The History Factsheet
— In my dealings with well-meaning folks all across North America, I find that many simply do not know even the most basic historical facts about South Africa. In fact, I find that many South Africans don’t. Actually, I doubt whether a single Black South African knows these basics anymore, given the intense brainwashing they have been subjected to by the ANC government for a quarter of a century. In fact, an entire generation has now been raised on lies and racist propaganda. The most extreme of anti-white racism is not coming from elderly Black folks who had to live with apartheid. It is coming from clueless young Black people raised on this ANC diet of racist lies.
The attitudes in North America are built strongly on the History of Race in the United States. And this is exactly where the greatest of mistakes are made. Pretty much every single North American I have met simply assumed that the Dutch went to the Cape of Good Hope to catch slaves. They’re not too sure when it happened, but it was “for slaves”. When they find out the Dutch settled the Cape of Good Hope within one generation of New York, they are generally dumbstruck. And there are many facts similar to this that completely take the ground out from under their “outrage”. When they find out that no Black people in South Africa were ever enslaved by any white men from anywhere, they start getting annoyed at whoever told them that junk. When they hear it is the Whites who have slave ancestors, not the Blacks, then their jaws hit the ground. Yet it is true.
Those who care about what is now happening in South Africa need a simple factsheet that they can give to interested people. So, I am sharing today with readers of this Blog that factsheet. I did a presentation at a conference in the United States in the past three weeks and the need for this Factsheet became very clear, and it may be found BELOW and elsewhere in DOWNLOADABLE FORM. These are the facts I presented at that conference, and the response was overwhelming. May I suggest that folks distribute this to those who have a sense of humanity, for matters are coming to a head rapidly in South Africa:
The Drop Dead Important Historical Facts
■ When the Dutch settled the Cape of Good Hope in 1652, the nearest Black people were 700 miles away behind the 350 mm summer rainfall line with its higher rainfall and tall grass for cattle grazing. Their civilization was based on milk, and they invaded from the Northeast, supplanting the indigenous Khoi and San.
■ It took TWO generations (1702) before White met Black in South Africa, 500-600 miles east of Cape Town. It took FIVE generations (1780) before the first major armed clash at roughly the same spot: The Great Fish River.
■ No indigenous Black South African person was ever enslaved by any white man from anywhere. But, Nelson Mandela’s amaXhosa did enslave the amaFengu. Mozambique and Angola were the nearest places the Portuguese traded in slaves. The Portuguese slave routes bypassed the coast of South Africa.
■ It is the White South Africans, not the Black, whose ancestors were slaves of the Dutch. They were often Indian or Indonesian and sometimes Black East- or West African. This White author has a Black West African slave ancestor.
■ The indigenous Cape population were the Khoi and San. As a culture, they were almost completely destroyed by the great Smallpox Epidemic of 1713. Some groups far from Cape Town survived. The author also has Khoi ancestry.
■ Since 1814, the White Afrikaner has had no “right of return” to Europe, unlike the colonial Portuguese, British, or French. Today’s young Afrikaner’s great-great-great-great-great-grandfather was the last man with any right to a life elsewhere.
■ In 1836, wholly deserted by their British overlords, they packed their belongings on their ox-wagons and set off north at 15-20 miles a day on the Great Trek to escape British control. They settled mostly on the higher central Prairie, which was for the greatest part not occupied by any Black People. There they created two corn and ranching republics until diamonds and gold were discovered.
■ The Afrikaner was NOT part of Europe’s Late 1800s “Scramble for Africa”; they gave their lives fighting Imperial Britain’s Colonialist Expansion in two wars.
■ The Germans did NOT invent concentration camps. The British created concentration camps for Afrikaners during the Great Boer War of 1899-1902. Of the author’s Booyens family who entered those camps, 57% died there in 1901.
I shall report on the actual conference in a later post. All I wish to say at this time, is that I feel vindicated in my belief in the basic decency and humanity of Americans and in my faith that Black Americans in particular, once they know what is really going on, will rise to the occasion and do the right thing with respect to South Africa.
I have lived the evidence. I wish readers could have seen the faces of a crowd of Americans when they realised that I, the white man from Africa, was the only African-American in the room and that their Black countrymen were really Black Americans; Americans who just so happen to be Black.
Furthermore, I shall go to my grave believing that the key to the future of South Africa is actually its truthful past; its very real and epic history. South Africa is where Mel Gibson should have gone to get his Braveheart movie story. There never was a need to invent history and add fictional trimmings. He could simply have based the movie on the factual history of South Africa in the 1830s and the real men who made that history.
— Harry Booyens