If you read the New York Times last week, you may well know all about the ethnic tensions that mar the Pacific paradise of Fiji, where the native islanders are locked in a bitter and somewhat violent conflict with Indians and other foreign newcomers. All most interesting, no doubt, and well worth the front-page attention the Times awarded the story. But what you probably don’t know about from reading the Times is that halfway around the world, a somewhat more important ethnic conflict is also about to explode — namely, the economic expropriation of and possible outright genocide against the white farmers of Zimbabwe by its demagogic black leader and his followers. For the last several months, the American press has kept this story well in its back pages, and even now barely bothers to report on it at all.
The most recent twist in the story is that Zimbabwean Prime Minister Robert Mugabe, who for months has been encouraging mobs of black marauders to seize white-owned farms in his country, has now formally announced the outright seizure of 804 white-owned farms amounting to some 5.2 million acres of land. Mugabe offers no compensation to the farmers, and banks owed debts by them will now lose some $300 million because of the seizures.
The mobs that have been attacking and seizing white land for the last few months (at least five farmers have been murdered) are led by a character known as Chenjerai Hunzvi, who has chosen to dub himself “Hitler” Hunzvi. He has met with the maximum leader himself and has yet to be bridled. Last week, good ol’ “Hitler” announced that the land about to be grabbed would be divvied up “first come, first served,” and Mugabe himself has denounced the white farmers as “enemies.”
The white land seizure, virtually all economists are predicting, will only wreck what remains of the country’s agriculture. As Reuters reported last week, “Economists predict bread shortages within six months … unless the government finds money to import an extra 100,000 tons of wheat.” Maybe Mugabe can simply steal the money like he’s now stealing the land. Certainly no one in the West would seem to be likely to object.
What the Mugabe regime is doing is probably the most blatant and brutal smashing of “human rights” in southern Africa in years, even in a subcontinent notorious for its brutality. Yet not only does the New York Times virtually ignore the story, but hardly any other American newspapers gave it any prominence, if they mentioned it at all.
Nor has the Zimbabwean land theft entered the consciousness of most American opinion commentators, right or left. Conservatives had a good deal to say about Rhodesia, as Zimbabwe was known until 1980, back when the communists were backing Mugabe’s terrorists when the government was run by whites. But in recent weeks, the right has been virtually silent about the mass violation of property rights and the looming threat of government attacks on life and liberty.
Not only have the media been silent about Zimbabwe but also the Clinton administration, the zealous guardian of human rights everywhere from Kosovo to East Timor, has had hardly a word to say about Mugabe’s onslaught. Since helping Africa — against oppressive white regimes, against AIDS, against poverty — is always high on the liberal globalist agenda, it’s a bit peculiar that there’s so much silence on the Mugabe horrors.
But the reason is really not so hard to identify. “Human rights” are fine when you’re trying to weaken such anti-communist leaders as Chile’s Gen. Augusto Pinochet or such bastions of white oligarchy as Rhodesia and South Africa in the days of white minority rule. That, you see, is the real purpose of “human rights” — not the institutionalization of genuine and reciprocal respect for the rights of all human beings, but rather the politically, ideologically and racially selective institutionalization of rights for some people but not others.
It’s therefore likely that the situation in Zimbabwe is going to get a lot worse before it gets any better. So far, hardly anyone outside Zimbabwe has sent its leader any signal that either his vicious language about the whites, his attacks on land ownership or even the fact of actual murder and the not-so-subtle hints of more murder to come will instigate official American objections or United Nations intervention. That sort of thing is perfectly proper for Gen. Pinochet or Austria’s Jorg Haider, but it just doesn’t apply to pioneers of democratic and racial progress like Mugabe.
If the whites of Zimbabwe want to survive, they’d better forget about relying on the cant of “human rights” and “racial tolerance” their Western cousins love to spout, and look for help somewhere besides the nations and civilization they came from.