documentary (or other account) that puts complexity back in the picture, the purely innocent truly oppressed will never appear, and justice in the matter of land can thus never really involve them.

    Early in its post-1980 history, Zimbabwe's government actually did try a bit of more "genuine" land reform (sticking to the rules set in Lancaster House) and the problem in part was figuring out to whom land should be repatriated. South Africa has the same issues, as do many postcolonial societies. If I trace claims to land in the districts in Zimbabwe that I know best back, I find so many layers of acquisition: post-1980 dictates of the state, not all of them corrupt; some similarly varied actions of the Rhodesian state before and after 1965; land bought by white farmers from other title-holding tenants (black and white); land converted to titled land by state seizure; land where white tenants suddenly invented novel property rights that led to the violent expulsion of Africans with state backing; etc. But then if I'm working back into 1890 or 1875 or 1860, I'm often dealing with contested claims–the people who today would claim that they are entitled to repatriation of land owned by a white farmer are often confronted more silently or complicatedly by claims from other communities or kin groups that relate back to movements and appropriations that occurred in the later 19th Century. (This leaving the Ndebele out of the picture, which is an even messier question.)

    There's also the problem that if we utterly deny the person who says, "I am a white African", and say "You're never entitled to a claim of belonging, or possession, your farm and life are always and forever reducible to oppression and nothing but", then we ought to (as you observe) say that being a white American is the same thing and being a white Australian is the same thing. And then what is it we're asking in political terms? For white people there too to go home, to be never belonging, always oppressors? When *does* history take hold and sanctify migration, then?

    So if we want a rounded, complex history to come back into focus, I don't think we can stop with just, "Well, what about the Africans that these white farmers dispossessed?" But also I think asking quite legitimately for that complexity shouldn't lead us to sound as if we don't see some simple moral dimensions of the situation. The white farmers aren't innocents or heroes, but the government is villainous. There's really a danger when we pushback on the white farmers that we're going to endorse a vision of justice that says, "You ought to reap what you sowed", rather than stick to the more elemental "Two wrongs don't make a right".

    tl;dr? Yeah, the movie is frustratingly unidimensional; the answer is not to flip that on its head and invert all its figurations.

  2. Timothy – I don't think the answer, like you say, is to flip the movie around but to bring a more nuanced discussion of what it means to be a White farmer in Zimbabwe, or even what it means to be Shona or Ndebele in Zimbabwe. Certainly it is difficult for a movie to do this but there has to be a critical interrogation of the movie as a text and to the power relations embedded in it – who gains from this film?

    The answer to Zimbabwe's current situation is certainly not an easy one and I don't think what I am arguing favors the current authoritarian government but, rather, demands whatever interrogations, portrayals or answers that emerge to be conscious of history, of white privilege and how it operates, and committed to openness. I am not arguing for a label of 'truly oppressed' or any sort of 'authenticity' claim but, instead, a willingness to speak history in ways that seek to find new spaces and answers, ones that certainly can include White farmers.

    As you say, two wrongs don't make a right. If Rhodesia and colonial rule was the first wrong and Mugabe's current regime the second, perhaps the rhetoric and claims of the movie represent a third wrong – a way forward without reckoning with history.

  3. @Tim Burke,

    But also I think asking quite legitimately for that complexity shouldn’t lead us to sound as if we don’t see some simple moral dimensions of the situation. The white farmers aren’t innocents or heroes, but the government is villainous.

    You've just argued that, because white farmers didn't always acquire their land unjustly, and because there were previous episodes of injustice, they're not villains; or at least, it would be improper to judge them harshly. You even leave open the possibility that time will sanctify the consequences of their unjust takings. (Actually, the implication is stronger: it's that time should make those takings just.)

    The same criteria apply to the government: it hasn't always acted unjustly — as you concede — and there were previous episodes of serious injustice. You'd think the government might to expect the same generous treatment, but you go to some trouble to draw the contrast:

    The white farmers aren’t innocents or heroes, but the government is villainous.

    which, given what's gone before it, is faintly amusing.

  4. @Timothy – I don't have a lot of time to write an in-depth response but I have to say that everything those farmers are experiencing now, they deserve 100%. They DID steal people's land. They might not have stolen it directly, but they got it from the Rhodesian government which was a criminal and illegal entity in the first place and which stole that land from the people of Zimbabwe.

    I have no pity for them whatsoever. Why are they boo hooing in everyone's ear and crying human rights violations when just a short while back when Zimbabwe was still colonised they were enjoying the fruits of the violated human rights of Zimbabweans.

    Karma is a bitch. What goes around comes around. They are being done by as they did and it serves them right. I would laugh but frankly I don't even care that much. They need to stop claiming they have any rights in Zimbabwe and pack up and go back to Europe. I'm sure the entire country of Zimbabweans whose family members, grandparents, and other ancestors they disenfranchised, oppressed, and terrorised will be very very happy to see them go.

    They deserve no pity. Not one drop. It serves them right.

  5. I am white and african – I need nobody's permission to say that. But I don't ignore history, and I hate that there are people out there who get – through the ongoing racism on both extremes of the debate, to make me saying this sound insincere. Of course, the difficulty comes in when you try to place blame. It's not like different cultural groupings / races within in africa weren't throwing each other off land and colonising before european colonists came to join the grabbing game. Human beings do this stuff. And it sucks. And it's wrong – no matter who they are or what their claims.

  6. I'm not sure that there's any land possession anywhere in the world that wasn't taken by force of arms back in the day. Don't blame the white folks for just being a bit better at that than everyone else. Zimbabwe was established by an offshoot of the Zulus, the Matabele, who both took land, slaves and cattle from countless tribes they'd defeated. Disenfanchised, oppressed, terrorised…ask the families of the twenty thousand odd Matabele massacred by Mugabes Fifth Brigade in the eighties about that. It appears people only care about bad things being done to black people when it's white people doing it. When it's other blacks doing it they turn a blind eye. What a crock. Doesn't help Africa much. I wanna see Spike Lee's biopic of Charles Taylors march on Monrovia…that might be progress. Stop using the immunity of the previously oppressed to excuse vile shit.

  7. Copperbelter,
    You hit the nail right on the head. When its black people doing bad things against other black people no body talks, but when its whites, you have all the pseudo-intellectuals coming out to talk nonsense about how evil white folks are. Its all absolute rubbish, very soon they would be blaming the atrocities of the Idi Amin regime on the white man.

  8. @jean, @copperbelt, @david – I struggle to know if I should respond, especially as I am only a pseudo intellectual ;) But I believe in engagement and dialogue and, as a professor once told me, you're on the right track when you're pissing people off. And perhaps I am still young enough to not recognize the naivety of my idealism… So just a quick note:

    To justify White colonialism by saying it's human nature or that Africans have been doing similar for generations before misses the differences, the scope and history of White colonialism. Up to a 1/3 of the population removed, a massive percentage decimated by forced work, violence, poor conditions, etc… The 'lucky' few who remained were subject to oppressive states who deemed them little better than monkeys and policies that ensured they remained subordinate in all ways. A quick look into Africa's history shows nothing even remotely similar. So I guess colonialism is special in that way.

    As a 'White man', I am more than willing to interrogate how the life I have now is built on the 'accumulative hurt of others'. Does it mean Black people are perfect? I'm pretty sure no one is claiming this, certainly not myself. While there are certainly some who have come out to claim that Whites are inherently evil, that is not the thrust or message of my piece. It's about interrogating a system of oppression and violence that buttressed White privilege in Africa and realizing that history did not 'reset' with independence; there is a continuum.

  9. I’m not sure that there’s any land possession anywhere in the world that wasn’t taken by force of arms back in the day.

    That's false, since if everyone took land from the someone else, then there couldn't have been first occupiers. But there are first occupiers.

    … was established by an offshoot of the Zulus, the Matabele, who both took land, slaves and cattle from countless tribes they’d defeated. Disenfanchised, oppressed, terrorised…ask the families of the twenty thousand odd Matabele massacred by Mugabes Fifth Brigade in the eighties about that. It appears people only care about bad things being done to black people when it’s white people doing it. When it’s other blacks doing it they turn a blind eye. What a crock. Doesn’t help Africa much. I wanna see Spike Lee’s biopic of Charles Taylor's march on Monrovia…that might be progress. Stop using the immunity of the previously oppressed to excuse vile shit.

    Wait. Everybody stole from someone else. Therefore, white folks aren't to be blamed for being better at stealing stuff from everyone else; when they do it, it's OK. If that's true, then all those horrible things done in the past mean that present horrible things done in the present by Africans are OK too, right? (I mean, you even admit that present horrible things done by Africans are less horrible than past horrible things done by White folks.)

    And I'm not sure I understand your point about White folks being picked on. Presumably, if past mass murder makes present mass murder OK, then all one would have to do to make present picking-upon OK is to find past picking-upon. And there's surely no dearth of that in the past, is there?

  10. @sugabelly,

    They deserve no pity. Not one drop. It serves them right.

    Look at the folks on this thread, and any other on the internet when race comes up: look at the rage, the spite, the hatred and the lying contempt that a certain kind of White person has for pretty much the rest of humanity. Look, in particular, at the indifference to actual human suffering, so long as it's racially different — Tim Burke is able to argue both that ethnic violence in Kenya is excusable seeing as it's a remedy for inequality, and that history ought to sanctify the consequences of White invasion, and so presumably rule out anti-White violence, in Zim; Copperbelter is giving genuinely silly attempts to excuse White supremacy and its works. Look carefully at these people, and at your contempt for the suffering of White farmers. Why the fuck do you want to be like them?

  11. Hmm…I don’t see where I cite Europe’s success at colonising other lands as being white supremacy…it’s just a fact that belongs in the past. I didn’t say I thought it was good idea. Also, personally I find the idea of land ownership an obscene concept…not that that’s going to change anytime soon. But I digress. This thread is about the legitimacy of Mugabe’s land grabs. Yes, the doccie plucked every heartstring it could and was a syrupy exercise all round. I didn’t like the film. Sure, I have no doubt that many of Rhodesia’s farmers were racists and mistreated their work force. This is irrelevant. It’s really very simple. Either you have a constitution that protects the rights of citizens, or you don’t. Either you have a rule of law that prosecutes criminals, or you don’t. Without that, you have…well, we know what you have.
    I would even grudgingly allow Mugabe the benefit of the doubt if the grabs had resulted in any positive upliftment whatsoever to the people of Zim…employment opportunities, health care etc. Instead of which he and his Zanu cronies have destroyed a working and prosperous infractuture while living high on the hog. Let me pre-empt the knee jerk reaction and answer prosperous for who? Well, the fact that Zimbabweans have fled Zim to the degree that there are now an estimated 2 million in South Africa kinda speaks for itself. Do you have an answer for that?
    You know Daniel, when you start talking about a certain kind of white person, you end up sounding like a certain kind of black person. I am an African patriot and want to see Africa become the jewel she can be…I don’t care what colour the government is.
    The immunity of which I speak has been around a long time…Karadidc had to hide for years before being dragged out blinking into the light to stand trial. With all the blood on his hands, Mugabe and his wife go on shopping sprees to Hong Kong.
    The only way we can jail an absolute monster, Charles Taylor, is by linking him to uncut diamonds given to Naomi Campbell at a party for Mandela. What on earth was someone who routinely chopped arms and lips off innocent people, doing as Mandela’s guest?
    You know, the worst stuff I ever saw on the holocaust was in a museum in Hamburg. I remember, apart from amazed that a civilized nation could descend into such barbarity, also being so impressed that the German nation was able to so mercilessly turn the eye inwards on itself. When will Africa find the will to do that, and why should it when the world continues to turn a blind eye?
    Africa has to look to herself for the answers to her problems, not to Bob Geldof, or the G8, and has to stop finding excuses.
    And sugabelly, for reasons we’ll leave for the moment, it’s highly unlikely that two lorry loads of drunken Native Americans will arrive at your place, beat you up and give you 24 hours to leave…justifiable by your own argument. But if it does happen, I will have sympathy for you. Just a bit.

  12. You can dress it up any way u like, but u and those of u who benefited from Cecil Rhodes and other European colonists are not indigenous. Therefore, the land ur ancestors stole was rightly taken back in the righteous ongoing task of the redistribution of wealth. Ur idea of reverse racism, is a veiled attempt at victimizing the abusers. True Africans, not bastards, have the duty and responsibility to correct the injustice suffered by so many who can no longer speak for themselves. The violent conflict ur people created has not been resolved just because u say so. How dare u deny a man the right to retrieve what was originally taken from his home.U have no right or justification to claim ownership of a land that u admittedly know was stolen, stripped and settled by ur ruthless barbaric forefathers. If u truly believe u r not like ur rougish ancestors, then do the right thing and surrender the land. If u acted on real principal, then there would be no need for what u call a "Land Grab". Call it reparations, if u like, but never forget the words of Dr. MLKing, Jr.-"No justice, no peace".

  13. Discussion of race or the merits of land reform miss the point of the film. Mugabe and the White African is an intimate portrayal and record of the horrible effects of Mugabe’s dictatorial rule on one family. The Campbell family is a stand in for the whole of Zimbabwe. The ZANU-PF thugs who terrorized the family and the lawyers who tried to justify the abuse of power did nothing to the white Campbell’s that thousands of black Zimbabweans haven’t already suffered. The thugs start with the weak (the black workers) and eventually work themselves to the strong. Mugabe is a dictator pure and simple. His actions are way outside the rule of law and he needs to go.

    Whether land reform is the answer to Zimbabwe’s ills wasn’t the question. A thoughtful well managed system might have positive results; I don’t know, but this wasn’t thoughtful or well managed, it was pure corruption. Black Zimbabwean’s suffered from at least one hundred years of racism, but Mugabe’s policies weren’t the answer.

  14. So you agree with reverse racism and dictatorship.
    What these people have done to the farmers is wrong.
    So should we start kicking black people out of every country and sending them away because they are not from the country they live in?
    Should we beat the crap out of black people because they have a job and a lot of whites don't ?
    S
    Should

    1. You keep claiming the myth of reverse racism whereas in reality it is Justified Redress.

      And please, Black people did not go uninvited to the countries of others and oppress them, destroy their lives and steal their resources and land.

      Last time I checked Black People were FORCIBlY taken to other lands by your wonderful ancestors (surprise surprise) and were then treated like they were lower than animals so you have no right to deport them because it is entirely YOUR FAULT that they are even there in the first place.

      Whites came to Africa completely uninvited and just began to rampantly commit crimes of all sorts on an epic scale with no warning. The rightful owners of the land are completely justified in kicking you out because you are a nuisance and a very destructive one at that.

      If you think this is reverse racism because a group of people whom you launched unprovoked attacks against have finally had enough and are now standing up for themselves and trying to get rid of you then you must be delusional.

      And yes I am happy. Do as you would be done by and don't cry reverse racism when you discover that you are now being done by as you did.

  15. You yourself seem to be very racist and you would be better off seeking therapy.
    Your happiness for others sorrow is disturbing.

  16. If Native Americans got up one morning and told everybody to leave, I wouldn't even argue. Why? IT IS THEIR LAND!

    Their home. They have the right to command squatters out of it. It's because they have almost been killed of by Europeans that they don't even have the power to protest.

    Unlike certain characters on this thread I won't start crying racism if a fed up Native American decides they don't want anybody occupying their homeland and oppressing them in their own home anymore.

  17. Since Mugabe's land reform, Zimbabwe has gone from exporting food and other crops, to a nation of starving billionaires being forced to rely on world wide aid. Mugabe didn't give the farms to black farmers to work the land, they were given to Mugabe's buddies.

    As a matter of interest, South Africa learned all there was about apartheid by visiting the American South

  18. I am an ordinary Zimbabwean. My grandfather and great grandfather were forcibly dispossessed. Before my grandfather died, he took me to the heart of a white man's farm (which has now been taken by Govt and distributed to people without regard to ancient owners like my ancestors, a factor characteristic of South Africa's approach to their Land Question), showed me the land that he used to call his home, and told me the story of how he was dispossed of his land. I was only 13 years at that time. In the years, that followed, I spent heading cattle in our over-crowded rural village before making my way through the colonial, post-colonial and post-independence school systems up to European universities. At the end of the day, my blood and veins are the carrier of the core of the living memory of an aggrieved people. I am the seed of the existence of a perpetual struggle that can occur now or in the future. I can also pass on this seed to my children in the same manner that my grandfather did. I represent the reason why Zimbabwe's land question exists. The fact that there exists people and their living memory of the experience or the awareness of the occurrence of land dispossession in the past, creates an injustice which remains until that memory has been replaced by a memory of the re-dress of that injustice. This makes Zimbabwe's Land Question an issue that needs to be addressed in one way or another. This redress covers the period 1890 to the Present. 1890 to the present is the period in reference because living memory for the injustices of that period exists and that living memory has the capacity and willingness to organize and wage a war today. Beyond this period going back in the past, there does not exist any living memory that has capacity and willingness to organize and wage a war to re-dress those injustices now and in the future. In other words, any land dis-possessions that occurred earlier than 1890 in Zimbabwe do not enjoy the benefit of living memory and hence are irrelevant today. In Zimbabwe, people who are living today, people of Mugabe's age, personally suffered land dis-possessions. However, the current land allocation policy disregards compensating the original victims. In general, Zimbabweans agree to this approach in all the regions of the country. We are in favor of a national collective approach were allocation is supposed to address the needs of the people in a particular region at the present moment. This is in contrast to South Africa's family or personal claim-based approach. Thus, Zimbabwe's approach could very easily accommodate the white farmers because it focuses on the needs of the Zimbabwean people within a particular locality at the present point in time rather than compensating dispossessed families. The emphasis in Zimbabwe is to address landlessness and overcrowding of the population as opposed to compensation of black families who were dispossessed in colonial times. However, Mugabe has promised to compensate white farmers for improvements on the land and not the land itself arguing that the British Govt should attend to this aspect. What is unfortunate is that this has been branded as an issue that relates to race, to Mugabe, to human rights and to all these other issues that are reflected in this thread. It is also unfortunate that the Blair Government precipitated violent land invasions by the undiplomatic gesture of writing a letter to a war leader, Mugabe, to declare their intention to renege on the Lancaster House promise on the Land Question in Zimbabwe. Mugabe reacted simply by going back to the trenches of the ZImbabwe's liberation struggle, thus, rewinding the country back to pre-1980 before the Lancaster House Agreement, effectively a resumption of war with enemies being Blair's Govt and anything in Zimbabwe that represent the colonial setup with the primary target being white farmers. Was Blair's Govt right? Was Mugabe right in his reaction? It is up to the experts to debate. To us the people of Zimbabwe, we just want the resolution of Zimbabwe's Land Question to be resolved (no one can argue against this) and for us to move out of the state of war to a state in which we are free and empowered economically and politically.

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©Africa is a Country, 2016