Wayne Wides agrees with what I've been saying for quite some time now about the misrule of Robert Mugabe, and the reluctance on the part of many otherwise concerned people to speak against it.
... at a time like this I can't help thinking of a criticism Abiola Lapite made once against the international press for its habit of focussing mostly on white Zimbabweans who lost their farms as against the suffering of ordinary black Zimbabweans. That played into the hands of Mugabe as he was then able to play the race card to his supporters and friendly groups outside of the country.
Tha highlights several aspects but one of them is how 'white involvement' in the matter can actually seem to be counter productive in the cause of Zimbabwean democracy - however genuine it may be. Like the international medias habit of focussing on white farmers it just seems to add ammunition to Mugabe's rants about some foreign white conspiracy and whoever it is that is white that he had decided is undermining Zimbabwe from outside ala the book '1984'.
My point exactly. I don't believe for a second that "whites" are to blame for Mugabe's insane choice of economic policies, or his long-espoused intent of turning the country into a one-party state with himself as president-for-life, and I don't even buy that Robert Mugabe really believes any of the nonsense he spouts about a "white" conspiracy against him (he certainly has no problems maintaining lucrative friendships with whites like Chelsy Davy's father, or Nicholas van Hoogstraten), but what is true is that every time some Daily Wail or Torygraph ranter gets up to lambast Mugabe's treatment of Zimbabwe's 60,000 white citizens while relegating the suffering of the millions of the man's black victims to a few words in a closing paragraph of his or her screed, and every time Zimbabwe is made out to be less democratic than a place like China, it sends a clear message that the concern for Zimbabwe is purely a matter of racial chauvinism. It is hardly surprising in such circumstances that relatively few blacks or liberal-minded people are willing to speak out forcefully against the man: who wants to be marching in lock-step with cranks who long for the good ol' days of the Selous Scouts?
Of course, Zimbabwe remains a major problem regardless of who is willing to criticize its' leadership's policies, but I do think that the cause of freedom in Zimbabwe would be helped in no small measure if the Rhodesia nostalgists and "oppressed white minority!" obsessives in the Western press could only bring themselves to shut up. The thing is, I doubt these people really care enough about what's going on in Zimbabwe to do their cause the benefit of keeping quiet, as there's just too much pleasure to be had from being able to point to one country in which the tables are turned and whites can at last be portrayed as enjoying victim status. In that sense, Zimbabwe's whites are Southern Africa's local equivalent of the Palestinians, best loved from afar by their "brothers" in their ordained role as underdogs.