The Canadian Truth and Reconciliation Commission was styled after the South African Commission which was the first commission ever established to sort through claims and counter-claims in an attempt to get at the Truth. The South African TRC was established in 1996 by President Nelson Mandela and was chaired by Archbishop Desmond Tutu. When this commission presented its findings, many South Africans, both Black and White, were unhappy with the report and with the process of reconciliation.
According to Hugo Kruger, South Africa has been suffering from both victimhood and White guilt complexes, at least up to 2019 when this article was first published. Not surprisingly, Canada has also been suffering from these two diseases but only from 2015 when the Canadian Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report was published.
Read Kruger’s “Victimhood Sells” to see where Canada is possibly heading in the next few years. Like South Africa, Canadians are being polarized by the claims made by some Indigenous people.
Rodney A. Clifton
Editor, From Truth Comes Reconciliation:An Assessment of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report, 2021
Senior Fellow, Frontier Centre for Public Policy
(By invitation of the Frontier for Public Policy, this article has been rewritten, it was originally published on the South African Blog Rational Standard before the 2019 South African General Election. Footnotes are added for explanations that are relevant to SA.)
Professional victimhood has become a lucrative business in South Africa of late. If there were to be an Oppression Olympics then surely South Africans would be going home with gold medals in the race, privilege and patriarchal categories. We would come in 2nd after Zimbabwe in being colonized and third after Castro and Chavez in blaming the west or capitalism for our own failures. We would at least walk away with a participation medal in toying with policies such as land expropriation that could kill the economy.
Nothing seems to sell better these days than to constantly fight over the conflicts of the past. This new marketing strategy resulted in an explosion of the best forms of literary and modern art. The political commentators are virtue signaling and race hustling, from local content such as Eusebius McKaiser1 to our international star Trevor Noah.
Let’s also note that it is not just a black phenomenon as authors such as Adrian Basson2, Pierre de Vos3 and Melanie Verwoerd4 constantly remind us of how privileged whites really are. The white guilt industry is fueling the black victimhood one. A good masochist needs a good sadist as the guilt on the one side has a symbiotic need to continue victimhood on the other. The two are being kept alive by their own rigor mortises and one wonders if a Jesus is going to come to raise this Lazarus from the grave in 2019. It is election year after all.
Let’s not forget that the liberation movements never claimed to have achieved a victory against Apartheid, they rather “struggled” against it. If there ever can be said to be an original sin in the new SA, then surely it must be the notion that professional victimhood is a high ideal worth striving for. We reward struggles and then wonder why we do not achieve anything. The world in its tragic state owes us everything from transformation, to opportunities, to services and to free education. The struggle ideology constantly feeds on new ideas, new categories, and new absurdities. Their proponents seem to be impervious to evidence and basic common sense.
This has largely been the mindset of the ANC5 since the dawn of our democracy, and it explains how they have been governing the country. Everything is a struggle. It is a struggle to keep the lights on6. It is a struggle to get my driver’s license. It is a struggle to afford the petrol price or to stay in business with the burden of stupid regulations7. Is it naïve to ask when South Africans are going to start seeing themselves as “achievers”?
The view of victimhood and struggle-hood is such as good seller, given that there are good scapegoats to blame such as: white people; Indians; clever blacks; and the dead statutes of M. W. Steyn and Cecil John Rhodes8. It appears that the DA9 is also recently trying to expand into the untapped victimhood market. The strugglers of the EFF all studied at some of South Africa’s most prestige Universities and the strugglers in the ANC are all beneficiaries of lucrative Black Economic Empowerment deals. The irony could also have not been lost on Aswin Willemse10, a struggler who benefited from a million rand gold field’s deal11. I wonder if his struggles ever took him down a real mine shaft?
South Africans are being held prisoners by the con artists of victimhood. They are those who use their only marketable skill, guilt and skin color, to make money as we continually hear how the ghosts of Apartheid, Colonialism, Privilege and Patriarchy keeps us in ended bondage. They combine the expressions in song with a religious nature12 and tap into the irrational part of the human brain. For a lack of a better term, it does seem to be nothing more than victimhood propaganda.
If ANC has had one sure success, then it is that they managed to turn struggle mania into an industry. We can now sell books of oppression, write news articles of how bad the current situation is and see ourselves in the role of perpetual victims. We can offer apologies for the sins of people that are long dead, all while our overseers continue to raid and loot the country. The struggle narrative is used to justify odious governmental laws and let’s also be sure that the looters of VBS, state capture and SAA14 actually do see themselves as victims. This is probably why they do not seem to have a guilty conscience. A victim or tyrant always has someone else to blame, or he can fall back on the good old alibi that he does his misdeeds for the betterment of all mankind.
It pays to be a victim and 2019 will certainly see an expansion of this lucrative industry.
Hügo Krüger is a structural engineer from Pretoria, South Africa with working experience in the nuclear, concrete, and oil and gas industry. He currently resides in France.
1Eusebius McKaiser is a local cape town radio host and the author of several books that explore the depth of “racism”. In 2015 he backtracked on his CV claims that stated that he held a DPhil from Oxford.
2 Adriaan Basson is the editor of the South African News24 website. On numerous occasions he called on white people to “reflect on Apartheid”.
3 Pierre de Vos is a Professor in constitutional law at the University of Cape Town, as opinion leader, he runs a blog where he reflects on how the South African constitution requires of white South Africans to reflect on their “privilege”
4 Malanie de Vos is the Granddaughter of the “Architect of Apartheid”, Hendrik Verwoerd, to atone for her sins, she regularly writes columns for News24 and once came out with the bizarre statement that the opposition’s defense of property rights is a form of white appeasement.
5 African National Congress, South Africa’s ruling party since 1994.
6 Since 2008 South Africa has been experiencing rolling blackouts, in 1994 SA’s power utility boasted with the cheapest electricity in the world and a surplus electricity supply that was sold to other African countries.
7 For almost a decade South Africa has continuously been dropping in the “ease of doing business index” rankings.
8 During the Rhodes Must Fall Riots, the precursor to Black Lives Matter, South African students were seen going around the country destroying statues of “colonialists” such as Cecil Rhodes and MW Steyn – the latter ironically mentioned in his election speech that he would do everything possible to see to it that the children of the Orange Free State province received a good education.
9 DA – Democratic Alliance, South Africa’s official Opposition Party. Despite a overwhelmingly white support base, the leader of the opposition accused whites of being “privileged” just before the 2019 election, then he wondered why his support declined.
10 Aswin Willemse was a South African Rugby Player and broadcaster who stormed of the TV when corrected by a white colleague.
11 Later it was discovered that Willemse was in fact a millionaire and benefited from a corrupt gold mine deal with business partners that included infamous gangsters.
12 Despite the SA courts ruling, the South African ANC and EFF political parties defended “struggle songs” that a quasi-genocidal. President Jacob Zuma was seen singing “bring my machine gun” and leader of the second largest opposition Julius Malena routinely sang “shoot the boer, shoot the farmer” directed at the white farming minority.
13 VBS, State Capture and South African Airways were all incidents of corruption that involved high profile South African politicians