Wednesday, September 2, 2009

I should apply for Asylum

The recent ruling by Canada to grant the South African Brandon Huntley asylum has ruffled the feathers of many political pigeons as the proverbial cat has caused a Public Relations nightmare. William Davis (Chairperson of the Board) ruled that Huntley was the victim of crime due to his race rather than being a victim of criminality. While in South Africa Huntley was allegedly violently attacked 7 times by black South Africans and claimed to be truly scared to return. Pondering on the issue made me question the state of crime in my country, whether this ruling is justified and whether there is any truth in the message this sends out to the rest of the world.
After the ruling I looked at my black colleagues and friends with suspicion, wondered when they will turn against me. Driving home every black person appeared to be a threat as according to Huntley they are all out to get “payback” for what happened during Apartheid. All white people should be scared to death as you never know when the “Black Danger” (a term used during Apartheid) will strike! No white person is safe, no matter where you are or what your political affiliation or nationality. If you are white the blacks will seek you out and harm you. If you see a black person on the street you better clutch your purse tighter and make sure your pepper spray is in hand as they will have no mercy and they are all vengeful criminals. Also don’t think that the police will assist or protect you because they just don’t give a damn. What a load of bullshit!
It is true that South Africa has one of the highest crime rates in the world with violent crime being prevalent. However, stating that crime is racially motivated seems quite bizarre. Yes, the majority of criminals arrested are black but there’s a quite simple explanation for this: There are more black people in South Africa than white people but this doesn’t mean that there are no white criminals. If we really want to be controversial we can blame most of the crime in South Africa on the immigrant communities of the Nigerians and Zimbabweans as they run most of the drug trade, human trafficking, house theft and car hijacking syndicates. Yes they are also black but at least they are NOT South African!!!
Having been a victim of crime as well, I never felt I was being specifically targeted because I’m white. They didn’t burgle my house because they knew that two white guys lived there. They must have burgled our house because they knew we had nice things. Everybody knows homosexuals have good taste! I was rather targeted for being gay! Maybe I should apply for asylum with this defence: I live in fear in South Africa because I am gay. Even though homosexuality is legal and we can get married I spent my days a nervous wreck not knowing when or where the heterosexuals will attack or victimize me. Here I can include all races and don’t have to specify or sound like a racist. I have also been the victim of crime 5 times in my life and if I really wanted to I can make it appear as if I was a victim due to my sexual orientation.

Racially motivated crime truly poses a conundrum as we really cannot be sure that the crime was racially motivated. People of all races fall victim to crime in South Africa, it’s not just the defenceless pitiable white people. We can also not say crime is a result of revenge due to Apartheid as such statements are baseless and irresponsible in the absence of supporting evidence.

Not knowing the exact details of the crimes Huntley was a victim off, we cannot criticize the Canadian Board’s decision. However, I am sure the ruling will be reviewed. The Board makes their ruling based on individual cases and circumstances. In Davis’ ruling regarding Huntley’s application he stated:

“The evidence… shows a picture of indifference and inability or unwillingness of the government and the security forces to protect white South Africans from persecution by African South Africans”.

Being a “White” South African I have never felt I needed protection from persecution by “African” South Africans. The only times I do feel persecuted is during tax filing season when I actually owe the tax man money and I don’t even know whether he/she is black or white. South Africa does have a problem with crime but to make it an issue of racism is preposterous and using it to justify an asylum application remarkably audacious!

I hope Bradon Hartley keeps his asylum status (refugee status) in Canada as after this unwanted bad publicity and resulting Public Relations nightmare for the South African Department of Foreign Affairs, I do not think the politicians and the powers that be would welcome him back in the country with open arms anytime soon. I wonder how many other South African’s abroad are going to attempt to apply for asylum using the same queer argument.

Asylum should be granted to people who truly need it due to a real threat of persecution and/or genuine threat to their lives.

Till next time.
Racism in Elevators


Anonymous said...

Mmm, I agree with you that crime is not always racially motivated - there are instances where they are, I'm sure - but I think that's the exception.

I do, however, think that this is a very good thing that happened - sometimes we need a bit of a shocker to get us into action (if it be true or not). I really hope that the SA government will do something about the crime in this beautiful country, and I hope it happens soon - but in all honesty, I think nothing short of a miracle will "cure" the crime in SA... Attitudes need to change - and we can't change anyone's but our own. So I think that's where I'll start then :)

One thing I would LOVE to happen in SA is that people will stop saying that things are racially motivated... That broken record is really driving me up the wall now. Take responsibility - as our friend, MM, always says: "put on your big girl panties and deal with it"! It's not racism dammit, it's being fed-up, I think!

As alway, love reading your blog, Pierre! Have a great day!


Pierre said...

Thanks Louis.

I agree with you. The South African Government has now internationally been shamed for not doing enough to fight crime & protect its citizens. I too hope that this will now kick them into action to do more about the crime issue.

This made me wonder how many people will now be too scared to attend the World Soccer Cup next year in South Africa, if the country's own citizens are getting asylum in foreign countries due to crime.

I am also sick and tired of the race card being played from all sides. This is not the 1970's anymore. Wake up people stop blaming apartheid for everything! Like you said people need to change their attitudes.

Pierre said...

"SA’s white refugee faces deportation"

JasonNY said...

The guys sounds nuts, well Canada is a bit weird so this doesn't surprise me. Maybe he should stay there.

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