The exploitation and oppression of Black people in South Africa reads like a page out of North American history. The Dutch, who are Europeans from the Netherlands immigrated to South Africa’s, Cape of Good Hope in the 17th and 18th centuries. And like Europeans, who arrived in America, named themselves Americans; Dutch immigrants arriving in Africa named themselves Afrikaners.
In 2011, the South African National Census, counted 2,710,461 White South Africans, who spoke Afrikaans as a first language. Afrikaners are immigrants from Europe, who in 2011, accounted for less than six percent of the population, but owned 70 to 80 percent of the land and wealth. How is this possible?
As the one writing this article, it would seem that the European aristocracy crafted a plan centuries ago that would ensure their ability to accumulate power, wealth, and riches for centuries to come. Their plan was subject to review periodically, allowing it to be modified in order to facilitate and sustain their power, wealth, and quest for riches.
Their plan called for the seizure of all lands, and the subjugation of all non-white people.
European Playbook/African Americans
Dr. Claud Anderson, in his book “Black Labor, White Wealth,” (All Black People Should Read His Book), offers tremendous insight into the mindset and world view of White Europeans and their plan to dominate land and people. Take for example the Constitution of the United States.
The Constitution begins by saying, “We The People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, and establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution of the United States of America.”
Where it says, “And secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity,” history has taught us that this did not apply to Indians, Mexicans, Asians, or Blacks. Therefore, the Constitution was drafted to grant, both implicitly and explicitly, freedom and liberty to themselves; i.e., White Europeans.
The document, called the Constitution, also laid the foundation for the perpetual enslavement of Black people. It was the air in the balloon, wherein black people were dehumanizing black people, classified as capital, a source of free labor, and property belonging to white Europeans.
In 1786, the Constitution writers distributed power to the states; Article I, section 2, allowed southern states to count Black people as three-fifths of a person. Not long thereafter, Congress passed the “Fugitive Slave Act.” It was written to enforce Article 4, Section 2, Clause 3 of the United States Constitution: “No person held to service or labor in one state, under laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in consequence of any law or regulation therein, be discharged from such service or labor, but shall be delivered up on claim of the party to whom such service or labor may be due.”
These two Articles, written into the Constitution make it clear that the Constitution and its writers, serving in the federal government, co-conspired in the enslavement of Black people in America.
The Constitution, like the “Declaration of Independence,” were tools white people used to accumulate power, wealth, and riches. Article 3, of the Constitution, sets out the powers of the Supreme Court; it does not give the Supreme Court power over Congress.
However, in “The Dred Scott Decision,” the Supreme Court concluded that Black had no rights, and henceforth made itself coequal to US Congress, and began issuing rulings that declared congressional acts to aid blacks were unconstitutional.”
Dr. Anderson says, “Supreme Court decisions are based on the Constitution, but since the original intent of the Constitution was to enslave blacks and deny them their humanity, fairness for blacks is impossible.”
The Constitution, approved in 1787, was the stamp on the envelope of racism, dehumanization, and slavery. For more than a century up to that point, European politicians met regularly over the question of Indians, free Black people, and legislation to enslave and oppress them.
By the time the Constitution was ratified, Black people were already excluded from political, social, and economic institutions.
And so, the Constitution, the Supreme Court, and its lower courts legislated the inferiority of Black people, and acting as gods, declared that black people were not considered fully human. Consequently, the legal system in the United States was designed to allow White people to wield power and control over Black people with unabridged impunity.
This microcosmic overview reflects key elements used by Europeans in the proliferation of white supremacy, colonization, and imperialism in their attempted conquest of Africa and its people, i.e., African Diaspora.
In South Africa, Europeans are in the fourth quarter of the game. They made the rules, it is their game, they are the coaches, players, and referees. Many of their plays are taken from the playbook used in the United States.
The writer of this article thinks the game White people are playing should end and be banned forever. The game they are playing destroys communities, human lives, mineral life, animal life, and aquatic life; all too enrich a hand full of people, of which the vast majority are Europeans.
European Playbook/ South Africans
Whether in South Africa, or the United States of America; Black people fought and are still fighting an uphill battle for freedom from economic exclusion, social oppression, and cultural annihilation.
European Americas drafted a playbook for stealing power, wealth, and riches that allowed them to plow up and destroy spiritual, cultural, and tribal mores that have existed for thousands of years.
George Washington, an immigrant, and one of the early presidents of the United States inherited ten slaves at the age of eleven years old, on the death of his father. By the time he died in 1799, there were 317 slaves on his plantation in Mount Vernon, of which 124 he personally owned.
Twelve American presidents owned slaves, all immigrants from Europe or descendants of European families. Eight of those presidents owned slaves while holding office. Top office holders in the United States profited, and accumulated wealth by buying and selling Black people as slaves and forcing them to work on their plantations as slaves.
Reverend Koot Vorster, who was a leader of the Dutch Reformed Church spoke to a group of students in South Africa, in 1941. He said, “Hitler’s book, Mein Kampf, shows the way to greatness; it is the path to greatness. We must follow his example, because only in this way can the Afrikaner nation achieve its calling.
Hitler divides humans into categories based on physical appearance, establishing higher and lower orders or types of humans. At the top was the Germanic man with fair skin, blond hair, and blue eyes. Hitler refers to this person as an Aryan, who he declared was the supreme form of the human race. The master race.
Hitler went on to say that subjugated peoples actually benefit by being conquered because they come in contact with and learned from the superior Aryan race. However, he adds, they only benefit as long as the Aryans remain the absolute master and doesn’t mingle or inter-marry with inferior conquered peoples.
When South Africa became an Apartheid State, vestiges of Hitler’s ideology surfaced. Apartheid advocated apartness, separateness, and distinctness; it “ensure the natural rights of whites to land ownership and to supreme rulership in a South Africa composed of distinct races, where the supremacy of white interest over all others would remain unquestioned.”
The National Party, while not siding with Hitler in World War ll, crafted and legalized similar ideological views. One is the belief in a pure race of white people in power.
In 1949, the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act was passed, and in 1950, the Population Registration Act was passed; it classified everyone in South Africa according to race. Also, the Immorality Act was passed in 1950, which outlawed white men from having sex with black women.
In their quest to own the best land, and access the countries rich resources, Afrikaners destroyed Black settlements and replaced them with white neighborhoods, roads, schools, and commercial zones.
Johannesburg, Sophiatown as well as Martindale and Newclare, were places where Black people made their homes; these places were ripe with culture, music, family, and community life. There were about eight thousand black people living in those townships when they were destroyed by bulldozers.
European Afrikaners had superior weapons, while Blacks had no weapons at all. Thus, the power of the bullet and the quest of a pure and powerful white race became the nemesis of all Black people living in South Africa.
Black people were violently displaced, scattered, and left to create a way of life for themselves in slums. Poverty, congestion, chaos; starvation, endemic typhus, and chronic scurvy all facilitated poor health; paralyzing any hope of progress for Black people.
Life in the slums of South Africa is similar to life in the slums in the United States. In Harlem, black people; men, women, and children were violently discouraged from competing with whites for education and earning wages.
Harlem gave meaning to the word slum; to live in Harlem was to exist amid starvation, disease, and filth. People competed with dogs, cats, and rats for rotten food sitting out in trash cans. And they competed with those same dogs, cats, and rats for a place to sleep at night.
Whether using themes from Hitler’s book, “Mein Kampf,”, or running plays from America’s playbook, politicians in South Africa created and enforced laws, policies, and statues that denied Black people human rights in their own country.
As the Southern states of America recovered from the Civil War, they brokered deals with Northern states that gave birth to Jim Crow. Jim Crow was the parent, and segregation was the child. American Blacks, like in South African Blacks, were treated like sub-humans in the country wherein they were born, the country they built from the ground up.
Jim Crow was just another name for slavery; another name for Apartheid. Jim Crow was synonymous with rape, lynching, being riddled with bullets, set on fire, and burned to death by white people.
By 1930, white people in the North, like those in the South enforced the same policies. “No jobs for Niggers until every white man has a job!” “Niggers, back to the cotton fields, city jobs are for whites.” “Blacks Will Not Replace Us,”
European whites designed laws, statutes, codes, and policies to support white supremacy and privilege. These same laws enabled whites to exclude black people from all aspects of life and literally terrorize them in order to keep them in their place.
US Restrictions in Southern and Northern States:
1. Blacks be socially excluded 2. Banishment for any white woman marrying a Black 3. Reward slaves with freedom for informing on other slaves 4. Forbade and criminalize black-white marriages 5. Impede Blacks from meeting or having a sense of community 6. Forbade Blacks from keeping weapons 7. No Black can testify against a white person 8. Fine or imprisonment for teaching a Black person to read 9. forbid Blacks from voting or attending school 10. Prohibit Blacks from working in reading or writing jobs 11. No Black person allowed to buy a business license 12. Blacks cannot play games with whites 13. Black cannot vote or hold public office.
South African Restrictions:
Racial segregation was enforced in all areas of life; Black political participation was outlawed, Black citizenship revoked, and the entire public sphere, railroads, ticket offices, platforms, subways, bridges, and carriages were all segregated. Signs bearing the ubiquitous phrase “whites only,” were posted in buses, park benches, cinemas, post office counters, churches, restaurants, liquor outlets, swimming pools, and beaches.
Blacks, Overcoming The Shock
Can you imagine some friends coming over to visit, and while you’re sitting around talking, your company says, we like the way your home is decorated. Then, they pull out a handgun and say, “We like this house and have decided to claim it for ourselves. That little dog house you have out back, that is where you will live from now on.” You would probably be in shock.
Something similar to this happened in South Africa. Afrikaners, i.e., Dutch Europeans drafted and passed Land Act of 1913; it appropriated eighty-seven percent of South Africa’s land for the exclusive use of the white minority population.
This was about the same time Jim Crow was in full swing in the United States. Even so, as early as 1912, South African Blacks formed the South African National Congress, which became the African National Congress (ANC in 1921).
Alfred Xuma, James Moroka, Walter Sisulu followed by Nelson Mandela all gave leadership to the ANC. They organized and coordinated resistance using non-violent means to free black people from Apartheid.
They organized, went to jail, and were murdered. The machine of white oppression maintained a close union with murder and killing. On March 21, 1960, there was an incident in Sharpeville, where police opened fire in a crowd, killing sixty-seven people and wounding 186. The majority of the victims were shot in the back.
By the end of 1964, Mandela, Walter Sisulu, and other freedom fighters were serving life sentences on Robben Island. But, resistance continued as other people stepped to keep the fires of freedom burning.
While Mandela and other resistance leaders were in prison Steve Biko was arrested and murdered. Four policemen confessed to his murder; after interrogating and torturing, they repeatedly smashed his head against the wall, fracturing his skull and damaging his brain before driving his blood-soaked naked body in the back of a van for a distance of 750 miles to cover up the crime. Steve Biko, died the following day.
On or about November 21, 1984, Randall Robinson, Executive Director of TransAfrica, Mary Frances Berry, Commissioner of United States Commission on Civil Rights, and other African Americans met with South African Ambassador, Bernardus Gerhardus Fourie at his embassy to highlight human rights abuses in South Africa.
Free South Africa Movement (FSAM), took root in the consciousness of young Black people all over the United States, especially on college campuses and in business offices where Black people were gaining ground. Black people organized throughout the African Diaspora, advocating for the end of Apartheid in South Africa.
In the United States they staged sit-ins and strikes outside the embassy. Freedom fighters fresh from the Civil Rights Movement joined in, encouraging public participation in civil disobedience and demonstration.
Demonstrations by Black people in the United States called for a change in US policy toward South Africa. The governments of the United Kingdom and the United States; led by Margaret Thatcher, Eisenhower, Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and Bush supported Apartheid South Africa. On more than one occasion they vetoed anti-apartheid UN Security Council resolutions.
The Free South Africa Movement is a symbol of Black “Consciousness.” The FSAM, together with the Congressional Black Caucus and people from around the country passed the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act. In doing so, other European countries followed suit by enacting sanctions.
The Free South Africa Movement set a precedent; i.e., Black People, standing together in strength and unity influenced US foreign policy.
Black history is world history; for, the globe has been the home to Black people since the beginning of human history. And while the last millennium saw the rise of racial classification, and the proliferation of white imperialism and colonization, Black people never stopped writing their stories.
Black history represents an unrelenting fight for freedom, justice, and human rights; it is a fight that has never taken a back seat racial hate, bias, and exclusion. Black, in this article, is symbolic of skin color; black skin, dark brown, light brown, khaki or coffee.
The writer of this article honors all black activists and the role they played in the destruction of white supremacy. Africans throughout the African Continent and the African Diaspora sacrificed and organized to garner rights for Black people throughout the world.
Most people in the world are peaceful, loving, kind, gentle, and generous. But when greed and the quest for power and control join together, it creates false narratives. Wonderful human beings, tragically are seen as naive, unsuspecting, defenseless; thus, easy targets for subjugation and exploitation.
The earth is stained with the blood of people needlessly killed by greed and the human desire to be rich and powerful. Even so, from one generation to the next people evolved in their disdain and revulsion of exploitative ideologies. Over and over the fight for human rights has been embraced by young people. They have sacrificed their lives and become ambassadors of freedom, justice, and change.
The history that Europeans would have Black people believe, says that Blacks were cursed; created inferior, and born to be submissive and subservient to an advanced race of White People. This was not true, and the history of the world bears witness to this falsehood.
White supremacy and its system of exploitation is an attack on our common humanity; it fosters hatred, violence, torture, murder; oppression, marginalization, and exploitation. White supremacy is responsible for mass graves all over the world; graves that were filled too soon.
Together, in solidarity and unity; black, white, brown, yellow, red, and white people; people from every nation, tribe, race, and culture must stand as one people. We must stand up for equality, liberty, justice, righteousness, and truth. We must stand in the Spirit of Forgiveness, Reconciliation, and Love.