President Donald Trump’s comments on South Africa on Wednesday evening burst the bubble of political correctness that has long shielded that country’s leaders from responsibility for self-destructive policies that have hurt black and white South Africans alike. Critics cried “racist” when Trump tweeted that he had told Secretary of State Mike Pompeo “to closely study the South Africa land and farm seizures and expropriations and the large scale killing of farmers.”The term “large scale” could be misconstrued: there are no mass graves of farmers. But the tweet was otherwise correct — and overdue. Trump touched on two separate issues. The first is South Africa’s new policy of land reform. Under colonialism and apartheid, black people were expropriated, while white farmers developed a thriving agricultural economy. In 1996, South Africa’s new constitution provided for the restitution of lands that had been unjustly taken in the past, as well as for a more equal racial distribution of land in future. It rejected “arbitrary” expropriation, preferring a “willing buyer, willing seller” approach. Yet critics have charged that land reform is not happening fast enough. They blame recalcitrant white farmers, or timid leaders who are too committed to racial reconciliation to pursue equality. The… Read full this story
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