Like America, South Africa has experienced some issues with social justice and race relations. However, there is a huge difference between the two nations and their experiences that highlight the utter failures of so-called social justice theory, an untested and unsupported race-based hatred presenting itself to Americans as enlightened and progressive. It is the opposite of both, as South Africa’s experience proves clearly.
Slavery has existed as long as humans, including enslavement of whites by whites, and blacks by blacks. Social Justice Agitators seize on race as the key driver of slavery, when in fact it has always been economics — including in both South Africa and America. But there are distinct differences: South African blacks were enslaved through apartheid in their own lands, American slaves were relocated as property; whites were always a minority in South Africa, ruling over a huge majority; and America fought bitterly to end slavery in its Civil War, while South Africa abolished apartheid only in 1994. Yet South Africans are well ahead of Americans in dealing with race and racism.
South Africa’s experience eviscerates Ibram X. Kendi’s quixotic “social justice theory.” Critical race theory, Kendi’s magic potion to “eliminate subconscious racism” using overt systemic discrimination against white people, falls flat on its face in South Africa. Kendi’s reckless “theory” holds that only an oppressor majority class can be racist, and thus black Americans definitionally cannot be racist. By this theory, whites in South Africa are an oppressed minority incapable of racism, and blacks there are all institutionally racist.
Social justice warriors will not improve community and race relations, but seed dissension by endlessly salting ancient wounds. It ends badly for the same reasons that slavery and apartheid ended badly — Kendi is calling for a new slavery to counter the old, in the name of “eye for an eye” racist justice. Endless tribal/racist war — who wins there? In South Africa, the poor blacks falsely armed with these types of ideas are the ones who lost, and the same will be true in America.
I studied apartheid extensively from a young age, and later married the daughter of a woman who fled apartheid in the 1950s. Interestingly, she was categorized as “colored” by the South African government because she refused to register under apartheid. Some of her 12 siblings were listed as white, some colored, others black. Given her (and thus my son’s) significant Nigerian and Indian bloodlines, it is understandable how difficult it was even in the 1950s to reduce all South Africans to a racial category.
The same 1950s apartheid folly saturates 21st century social justice delusions. A salient example is the push to rescue Vermont’s Abenaki Indians from 500-year-old wrongs by giving them land and prioritized healthcare: it is even more impossible to define who they are than apartheid’s bureaucratic race-folly. The “equitable” implementation of these policies is an impossible farce, but that doesn’t phase the social justice zealots — they do not tolerate facts any better than individual rights, in their racist frenzy.
One South African writer explained how riots in in his home country were the product of these racist ideas:
As South Africa erupted into chaos, my thoughts turned to the United States — a great country brought low by the same toxic and demented racial politics that set afire my homeland last week. … The overarching truth is that an idea pushed South Africa to the brink. You guys know this idea, because it animates the sermons of critical race theorists trying to force you to take the knee and atone for your supposed sins. I am going to call it the Beautiful Idea, because it is beautiful in a way — but also dangerous. … The Beautiful Idea holds that all humans are born with identical gifts and should turn out to be clones of one another in a just society. Conversely, any situation in which disparity survives is in itself proof of injustice. This is the line promoted by CRT pundit Ibram X. Kendi, who blames all racial disparities on racist policies.
Welcome to today’s America. But despite lagging behind America on ending apartheid, South Africa is now ahead in surmounting this failed ideology — because it already failed miserably there, at the expense of those it purported to rescue from a nonexistent bias:
In the longer term, the economic consequences were devastating. In addition to paying taxes at Scandinavian levels, South African corporations were required to cede large ownership stakes to black partners, whether or not they brought anything to the table besides black skin and connections in high places. Firms were also required to meet racial quotas in hiring and ensure that management was racially representative, meaning roughly 88 percent black. Tendering for government business became increasingly pointless, because contracts were invariably awarded to black-owned firms, even if their prices were double, triple or tenfold. … Investment dried up. Brains drained. The economy stagnated, causing unemployment to surge to 11.4 million today, from 3.3 million in l994. The upshot: utter misery for the underclass, doomed to sit in tin shacks, half-starved, watching the black elite grow fat on the pickings of equity laws and rampant corruption.
Wow, that is exactly how Vermont looks now — elitist carpetbagger black “saviors” with graduate degrees and nasty condemnation flocking to Vermont to opportunistically milk it for some race-dough, while doing nothing at all policy-wise to help anyone. Vermont’s “Executive Director of Racial Equity” plunked down from New York City, and gets big bucks ladling denigration upon white Vermonters and their culture. A growing “equity” ensemble offer nothing but division, violations of existing Equal Protection laws, the racializing of everything under the sun, and taxpayer bills for the “privilege” of hosting their hateful denunciations. When will they tire of flogging innocent people with the race card?
South Africans are already ahead of Americans in rejecting this race-hatred:
And so we come to the moral of this story. It’s a warning about the practical consequences of ideas like those propounded by Kendi and CRT superstar Robin DiAngelo, who in the name of “equity” maintains it is racist to talk of work ethic or to expect all workers to show up on time, regardless of race. … It is exactly these values that have brought South Africa to its knees. We created a society where nothing was expected of blacks save “blackness.” Honor and diligence were not demanded of government appointees. Sloth was tolerated. Failures and corruption went unpunished. Blind pursuit of equity began to achieve its opposite: a staggering equality gap among blacks themselves, with a fortunate few benefitting hugely and the masses sinking into abject misery. … Most black South Africans recognize this. By 2021, only 3 percent of them cited racism as a serious problem, according to a survey by the Institute of Race Relations. The same survey found that 83 percent of black South Africans were in full or partial agreement with the following statement: “Politicians are talking about racism to excuse their own failures.” … I can hear their voices on the radio, clamoring for change. By the sound of it, they want a country where human outcomes are determined by the content of one’s character, not by pigmentation or friends in the ruling party. Martin Luther King would appreciate their message. Kendi & Co. wouldn’t.
Vermonters are “guilty” of the crime of whiteness. The progressives attacking our laws, culture, and people with fabricated evidence and foreign ideologies are peddling a destructive, counter-productive toxicity that will fail as miserably in the Green Mountains as it has in South Africa. The only question is how much harm will be inflicted before it dies, and how Vermont will begin to heal not from the legacy of a slavery it never had, but from an attempted present-day racist ideology that all sound minds reject as evil.
John Klar is an attorney and farmer residing in Brookfield. © Copyright True North Reports 2022. All rights reserved.
4 thoughts on “John Klar: South Africa, Vermont and social justice”
South Africa never had a history of the black majority oppressing the white minority, while we have a history of the white majority oppressing the black minority. So, the two are not comparable in the way you propose.
Quite hard to draw comparisons between racism in the two countries. If we had the same black/white ratio as South Africa, we’d have 267,000,000 Blacks and 53,000,000 whites.
I think that makes it very easy and important to draw comparisons. Using your numbers, does that mean that whites would then be the oppressed minority; that only blacks would be capable of racism; and that laws should be enacted to transfer wealth from black people to white? That would be the conclusion of social justice “theory” was applied to South Africa (yes, there is slavery and apartheid — but social justice theory falsely claims that all majorities always oppress minorities, and extends beyond race to gender, sexual orientation, etc.).
John, well stated and your points are right on, too bad these social justice warriors will
never understand or comprehend………….
They are flying at night with their eyes closed, they will crash eventually!!
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