Racism and capitalism go hand in hand in Australia and South Africa


There are occasional lovely moments when a politician’s carefully arranged façade of decency and respectability is stripped away to reveal their inner person with all its ugly racism and stupidity on display.

Australian Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton provided just such a spectacle this week when he spoke about violence against white South African farmers and legislation passed in the South African parliament to give the state power to confiscate white-owned farms without compensation.

Dutton said they deserved “special attention” and he was looking into whether Australia could help them with visas or humanitarian programs.

He said they “deserve special attention” from Australia due to the “horrific circumstances” of land seizures and violence. “I do think, on the information that I’ve seen, people do need help and they need help from a civilised country like ours,” Dutton said.

Dutton’s concern for white South African farmers has never extended to black South Africans who often face appalling violence when confronting corruption and cronyism within the ruling ANC. And neither does it extend to destitute black South Africans who were stripped of their land under racist policies under which wealthy white South Africans were given the spoils of subjugation and colonialism.

If we took Dutton at his word we’d expect him to champion aboriginal people who have had their land stripped from them without compensation in Australia’s ugly history of racist suppression and genocide. But he isn’t. Dutton’s sympathies are exclusively with his white “kith and kin” in South Africa who perpetrated against black South Africans the same policies his government upholds against Aboriginal people.

New Zealand Immigration Minister Lianne Dalziel was caught out similarly when violence threatened white Zimbabwean farmers fifteen years ago. She announced the Labour government would fast-track immigration for white Zimbabwean farmers under racist attacks but there was no such announcement to fast-track immigration for black Zimbabwean political refugees who were under far greater threat of violence and persecution than white farmers.

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Meanwhile South Africa’s clumsy legislation to redistribute land is in response to growing anger from poor South Africans at the failure of the ANC to lead economic and social reform for which they were elected 24 years ago. It’s a two-decade record of failure as the ANC leadership chose to make common cause with capitalism and, in the words of Bishop Desmond Tutu, “stopped the gravy train just long enough to climb on”.

Real change in South Africa will not come from the likes of former resistance leader turned uber capitalist and now South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa, but from working people organising in their unions and communities across the country.


  1. Racism and capitalism go hand and hand in NZ to especially when bob the knob jones can make racist remarks (and not for the first time either) about our people and nobody says anything and yet when Hone made a racist comment about our pakeha whanau the whole country was up in arms just shows how we are very much like our masters.

    • Correct Michelle.
      The ’81 tour split this Country 50/50 for that reason (same argument as sport/politics) and I don’t think anything has changed since. In fact with all our recent immigrants taken into account the balance has probably worsened.

  2. If you want to look at racism in SA just take a look at Julius Maleme of the Economic Freedom Fighters. At least he is up front about it but, certainly, not a country I would wish to remain in given the white colour of my skin.

  3. But you are safe here Wanman if anything you are safer than me cause even though I have more white blood I am considered brown people look with their eyes first.

  4. I am like you Michelle as long as i cant take a joke and smiling all the time, I’m just one of the boys, have a difference of opinion and my Maori heritage is brought to the fore in unprintable terms, and how many times have i heard ‘should have shot you all blah blah blah……

  5. Yes and 100 times yes. Is it too much to ask truly informed, intelligent, empathetic and courageous politicians to stand up to this buffoonery? Dutton is symptomatic of an insideous mindset which suggests, if they look like me…then they are worth saving, if not they can eat dirt. People are people dependent on circumstance, what kind of a human being are you if you pick and choose based on skin tone and language?

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