T Nation

Xenophobia in South Africa

back in high school during time we spent learning about the civil rights era, we only went over the history of apartheid for a short amount of time. i remember this well because i remember being disgusted with the idea that Africans were being segregated against in the continent of africa. cause before that i mostly learned about the blacks/Africans being enslaved and discriminated against in western countries. So learning about the apartheid in south africa was a shocker.

i know a majority of you guys aren’t really that old, so were you shocked like me when you found about about segretation between blacks and whites in south africa when you guys were in school

now in south africa, xenophobia is high. whites are considered evil, even non south africans too. i recently found out a lot of somali people were being treated like crap there. that is what got me interested in this topic. i have been hearing news about somalis being hurt in south africa, and every once in awhile im hearing about a supposed war against whites in south africa.

Basically, white South Africans lived at Western European standards while the rest lived much like the poorest of African countries. Paid badly - below any sense of fair, equal or sufficient pay - frequently beaten, abused, insulted, arrested, imprisoned.

  • literally millions - as many as 50-60 million South Africans - were at the wrong end of apartheid. Where they lived, what healthcare (if any) they could get, food, living conditions, education (if any), utilities (rare), the ability to establish wealth.

after having an apartheid it would make sense for south africans to be mad about being segregated against by whites.

genocide against whites sounds ridiculous, but their are actually people in south Africa that are really considering this idea. i don’t think any non zulu south african would be safe.

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You are familiar with how Arabs (in Africa) treated black people since forever right? The ancient Egyptians fought and enslaved the Nubians from time to time.

Who do you think the Dutch bought African slaves from?

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Furthermore, while this behaviour is indeed reprehensible. It’s pretty consistent with colonization, it isn’t limited to South Africa.

Almost without exception, everywhere one nation conquered and colonized another, the natives got treated very poorly. Look at India, Hong Kong, North America, South America, most of Africa and the middle east. To the victor go the spoils. Nobody ever said history was pretty.

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Not all whites - the elites in Cape Town and Joburg lived the stereotypical entitled life with swimming pools in their suburban sprawling homes but there were a lot of poor, uneducated whites, especially Afrikaners, who were basically artificially overpaid for their unskilled or semi-skilled labor. After the collapse of apartheid poor white trash Afrikaners have sunk into abject poverty, drug addiction and homelessness.

Incidentally, white workers unions were one of the main backers of apartheid as their wages were kept inflated based on the profits from black/mixed race laborers.

Unfortunately, there is strong tribal element with the ANC and black immigrants from Zimbabwe and especially Nigeria are hated.

Another ironic aspect is that Indians and those of Mixed ancestry (Cape Coloureds) who were second-class citizens during apartheid (with Zulu/Xhosa being third-class) are now considered “too white” and again being discriminated against for not being “real Africans”.

Just one of the more famous in the long line of slavers from Zanzibar…

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I knew a white/Jewish guy from South Africa. He made your typical American skinhead/neo-nazi racist type look like a well adjusted 5 year old. Think of the most vile and despicable violence a human is capable of- and you have one of his many stories about growing up in Johannesburg under apartheid.

I don’t think there is a square inch on that entire continent that hasn’t been violently soaked with blood.

Continent has been threw a lot. Most are working towards fixing themselves. two have my cousins have been planning on going back to Somalia they recently just finished school here in the states and are engineers. Their goal is to help Somalia access its resources. Since their is a shit load of resources there untouched.

A sibling of mine lived down there for a while. Let’s just say they use the n-word when they want to be politically correct (among whites, of course).

It’s a fun place for gun enthusiasts of all kinds.

That’s the rule, not the exception. In most places in the world a war of some kind or an ethnic/religious strife is if not ongoing still within living memory.

I didn’t know there were Indians in South Africa. I just found out their was an Indian population in Africa.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the zulus hated Indians to simply because of the fact that they came to South Africa and were out preforming them while they worked in shity conditions

Does any bright eyed and bushy tailed young person ever ask themselves “Why is that?” then look at the local politics and history in pursuit of an answer?

Like no one ever tried that…

The only time I heard of any company try to access Somalia’s resources was around the incident of black hawk down. My dad told me about it. Supposedly the dictator at the time signed a contract with a couple of oil companies to come to the country. But than black hawk down happen and a shit load of Somalis died and a few American troops were dragged across the streets of Mogadishu. Picture of this were shown everywhere. after that the place was labeled unsafe so no major companies I think tried to take any of the oil

You know that stereotype of a mustache-twirling, ridiculously wealthy evil white guy who’s keeping non-whites down? In South Africa, they’re Indian.

Indians were usually hated by the locals because of their supposed affinity for commerce - attributed usually to Jews in Europe. Indians still control the bulk of small cornershops in South Africa, to confirm a stereotype.

The Durban riots was an anti-Indian riot predominantly by Zulus targeting Indians in Durban, South Africa in January 1949. The riots resulted in the massacre of mostly poor Indians. In total 142 people died in the riots and another 1,087 people were injured. It also led to the destruction of 58 shops, 247 dwellings and one factory

Look into the expulsion of Indians from Uganda:


I’ve been hearing about it sporadically my whole life, but I’m a little older and admittedly a news junkie at heart, but you should read up on the history of tribal warfare and violence in Africa.

I’m not shy about violence, in application or conversation, but the way warfare and even just every day nonsensical violence is carried out there is stunning.

Tribal warfare is the reason my dad doesn’t want me learning about Somali tribal stuff. I don’t speak Somali either so a lot of Somaliis I usually meat usually ask me what tribe I am after they ask for my name.

Tribal disputes were a big part of the reason the civil war happened in Somalia.

I thought India was nicer than most countries in Africa. Why would and Indian move to Africa?

Yes, but it’s not irrational. There’s always a cold, albeit brutal, logic behind it.

Read up on John Dolan’s articles, he’s got many cool articles based on personal experience which bring those places vividly to life.

Imagine your neighbors were Sudan, South Sudan, the DRC, Congo-Brazzaville, Cameroon (OK, this is the nice neighbor, the Ned Flanders of the neighborhood) and Chad. That would be bad enough. Now imagine that every one of those nightmare neighbors has it together better than you do. That’s what it is to be the CAR. In a situation like that, you’re just a lab rat for the tinkerers in every ambitious imperial power in the world. And at the moment, the busiest Dr. Frankenstein at work there is shiny, rainbow-y South Africa, eager to show that fellow Africans, fellow black folks, can roll a comatose neighbor just as efficiently as any European ever did. Better, even.

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Sure. I understand the calculation over resources, its the chopping people up with machetes and indoctrination of toddlers by having them rip an unborn baby from its mothers womb that throws me.

It goes from rational calculation to insane phantasmagorical violence way too quickly.

Business opportunities. Indians like many others Chinese, Jewish move all over the world for business. Indians are also prominent in Fiji in the pacific. They put noses out of joint because a strong mercantile class didn’t exist before and the native Fijians felt exploited and excluded in their own country. This Led to several military coup’s., by the Natives to reassert their dominance, and ownership of the Islands.

I been told by many of my Indian friends about their cultures distaste for dark skin. An old close friend of mine told me that he got picked on a lot for being dark skin when he was living in India. so with that being said my first thought when I realized that there was Indians living in Africa was “are these people integrating into the African society”

Besides my Indian friends I also met a teacher from Bangladesh at my job who teaches in India. He recognized I was Somali since he saw my name so we chatted for awhile I asked him if their were any Somalis in India and the first thing he said was “yea most are students but the people in India are pretty racist towards them”. A random guy that I just met told me this.

Since the Germans are an easy target, here’s another story.

In 1940, when Mussolini invaded Greece from Italian-held Albania - the spearhead of the invasion force was the alpine division Julia, the famous Alpini. Unlike dirt port peasants from the south of Italy (Sicily, Calabria) that were emigrating to the US and the big cities of the north, Julia’s Alpini soldiers were archetypal middle-class recruits, the stereotypical backbone of a nation. Teachers, shop keepers, clerks, farmer’s sons, even an entire company consisting of ski instructors from the famous winter resort of Cortina D’Ampezzo.

In many churches in quaint Italian tows and villages on the southern foothills of the Alps you’ll find faded memorial photographs of these young men - smiling faces in suits, occasionally standing out rugged handsome features of prosperous farmers and mountain guides with the ubiquitous black feather cap (Pinocchio is wearing the Alpini cap).

When they crossed into Greece, these farmers, clerks and ski instructors discovered their favorite pastime - ripping out unborn fetuses and smashing babies’ heads with their rifle buts. Whenever they went - Greece, elsewhere in the Balkans, later the Soviet Union - they left a gruesome trail of tortured and murdered civilians, especially women and small children.

Such was the hatred of the civilian population towards them due to the diabolical violence they inflicted on those deemed most vulnerable that when Allied soldiers or Balkan or Russian partisans got their hands on them, they dispatched them in the most gruesome and painful way possible, either by crucifixion or having their heads smashed with rocks.

Most of them perished in the Balkans and the Soviet Union, but the memory of these “brave, innocent youths” is an integral part of Italian history.

What’s the point? When you think about “savage Africans and their senseless violence”, all that stuff is at most just decades away for the majority of Europeans, Asians and Africans…

I don’t think the Julia division did that. It was almost wiped out during the invasion of Greece and I don’t think it even made it out of Albania. It was later reformed and sent to the USSR where it was pretty much wiped out. The Italians treated Russian pows better than the Germans did and probably fed them better than the Russians did.