South African's refugee case causes backlash against ‘racist' Canada.
Johannesburg — Globe and Mail Update Last updated on Thursday, Sep. 03, 2009 03:02AM EDT
South Africa's ruling party has denounced Canada as “racist” for granting refugee status to a man who claimed he was persecuted in South Africa because he is white.
The decision by a refugee board member in Ottawa has ignited a firestorm of controversy in South Africa, damaging relations between the two countries and denting Canada's image in a country where it was once seen as a stalwart of the anti-apartheid struggle.
The refugee board member, William Davis, ruled that South Africa had failed to protect its white citizens from robberies and muggings, which he described as the “persecution” of whites by “African South Africans.”
Brandon Huntley, a 31-year-old South African who stayed illegally in Canada in 2006, after first arriving on a work permit as a carnival attendant, was awarded refugee status after complaining that he was mugged and stabbed in seven attempted robberies in South Africa. He said he was called a “white dog” and a “settler” during these attacks, although he did not report any of the attacks to the police because he “did not trust them.”
Mr. Davis said in his ruling that Mr. Huntley would “stand out like a sore thumb” in any part of South Africa because of his colour. He said Mr. Huntley had given “convincing proof” of the government's “inability or unwillingness to protect him.” He added that Mr. Huntley would be unable to find a job in South Africa because of affirmative action in favour of blacks.
Mr. Davis ruled that Mr. Huntley had been attacked six or seven times “because of the colour of his skin” and had a legitimate fear of persecution. He said Mr. Huntley had scars on his body to prove the attacks.
(Lengthy excerpts from the ruling were provided by Mr. Huntley's lawyer, Russell Kaplan, who declined to release the entire ruling because it contained personal details about family members of Mr. Huntley and Mr. Kaplan.) The African National Congress, the party that liberated South Africa from apartheid under Nelson Mandela's leadership in 1994, said the refugee decision was racist and alarmist.
“Canada's reasoning for granting Huntley a refugee status can only serve to perpetuate racism,” the ANC said Tuesday.
A spokesman for the country's Home Affairs department, Ronnie Mamoepa, said the government was “disgusted” by the ruling and the “preposterous and laughable” claims by Mr. Huntley.
“It would have been courteous for the Canadian government to allow the South African government to respond to the allegations,” Mr. Mamoepa told South African media.
The ruling, which made headlines around the world, has sparked an uproar in South Africa this week because it touched on sensitive issues of race and violent crime. While many agree that whites are often targeted by black criminals, others are outraged at the notion that whites are “persecuted” in South Africa, a country where they still enjoy vast privileges in an unequal economic system.
Many ridiculed the board member's claim that whites “stand out like a sore thumb” in South Africa. More than four million whites are living in South Africa, comprising almost 10 per cent of the population. (So basically what they're admitting here, is that whites are THE visible minority in South Africa. - Crypt.)
The ruling is “shocking and saddening,” said an editorial Tuesday in The Times, a daily newspaper here.
“It says more about Canadian perceptions than South African reality. The truth is that the overwhelming majority of crime victims in this country are black and many of the perpetrators are white.” (Give your heads a shake. Just like any other milieu, the preponderance of crime is black on black. Anywhere on the African continent. Just like in black communities here in North America. - Crypt.)
The chief executive of South Africa's human-rights commission, Tseliso Thipanyane, told the Cape Times newspaper that the refugee ruling was “rather odd” because racist attacks happen to blacks as well as whites. He also rejected the claim that whites cannot get jobs in South Africa, citing a recent survey that found that 61 per cent of South Africa's top corporate executives are white men.
The official unemployment rate for black South Africans is 27.9 per cent, compared to 4.6 per cent for white South Africans.
Stéphane Malépart, a spokesman for the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, said the board cannot release the Huntley decision or make any comment on the ruling since all of its cases are heard in private and its tribunals operate at arm's length from the government. But he said the federal government could seek judicial review of any decision by appealing it to the Federal Court of Canada.
Immigration Minister Jason Kenney declined comment on the matter Tuesday, stressing through a spokesman that the IRB is an independent tribunal that works at arm's length from the government.
“It would be inappropriate for us to comment on a particular IRB decision,” spokesman Alykhan Velshi said.
Ordinary South Africans were divided on the ruling, with some saying it was absurd and others saying it highlighted the problems faced by whites in South Africa.
“I will never set my foot in Canada,” commented one person on a South African website, condemning the ruling. “It's officially the most racist country in the world.”
On another website, someone said: “What a load of b.s. Are the Canadians truly this gullible?”
Several people who had spent time in the Cape Town suburb of Mowbray, where Mr. Huntley lived, said they had never heard of anyone being called a “white dog” or “settler.”
But others said they welcomed the ruling, predicting it would “open the flood gates” to a further exodus from South Africa. “The racism has increased tremendously and whites are not wanted or tolerated here,” one person commented on a newspaper website.
So, we note that the largest part of this article is quoting individuals who are downplaying the idea that anyone of colour, in Africa or anywhere else in the world, is capable of being a racist. And this 'truism' would be based on what?
Well, I'll tell you what it's based on. It is based on denial. It's based on the perpetuation of the myth that the only human beings on this earth who are capable of, and indeed are guilty of racism, are whites. That's right. It's currently one of the biggest lies out there, right after "I won't come in your mouth", "Yes, I'll respect you in the morning" and of course the ever-popular: "Your cheque is in the mail". It is the result of adopting political correctness, as opposed to common sense.
I can't help but do a slow burn over this one. There are many areas in this world, notably right here in North America, which are populated by blacks and where you will be assaulted if you are either white, asian, or hispanic. To turn their own question on them: "How gullible do you think we Canadians are, anyway?"
To say that blacks are not capable of racism, simply because they're black, is not only the height of stupidity, but probably one of the most blatant and profoundly racist statements you will ever hear in your lifetime. And to expect anyone else to swallow this load of bullshit, well that's what you call having unrealistic expectations.
In truth, some of the most virulently racist people I have ever met, are black. There is not a black comedian in this world, who does not slam whites in their routine. If a white comedian were to even vaguely approximate what whites are subjected to hearing, the NAACP would go out of their mind and the streets of large urban centres would be looted and burned.
The same speaks to the notion that blacks are unjustly targeted by the judicial system, simply because of their race. People speak about the 'disproportionate' number of blacks incarcerated in jails and prisons across North America. What the hell does that even mean? 'Disproportionate'? As though you imprison someone because of their colour and not because of their criminal activity. I know that's what some people out there would want us to believe, but fortunately were not quite that stupid yet...
Understand the following, please: If there are that many more black people in jails, it simply means that there are that many more black people who are criminals. Is it really that hard to understand? Does anyone actually need a diagram or a pie chart here???
Then there are the supposed "explanations". "Well... why is that then? Why are so many young blacks involved in criminal activity?" This is meant as a lead in to a litany of "reasons" why apparently black people are "forced into a life of crime". The blame is spread around in a shotgun pattern and everything from society, to education, to history, to genetics receive their fair share of the blame. All of this is of course, a smoke screen. There is not one reason that either makes sense, or holds water. They embark on a criminal lifestyle for the same reason that people of every other ethnic group do: because they choose to do so.
"Okay...there's more than enough blacks in jail right now... Let's work on getting more whites and/or Puerto Ricans/Mexicans in there, just to balance things out...". That ain't how it goes, folks. Just as you don't accuse someone and convict them of a crime because they're black, you don't let someone walk from a rap, because they happen to be black.
To call this country of mine 'racist' because we simply acknowledge that it is not only possible, but likely that a white man in South Africa was targetted because of the colour of his skin?
You've got some fucking nerve, my friend. Here's a news flash... in THIS country, if you call a black person on a wrong they have committed, a slight they have made, or otherwise hold them responsible for their actions, it is not considered 'racist'. To treat them any differently would be in fact racist. Assholes, jerks, perverts, criminals, druggies, thieves, racists, gangbangers and pimps, come in every colour of the rainbow. Yes, even black.
Canada was always a staunch opponent of the South African apartheid regime. This is a matter of record. South Africans should not be led to think that it's okay to simply reverse the roles, as no one will be any the wiser. If it was wrong for white South Africans, it is definitely also wrong for black South Africans. For the country's government to turn a blind eye to this and worse, deny that it is going on, would see them going down the very same path as those who preceded F.W.De Klerk, all those years ago.
It is time to drop the pretense of being martyrs and re-join the rest of the world on an equal footing.