Confirming colonial attitudes

One thing you cannot accuse John Pilger of is pack journalism. His strident style has earned him his fair share of enemies, but he has the courage to put forward independent, well-researched views. For this he is often vilified, as was the case with documentary about South Africa, Apartheid did not die (about which Sean Jacobs wrote insightfully in his PhD dissertation), which the South African media lashed out against. It would be interesting to see the reaction on this piece in the South African Mail and Guardian newspaper, in which he points out that one of the gravest sins of Robert Mugabe’s regime is the fact that it gives Western powers an excuse to justify their own prejudicial views and unfair economic practices, usually hidden under a thinly-veiled yet persistent colonial attitude towards Africa.  Of course this does not in turn give any legitimacy to Robert Mugabe’s cruel reign (or his crude anti-colonialist rhetoric), but it puts the suffering of Zimbabweans in broader perspective, and warns against thinking Mugabe’s removal will be the only solution to the country’s woes.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Confirming colonial attitudes

  1. John Pilger’s polemic is haphazard and badly researched, quoting exemplary sources the South African government and the catholic church.

    As if there’s not been copious amounts of research and written on the problems of South African land reform.

    To aggregate and equate all white responsibility (Rhodie and Afrikaner) for land conquest is racist and ignores the very different histories of countries like South Africa and Zimbabwe. Read this blog and comments by Gavin Evans in this regard.

    I agree with Ferial Haffajee that this is an over simplyfied reductive argument. She says its time to ask the really hard questions. Apartheid, colonialism and right wing government is no more she says.

    She points to the fact that SA spends more on schooling and health that Hugo Chavez’s Bolivarian revolution.

    We have to admit says Haffajee that our problems are very different, ‘our government cannot govern’.

    Is Haffajee a racist colonial?

  2. PS: What was Sean’s take on Apartheid did not die?

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