Tag Archives: xenophobia

The Pride Of Africa Tainted By Xenophobia

The past several weeks have been a time of joy and pride not merely for the people of South Africa, but for all Africans as their continent for the first time was able to host World Cup games. Prior to opening of initial matches pessimists warned there would be violence and crime in South Africa because Africans were inherently savages. Of course, nothing of the sort ever happened and crime was minimal and there was no violence. Just as the myth of African violence was being put to rest, suicide bombers killed 64 in Uganda and Xenophobia emerged in Western Cape. Shops of foreigners living in South Africa were looted or torched by young men angry at those who were different or claiming foreigners were taking away their jobs. Over a hundred foreign nationals sought refuge in police stations. The ANC of Western Cape issued a statement urging all to “continue to demonstrate the spirit of humanity beyond the soccer spectacle by showing tolerance towards foreign nationals.”

It is not a coincidence that violence broke out just as the last match was being played. South Africa suffers from failures in Zimbabwe where Robert Mugabe has wrecked the economy and sent millions across the border seeking refuge in South Africa. The collapse of government or any sense of law and order in Somalia has also sent thousands to South Africa to escape the madness that now prevails in their nation–or what is left of that nation. Until these failed states are become healthy, the people of South Africa will continue having to deal with refugees when their resources are not sufficient to handle such an influx of people.

Cry The Beloved Country For Your Indifference!

Several weeks ago South Africa witnessed mobs of angry people who vented their anger on innocent foreigners living and working in South Africa. In the resulting violence dozens were killed and thousands driven from their homes. These people now hover on the edge of cities seeking some form of assistance from the South African government which, as of this point, has not been too helpful. A pregnant woman was beaten as she sat on the floor of the eThekwini municipality and sent to the hospital after repeated blows to her stomach. A group of about a 100 refugees are camped out desperately seeking some aid after losing their homes, possessions and jobs due to mob action. Amsi Wilondga, pleaded that “we have no homes to go to and we are not safe in areas where we used to live. We will stay here because the government brought us here and they must help us.”

As the group huddled together seeking comfort, angry, nasty bystanders shouted insults like, “Fuck off back to Zimbabwe and vote for Tsvangirai.” The comment was in reference to the presence of over a million Zimbabweans who have fled violence in their native homeland.

“Cry the Beloved Country” was a novel about South Africa under apartheid. Now, those who were oppressed have no sympathy for the next group to be brutalized.

South Africans March To End Anti-Foreign Hatred

Thousands of people marched through the streets of Johannesburg holding placards that said: “Xenophobia hurts like Apartheid” or “we stand against xenophobia.” Police said there is a momentary halt to the violence which enveloped the area and led to the death of at least 50 people while forcing thousands to flee for their lives. President Mbeki, whose silence and inaction played a major role in the violence being allowed to occur, finally commented: “Today we are faced with a disgrace, a humilitation as a nation in that we have allowed a handful of people to commit crimes against other Afrcans living in our country.”

At least 10,000 people are displaced in Cape Town and thousands have left the nation to return to their homes. The best explanation the Mbeki government can offer is to blame the riots on former members of “apartheid security forces,” whatever that means. Mbeki has remained silent about the terror in Zimbabwe so it is not surprising he is silent about violence in his own nation.

Swiss Election Marked By Violence And Hatred

Christoph Blocher, Switzerland’s Minister of Justice is a small man with a big belly and a fire in his belly to keep Switzerland free of foreigners and migrants. Each time he enters a voting rally, a goat follows behind with men and women ringing cowbells to symbolize the traditional values of Switzerland and its people– good solid rural folk. Street violence and shouts of racial hatred against foreigners are commonly heard in the electoral process currently underway. Blocher envisions himself as a lone man holding off the mass of foreigners who threaten to over run his pure land much as the Swiss people held off the Hapsburg Empire in the 1300s to win their independence. “A good politician must be able to sacrifice himself for the greater good of the country,” shouts Blocher.

Switzerland is ruled by a coalition of several parties and Blocher represents one of them. He has used this complex situation to expand his power by threatening to leave the coalition and force elections. Blocher opposes membership in the “foreign dominated EU” as well as seeking to deport “foreign criminals.” He is a populist leader who plays upon feelings of xenophobia to stir up hatred and uses this weapon as a means of maintaining power and forcing the government to adhere to his views.