Columns 3.11.2017 05:35 am

Kudos to those who supported the #BlackMonday protests

Supporters of the #BlackMonday picket along Hendrik Potgieter Road, 30 October 2017, as they protest against farm murders. Picture: Michel Bega

Supporters of the #BlackMonday picket along Hendrik Potgieter Road, 30 October 2017, as they protest against farm murders. Picture: Michel Bega

Farm murders are bad enough in all their gory detail to be incited further by fake news peddlers.

Boerehaat is real. The plethora of antagonistic Facebook messages posted by perfectly decent human beings against farmers reveal that the milk of human kindness runs rather low in South Africa.

We have become callous and inhumane. Kudos to those who openly and unapologetically declared their support for the protest. As for those who make boerhaat a national sport, shame on you for invoking the national crime rate to justify doing nothing.

Shockingly, the venom is reserved for Afrikaans-speaking farmers, while English-speaking farmers are let off the hook. The question is, why? But that is a topic for another day.

No other profession is racialised as much as the farmer. Doctors, lawyers, company executives, mining bosses, teachers, nurses – none is vilified and hated as much as farmers.

Yet, there is no profession that does as much for the nation. Many provide housing, schools, clinics and social welfare services for their employees that other employers don’t.

The reason why farmers are vilified so much has to do with the notion of land dispossession. Viewed monolithically, the farmer equals the Afrikaners, who stole the land, kicked the volk off the land and became rich through farming.

To boot, the derogatory translation of Afrikaner is Boer, often conflated with boer, the farmer, hence the justification for the murder of farmers.

Farm murders are bad enough in all their gory detail to be incited further by fake news peddlers.

A tweet doing the rounds, posted by eNCA journalist Nickolaus Bauer, is as shocking as it is disgusting as the protesters who wear T-shirts bearing the slogan “Kill all whites”.

He posted a picture of people waving the old flag across a bridge, implying that die-hard racists therefore need no support.

When the photographer pointed out that the photo had nothing to do with the Black Monday protests, Bauer arrogantly apologised, claiming that: “These images did not come from today’s march. I have severely erred in sharing them. However, the message remains relevant.”

Thank goodness eNCA immediately disciplined him. But the damage was done.

Condemnation of farmers who haul out the old flag is as much a criticism of them as it is of us. They are not the problem.

We are, for allowing such heinous atrocities against farmers to continue unabated in a state that is based on the rule of law, human rights and that guarantees freedom and security of the person.

Yes, farmers are people, too, and need protection. And those self-righteous twats, who now invoke the fact that crime is all-pervasive, have done nothing to date to stem the tide, yet bleat against those want to tackle farm murders.

We must be careful not to generalise about farm murders under the rubric that crime is democratically spread across the country. Sector-based policing is the best strategy to beat crime.

Corrective rape needs a different strategy to sexual harassment; robbery needs a different strategy to assault; gang violence needs a different strategy to farm murders – otherwise we achieve nothing with a one-size-fits-all approach.

FILE PICTURE: Rhoda Kadalie, anti-apartheid activist.

FILE PICTURE: Rhoda Kadalie, anti-apartheid activist.

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