In South Africa, there’s a region in the Northern Cape province called Orania. It’s halfway between Cape Town and Praetoria, in a semi-desert landscape that looks a lot like the American West (Joshua Tree CA to Amarillo TX).
Orania is centered on a high-growth, low-crime planned community, away from the big cities and the troubled South African economics that drive sky-high violent crime, create vast no-go ghettos and make armed robbery incursions an everyday threat to life and property, even in middle-class suburban neighborhoods.
The residents of Orania cite this “urban flight” as the main reason for fleeing to the small, fledgling community on the Orange River, hundreds of kilometers from the nearest large town.
So much so reasonable.
Thousands of American towns were (and still are) populated by people keen to escape city living. Economics dictates these escapees will be a more affluent class. In American demographics, this has meant “white middle class”. The growing population of Orania, in South Africa, similarly “white middle class” has been motivated by many of the same lifestyle pressures.
Consider the American story for a minute.
The suburban paradigm was well-defined from the outset, in the years after the Second World War. Its focus was the nuclear family of the 1950s: white boomer dad working his career, white boomer mom keeping house and making babies, white Generation X kids safely accumulating dazed and confused memories. Wonder years, truly.
Gen X began what Millennials accelerated: flying the safe suburban nest to return to the city, driving a revitalization and reinvention of downtown urban living. This spread to encompass the older ‘character’ inner-city neighborhoods, pushing out the poor as the gentrification phenomenon evolved into the seemingly unstoppable force it is today.
Upwardly mobile ethnicities like East Asians, Indians, Arabs, certain Latinos, interlard the white Europeans but
The poor, pushed out into cheaper neighborhoods, typically those too dangerous to gentrify, ringfenced themselves (often by ethnicity). The end result has been a ghettoization of American cities that shows no sign of abating.
Ghettos have become ganglands, locked in cat and mouse games with law enforcement, domestic violence, drugs, crime, broken down schooling, a laundry list of factors perpetuating low-attainment for anyone doomed to grow up there. What’s more, the poor urban ghettos are populated by all-too-familiar groups: lower-class or illegal immigrants and urban blacks.
In effect, the American cities, suburbs, and municipalities have arranged themselves along racial-ethnic divisions – without specific legislation enforcing it. This is an American apartheid. It would’ve been a wet dream for 20th-century South African racists.
Orania in South Africa is for whites only. What’s more, it’s for Afrikaner whites, descendants of the Boer (Dutch) settlers from whom South Africa was taken – by the British in the 19th and very early 20th century. It’s an ethnic group defined by Protestant Christian traditionalism, stubborn self-determination, libertarian community and separation.
The Afrikaner therefore lives with a siege mentality. He is surrounded by enemies. Most perilous of these is corruption of the Boer cultural bloodline – infiltration by liberal white internationalism and dilution by native black barbarism or indeed any other ethnic groups with divergent values.
The Afrikaner Boers accepted apartheid, back when South Africa was exclusively under white rule, but since apartheid was dismantled by F. W. de Clerk and Nelson Mandela in 1994, the old Boer dream of a Volkstaat (a state of their own) has been rekindled. Orania is an expression of that dream and the Oranians have been pushing for formal recognition of their constitutional autonomy since its inception.
Now, here’s the rub.
Orania has no formal written rules that discriminate based on race, ethnicity, sexuality, faith, politics, etc. But anyone who wants to live in Orania must pass an entrance interview by an assessment board made up of leaders from the community. In reality, this board is Afrikaner traditionalist. No blacks, no browns, no homosexuals, no liberals, no Muslims, no Jews, no English speakers (unless they’re bilingual Afrikaner of Boer origin), no Indians, no East Asians.
Orania has the standard institutions, from primary to secondary school, local businesses, supermarkets, restaurants, municipal authorities, power contracts with the utility companies bringing in power and internet, independent water supply, highway road links to the main artery connecting the major cities of the Northern Cape province. It has sports facilities, movie theatre, and the typical small-town clubs and societies. It has numerous churches. It has all these amenities and more. What it doesn’t have is a single non-Afrikaner white.
In a country with South Africa’s complex and often violent history, race politics are profoundly important. White minority rule may have given way to universal suffrage (regardless of race/ethnicity) by the turn of the millennia, but the ANC-Mandela government, while it commanded the votes of a super majority of the republic’s electorate, could hardly fail to manifest the South African reality: it is a nation with under 10% “white” and only around half those “white” South Africans are Boer-Afrikaner.
South Africa is a democracy. Its constitution enshrines civil rights, universal suffrage and acknowledges rule of law as the ultimate authority. It’s inevitably a nation governed by its black majority, and none would suggest it should be otherwise. Ownership of land, property, investments and business has been mostly continuous as South Africa moved from apartheid white minority rule to democratic black majority government.
The economics of South Africa’s ethnicities are unique: almost 80% of the land and 90% of big business during Mandela’s first term was owned by whites. Blacks were poor, landless and at the mercy of white capital despite the ANC in governemt. The continued popularity of the ANC required South Africa to address the economic apartheid. Black and colored South Africans feel – justifiably – their parents and grandparents had been historically wronged, dispossessed of their native land rights, resources stolen by white capitalists grown rich off the proceeds, etc.
Aggressive affirmative action legislation and hotly contested land reform acts were imposed on white South Africans. The English-descended whites were richer, more worldly, more financially mobile. For the most part they backed the ANC’s good will efforts to hack their way to justice. The Boer-descended Afrikaner whites were rich in African terms but their wealth was tied up in land, farming and resources tied to their traditional regions of the country.
Land reform meant government sanctioned theft, to the Afrikaner whites. Farms built and developed by Afrikaners since the 18th and 19th century were under threat; and the Boer descendants knew this dynamic well. They would fight to defend their land and their livelihoods and their way of life. It’s easy to see how this is a powder-keg dynamic and the last twenty years is littered with incidents of clashes between poor blacks following government edict and paramilitary Afrikaner whites refusing to allow it.
The white farmers have been stubborn and organised to such an extent, since 1994 the government has managed to shift less than 10% of the land rights from white to black.
The threat of determined government-backed seizure of land has fuelled Afrikaner paranoia, incidents of white farmers attacked by mobs of black South Africans, killed while defending their home, have been blown up and published and amplified across the world. Safety in numbers, banding together to defend Afrikaner life, liberty and the “lekker lewe” from the forces of evil, has pushed the children of the Boers to take up arms again. Paramilitary training is widespread. Guns and ammunition have been built up in the arsenal of almost every Afrikaner household.
Here is a transcript of a short conversation with three citizens of Orania. I haven’t identified them, for obvious reasons. What’s important is what’s said, not which council-member said it. The Oranians were unequivocal anyway, well practiced or 100% sincere in what they profess to believe. Probably both.
INTERVIEWS – WRITTEN AND VERBAL – ABOUT ORANIA
THE GUARDIAN wrote a lead article about Orania in October 2019. The sub-header went: “[Orania]… is a disquieting and entirely white town, littered with old apartheid flags and monuments to the architects of segregation. While there are no rules preventing black people from visiting, those who live nearby fear they would be met with violence.“
ORANIAN CITIZEN ON THE DEATH OF NELSON MANDELA: “One can genuinely sympathize with the death of a person who is a father to someone, a husband, a friend to others without falling in love with that person. But this was a great person. We can recognize it, we can see it and as such we can reach out and say we shared something of a commonality around this person. He had more grace, more presence than many others.“
IS ORANIA RACIST?
“If you question anyone in Orania about racism, the answer will be a universal “no we are not racist, we are a community of traditional Boer Christian values, making a life for ourselves away from the high crime, high violence cities where we feel like a persecuted minority.”
ON ORANIA AS SEPARATIST, NOT RACIST: “We don’t want to ask anybody’s permission. If you constitute yourself and act in an orderly way within the broad lines of a constitution you shouldn’t need anybody’s permission to be – you should just be. These are ideals Mandela himself respected.”
“We [white Afrikaners] did minority rule for a while, and obviously it ended. It wasn’t sustainable. It was wrong. But let’s call a spade a spade. If we want to have any say, we need to be a majority in a certain area. We want – let’s say, a homeland. We are actually a very small nation. We just want a piece of land where we can look after ourselves and do things our way.”
I ask if he understands why so many people find the idea of Orania offensive – that it seems, to many, to be the absurd final manifestation of white South Africans’ refusal to share space with their black countryfolk.
“Isn’t the idea of forcing people to build a nation together offensive? I think people misunderstand Orania and genuinely feel it is an AWB [defunct Afrikaner paramilitary far-right group] stronghold. This is wrong. We do all our own work. Compare that to the average estate in Pretoria or Johannesburg, where you live in a gated community, surrounded by people of the same income level, and get [black] people from townships travelling for hours to come clean your toilets. You see, Orania is woke, in ways that count. Just not the way you journalists think.”
Ngcukaitobi, the author: “[Orania] represents the reversal of the constitutional project of national building. [Anyone who cares about South Africa] would rightly be offended by what Orania represents, which is an enduring legacy of racial mobilisation”.
IS ORANIA THE WORLD’S BEST DISGUISED PARAMILITARY BASE?
[independence sometimes needs to be defended but Orania isn’t a hostile territory; we’re not planning the reconquest of South Africsa… never had. 120 years ago the British subjugated the Boers to get their hands on the fertile land and the mines. But study your history. Our people only ever wanted to live in peace, free to honour our traditions, worship at our churches, protect our culture and be independent of masters trying to force their choices onto our manifest destiny.
Today, yes, the rulers of South Africa are the ANC and they are ethnically black. A hundred years ago the rulers were the British and they were ethnically white. Orania isn’t racist. We don’t hate one more than the other. We hate all oppressors equally. We seek no Boer empire. The greater prosperity of Africa is in all our daily prayers. How does this make us a bunch of evil racists? You’re imposing a power dynamic that doesn’t exist here. When you punch down, it’s us you strike. Why does that become OK just because we are ethnically descended from European Dutch?”
“In Orania, we reject this kind of existential attitude towards human identity that views it as a mere construct, to be reconstructed by anyone and everyone for and by him/herself. It’s a recipe for authoritarian groupthink. That is not the way we plan to live.”
AfriForum is building a multi-million development in Orania. It is known as a ‘community safety centre‘ by the locals and developers alike. It is a big project. AfriForum was most recently responsible for building a school in the Zulu community N’kungumathe.
AfriForum tagline: “That Afrikaners – who know no other home – can continue living meaningfully as Afrikaners and in peaceful co-existence with other communities and permanently free, safe and prosperous at the southern tip of Africa.“
ISN’T THAT AFRIFORUM DEVELOPMENT – COMMUNITY SAFETY CENTER – ANOTHER WORD FOR MILITARY TRAINING BARRACKS?
“Journalists will call it a military training camp, no matter what we say. But look, violence and gangs are rampant in South Africa. The government can’t stop them. Safe spaces are not just for American snowflakes who don’t want to be called fat. Look at this way. Imagine we are in Mexico, surrounded by cocaine cartel gangs. Farmers living miles from the nearest neighbour start to turn up decapitated. Rural people from that region come together, on a good plot of land, and build for themselves a town. This is a plump target for the cartels, or a carbuncle or a source of easy forced recruits, whatever. Word spread that the drug lord has ordered a battalion of paramilitary gang members to wipe out this peaceful town.
Look up the Durango massacres or Cadereyta Jiménez massacre or the San Fernando massacre. What do you think will happen to this peaceful town of frightened farmers? They will be the latest numbers on a long list of fatal gang violence. We are Afrikaners and we are used to defending our land. We know this story too well. You who don’t live in this way may find it easy to judge Orania as racist or write how we are training people like soldiers, to be ready for our race war. This is complete bullshit.
We are like the Mexicans of Durango. The difference is only that we have a long memory and we learn from our past. If we teach our men, women and children how to shoot a gun, we do it because this is reality in Africa. It’s not a matter of race, it’s a matter of survival.
God willing, Orania will never lose hundreds of mothers and sons and daughters to senseless gang or government-sponsored violence. We will defend our homes and I think they know it. We train our people in firearms and we don’t hide this. It’s a deterrent. It’s for peace, not war. Why do so many find it so hard to grasp?”
WHY DOES THE SOUTH AFRICAN GOVERNMENT ALLOW ORANIA TO EXIST?
Orapeleng Moraladi, Northern Cape secretary of the Congress of South African Trade Unions: “[Orania] is like embracing an apartheid system within a democratic state. Orania is an indictment of the government of South Africa.”
[white genocide details, so cant just move to the country, got to put up walls and defend one’s family]
“Today there are as many as 400 white informal settlements in South Africa, according to charity Helping Hand, something once unthinkable.”
Nyameko Sinandile, member of the Pan African Congress (PAC): “The PAC believes in Pan Africanism, Black Consciousness, African Nationalism, African Identity, African Socialist Socialism, self-determination, self-reliance, self-acceptance and Socialist United States of Africa. In a nutshell, the PAC believes in the total liberation of Africans; the returning of land that was stolen by the settler colonialists using the roaring guns of Europe that killed many people, kings and chiefs. The PAC knows the overwhelming pain and suffering that was visited upon the African people is the result of European settlers.“
Woke SJW culture is in evidence in South Africa too. Opinions, from insight to misconception to twisted narrative, are moulded by journalists – especially journalists organised into an on-message cabal. Here’s a sample article follow-up to a visit to Orania by a black South African Millennial journalist. It’s an interesting study in preconception, evidence, narrative discord and repurposed memory. It’s a follow-up to the firsthand visit in this article in South Africa’s Daily Maverick.
“use of black labourers for menial jobs like domestic work, gardening and bricklaying” was a major part of apartheid’s ‘original sin’ and that’s why it won’t be replicated in this Afrikaner town [Orania].”
“[Orania takes] on people who struggle with drug abuse, alcohol abuse, former felons, or just the unemployed and uneducated,” says Norman. Put to work largely farming and building, there’s zero tolerance of substance abuse for these men who had been “total ‘come-aparts’.””This is a last resort for them; a place where they can find work, pick themselves up. Some only stay to sober up. They work, save a few rand, then move on. Others come because they feel they have no opportunities in South Africa. But we can’t take everyone, we can’t support all of South Africa; not that they want us anyway.“
“You know, it was a spiritual thing for us, the Afrikaner minority, to realise that the oppression of black people was not right. We did not wait for black people to find a way around this, because it was a white problem. We voted in the referendum in overwhelming numbers to say, enough! It was a white solution to a white problem… There was no violent revolution in South Africa. We gave up power. We saw the error and the injustice and did what we could to end it.”
IS ORANIA VERWOERD APARTHEID BUT WITH THE ETHNICITIES REVERSED? IS ORANIA A 21ST CENTURY BANTUSTAN?
Carl Boshoff, grandson of Hendrik Verwoerd (former Prime Minister of South Africa, architect of apartheid) says: “We are something like the phoenix in the ashes. The questions to which Orania is the answer are so fundamental to the structure of South African society that you can’t express and affirm your Afrikaner identity without coming to the conclusion of a bigger Orania.”
“Slick city journalists like to write about us as a ‘shameless challenge to the rainbow nation’ but what sort of propaganda is this? Or another wrote recently about Orania being a hotbed of ‘bigotry tourism’ with (apparently) people coming to visit us for the voyeuristic thrill of snooping on unconcealed prejudice. You know some in Orania voted EFF? And how that was reported? Oh the EFF must’ve bused in voters somehow.” [EFF is the South African Economic Freedom Fighters – pan-African leftist political party]
“The last stand of apartheid, the last bastion of white supremacy? It’s all nonsense.”
“We don’t keep [poor people] going with food packets, but we try to give them the opportunity to help themselves. If you come here with nothing, you’re going to work in the sun most probably. You’ll get subsidised housing, but the next day you start working.“
“Look, South Africa is fucked up. Murders nationwide increased 4.9% between April 2015 and March 2016 to 18,673, the equivalent of 33.9 per 100,000 of the population — a rate nearly seven times higher than the United States in 2015.“
“In our own way we are pro-active about breaking the cycle of poverty. Orania has a simple three-step approach: stabilisation, rehabilitation, integration. We help people to take responsibility for themselves. We give people menswaardigheid [dignity].”
“We are not a nation preparing to wage war. We are not the Suidlanders. Look them up. That is the ‘prepper’ cult of white supremacists you’re trying to make out of Orania. The Suidlanders believe the revolution will start with black-on-black violence but then aggression will quickly focus on white people. Suidlanders train for war. Oranians hope for peace and train for self-defence, as any small nation must. Surely this is clear?“
“Politics is not a harmonious environment. People have different ideas and ideals and I want to be judged on those and not based on who my grandfather was. I will not distance myself from who my parents or grandparents are and I think it should be more interesting that I am headed to parliament than controversial. I am passionate about the rights of the minority and I am an environmental activist. There is not enough expertise on such matter in parliament and I intend to be the person who sees to the needs of our environment.“
“What’s more, in a perverse way Orania has something valuable to teach white South Africans. Because of their commitment to living in isolation, all work in Orania is done by residents. House cleaners, gardeners, street sweepers, petrol pump attendants, fruit pickers: all are white.“
John Strydon, Oranian public relations director: “This concept of k*fferwerk [work done by black people], of having someone else do your work for you, is totally wrong.”
International media has defined Orania as a “would-be white ethnostate” and “preppers for the coming race war”, making direct comparison to far right racist groups, particularly in rural states of the United States.
Without wishing to put words into the mouths of Oranians or tailor their answers to a particular audience, here’s the penultimate question and the answers verbatim.
HOW DO YOU DEFINE ORANIA?
“We’re not gonna demand that the state keeps universities Afrikaans. We’re just gonna build our own. We’re not gonna demand to have public service in Afrikaans, or live our culture, or even at this stage get treated fairly in business, or university requirements or whatever. We’re just going to go and create our own future.“
“We talk about freedom of choice, isn’t it the perfect example? How many of us can say that we don’t employ black people to clean our toilets?Are we, or our black government giving a a roof for R900 to help poor people?Is someone scrutinizing the people that should be helped? And how to help them? We may not agree to give honorific place to some devil figures of the past, but…they are honest with their beliefs, not like most of the politicians in power that talk about Nelson Mandela’s legacy to depredete Nelson’s beloved country. I don’t have answers.“
“We are the white tribe of Africa and I want my people to understand that we have as much right to be here. The efforts of the pioneering Voortrekkers, who traveled inland fleeing the British and fought against Zulus in the Battle of Blood River, are the reason we exist. We shouldn’t lose our heritage to the empty Coca Cola consumerism. Ours is not a struggle to make time stand still but a struggle for identity and a future in a world where people are being turned into docile dependant infants arguing from their basement about which shoes are the best or which celebrity should next be attacked for using a verboten word. Orania is a small nation but we are not a small people. Independent, self-sufficient thinking human beings need space, security and society. Security sometimes needs compromise on independence. Society sometimes needs neighbors. Space certainly needs land to call your own. We take these things seriously. It’s the Afrikaner tradition.”
“Your country has lost its traditions or turned them into cartoons so nobody has to take them seriously. We are the descendants of the voertrekkers and we choose to say ‘no’ to the rainbow nation where all the colors run together into a mess, while your governments and your billionaires steal the money. Orania is not the racist cult your mainstream media is trained to see. Orania is a hope for a better future, based on a respect for the living traditions of our past. It’s growing faster than any other town in South Africa. You won’t explain this by writing us off as ignorant shit kickers.”
HOW IS THIS STORY GOING TO END?
“I don’t need you to approve of what we’re doing. But I do want you to at least acknowledge that it’s complicated.”
“About 4,000 hectares of land have been purchased on the West Coast by a private buyer. It’s not an official part of Orania’s strategy… but if close co-operation can be reached and a common interest in [a] bigger self-determining region be cultivated, [a land] corridor can become part of the project. It may be possible for a strong and successful Orania to play a leading role in such a future coalition between communities with related cultural backgrounds. Far off, perhaps, but if the events of 2016 have emboldened anyone, it’s been fringe movements. In the beginning […] we were regarded as mad. Now that has changed dramatically.”
“Where the volkstaat idea might have been a crude, racist kneejerk to the inevitability of democracy in the early 1990s, it has over time evolved into a credible and constitutionally acceptable political solution for some Afrikaners. Solidarity and AfriForum’s leaders have linked up with a self-governing German-speaking community in Italy for philosophical succour, while the FF Plus have been trumpeting their membership of an organisation called the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organisation based in Geneva.”
EUREKA, PROPOSED 2nd WHITE BANTUSTAN in South Africa’s Northern Cape: Nieuwoudt “Your child must carry your genes. Your child must look like you. I don’t think that’s a crime. I don’t want to insult others and I know a lot of people will disagree, but that’s their right. We have 5,000 members, space for 20,000 people on 3,500 hectares of land. Currently we have 20 families looking after the land. If we are barred from building it then it’s against the Constitution. This is more serious than people realize. We have this movement and we will ask all white to join and if they don’t want to, that is their right.”
NEIGHBOUR SPEAKING ANONYMOUSLY: “Something that happens in this day and age must include everyone from all races. That is what democracy is about. It can’t be right; can’t be correct! Because there will never be access to our people; because it can’t be right in the eyes of a common human.”
ORANIA IN THE 21ST CENTURY
In December 2000, the provincial government ordered the dissolution of Orania’s town council and its absorption into a new municipality along with neighbouring towns. Oranians lodged an application with the Northern Cape Division, which found that negotiations between the residents of Orania and the government for a compromise on Orania’s municipal status should take place; until such an agreement can be reached, the status quo would remain.
The 2001 Census found 519 residents. By 2003 local amenities included a holiday resort on the Orange River, a home for senior citizens, two schools, a private hospital and a growing agricultural sector.
A dispute arose in May 2005 with a faction of residents who claimed the town was being run like a ‘mafia’, with a number of lawsuits being filed as part of the dispute. A raid on the town’s radio station in November 2005 was linked to a tip-off received from internal dissenters; they ultimately left the community. In November 2005, around 20 coloured families who lived in Kleingeluk before 1991 lodged a land claim with the government for around 483 hectares (1,190 acres) of land within Orania. It was settled in December 2006 when the South African government agreed to pay the claimants R2.9 million in compensation.
A R5 million shopping centre, the Saamstaan-winkelsentrum, opened in 2006. In 2011 residents of Orania purchased the Vluytjeskraal-Noord farm, though it was set up as a separate legal entity and intended for residential development on areas not utilised by agriculture. Commercial developments launched in 2013 included Stokkiesdraai Avontuurpark, an adventure park, and Ou Karooplaas Winkelsentrum, a shopping centre.
Prior to the 2016 local elections, the Thembelihle branch of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) campaigned on a platform including a pledge to end the autonomous status of Orania, if elected to govern the municipality. After a visit to Orania, Thembelihle mayor, and EFF candidate, Danny Jonas said he wanted to retain the status quo while working together with Orania for the benefit of Thembelihle. The party ultimately won 11.6% of the municipal vote.
Expectations of a race war simmer just beneath the surface but it’s difficult to tell whether this is a fear or an opportunity. Orania is, in a way, a project trying to make a fait accompli of peaceful defiance. The Afrikaner whites would prefer not to be forced into a civil war but, to an extent, circumstances have conspired to leave many feeling gradually backed into a life or death corner. Death defending one’s family farm seems to appeal more than death by urban gang ambush or death by destitution or death by forced integration with a society they view as a hell on Earth.
Orania, according to its founders, is an acceptable and realistic compromise on Boer manifest destiny. Its existence – and continued unmolested expansion – may be the only way out of being forced into a race war they presume will end in their extinction. White genocide is a lived reality for these Afrikaners, rightly or wrongly. It’s possible to believe many of the Oranians have a largely liberal outlook and, rather than being driven by racism, their choices are pragmatic, practical and a last throw of the dice trying to coexist with the rest of the rainbow nation in a situation not of their making.
If the Afrikaners (inside and outside Orania) have any natural enemy, it’s fate itself. Fate has given them an inheritance built by ancestors having invaded and wronged the very people with whom they share a common soil. The Afrikaner has no colonial ties that bind them to a mother country like the English South Africans who’s thinking is international and who’s roots are thousands of miles north in the United Kingdom. Just as the Boers, so are the 21st century Afrikaners, a people who’s home is African and who’s ties that bind are driven deep into the South African veldt.
Stoic, self-contained and practical day to day, the white Afrikaners are under siege, oppressed by the constant pressure of a black majority government trying to remould the country more equitably. No doubt there have been instances of corruption, overreaction, belligerent oppression from both “sides” but to fixate on this is misleading. To understand the plight of the white Afrikaner and black South African, in the real world, we must see the dynamic stripped of rhetoric and straw men.
The ANC black-majority government is elected with a mandate to seek justice for the dispossessed while coping with economic chaos, enforcing rule of law, protecting property and human rights. Black South Africans don’t have to be racist to demand a fair share of national prosperity, nor is it racist to see the apartheid of white-minority rule as having put in place conditions responsible for black poverty. Who wouldn’t want these wrongs to be righted?
The Afrikaner whites want a version of the same thing. It’s a misdirection to cry racism because the conditions in South Africa and its racist colonial heritage have created an intractable conflict of interests (with losers and no winners). The inherited property rights (and lifestyle) guaranteed by every rule of law democracy in the world, South Africa included, stand in the way of black South African majority righting the wrongs of the 20th century. South Africa’s cities are a hotbed of violent poverty-driven gang crime, dragging the black urban poor into a cycle of self-harm that’s so widespread it threatens the entire country. White Anglo-South African capital looks after itself and, being international, feels no compunction about the collateral damage of apartheid.
The ANC government is a sprawling organisation, trying to find positive outcomes across a complex rainbow nation of needs. Orania may be the best the white Afrikaners can offer, to stay true to their heritage while avoiding escalation of race violence. Orania pays its taxes. It doesn’t follow the dynamic of ruling class growing fat off the toil of indentured working class toil; with an underclass of brown or black labour paid pennies to do all the worst jobs. Orania’s gardeners are white, its construction workers are white, its dishwashers and street cleaners and seasonal labourers are all white Afrikaner.
Do we say Orania is more racist because discrimination against non-whites extends to all jobs, highest paid executive to lowest paid gig-worker?
It’s a useful debate, not just for Orania as a detail of South African history but for the sake of better understanding race and ethnic dynamics in North America and Europe. One thing is certain, however: there’s no easy solution.
No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.Nelson Mandela