Loading...
BYH PJ for the statement against the hate chant. Perhaps now we need to send Rep Omar a personal invitation to...

South Africa needs acts of mercy, not retribution

Walter Williams

Walter Williams

Loading…

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

South Africa has been thrown into the news because of President Donald Trump's recent tweet that he instructed his secretary of state to "closely study" alleged land seizures from white farmers in South Africa.

Earlier this year, a land confiscation motion was brought by radical Marxist opposition leader Julius Malema, and it passed South Africa's Parliament by a 241-83 vote. Malema has had a long-standing commitment to land confiscation without compensation.

In 2016, he told his supporters he was "not calling for the slaughter of white people — at least for now" (https://tinyurl.com/y7mfmhco). The land-grabbing sentiment is also expressed by Lindsay Maasdorp, national spokesman for Black First Land First, a group that condones land seizures in South Africa.

He says, "We are going to take back the land, and we'll do it by any means necessary." The land confiscation policy was a key factor in the platform of the new president, Cyril Ramaphosa.

I have visited South Africa several times, in 1979, 1980 and 1992. My three-month 1980 visit included lectures at nearly all South African universities. The 1992 return visit, two years after apartheid ended and two years before democratic elections, included lectures on my book "South Africa's War Against Capitalism."

During each visit, my counsel to South Africans, particularly black South Africans, was that the major task before them was not only ridding the nation of apartheid but deciding what was going to replace it.

That's an important question. William Hutt, the late University of Cape Town economist who was an anti-apartheid voice within the academic community, wrote in his 1964 book, titled "The Economics of the Colour Bar," that one of the supreme tragedies of the human condition is that those who have been the victims of injustices or oppression "can often be observed to be inflicting not dissimilar injustices upon other races."

In 2001, Andrew Kenny wrote an article titled "Black People Aren't Animals — But That's How Liberals Treat Them." Kenny asked whether South Africa is doomed to follow the rest of Africa into oblivion. Kenny gave a "no" answer to his question, but he was not very optimistic because of the pattern seen elsewhere in sub-Saharan Africa.

He argued that ordinary Africans were better off under colonialism. Colonial masters never committed anything near the murder and genocide seen under black rule in Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, Nigeria, Mozambique, Somalia and other countries, where millions of blacks have been slaughtered in unspeakable ways, including being hacked to death, boiled in oil, set on fire and dismembered.

Kenny said that if as many elephants, zebras and lions were as ruthlessly slaughtered, the world's leftists would be in a tizzy (https://tinyurl.com/ybj4u9fj).

Ghanaian economist George Ayittey expressed a similar complaint in his book "Africa Betrayed:" "White rulers in South Africa could be condemned, but not black African leaders guilty of the same political crimes." Moeletsi Mbeki, a brother of former South African President Thabo Mbeki's and deputy chairman of the South African Institute of International Affairs, an independent think tank based at the University of the Witwatersrand, said in 2004 that Africa was in a spiral of decline. "The average African is poorer than during the age of colonialism," he said (https://tinyurl.com/ycs6l4pb).

Zimbabwe, South Africa's northern neighbor formerly called Rhodesia, was southern Africa's breadbasket. That was prior to the confiscation of nearly 6,000 large white-owned commercial farms during the 1990s. By the turn of the century, Zimbabwe was threatened with mass starvation and was begging for food. Added to that tragedy, Zimbabwe experienced history's second-highest inflation rate. It reached 79.6 billion percent in mid-November 2008. (In 1946, Hungary experienced the world's highest inflation rate, 41.9 quadrillion percent.)

South Africa leads in mining, food production and critical infrastructure, such as power production and railroading, in southern Africa. But it's going the same way as Zimbabwe, spelling disaster for the entire southern part of Africa. What's needed most right now is for South Africans to adopt some of the principles enunciated by Nelson Mandela, one of which is, "You will achieve more in this world through acts of mercy than you will through acts of retribution."

Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University. Look for Colin Campbell on Wednesday.

Loading…

Humans of Greenville

@HumansofGville

Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.

Op Ed

July 12, 2019

Over the past three years, I have had the good fortune to work on a project that has the potential to transform the farming landscape in eastern North Carolina, one that involves harnessing gas produced from hog waste.

As CEO and founder of OptimaBio, our work with Smithfield Foods to capture…

Maloney

July 01, 2019

The American system of checks and balances government does not work the way most people think it does or the way the Founding Fathers said it would.

The president serves at the pleasure of Congress, just as the prime minister of the UK serves at the pleasure of Parliament, which means that the…

eleanorclift.jpg.jpg

June 26, 2019

Several Democratic presidential hopefuls are calling for Americans to make reparations for slavery. On June 19, the House judiciary subcommittee on the constitution, civil rights and civil liberties held a hearing. Its stated purpose was "to examine, through open and constructive discourse, the…

Walter Williams

June 10, 2019

The New York Times 

“Because it’s there.” For those who grew up on George Mallory’s famous explanation for his yearning to scale Mount Everest, with all the romance, danger and spirit of exploration it implied, that viral photograph of an endless line of climbers in…

June 10, 2019

Although it may not appear so, the leaders of both major political parties in North Carolina favor lowering the tax burden of large businesses. Their real dispute is about the scope and magnitude of the tax relief.

Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper has consistently opposed recent state budgets, crafted by…

john hood.jpg

June 10, 2019

We are just weeks away from the first of 20 Democratic debates scheduled this primary season. It gets underway over two nights in Miami on June 26 and 27, and never before has there been a debate this early in the election and potentially this important.

The reason there are so many candidates, 23…

eleanorclift.jpg.jpg

June 09, 2019

Gerrymandering has always been part of American politics. After all, the term was coined in 1812 after Massachusetts governor and Founding Father Elbridge Gerry endorsed a state senate district that resembled a salamander.

Until recently, federal courts have been highly reluctant to enter the…

Steve and Cokie Roberts

June 09, 2019

It is not unfair to point out that President Trump, on many important subjects, is just an ignoramus.

A vivid illustration of this unfortunate fact came this week in London, when it was revealed that Prince Charles, a knowledgeable environmentalist, had tried to educate the president on climate…

Eugene Robinson

June 09, 2019

"When you are told all your life you're dumb, unworthy, you start believing it. God changed that for me."

Jerry, from Youngstown, Tennessee, hesitated to be interviewed by Chris Arnade, because "I don't know my ABCs, so I can't really talk right." He told Arnade, the author of the new book…

kathrynlopez

June 09, 2019

Senate Republicans are pushing back on President Trump's plan to impose tariffs on Mexico. But if Mexican officials think these Republicans are going to save them from Trump's tariffs, it's time for them to think again.

So far, congressional Republicans have managed to remain bystanders in Trump's…

MarcThiessen
175 stories in Op Ed. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 18
        Next Page»   Last Page»