Historical Amnesia

Following up on yesterday’s post on AfriForum’s criticism of President Zuma’s take on a historical event, I want to post a link to Pierre De Vos’s blog where he talks about Pieter Mulder’s (Leader of the Freedom Front Plus and Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries) creative interpretation of history.

“Mulder is only one of a long line of white settlers who wishes to rewrite the past in order to enforce and perpetuate their own sense of moral superiority and their sense of supposed victimhood. Speaking in President Zuma’s State of the Nation debate with a chutzpa that is breath-taking, Mulder ignored the past 300 years of colonialism and apartheid to try and make a point about land ownership and dispossession in South Africa” – De Vos

De Vos also writes:

An exhortation to forget the past is really an exhortation to rewrite the past and to invent a completely new past in which white people never oppressed black South Africans, never exploited black South Africans economically and never actually dispossessed black South Africans of land and of opportunities – including educational opportunities. This Stalinist yearning to whitewash the past and to try and make us forget about the role white people played in the exploitation and dispossession which occurred during the periods of colonialism and apartheid is dangerous and infuses some white South Africans with an undeserved (and, quite frankly, bizarre) sense of moral self-righteousness and superiority which is at the heart of the continued racisms in our country.


I think it is important for South Africa that everyone is honest about the past.  Part of the problem is of course the idea that one person’s terrorist is another person’s freedom fighter, but part of the problem here is that we have people on each side of the argument feigning innocence and refusing to take any ownership of the actions of their forefathers.  That being said, for how long will we continue to punish the sons for the sins of their forefathers?



Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s