Wednesday, March 7, 2012

How Did Boers Silence Activists During Apartheid?

A One Second Slide Show of Silencing Apartheid Activists in South Africa

1. Name Calling
It was common for Boers to call black people Kaffirs just to have a good laugh, and to draw a line between "Us  and Them". They knew that this made the other upset but with nothing to do but to deal with it.  For those crossing the border between Lesotho and Ladybrand and got called a Kaffir and that was it, they were lucky and blessed. Yet each  time they were called this name it was always tense. The entire road from the passport windows to the taxi station was covered in eggshells. Making it to the taxi door entrance was always accompanied with a deep sigh and a giggle from passengers already sitting in the taxi. The giggle was understood as a sign of welcome for escaping possible danger from Boers. I am not sure why my family and others went to Ladybrand to endure this heart racing, but we did.

2. Hold up Without Reason
This was not really an arrest in the formal sense of placing wrists in silver bracelets.In this Boers would get hold of a passport, ask the owner to come around and enter the office and have him or her sit on a wooden bench while  they worked or communicated in Afrikaans. Then they could ask him or her to sing or  something like, "Why is the Pope coming to Lesotho?". They would take turns taunting their detainee to let him or her go when they were satisfied.

3. Cruelty and Other Harmful Psychological Games
One of the oldest tools of the oppressors is psychological torture. Boers used it  during Apartheid. Mind games, runaround, delaying tactics, stonewalling, etc were some of the cruel ways Boers dealt blacks during apartheid.

4. Arrest With Dogs
If Boers got a word out that there was a protest, they would come in to lash blacks for protesting and even arrest them, throw them at the back of the bakkies to let arrestees wrestle with wild dogs. Why? For protesting. This was still nothing because they could start shooting protesters on the spur of the moment. If you have read or seen Cry the Beloved Country, you know the story.

5. Minimisation of Injustice
"It happens everywhere." " Boers did it to blacks. Blacks are doing it to blacks in South Africa now as we speak". "They did not start injustice against the minorities!" Is that really permission and justification for the injustice...that injustice is happening elsewhere? Let us do injustice here because we are not the only ones doing it? Come on....
Boers thought that blacks did something to deserve the treatment they gave them. Ultimately it was the entire world that roared against them.

6. Framing
Framing was the worst hate crime performed in South African Apartheid. Innocent people were accused of committing murder just to remove them from protest fora. The result was that the accused was kept in prison while facing a life time of struggle to defend himself. It was typically black  men boers were afraid of and kept out of society for as long as they could. I knew protesters in Soweto who faced ghost charges from which they could never free themselves. These claimed the better portions of their lives and took away peace and unity from families. By doing this boers thought they could dismantle protest units. But it did not work because the world knows about South African Apartheid and how it served to berate dark people.

The story about silencing those who demand justice was not only a South African thing. Even 22 hour flight away from Apartheid, the symptoms are familiar.

In America, actually I should say, in Utah where I witnessed the things I write about, silencing activism is done in several ways as well as in other methods that include a combination of some of the above.

Let's take a break and see a clip from "Cry The Beloved Country", by Isaac172 on Youtube

:Silencing Activists in Apartheid South Africa: Warning-Violent Video

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