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Lives Matter, and the Anti-Issue.

Coen Van Wyk

Posted on August 14, 2020 18:48

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It is not easy, from a distance, to judge the American Black Lives Matter issue, ensuing riots, Antifa actions and anti-Antifa reaction. An African perspective might give some insights, albeit uncomfortable.

I spent a part of my life justifying Apartheid, or at least trying to justify an evolutionary attempt to change it. I still think it was a misrepresented, ill-fated dream of exceptionalism, as all dreams of exceptionalism are, but that is not the point. We were faced by a powerful growing Anti-Apartheid movement, supported by the Comintern of 1930 and various communist and socialist governments thereafter. It was a well-structured organization with structures and communication lines that were frequently tapped by Government security agents. I was told off by an American politician for emphasizing its communist nature. The existence of Apartheid defined its opposition.

The Anti-Apartheid movement did not bring about the end of Apartheid. It was brought down by spontaneous riots, civil disobedience, and lack of support by white voters for an increasingly illegitimate government.

Similarly, the Antifa movement in the USA is defined by the perceived fascist organizations it opposes and the perceived lack of legitimacy of government and society. That the rioting has been enormously costly and insensate is clear. South Africa, too, has had riots against government inefficiency, lack of service delivery and corruption by the politically connected. An elected member of the ruling party was recorded swearing at residents complaining about a lack of water, stating: "I don’t care" among other, more serious insults.

The defining point is that people from a wide range of social strata are increasingly questioning the legitimacy of government.

Service delivery protest, Kraaifontein, Cape Town. Jannica du Plessis, Facebook

The Black Lives Matter phenomenon attracted political attention in South Africa at a time when citizens complained against police cruelty against citizens, but also at a time when attacks on isolated white farmers hit the headlines. A lively White Lives Matter movement quickly sprang up in competition. And while farmers in the Hartswater community protested a particularly cruel triple murder by silently driving their tractors and trucks through the small town, it must be noted that rural crime cut across racial lines.

As society remembers a massacre of mineworkers by police action eight years ago, still today unresolved, perhaps one may conclude, without denying the importance of black lives or white lives, that all lives matter?

Political opposition is an integral element of a system that seeks to resolve differences of opinion through a Parliamentary process. But opposition can be annoying to politicians. A President recently condemned the "machinations of destructive, terrorist opposition groupings" that attempted to destabilize his society. That the woes of his country can largely be ascribed to him and his party seems to escape President Mnangagwa of Zimbabwe.

Terrorist opposition groupings. President of Zimbabwe Emerson Mnangagwa.

Public domain Official photo

Democracy is an instrument to eliminate violence. The perception of denial of an effective voice to people in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Portland, Seattle and elsewhere will lead to disaffected people destroying the symbols of society. 

Coen Van Wyk

Posted on August 14, 2020 18:48

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Source: FOX News

Police in Washington, D.C., say they have taken 41 people into custody overnight after an apparent Black Lives Matter demonstration turned...

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