Now, I am one of many people who have brought white privilege to the attention of many. Many people did not notice what white privilege is or how it affects them daily. And some of us we all know that every branch of government has played its part to withstand this privilege. People seem to think that the government is our biggest ally in a fight against white privilege, but we know better. As a result, i’ve decided to show exactly the role that the government plays to create and withstand white privilege since 13th century until to this day – in Europe and South Africa.
In the Americas many centuries ago, slavery was introduced by law – to capture and enslave Africans for the development of Europe. However, slavery didn’t just give white people power over blacks, it gave white people a head start to establish income for future generations. Some of the richest people in the world inherited their income from ancestors who were slave owners.
Many laws were introduced to strengthen this system. For generations, black people couldn’t read, they were prohibited from carrying books or reading the bible, so they couldn’t obtain an education. Laws were created to prohibit blacks from attending the same schools to learn how to read. As a result, various generations of black people were illiterate, thus prolonging the inferior experience of the black race.
Blacks were forced to go to church to listen to the preachers but they where not allowed to read or interpret the bible. The white preachers read and interpreted the bible for the blacks, on their own and for their own; twisting many verses to suit their own – it was a relationship of a slave and muster. But what is slavery and where did it occur in Europe? This question can take us a very long time if we have to discuss state by state that have introduced slavery. But let us look at short history of slavery in America:
Slavery in America
Slavery in America began when the first African slaves were brought to the North American colony of Jamestown, Virginia, in 1619, to aid in the production of such lucrative crops as tobacco. Slavery was practiced throughout the American colonies in the 17th and 18th centuries, and African-American slaves helped build the economic foundations of the new nation. The invention of the cotton gin in 1793 solidified the central importance of slavery to the South’s economy. By the mid-19th century, America’s westward expansion, along with a growing abolition movement in the North, would provoke a great debate over slavery that would tear the nation apart in the bloody American Civil War (1861-65). Though the Union victory freed the nation’s 4 million slaves, the legacy of slavery continued to influence American history, from the tumultuous years of Reconstruction (1865-77) to the civil rights movement that emerged in the 1960s, a century after emancipation.
In the early 17th century, European settlers in North America turned to African slaves as a cheaper, more plentiful labor source than indentured servants (who were mostly poorer Europeans). After 1619, when a Dutch ship brought 20 Africans ashore at the British colony of Jamestown, Virginia, slavery spread throughout the American colonies. Though it is impossible to give accurate figures, some historians have estimated that 6 to 7 million slaves were imported to the New World during the 18th century alone, depriving the African continent of some of its healthiest and ablest men and women.
A slave rebellion is an armed uprising by slaves. Slave rebellions have occurred in nearly all societies that practiced slavery and are amongst the most feared events for slaveholders. The most successful slave rebellion in history was the 18th-century Haitian Revolution, led by Toussaint L’Ouverture against their French colonial rulers, which founded the extant country. Other famous historic slave rebellions have been led by the Roman slave Spartacus, as well as the thrall (Scandinavian slave) Tunni, who rebelled against the Swedish monarch Ongentheow, a rebellion that needed Danish assistance to be quelled.
Numerous African slave rebellions and insurrections took place in North America during the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. There is documentary evidence of more than 250 uprisings or attempted uprisings involving 10 or more slaves. Three of the best known in the United States during the 19th century are the revolts by Gabriel Prosser in the Richmond, Virgina area in 1800, Denmark Vesey in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1822, and Nat Turner in Southampton County, Virginia, in 1831.
These uprisings and insurrections led to many governments abolishing slavery in the 20th century. But this was only abolished on paper or by law. Slavery existed even until this day in different forms and made.
Nearly a decade after slavery was abolished in America, the South found it difficult to accept black people as equal. As a result, they denied former slaves their constitutional rights. As a result, black people were not permitted to access opportunities to an education that could further their income. This also led to a lack of opportunities to obtain jobs that could feed their families, and as well as a lack representation in the government to change these circumstances. The law ended in the mid-20th century, but the effects left remnants that still affect black people today.
Slavery and white privilege:
Lately, there has been much discussion of white privilege. This term describes the social privileges that are only given to those who are white, or those who look white.
White privilege can appear in many different ways. It can be the white guy who gets away with rape in comparison to the black guy who gets 20 years for having marijuana. It can be seen in history books in which the main focus is on white historical figures who have contributed to western societies.
It can also be seen in the way different races are portrayed. White stereotypes aren’t as negative and detrimental as black stereotypes. A black person is seen as angry and bad, so the consequences of our actions can be exaggerated to make a statement. It can appear very subtle, yet have a huge effect on the people who aren’t so privileged.
White people, everywhere, have inherited property and capital derived from decades of slavery of Africans and other races. While white people enjoy this privilege they are as well protected by laws introduced by the governments to continue to enjoy this privilege.
Drugs in black neighborhoods:
In America we often hear about the war on terror and the war on drugs. We all know that the “War On Terror” was in fact the war on Muslims because the U.S wanted to have its grip on oil in the Middle East while Israel and Britain wanted to make Middle East a violent region in the world permanently for their own imperial agendas. The “War on Drugs” was a means to imprison blacks and hippies. The world thought that it was a method to prevent drug addictions, but in truth, it became a means to issue harsher sentences on black men for possession crimes.
Proof of this came in many different ways. For example, crack possession, a commonly-used drug in urban areas, issued longer sentences than cocaine, a drug used by rich white people. Blacks were incarcerated five times more than whites for possession of marijuana. The stop-and-frisk law was only enforced in neighborhoods filled with Latino and black men. The list goes on. As a result, children were left without fathers and family were broken. The War on Drugs created an image as if blacks were more likely to use drugs.
In 1996, Gary Webb, a Californian journalist discovered that the CIA was an accomplice to the Nicaragua drug cartel. They were helping the cartel bring drugs into poor L.A. neighborhoods to help finance war. They used one of the most notable drug dealers, Freeway Rick, to distribute this product to other gangs throughout the country. As a result, the crack epidemic began.
The crack epidemic took a huge toll on black people in the urban areas. Crack was extremely cheap, and more people became addicted to it. As a result, the inner city became a dangerous place. Addiction was killing black families by the thousands. Children were being born with disabilities. Black youth were turning against each other in order to make money off of this evil force. They were also being thrown in jail for decades. If we had a chance at changing our circumstances, this was pushing us further and further away from having a stable community to do so. As a result, the epidemic harmed our community long term.
It was only 30 years ago that we lost a lot of our people during that era. It has left a residue of gang violence and poverty in the neighborhoods affected by this epidemic. Now we have changed our agenda to fight racism onto an agenda to save our people from violence against each other.
White supremacy is protected:
In General, the governments in Europe, Asia and Africa, either black, Asian or white, are making sure that black and Asian working people live under white supremacy designed centuries ago. In South Africa, we knew what has happened during Codesa negotiations. We well know the sins committed by the liberation party, the ANC, and how they agreed to keep white supremacy and privilege alive and protected through laws introduced in parliament – worse still, by black government for black oppression. The black man is still fighting for his land under the black government after more than 150 years of fighting the white government for land and economic freedom. The new oppressor is now black, he is no longer white and the struggle is very complicated as the enemy is someone with a skin colour like yours.
Whoonga or nyaope drugs in our townships
Whoonga, also known as nyaope, is a street drug that has come into widespread use in South Africa since 1999, it began in the impoverished townships of Durban, and it is claimed to be appearing in other places in South Africa as well. The drug contains antiretroviral drugs, particularly Efavirenz of the type prescribed to treat HIV, and police have remarked that dealers are known to add all sorts of stuff to a drug to bulk it out including gun powder.
But where nyaope started? It takes us back to the eras of when former President Thabo Mbeki refused to allow ARV to be freely distributed to HIV infected patient all over the country. May be Thabo Mbeki has something to tell us about why the pharmaceutical companies wanted South Africa to distribute ARV’s rather than to look at the cure for HIV.
This has got something to do with the history of bringing drugs in the black townships to destroy black families; advance white supremacy and privilege.
Access to nyaope
The cost of the drug is reported to be about R20 per straw (as of January 2016). Nyaope addicts need several doses a day, however, and users are typically too poor to afford the drug out of their legal income. Addicts therefore turn to crime to raise the money for their supply. This makes them convicts and then leads them to prison. That is why we have too many young black people in jails than we have adults. Most of them are not hard core criminals, but house burglars, cellphone thieves and bag snatchers at the taxi ranks and train stations.
There are also reports that claim nyaope addicts attempt to become HIV-positive, since anti-retrovirals are distributed to HIV patients free of charge by the Department of Health.
According to a report in The Sowetan 23 April 2015, the organisation Whoonga Free, founded to battle addiction to the drug, collapsed for lack of funding in March 2011. Who would want to fund this good initiative if it meant to kill business for the supply of whoonga in a black neighbourhood?
Like a black child in America nyaope is supplied by the international white supremacists to make sure that South African children have no future, and white privilege is guaranteed.
The article below was written and published (www.mashtownradio.co.za) some months ago. Find it and learn the fact below that proves that our own government protected and defended white privilege at the expenses of black people:
“During the 1990/1 Codesa negotiations, which the US and other imperialist powers have forged for the ANC, as by a its “desire for economic stability” entered into a pact with Afrikaner nationalists and big business, that the ANC led by Nelson Mandela should compromise and sell black population into the devil’s nest. The ANC, hiding behind the fall of the Soviet Union, weak Cuban economy, the deviation of China’s economic policy, its financial backers made it clear that they will regret ever selling the black population when they would be unseat from parliament by a socialist revolution, soon or later, where the wrongs of the ANC and its neo-liberal policies have trapped a black race into debt, inequality, unemployment, underemployment and poverty. Now lets look at these 12 sins:
- The repayment of the US$25 billion apartheid-era foreign debt. This denied Mandela money to pay for basic needs of apartheid’s victims.
- Giving the South African Reserve Bank formal independence. This resulted in the insulation of the central bank’s officials from democratic accountability. It led to high interest rates and the deregulation of exchange controls.
- Borrowing $850 million from the International Monetary Fund in December 1993, with tough conditions persisting for years. These included rapid scrapping of import surcharges that had protected local industries, state spending cuts, lower public sector salaries and a decrease in wages across the board.
- Reappointing apartheid’s finance minister Derek Keys and Reserve Bank governor Chris Stals, who retained neoliberal policies.
- Joining the World Trade Organisation on adverse terms, as a “transitional”, not developing economy. This led to the destruction of many clothing, textiles, appliances and other labour-intensive firms.
- Lowering primary corporate taxes from 48% to 29% and maintaining countless white people’s and corporate privileges.
- Privatising parts of the state, such as Telkom, the state-owned telecommunications company.
- Relaxing exchange controls. This led to sustained outflows to rich people’s overseas accounts and a persistent current account deficit even during periods of trade surplus, and raising interest rates to unprecedented levels.
- Adopting the neoliberal macroeconomic policy Gear. This policy not only failed on its own terms, it also caused developmental austerity.
- Giving property rights dominance in the constitution, thereby limiting its usefulness for redress.
- Approving the “demutualisation” of the two mega-insurers Old Mutual and Sanlam. It was the privatisation of historic mutual wealth for current share owners.
- Permitting most of South Africa’s ten biggest companies to move their headquarters and primary listings abroad in the late 1990s. The results are permanent balance of payments deficits and corporate disloyalty to society.
When the ANC entered government in 1994 the white Afrikaaner nationalists, National Party, had already stolen/looted from the banks money worth of R65 billion. There is a proof of this and this proof was presented to the ANC which it chose to ignore. This amount should have been recovered during the TRC campaign, but it is today used by the white race to preserve white supremacy and capitalism. The ANC is aware of the amount in US dollars of over 500 billion owed by foreign banks to the apartheid government, but the ANC chose to ignore this even when the proof was presented to it in black and white. This money was supposed to be used to service victims of apartheid and provide services to the black populace.”
Modern day slavery and white privilege
Slavery is not an issue confined to history or an issue that only exists in certain countries – it is something that is still happening today. It is a global problem and the SA is no exception.
However, white privilege is still guaranteed in modern day systems, economically and politically. Modern slavery is when one person possesses or controls another person in such a way as to significantly deprive that person of their individual liberty, with the intention of exploiting that person through their use, profit, transfer or disposal.
We might have figures of how many people are found to be “slaves” in SA looking at human trafficking cases. But these are just the victims we know about. Slavery’s hidden nature means actual numbers are likely to be just propaganda – to change how we should view things.
Who owns the means of production in South Africa and who receives social grants? Who owns the land, industries, and banks and controls the state? This would not only tell you about the relationship between white and black people, but would also teach you about white supremacy and privilege and black oppression and disadvantages that comes with being black in South Africa and the world.
The propaganda is that slaves only exist where people are victims found in certain country, who come from many different countries. Poverty, limited opportunities at home, lack of education, unstable social and political conditions, economic imbalances and war are some of the key drivers that contribute to “trafficking of victims”. Yes, human trafficking is alive.
But what’s more victims can often face more than one type of abuse and slavery, for example if they are sold to another trafficker and then forced into another form of exploitation. Racism plays a major role in this regard. In South Africa, since 18th century black people were forced to leave their homes to work in the mines and farms owned by white people. They were kept in the hostels and farm houses for months and years and never allowed to leave or go home.
This today still exists. Look at how black people’s dwellings are arranged near the cities, mines and farms. They are arranged so as they remain closer to their work and gets paid close to nothing so as they could not move far from their work. That is why today we have so many black people leaving the homelands or rural areas to go an stay in townships or cities – closer to where they could find work and live closer to their work. This is not freedom – it is slavery in another form.
Unless we change the laws (in South African context, change the property clauses in the constitution) white privilege will exists in the future as it is originally planned to remain with us forever. And what is heart breaking is that white privilege will be protected and advanced by us through free-market capitalism and neoliberal policies.