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“Every action has an equal but opposite reaction” – Sir Isaac Newton
In life, actions (physical or otherwise) also have reactions. Somehow, an unknown number of actions, reactions and re-reactions got us to where we are today, causing this RedOctober march, the allegations of white genocide and outrage over farm murders. A large section of social media describes these activists and supporters as racists, without questioning how we got to this point. I’ll attempt to apply Stephen Covey’s 5th Habit of Highly Successful People, “Seek first to understand, then to be understood”, so doing some research before shouting insults and proclaiming these people to be racists.
I’ve written numerous articles about crime on this country, so I’ve done a lot of research. Hopefully all the readers will know that we are the crime capital of the world. If you need reminding, here’s our wall of shame, 1994 to 2012:
376,627 reported murders (57 per day)
597,900 reported homicides (91 per day)
443,551 reported attempted murders (67 per day)
4,175,178 reported serious assaults (635 per day)
1,111,425 reported rapes (169 per day)
22,228,500 estimated rapes (3,383 per day)
Our crime is at crisis levels, no doubt, and with these high levels it’s impossible that every region, race, sex, group, religion etc is not affected.
Hate crime vs normal crime
It seems that a large number of RedOctober detractors are using the “crime affects all” reasoning for shooting down RedOctober. With the extreme levels of crime in our country it would be easy for hate crime to be hidden in the enormous sea of crime that taking place. Taking this “crime affects us all” approach would mean denying the existence of hate crime, which is absurd. Besides the fact that hate crime is difficult to identify, quantify and prove there is an obvious difference between hate crime and normal crime. The latter lacks the element of hatred by the perpetrator(s) towards the victim(s) and the level of violence is often exaggerated. I never really thought about how the psychological effects would vary, so I did some research. According to research, hate crimes have more serious psychological effects than other crime. Also, survivors of hate crime show more signs of psychological distress than survivors of non-biased crime and this distress was found to last longer in hate crime survivors due to the fact that the crime leaves lasting feelings of personal danger and vulnerability associated with their identity. A high level of outrage would thus make sense, as members of the victim’s group would feel this same personal danger and vulnerability that the victim felt.
So we’ve seen outrage by Afrikaner groups over social media, we’ve seen the RedOctober march taking place, all against farm murders in particular. While these Afrikaners may speak a different language to us, be a different colour to the majority of the country, have different interests and cultures, they are not immune to the same feelings of vulnerability and persecution that all other groups affected by hate crimes feel. In other words, they are also human. The next big question would then be: Are these feelings of vulnerability and persecution, which is causing their reaction of outrage, justified or merely perceived?
These activists present a long list (thousands) of victims murdered on their farms in interracial murders, and they claim that the murder rate on farms is far higher than the national average. Now without going into the actual numbers, because I feel they are irrelevant for purposes of this discussion, I’d like to make a few points:
A number like this can create a perception
The aggravating circumstances surrounding these attacks strengthens the perception
However, proving hate crime on an individual basis is near impossible, as will be further discussed in the next paragraph, which can strengthen critics’ claims that the perception is false
Proving and prosecuting hate crime
South Africa is set to bring into law the Hate Crimes Bill in 2014. Long overdue to say the least, the Bill is set to address how hate crime is tried and prosecuted. What may be a first for our country is old news for many first world countries like the USA, which has several hate crimes statutes. But even with all their legislation, they have serious challenges in proving that a crime is hate crime, especially proving racial motives. The (US) Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology contains a discussion as to why this difficulty exists, and these same reasons are relevant in our context.
“The fact that an individual’s motive lies peculiarly within his or her knowledge undermines the ability of prosecutors and plaintiffs to prove racist motives in hate crimes cases”
So without the accused’s own admission, it is virtually impossible to prove hate crime. Prosecutors will have to rely on circumstantial evidence. Other difficulties in proving motive are:
“Inferences about motive which are drawn from circumstantial evidence may be highly inaccurate given the inherent ambiguity of motive itself” – The defendant may have acted out of paranoia rather than racism
“Multiple motives may impel an individual to act” – The defendant may claim that he or she acted out of some other motivation
To sum up the document: “Prosecutors often find it impossible to demonstrate by proof beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused acted out of racist motives”. These are the exact same problems that RedOctober activists like Steve Hofmeyr face when pushing their cause, and the exact same problem our courts will face when the Hate Crimes Bill comes into force.
There are cases that pop up which are undoubtedly hate crime such as the Rawstorne family murder by William Kekana, who testified that he brutally wiped out the family “because they were white”, or the Lotter women murders where the perpetrators left behind their motive, “Kill the Boer” daubed in the victims’ blood. These cases further strengthen the perception that many other farm murders have a racial motive behind them but these cases are generally ignored by critics. Activists thus have an uphill battle to prove hate crime when motive is so difficult to prove for the vast majority of cases. But although the motives behind hate crime are almost impossible to prove in court, it is very successfully proven outside of court.
The media and social media commentators (SMC’s)
In most cases of interracial violence and cases involving violence against minorities, the media and SMC’s are quick to attach a motive to the crime, classifying the crime as a hate crime. These accusations are deemed to be true by consumers as if the motive was actually proven in a court of law. Also, the media and SMC’s tend to be very inconsistent when classifying crimes as hate crimes, creating the impression amongst some that they are biased or trying to censor. To give an example:
A recent case of a horrific rape and murder of a lesbian. The media and SMC’s immediately classified the crime as a corrective rape hate crime, although no anti-gay motive was obtained from the perpetrator. The motive was assumed because the victim was lesbian and due to the aggravating circumstances.
A recent case of a brutal torture and murder of an elderly farm couple. Although this was an interracial crime and aggravating circumstances existed, the media and SMC’s declined to attach a racial motive to the crime.
When the latter is called a “racist farm murder” or “white genocide”, critics are quick to claim “crime affects all”, “we have a high murder rate so obviously these farmers will be murdered” and “farmers are more vulnerable because they are isolated” etc. Then why is it that when a lesbian is raped it’s called “corrective rape”? Doesn’t “crime affect us all”? When we have over 3000 rapes per day isn’t it obvious that lesbians will also be victims of rape? Are lesbians not vulnerable because men are usually more powerful and often hunt their victims in packs? Yet both cases are not treated the same.
Pure double standards in my book and most probably one of the reasons why the likes of Steve Hofmeyr go to extreme lengths to protest and create awareness regarding farm murders and white genocide.
Just to touch on the main misconceptions about genocide:
Numbers don’t matter. According to the definition of genocide, “an individual criminal may be guilty of genocide even if he kills only one person, so long as he knew he was participating in a larger plan to destroy the group [or part of a group]”.
It only takes ONE individual to kill ONE person, if that individual knew he was participating in a larger plan to destroy the people. That means that if only ONE individual interprets a statement like “Shoot the Boer” by his commander and chief for instance, to be an order to commit genocide and acts on it, that individual will be guilty of committing genocide, plain and simple.
There are indicators that genocide could be happening on a larger scale, for example, widespread rape, torture and executions of Afrikaners on their farms, with perpetrators stealing few or no valuables. However the existence of an organised plan to commit genocide is unknown and will be extremely difficult to prove. Regardless, individuals can be perpetrators of genocide by definition. In the two cases I mentioned before, the Rawstorne family and the Lotters, it can easily be debated that these are cases of genocide. After a healthy debate, you will at best prove that these cases are racist hate crimes, which I’m afraid is not much worse than genocide.
There are a high number of Afrikaners being murdered on their farms. Often there is rape and torture involved and in many cases nothing is stolen. There are numerous death threats posted on Facebook, Twitter and even at political rallies, mostly directed at this group. On top of this, there are cases where the racist motive cannot be denied. Although few of these cases exist, they further strengthen the perception that farm murders in general are racially motivated and that white genocide may exist. There is clear evidence for the Afrikaner minority group to feel vulnerable and threatened and it appears that their fears and outrage of unjustly treated by the media, social media commentators and even the government. Besides the compelling evidence in their favour, even their human nature is criticised and they are persecuted for this.
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