This blog contains material I wrote and posted on multiply.com between the years 2005 and 2011 only. It does not contain any new material. For newer writing, please check my main blog (Bill the Butcher).
Monday, 26 November 2012
Shoot The Boer
Ayesab’ amagwala (The cowards are scared) Dubula! dubula! dubula nge s’bhamu (Shoot, shoot, shoot them with a gun) Dubul’ ibhunu (Shoot the Boer) Dubula! dubula! dubula nge s’bhamu (Shoot, shoot, shoot them with a gun) Mama, ndiyeke ndidubul’ ibhunu (Ma, let me shoot the Boer) Dubula! dubula! dubula nge s’bhamu (Shoot, shoot, shoot them with a gun) Ziyareypa lezinja (These dogs rape) Dubula! dubula! dubula nge s’bhamu (Shoot, shoot, shoot them with a gun)
Once upon a time, “god” help us, there were two South Africas. One was a privileged island of white people, with a European standard of living, standing high amongst a black sea. And those blacks were angry; they wanted equality, they wanted to be treated as human beings with full rights.
So, as the Africans raised their black hands to claim their birthright, they had their songs and their slogans, and among them was one called “Shoot the Boer”, one version of which I began this article with. It was an anti-apartheid protest song.
Now, in recent times, this same song seems to have become part of something called “hate speech” in the eyes of many South Africans and they want it banned. Not the least of this is due to the efforts of an aspiring politico named Julius Malema who’s apparently trying to rake over the embers to raise up anti-white sentiment in a South Africa where the privileged white status didn’t really disappear and where the blacks haven’t got as far as they hoped and probably had a right to expect.
Now, I came across this article where U2 frontman Bono raised an alleged “controversy” by saying he saw nothing wrong in the song. It’s a revolutionary song, he said, and has its own place in history.
At the same time, it undoubtedly has a capacity for being misused, but then any and all rhetoric has a capacity for misuse.
And consider against whom the song was meant; not the average white South African, many of whom were scorned as "kaffir boetie" for fraternising with their black compatriots. No, it was meant against the fascist white-supremacist Afrikaner militias like this one, laws unto themselves, who killed whom and where they pleased, and invaded the black Bantustans at whim. It was against the racist South African Army, who carried out, with the Empire’s full support, wars against the people of Angola and Namibia. It was against the South African police, whose dogs were trained to attack black people. It was a hate song, sure, but it was a song against hate.
It does seem to me that calling for it to be banned as hate speech isn’t just excessive but absurd. Banning it won't change history.