Friday, June 11, 2004

Via the M&G:

Right-wing leader Eugene Terre'Blanche took to the streets of Potchefstroom on a black horse on Friday to wild cheers from a mainly black audience who shouted "Welcome out" and tried to shake his hand.

There are times when I battle to understand my country...

My best explanation for this is as follows. Nowadays, the AWB, white supremacy and Terreblanche are spent forces. So much so that they've become a joke. Terreblanche himself is virtually a cartoon figure. So, for black people, there's comic value involved in seeing him and shaking his hand. What this illustrates is how little of a threat he, and his organisation, are regarded as posing. And it also illustrates how much the political and cultural landscape has shifted -- I can't imagine this happening ten years ago. If Terre'Blanche calls a public meeting now, to deliver a speech, I wouldn't be surprised if the same crowd pitches up for a laugh.

The best analogy I can draw, and it's not perfect, is that, following the collapse of the USSR, it became hip to wear clothes emblazoned with CCCP -- they acquired a sort of retro-coolnees because everyone knew that the Soviet Union was no longer a real threat.

6 Comments:

At 26 August 2004 at 17:39, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well another possible & more likely explanation for why Eugene Terrblanche is so well received by some black South Africans is that those who come out to great him are from the Tswana nation. Remember: a great many Tswanas were also opposed to the ANC (& Xhosa dominated) takeover of South Africa & some members of Terreblanche's AWB tried to stop the nominal Tswana homeland of Bophuthatswana from being overtaken by ANC alligned forces in 1994 during a failed counter insurgency or "invasion" (as some have called it) into the homeland. Remember also that Terreblanche lives in the old western Transvaal region were most Twsanas live & he is a descendent of Cape Rebels who fought against Britain's imperial ambitions during the Anglo-Boer War.

 
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