March 7, 2009

Generals but not Boer Generals.

During the discourse on South African history it is often asserted [ erroneously ] that Boer Generals ran South Africa from the time it was created until the late 1940s but this is a total canard because those asserting such have simply just not looked into the background of the so called "Boer" Generals. Louis Botha was a Boer but both JBM Hertzog & Jan Smuts were not Boers as they were not from the Boer communities but were from the Cape Dutch community of the Western Cape long before they moved into the then Boer Republics & later fought as Generals on the Boer side. A lot of different nationalities from around the world fought on the side of the Boer Republics but this does not then mean that they were "Boer" combatants. This is an important point because as they were both part of the Cape Dutch people: they brought THEIR worldview to the table when in power & not that of the conquered & subjugated Boers. Louis Botha was the only actual Boer General who ever ran South Africa - though he too did so on behalf of the British & Cape Dutch power.

Verwoerd was not a Friend of the Boer Nation.

The following is the video version of the previous post.

During an interview with the Right Perspective radio program: Theuns Cloete of Boervolk Radio noted that the Dutch born architect of the Separate Development phase of the Apartheid laws: Hendrik Verwoerd was not a friend of the Boer Nation as he was interested in amalgamating the region under an economic sphere & scuppered the restoration of the Boer Republics.

The Boers Were Not Racial Imperialists.

During the course of the 20th cent a number of mythologies were promoted recasting the humble insular Boers as neo-imperialists driven by a racial based worldview when in fact the Boers were always anti-imperial [ hence the root of their republicanism ] & were often in alliances with other local tribes or groups. While many Boers of the era could be considered to have had paternalistic racial views they were far from the racial chauvinists in the western sense as sometimes depicted. The following is a relevant excerpt from Colonial South Africa & the Origins of the Racial Order.

    Throughout the subsequent decades, it was (very anti-humanitarian) British settlers, and not Boers, who developed a rhetoric of racial and cultural superiority to justify ongoing imperial subversion of the Xhosa. Boers increasingly resented this imperial militarization of the frontier districts, proved unwilling military conscripts, and even on occasion showed some fellow feelings towards the African Chiefdoms. Certainly when new frontiers of imperial aggression were opened up north of the Orange during the brief period of British rule there at mid century, Boer and Sotho were to throw in their lot together quite openly at crucial junctures against the British presence.

    But the Trek cannot be said to have been motivated by a desire to conquer and subjugate. If anything, as that prominent (Boer) frontiersman born and bred, Andries Stockenström, pointed out, Boers were indifferent, if not hostile, to the acquisitive machinations of British settlers and rogue governors bent on military expansion. As Stockenström wrote, ' The theory which makes the black irreclaimable savages, fir only to be exterminated, like the wolves, was not of Boer origin' - implying ( correctly ) that explicitly racist notions about the Xhosa and other African peoples were a British innovation.

    The predominant ideology of the colonial frontier was thus decidedly predicated on the ideal of racial exclusiveness. But this did not imply that subjugation of the great mass of African farming peoples encountered beyond the Khoisan frontiers was either a practical possibility or even a desired ideal. This is were the earlier liberal interpretation breaks down. The power, the desire, the need to impose racial supremacy on a sub continental scale at the level of the state and its institutions was an impulse that had other origins at other historical junctures. White supremacy as a total system of hegemony and subjugation grew from the centers of power - meaning (in the main) centers of imperial power - outwards, and not the other way round. It was not on isolated frontiers that such an ideal took root.

From the author Timothy Keegan. Chapter: Dutch Beginnings: pages 35 & 36.

This salient fact contradicts the erroneous assertion often made that the Boers were somehow responsible for the institutionalization of racial policies which later emerged under the British controlled macro State of South Africa which in fact marginalized the actual Boer people in the process as they were now just a minority section of the general macro White population.

Racism of Boers was Paternalistic not Chauvinistic.

Westerners have often erroneously presumed that the Boers are racial chauvinists [ due mainly from the decades long propaganda of their British & other enemies ] when in fact they are not. This was even pointed out by non other than a left leaning Afrikaans blogger named Wessels at his Mhambi blog of which one of his articles on the topic is re-posted below. The paternalistic racism of some Boers is not in the same league as the harsh chauvinistic form of Western racism which often gets overlooked in the West.

    December 23, 2006.

    Myths and misunderstandings: South African white racism.

    Mhambi is regularly struck at how the British (and probably most Westerners) misunderstand South Africa racism. I just started a new job, and over a boozy Chistmas lunch, a new colleague told me of his lovely visit to South African shores.

    He had a lovely time but was gob smacked when he visited Sun City, playing a round of Golf on the famous course. It was not the fact that there are real crocodiles in the water hazards that shocked him. It was a sign "No caddies past this point" - on the border of a crocodile infested pit.

    For a start he did not use a caddie, that smacking too much of white-michief-type colonialism. In South Africa caddies are almost exclusively black. But the sign left him incredulous. "How could this racist sign still be up there, a few years after apartheid ended??" he asked me, clearly exasperated.

    Mhambi gave a well practised sheepish laugh. What to say? First off, I was not sure he and I saw it the same way. I certainly was not shocked.

    I deduced that he must think that white golf players send their caddies into crocodile infested pits to fetch their racist bwanas balls - hence the sign. And then he said as much. "How racist is that?!!" he asked rhetorically.

    I laughed even more, now my embarrassment was tinged with sadness.

    To me one could detect signs of racism in the sign, but of a different ilk to the one that had just been spotted and caused such disgust.

    The sign was directed at caddies, and not players who commanded them. The caddies were not mere automatons with no power to decide where they could go.

    In fact, the caddies probably scour the golf course on their own for abandoned balls, to sell them at a discount to players.

    They have a reckless disregard for the dangers of this particular course - hence the sign. That's how I saw it, and I'm pretty sure I'm right. But I kept this to myself.

    But my colleague can just not imagine that a caddie would want to try and get a ball in such a dangerous place.

    The Sun City golf course management and myself could. But for him, it was easy to imagine whitey golfers sending powerless caddies to their deaths.

    Does this misunderstanding tell us anything more profound?

    Yes. White South African racism, and in particular Afrikaans racism is of a paternalistic kind: It's a - our blacks that we can't trust to look after themselves - kind of racism. That is the racism this signs speaks of, and it is often mistaken for another more BNP / National Front / Klu Klux Clan - Western kind of racism.

    Does it matter? Of course. Any lawyer will tell you that the intention of an offender is essential in determining the severity of the crime.

Article found at this link. From: the Mhambi blog.

The Dialect of the Boers was Removed.

The dialect of Afrikaans as developed by the Boers has not been in official use since the early part of the 20th cent due to the fact that it was removed from the public sphere around 1921 including from the Parliament. Theuns Cloete of Boerevolk Radio noted this during an interview with The Right Perspective shortwave / internet radio program in December of 2007. Historians have classified the dialect spoken by the Boers as Eastern Border Afrikaans which was named after the eastern Cape region where the Boers & this dialect of Afrikaans developed. It is also interesting to note that the Boers did not give the name Afrikaans to the general / macro lingua franca language of the general southern western African region as the term Afrikaans was originally given to this language [ of which there are numerous dialects & spoken by numerous groups ] by the Cape Dutch intellectuals [ who started the propagation of the term Afrikaner stemming from the laguage ] of 1875 who started a language rights movement in order to get the language official recognition as a distinct language at a time when most of the Boers were independent in their internationally recognized Boer Republics & only ever referred to their Afrikaans dialect as "die taal" [ the language ] or Boeretaal. Update: A number of Boers today even call their dialect Boeraans since Afrikaans is the name of a general language with numerous dialects spoken by a diverse array of groups & the largest segment of White Afrikaans speakers are those from the Cape Dutch. 

This further demonstrates a difference in dialect with that as spoken by the Cape Dutch of the Western Cape. This article from the Times on the Boer Diaspora living in Argentina - who have been there since 1903 descendets of Bitterenders who did not want to live under British domination - notes that the Boers there speak an "older form of Afrikaans" when in fact the correct interpretation is that they speak the unadulterated Boer version as their language was unaffected by the political changes taking place in the then new macro State of South Africa which was inherited by the more numerous Cape Dutch & the consequent predominance of their Afrikaans dialect.

Westerners often have a one dimensional view of Afrikaans & often even view it as a colonial export when in fact the language is a homegrown product of many diverse influences which took shape entirely on African soil when the various people brought there by the VOC from Europe & Asia [ who were brought as slaves ] developed a lingua franca out of necessity in order to communicate among themselves. While Afrikaans did develop from the High Dutch dialect [ not form Netherlands Dutch ] spoken by the Germanic peoples of northern Europe [ mainly in modern day Germany & Denmark ] who were sent to the Cape as servants of the VOC: strong influences from Malay / Portuguese / French / German & Khoi have shaped it into a distinct language of its own with a number of various dialects some of which have died out. There are 3 main dialects of Afrikaans. West Cape Afrikaans spoken in the Western Cape / Northern Cape Afrikaans - of which Orange River Afrikaans is a part of - spoken by the Griquas & the remaining Khoisan people / Eastern Cape Afrikaans spoken by the Boers of the eastern Cape frontier & their descendents. The Boer dialect of Afrikaans has not quite disappeared but was overshadowed by the Cape Dutch originated dialect.