Apartheid, as a system of isolation and hegemony, a systematic social, emotional and material oppression, a program of social engineering of a class of slaves to sustain the white Elysium – might go down as one of the most sinister designs of a system of oppression in the history of the world.
At the helm of this dystopian system stood the Afrikaner, armed with a perverted form of Calvinism that helped them to identify as an Israel archetype. As history has shown many times, once a group can prove that the gods are on their side, all atrocities against other groups can be justified.
The history taught to white school children was a finely woven mixture of history seen from the myopic view of a white person and pure fiction in other spots. Anchoring this history was a perverted myth of a battle against the Zulu nation where, it is claimed, the Afrikaner called upon their god to save them from what seemed like overwhelming opposition. As it has been reconstructed to read – on that day – the 16th of December 1838, God intervened and rescued his ‘neo Israel.’ This fabricated version of the truth was the Afrikaner’s sacred history.
In these times of nation-building, an anthem was created for the Afrikaner – known as ‘Die Stem’ (the voice), where words were cast as an evil spell to sweep the Afrikaner along an emotional river of falsehood. To the simple, often unschooled, and racist Afrikaner, this invented history and emotional anthem seemed to fit into their confirmation bias and world-view whereby the Afrikaner male was (barely) under their god, and everything else on this planet, including Afrikaner women and children, other races, animals, and nature were under their control.
It is in this epoch that the dark figure of Hendrik Verwoerd spilled onto the political scene in South Africa, a realm that like all other privilege was for whites only. He manufactured a policy that at a distance might have looked like a good deal for Europeans and Africans, fully knowing that the devil lay in the details, or in this case in the implementation of the policy. The serfhood of the African people in South Africa was just about assured by now. Stripped away was their land, their cattle, their skills, their pride. Their culture was ground to dust under the heel of the European. Their existence was that of prisoners of war – dependent on the European for their livelihood. Most of these people were living in squalor, near white towns, so that they could work as indentured servants for Europeans.
Inside this system of oppression was a perfect echo chamber of thought control. The Dutch word for a municipality is ‘gemeente,’ which when translated to English would mean ‘congregation.’ Society was seen by the Dutch as an extension of the (Calvinist) congregation, and nobody could avoid this cultural phenomenon. This Calvinist inclination to control all aspects of public life was repeated by the Afrikaner (who came from predominantly Dutch heritage). The culture, permeated with religion and vice versa, the only acceptable language to speak – Afrikaans, incidentally stolen from another ethnic group, turned into a weapon of oppression. African children were schooled in Afrikaans, and the curriculum was controlled by authorities so that African children could learn from young that the European was “superior.” …to be continued