Journalist David Bullard has been fired from the Sunday Times after writing an article which reeked of “extreme 19th century racism” , according to editor Mondli Makhanya.
He wrote: “There are no roads because no roads are needed because there are no cars. It’s 2008 and no one has taken the slightest interest in South Africa, apart from a handful of botanists and zoologists who reckon that the country’s flora and fauna rank as one of the largest unspoilt areas in a polluted world.
Bullard describes how, never having been exposed to “the sinful ways of the West”, the various tribes of South Africa live healthy and peaceful lives, “only occasionally indulging in a bit of ethnic cleansing”.
“They live in single-storey huts arranged to catch most of the day’s sunshine and their animals are kept nearby.
“The dreaded internet doesn’t exist in South Africa and cellphone companies have laughed off any hope of interesting the inhabitants in talking expensively into a piece of black plastic.
“There are no unsightly shopping malls selling expensive goods made by Asian slave workers and consequently there are no newspapers or magazines carrying articles comparing the relative merits of ladies’ handbags.
Bullard writes: “Life is, on the whole, pretty good, but there is something vital missing. Fire has been discovered and the development of the wheel is coming on nicely, but the tribal elders are still aware of some essential happiness ingredient they still need to discover.
“Then something happens that will change this undisturbed South Africa forever.
“Huge metal ships land on the coast and big metal flying birds are sent to explore the sparsely populated hinterland.
“They are full of men from a place called China and they are looking for coal, metal, oil, platinum, farmland, fresh water and cheap labour and lots of it.
“Suddenly, the indigenous population realise what they have been missing all along: someone to blame.
“At last their prayers have been answered,” the column ends.
Now, granted that I’ve become what some people would refer to as ‘fairly radicalised’ (thank you, Derrick Jensen!) in my thinking lately, but when I read the above for the first time yesterday I totally failed to be subverted to a Racist Agenda.
Rather, I had thoughts of tribes of people with enough intelligence not to plunder, dig up, rape and despoil their own land by means of tarmac, gold mining, radioactive substance abuse and intensive monocrop farming; tribes who limited their population growth to what the land could provide for; tribes whose air and water was free of chemical effluent and microwaves.Tribes who, in other words, could have lived sustainably on their landbase for thousands of years.
I don’t know about you, but this points to a form of real intelligence in my mind.
Instead, as Bullard points out, they were colonised by all the ‘advantages’ of Western civilisation, and today my average Black compatriot is as keen as her White counterpart(or Coloured, Indian, Malay – we have gradations of colour in South Africa, none of your Black and White for us) to show off her status in a huge 4X4, a million Rand townhouse built on the remains of a wetland, and in the ownership of copious amounts of electronic gadgetry. All of which, she has come to believe, make her an intelligent, modern, affluent citizen of Africa.
Ah yes- that word ‘citizen’ is key. A member (or rather, a slavish adherent in most cases) of civilization. People bearing that label behave as if it’s something to be proud of.
The loud cries of racism following the publishing of Bullard’s column came mostly from Black citizens. They seem to think that the state they abode in before the arrival of the European must be denied at all costs, even to a rewriting of history in some cases.
For myself, I would be proud to have come from such a culture. And Put a Sock in it to those White Supremacists who cite the ‘backwardness’ of pre-colonial Blacks as something to crow over, something to prove their own inherent higher intelligence.
It doesn’t, you know. It just proves your inherent greed, un-trustworthiness, empire-building ability and lack of concern for the very planet which created you.
Not something I’m particularly keen to show off.
Unshackle Thy Minds, my fellow South Africans (and all the rest of you, too)!
This civilisation has caused nothing but grief, taken in its totality – from slavery of the body to slavery of the thoughts.You have nothing to lose but your Chains.
Pic:Who What Where Copyright Olga Spiegel, a most beautiful entheogenic artist.