Friday, May 19, 2006

Remember the End of Apartheid?

With regard to this story in the New York Times...

Remember the end of Apartheid in South Africa?

Did the New York Times run stories almost every day describing the plight of whites there, how they were being killed and oppressed, how they were trying to leave the country? Were some white portrayed oh so sympathetically, about how they were hiding now in their upscale neighborhoods afraid to go out, amusing themselves with their piano and flute lessons as they made plans to leave the country? How they were applying for passports and pulling their children out of schools in record numbers? Did they seize on this as evidence of how violent South Africa after apartheid had become, about how things were so bad for "South Africans"? Did they write about how whites were being thrown out of their farms and killed while the authorities did nothing? Did they seize upon this as a failure of international policy toward South Africa?

Or, did they pretty much ignore the plight of the erstwhile oppressors in South Africa. Did they celebrate the rise in power of the new mostly black government and write about how well ordered it was and how things were going very well considering. Did they write about how whites were being treated well by the black government while white corpses piled up in the morgues?

I think it was the latter scenario much more than the former. I think that expressing concern for South African whites at all in those days was a good way to evoke a derisive laugh. And yet now, in Iraq, the New York Times and the rest of the mainstream media are on the side of the oppressors. The Sunni occupied the same position under Saddam that the whites did in South Africa under apartheid -- they were privileged, wealthy, able to get an education, get jobs, and do many things that Kurds and Shia were not allowed to do. The Sunni kept the majority in their place by violent means and with laws worse even than those used in South Africa. But it's only the Sunni that the Times now has any sympathy for.