Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Struggle For Boer Self Determination & Independence Is Not Division

During some of the various posts I have contributed here & elsewhere there have been those who sought to impugn or marginalize the discernment & insight I have gained from the many years I have spent looking into & reading up on the Boer people.
 Westerners often do not realize & even refuse to acknowledge the Boers as a people indigenous to the African landscape who were formed in an era preceding the arrival of the Colonial powers.
 Certain non-White racial Nationalists can not see beyond the general paleness of their skin as though their colour disqualifies them from being a homegrown people tied to the African continent.
 Then there are those who ignore the anthropologically distinct origin of Boers on the Cape frontiers & refuse to recognize the Boers as a distinct entity from the bulk of the macro Afrikaner population.
 The advocating of self determination for an ethic / cultural group is not about "dividing" the said ethnic group from any other related ethnic group but rather about empowering that ethnic group in question.
 All throughout history whenever an ethnic or national group wanted freedom from oppression & to find self determination for itself: they have often had to do so on their own as many others [ even closely related groups ] refused to support them or even wanted freedom for themselves.
 Just as when the Boers were seeking self determination on the Cape frontier & later beyond: the Cape Dutch did not support such moves & refused even to struggle for their own freedom from Colonialism.
 The long standing anti Colonial outlook of the Boers' & their centuries long struggle for self determination has always been one of their most striking & contrasting features when juxtaposed next to the pro Colonial & anti-independence Cape Dutch / Afrikaner population.
 The pro status quo sentiment of the latter & their modern descendents is the consensus outlook within the bulk of the macro Afrikaner population while a significant portion of the Boer descendents have never abandoned their republican & independent outlook nor their long standing desire for self determination.
 While there are of course exceptions to this generalization [ ie: Cape Dutch descendents looking for independence & some pro status quo Boer descendents ] due to basic numbers: the Boers [ & others ] looking for independence will always be outnumbered within the macro Afrikaner designation by those who are not in favour of independence or of secessionist proposals.
 The notion of intermarriage is a moot point because individuals often assimilated into the culture they live among just as no one would dispute that former President Vicente Fox of Mexico is a Mexican despite having an American grand father.
 When the Czechs & Slovaks opted for independence in 1993 no one asserted that they were "diving" the West Slavs because the point of the secession was not division but self determination.
 Czechoslovakia was a macro State which lumped two related but distinct groups together.
 I set out over 15 years ago now to learn about the Boer people in particular [ which by its very nature entails sifting them out from the bulk of the macro Afrikaner population ] & to research their history & the context in which they exist in the modern era.
 The Afrikaner domination of the Boers is a discernible reality which one inevitably will encounter while investigating the topic & can not be ignored for whatever reason as it plays a significant part in the suppression of the Boer people in their continuous efforts at finding self determination.
 The main reason I ever started pointing out the valid distinction of the Boers from the Afrikaners was due to being constantly exposed to Westerners' total ignorance on the topic & their irritating / unjust & continuous erroneous assertions that the Boers were "responsible" for the behaviour & laws which were enacted in the 20th cent by a people who in fact marginalized the actual Boers This ignorant behaviour is tantamount to accusing the Acadians of passing Bill 101.
 [ The French language law in Quebec.
 ] based solely on an erroneous assumption that all French speakers in Canada "must be" Acadian.
 It is evident that many people have a glaring blind spot when it comes to the actual Boer people because a lot of folks make sweeping presumptions based solely on the fact that the folks who ran South Africa in the 20th cent were generally White & Afrikaans speaking & automatically presuming [ or rather jumping to conclusions ] that these White Afrikaans speakers were all descended from the Boers while never once taking the time to discern that this is mathematically impossible as the actual Boer people have always been outnumbered by the erstwhile Cape Dutch: the Afrikaners of the Western Cape who have had a totally different outlook to the Boers who developed on the frontier.
 When I note the Boers as distinct from the bulk of the Afrikaners: I am not trying to "divide" [ as though a marginal blogger such as myself even has the power to do so ] them from anything they do not wish to be divided from [ in fact it is totally their own decision even if they should all wish to remain part of South Africa & hope for the best ] because I am trying to do justice to the actual Boer people & their centuries long just struggle for self determination.
 The problem is that a lot of people forget or do not realize that the Boers have had to struggle not just against the Dutch & British powers in the past for self determination but they have also had to struggle against the Afrikaner power as well.
 The first notable example of this was with the Maritz Rebellion of 1914 but the most blatant example of this was during the 1940s when the drive to restore the Boer Republics was popular among the Boers [ massively so ] & was only stopped because the Afrikaner establishment broke it up fearing it as a threat to their control & even later when Robert van Tonder left the National Party in 1961 in order to advocate for the restoration of the Boer Republics as he felt that they were being betrayed [ 1 ] under Hendrik Verwoerd who created a nominal republic for the macro State of South Africa that exact same year.
 Boervolk Radio Chairman Theuns Cloete noted publicly that key Afrikaner leaders [ even those who were political opponents ] organized & broke the Boer Republican movement of the 1940s down to nothing.
 [ 2 ] Therefore to simply ignore the Afrikaner dynamic in the subversion of the Boer people is to perpetuate a grave injustice against the Boers as the Afrikaner establishment has routinely worked against Boer aspirations of independence & self determination.
 It has been repeatedly observed that the erstwhile Cape Dutch have never had a struggle for freedom.
 This is due to the salient fact that they were often quite content with Colonial rule [ 3 ] & could not understand why anyone would want to be independent from the Colonial powers they admired.
 While the Boers on the other hand have had numerous freedom struggles & have had a strong desire for independence from the start & were formed as a distinct people on the Cape frontier over this independence desire when they trekked out of Colonial society & into the Cape frontier during the late 17th cent & were initially known as Trekboere.
 The Boers therefore have a long history of anti Colonialism.
 A sentiment which eventually led to the establishment of upwards of 17 Boer Republics from 1795 to the late 19th cent.
 When the macro State of South Africa was created & the Boers were subjugated & forced into it: the Boer Republican outlook was soon replaced by the neo empire building of the Afrikaners who institutionalized laws which are often ignorantly blamed on the actual Boer people who had a very minimal role in the implementation of the said laws ergo any conflation of the subjugated Boers with the larger Afrikaners only further perpetuates an injustice against the Boer people who were now under the domination of the Afrikaner network.
 No people anywhere on Earth can ever hope to find authentic self determination if they are forced to be tethered to another ethnic / cultural group [ particularly one which is either unsympathetic to them or might even work against them ] even if they might happen to share a language.
 It is for that reason why there exists separates states / collectivities / provinces for the Germans & Austrians.
 The Serbs & Croats.
 The Romanians & Moldovans.
 The Canadians & the Americans.
 The Quebecois & Acadians.
 Few would tell the Basque people to give up their struggle for self determination just because they are under the Spanish State or have "intermarried" with the Spanish people.
 The only way for the Boers to find self determination is to do so as Boer people because anything else is just a license to dispossess them further under a macro designation which was only ever used in the first place in order to achieve such a goal.
 [ 4 ] Few would assert that the Coloureds are all one nation or not recognize the Cape Malays as a distinct group from the Griquas & recognize that they are both distinct from the macro Coloured population.
 Few would argue that Xhosas & Zulus no longer exist & that they are all one nation.
 Despite their common Nguni origins.
 But for some strange reason there are those who would deny the Boers their distinct nationality & argue that they are not distinct from the bulk of the Afrikaner population.
 When Dixie declared independence no one claimed it was "dividing" the North American English speaker.
 [ The assertion was that it was diving a "union" re: macro State ( which was supposed to be voluntary) but not a monolithic people.
 ] When the various countries of South America were established no one asserted that it was "dividing" the local Spanish speakers.
 Cultural groups are organic & are the result of anthropologically distinct histories.
 The desire of self determination is the natural process of cultural groups to take responsibility for their own well being & to defend themselves from forces which are detrimental to their long term survival.
 The homepage of the old Stop Boer Genocide web site specifically noted that the Boers are a distinct entity from the Afrikaners.
 Therefore no one should have to endue attacks for simply noting what others [ who are more directly related to defending the Boer people ] have already mentioned themselves.
 These attacks only serve to obscure the distinct struggles & history of the Boer people which is probably the whole point of the cavalier attacks in the first place.
 The point of pointing out this valid distinction is not about "dividing" but rather about raising cognizance of the fact that the Boers can not find the self determination that they seek & have been struggling for centuries now so long as they remain under the tutelage of a powerful & well funded Afrikaans speaking network which works hard to keep them on the Afrikaner reservation which works at maintaining the Boers as a colonized people under the suzerainty of the macro State of South Africa & at the mercy of its neo colonial surrogate ruling regime which is in fact tied to the Afrikaner financial [ 5 ] power.
 Not enough generations have passed to have merged the two groups as the different political outlooks between the two are still evident.
 All one has to do is to contrast the sentiments of the mainstream Afrikaans media outlets with that of the actual Boer people.
 Afrikaner academics even use crafty techniques when they assert that the independence outlook of the Boers "is not within the mainstream of Afrikaner thought.
" [ direct quote ] Well no kidding genius because the Boers are only a segment of the macro Afrikaner grouping - ergo even if every single Boer were to stand up & say they want independence [ or even just like the colour blue for that matter ] the Afrikaner academics could still claim that Boer thought "is not within the mainstream of Afrikaner thought" thereby marginalizing them as though they are just some fringe movement that "average" Afrikaners need not pay any attention to.
 Are the anti-Boer neo Afrikaner Nationalists starting to wake up to the danger of the proposed "unity" they seek to propagate? Do they not consider just who will ultimately control such a language based union? Consider also the fact that if White Afrikaans unity becomes such an "important" political goal: then what is to stop the natural progression & calls for White "unity" / South African "unity" / African "unity: / Global "unity"! [ As is already happening ] Notice more dangers to ethnic / national independence? Do not be fooled that you can call for one type of "unity" & be able to refuse the others because as history has clearly shown [ especially in South Africa ] one call for "unity" will only embolden & "legitimize" [ there is the real danger as even the illegitimate macro State of South Africa has an "air of legitimacy" as a result of just such "unity" behaviour ] other calls for "unity" until everyone will be dispossessed of their inherent national [ or folk ] right to self determination.
 Furthermore an eclectic range of personalities & vast array of sources have noted this distinction as well.
 The following notable folks ALL recognize the distinction between Afrikaner & Boer: Theuns Cloete of Boervolk Radio & Boer Separatist / Adriana Stuijt: a Dutch born former South African journalist / the late Robert van Tonder of the Boerestaat Party & founder of Randburg / William McWhirter of Time Magazine / Noel Mostert former Canadian journalist.
 Arthur Kemp former South African policeman / author.
 Fred Rundle long time Boer self determination activist.
 Malcolm & Debbie Wren of Stop Boer Genocide.
 Professor Tobias Louw.
 Frank / John & Peter of the Right Perspective radio program.
 Louis Pepler aka Bok van Blerk & Johann Botha commenting on the De La Rey song.
 [ 6 ] Theuns Cloete notes that: "we are being told that we're Afrikaners & that has been our death".
 The Unrepresented Nations & Peoples organization has accepted the Boers into the organization & separately from the Afrikaners they accepted into the organization prior further demonstrating recognition of the distinction.
 One can propagate the dangerous & insidious meme of "unity" with all Afrikaans speakers all day but what point is there to such a mindless action when such an association will only come to the great detriment of the Boer people [ & anyone attempting to find self determination ] who will be represented by the Afrikaner leadership who are by their very nature totally against any notion of any authentic form of self determination.
 I have tried to understand what possible benefit could ever come from advocating that the Boers must submit or continue to submit to the Afrikaners just for the sake of a dangerous "unity" with the very forces which work so hard at undermining & subverting Boer self determination.
 This act simply makes no sense at all & is suicide for Boer freedom.
 I however do favour unity in the name of Boer independence [ & ethnic / national independence in general ] but one must be careful about simply aligning with everyone just for the sake of increasing numbers when many among those numbers might simply be adamantly opposed to the goal of Boer self determination.
 None other than Paul Kruger himself was rather wary of allowing too many of the Cape Dutch into the ZAR as he felt that they were too influenced by the British [ pro British ] & would work to undermine the independence of the ZAR.
 [ 7 ] Just as their descendents are today too influenced by the current & past South African regimes & could threaten the independence of any future Boer republic.
 I remember reading many years ago an informative article on this from a Radio Pretoria news commentary or from another Boer news service website about the danger of a mindless Afrikaner union which noted that the Boers who seek independence must be careful about the non-Boer descended Afrikaners who could be the "albatross" [ their word ] around the neck of the Boer Nation in any reconstituted Boer Republic because they would naturally undermine Boer traditions & would agitate towards the inclusion of all & any other surrounding cultures into the new republic.
 Therefore the call for this sort of dangerous "unity" is not all that different from the folks who call for a "unity" of all of the peoples of South Africa because in the end the right to ethnic & cultural self determination will be conquered in the face of the union as the majority of the folks within such a union will not favour such self determination.
 Theuns Cloete of Boervolk Radio has noted that the Afrikaner financial elite are adamantly opposed to Boer independence & spend lots of money against it & that they would not want to live in a Boer republic because "they do not accept that they are Boers" [ as Cloete noted ] & would be forced to go back to the Cape & Natal.
 Therefore to those who falsely accuse [ or rather to the individual who has ] please cease with the shortsighted & erroneous allegation that any recognition of Boers as distinct from the bulk of the Afrikaners is "divisive" when in fact any ignorance to or dismissal of such an inherent & documented distinction is dangerous to the cause of Boer self determination.
 Because the Afrikaner political elite KNOW that Boers are a distinct entity from themselves & work hard & have worked hard in the past at preventing the Boer from reclaiming their self determination.
 Just remember that the term Afrikaner is a macro term / label which was applied to all Afrikaans speakers & includes two main ethnicities / cultural groups within the White population in the same way the term Coloured includes numerous ethnicities / cultural groups.
 The term Afrikaner just means African therefore everyone in Africa is an Afrikaner therefore this term spells even more trouble for those of Boer descent [ & even Cape Dutch ] as it has the potential to dispossess them even further as more & more ethnicities claim the Afrikaner designation.
 Robert van Tonder Dies.
 Quote: [ Van Tonder broke away from the National Party in 1961 because of what he described as its betrayal of the old Boer republics.
 ] 2.
 Vervoerd was not a friend of the Boer Nation.
 Cecil Rhodes & The Cape Afrikaners.
 Mordechai Tamarkin.
 Who Are The Boers.
 From Arthur Kemp.
 Quote: [ 7.
 The Afrikaners.
 Thus at the time of the ending of the Second Anglo Boer War, there were three distinct ethnic groupings amongst the broad White population of South Africa : (i) the internationally recognized and indigenous Boer people; (ii) the Cape Dutch Settlers, loyal to the British Empire ; and (iii) the British settlers, also loyal to the British Empire .
 The British Empire realized that it had to bring the Boers under control for once and for all, and therefore devised a plan to neutralize the Boer Republics - a plan to make them join up with the other two White segments of their colonies in South Africa .
 The British masters of Southern Africa therefore engineered the National Convention of 1908, which saw the creation of the Union of South Africa.
 This union consisted of the former Cape Colony , the Natal colony, and the two former Boer Republics .
 This union was not merely a geographic convenience, but a deliberate plan to try and destroy the independence minded Boers by mingling them with the Cape Dutch and British settlers.
 It is worth noting that the British Empire used their technique in other parts of Africa as well - reference can be made to the short lived federation of Nyasaland ( Malawi ); Northern Rhodesia ( Zambia ); and Southern Rhodesia ( Zimbabwe ) to name but one.
 The prime representative of the British Empire in South Africa , Sir Alfred Milner, put it this way: "The new tactic (to subjugate the Boers) must be to consolidate the different areas of British South Africa into one nation.
 Although unification will initially put the Boers into political control of the entire South Africa , it will, ironically, eventually lead to their final downfall.
" This was of course precisely what happened - but not until a new name had been developed for the new "nation" which Milner spoke about.
 They could not continue to call the new nation a "Boer" state, because the Boers had been subjugated.
 They could not call it a " Cape Dutch " state, as the Dutch colonialists were now British colonialists, and they could not call it a British state, for obvious reasons.
 The answer then was to give a general term to all the White inhabitants of the new union - "Afrikaners".
 Although the word originally meant "African" it as politicized by a group of Western Cape Dutch propagandists under one SJ du Toit in 1880 (the same year the Boers in the Transvaal took up arms to fight the British colonialists) in literature of the time.
 It was then decided to try and blend the Boers into the Cape Dutch and British populations by calling them all Afrikaners instead of referring to their real cultural bases.
 This then is how the world began to hear of "Afrikaners" - although only 80 years ago there was no such word in the international vocabular.
 That the concept of an Afrikaner is all embracing is underlined by the fact that in 1998 the former Afrikaner Broederbond (now called the Afrikaner Bond) announced that it classified all those sharing a broad Afrikanerism to be Afrikaners - to this end they acknowledged that many Cape Coloureds, who speak Afrikaans and who attend a NG Church are Brown Afrikaners.
 In reality they are of course correct.
 This illustrates the difference between Boers and Afrikaners in a very vivid way: A Coloured will readily agree with the definition that he is an Afrikaner, but will emphatically deny being a Boer.
 If Boers and Afrikaners are the same thing, why the differentiation in the view of other groups? By forcing the Boers into the Union of South Africa, the British made them coresponsible for the policy of racial segregation, which had of course been established and legislated by the British colonial government.
 The new "Afrikaners" - in fact a coalition of Cape Dutch , British and some Boers - tried as best they could to come to grips with the racial and geographic legacy left to them from the British colonial times - and it was from this disaster that the policy of Apartheid was developed.
 It is of supreme importance to note here that the Boers were dragged unwillingly into the Union of South Africa - and at the first opportunity which presented itself they tried to extricate themselves by force of arms.
 This was the unsuccessful 1914 Boer rebellion, which ended when some Boer war era generals were killed or imprisoned by the pro-British Union of South Africa government.
 It is a little known fact that the manifesto which was issued by the 1914 Boer rebellion leaders contained as its primary demand the restoration of the Boer republics and the dissolution of the Union of South Africa.
 It is thus unfair of the international world to regard the "Boers" as having been responsible for what happened in South Africa during the second part of the 20th century - the Boers were just as much victims of the colonial powers as were any other indigenous people of Africa .
 Milner's words were true - by forcing the Boers into the Union of South Africa, he was forcing them to be subjugated by the broad South African British colony, and this has led directly to the situation the Boers find themselves in toda.
 ] 5.
 Fred Rundle notes the ANC connection with Sanlam.
 Johann Botha during doc on De La Rey song / video.
 Quote: [ Inside the group calling themselves Afrikaans a smaller group calls themselves Afrikaners and inside that an even smaller group who see themselves as Boere.
 These are not necessarily people with Right Wing political sentiments wearing khaki clothes and who want to shoot wildy at people who look different from him.
 They are people who share a common historic identit.
 ] 7.
 Clare Wyllie interviews Professor Gerrit Schutte.
 Quote: [ In 1880s the real interest developed, with the Boer rebellion.
 From then the Dutch began to consider the Boer Republics something like a Dutch colony - not in a political sense but as having a cultural dependency
 Many Dutch occupied positions in the Transvaal: the preachers in churches were mostly Dutch, about 20 percent of the administration was Dutch, there were hundreds of Dutch schoolmasters and railways in the Transvaal were run by a Dutch compan.
 The Superintendent of Education was Dutch, as was the Secretary of the Interior and Foreign Affairs.
 The Transvaal government made the republic attractive for Dutch people.
 Paul Kruger did not like people from the Cape - he felt they were subjugated by the British, so he encouraged people from the Netherlands to work in the Transvaal as a way to strengthen Boer independence.
 ] Post Script.
 I hope this once & for all sets the record straight concerning this topic.
 Author – Ron, a contributing blogger on historical matters, at iluvsa.