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Anorak | Can you be white and African? No, says the Guardian, you can’t

Can you be white and African? No, says the Guardian, you can’t

by | 26th, January 2013

PA 6624968 Can you be white and African? No, says the Guardian, you cant

IN his “special report” from Zimbabwe, Jonathan Steele writes in the Guardian that the country is in good health under President Mugabe. He turns to race:

The evidence is contained in Zimbabwe Takes Back Its Land…The authors criticise Mugabe’s economic mismanagement, which led to hyperinflation between 2005 and 2008. It was not the land reform that caused hyperinflation, but bad economic decisions. They say the introduction of the US dollar by the unity government four years ago brought a quicker economic recovery and hence greater benefits for farm producers than anyone expected. They have the courage to criticise Amnesty International for exaggerating the plight of farm workers who were forced off formerly “white” land taken over by Africans, and say that by 2011 the number of people working on resettlement land had increased more th

So. Whites can’t be Africans?

There’s just one final point in this article that I noticed. Steele talks about how “white” farms were invaded by “Africans”. Zimbabwe didn’t permit dual nationality, meaning that the overwhelming majority of white farmers were Zimbabwean citizens. Many have family roots in Africa going back hundreds of years. At what point do they become African? And is Steele happy for the same test to be applied to African immigrants to Europe?

Tim notes:

Mo Farah was Somali born and is now, in the eyes of the law, an Englishman in exactly the same manner that I am. And quite rightly so too. Citizenry is just citizenry and there’s an end to it.

I think we’d all agree that various at The Guardian would sign on to that concept too.

So why does this not apply to Zimbabweans? Why are those of pinkish hue not allowed to own land while those duskier may?

And I’m sorry but we can’t claim “original inhabitants” either. The Bantu are as much a novelty in that part of the world as the Normans are in the UK. Which gives us another comparator: we’re told, repeatedly, that it’s appalling that the descendants of the Norman invaders still own appreciable amounts of land in the UK. So why do we insist that Zimbabwean land must be given to Bantus instead of to Khoi San? After all, they got invaded, murdered and oppressed at about the same time the Anglo Saxons did.

One white farmer told the Telegraph:

“What stung more, though, were the “Go back to Britain” slogans they shouted – meaningless to a man who is in fact of French Huguenot stock, has only ever held a Zimbabwean passport, and has nowhere else to go even if he wanted to. Infuriatingly, the view that he has no longer a citizen of his own country is shared by the black prosecutor who will oversee his trespass case next week, who has described him in previous court appearances as merely a ‘visitor’. I have never viewed myself as anything other than Zimbabwean, and that is what hurts me most. We are not being looked at as citizens of this country, yet my father was born here before Robert Mugabe. What future do we have when you are fighting people of that mentality?”

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10207479 Can you be white and African? No, says the Guardian, you cant
Picture 1 of 26

Chinese buyers assess some of the tobacco being auctioned on the first day of the tobacco selling season in Harare, Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2011. Zimbabwe thrived on tobacco and other farm exports until the government-instigated seizures, often violent, of white-owned commercial farms starting in 2000. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)



Posted: 26th, January 2013 | In: News Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink