In practice, the racial quotas imposed by affirmative action constitute a barely disguised form of ethnic cleansing.
“Affirmative action” is an innocuous phrase coined by US president John F. Kennedy in Executive Order No. 10925 on 6 March 1961 whereby he wanted to give blacks access to government jobs in America. However, in majority-black countries like South Africa and Zimbabwe it has become a barely disguised form of ethnic cleansing directed against those of European descent.
In practice, affirmative action imposes racial quotas on companies in South Africa that require them to either get rid of white employees or no longer employ whites altogether. The other day I was talking to an Afrikaner man in the service of a listed cellphone company in South Africa. With the new racial quotas adopted by the company, he is no longer allowed to do his normal job. So the company has transferred him to another section where he would be “less visible”. He and other whites in the company were told that if ever they should resign, they would never get another job with the firm because henceforth practically no whites would be employed.
Kennedy’s original executive order required government contractors “to take affirmative action to ensure that applicants are employed, and employees are treated during employment, without regard to their race, creed, color, or national origin”. The more modern form of affirmative action or “positive discrimination” as it is called in Britain and France, has become the opposite of that definition, as it precisely “treats employees with regard to their race, creed, colour or national origin”.
Affirmative action was a kind of euphemism used by Kennedy. But the idea has become so Orwellian that even this type of euphemism for racial quotas in employment no longer suffices. Therefore, in both South Africa and Canada, affirmative action laws are referred to as “employment equity”. This term qualifies as Orwellian doublespeak, of which Wikipedia has a pretty good definition:
“Doublespeak is language that deliberately obscures, disguises, distorts, or reverses the meaning of words.”
So there you have it. There is no more pristine example of doublespeak than the Canadian-South African notion of “employment equity”, which is the exact opposite of what “equity” or “equality” means. In fact, the word comes from old French équité (fairness, even-handed dealing) which may be traced back to the Latin aequus, “equal”. In South Africa and in Canada, legislators call precisely not treating employees equally, or discriminating against people of European descent… equity. How perverse that is.
Somehow, I have the impression that not only every statue in the Western world will be overturned at some point, as is already happening in South Africa and in the American South, but all of our meanings, our age-old concepts extending back to Greek and Roman times, will be twisted into their opposites.
“They told me I must hide, because of ‘equity’,” my compatriot said. I tried to console him by saying that sooner or later this madness must end, that the system must come crashing down, undermined by its own perversity and inefficiency.
But he was not to be consoled. He only wanted “to get out”, to go to Australia. He had been to Australia once, lived there, even had some children left back there who are now Australian citizens. “But if so many of us left, what about those remaining behind, what would happen to them?” His reply: “Everyone has to make his own decision.”
Listening to him, I realised in that one instant that South African-style affirmative action or “equity” in doublespeak had nothing to do with creating opportunities for blacks who, after all, had a monopoly on political power and whose happy, consumerist faces graced all the billboards. Unlike in America, where Kennedy had meant it to “level the playing field” for the black minority against a white majority, in South Africa it was intended to drive whites out. It put so many obstacles in the path of job-seekers or even those wanting to start or run their own businesses that it was easier to, as my interlocutor put it, “pay $13 000 to get into Australia”.
Over the weekend in Soweto, the radical group Black First Land First run by Andile Mngxitama said that people of European descent had no right to criticise government corruption, as exemplified by the Gupta brothers from India who got various lucrative contracts due to their being friends with President Zuma. “The first people who must go here [from South Africa] are white people,” Mngxitama shouted, to boisterous approval from the crowd.
At least in South Africa, affirmative action represents a form of ethnic hatred expressed in official legislation. The contorted logic behind it, that it will supposedly “help blacks to overcome the effects of past discrimination” is only an excuse. It is meant to make members of the white minority in the country feel unwelcome and stigmatises them as second-class citizens.
Unfortunately, as my conversation with the cellphone-company employee showed, it works. Coupled with violence in the form of farm attacks and home invasions, it chases people away. Short of mass killings and genocide, it is a very effective way of cleansing a country of an unwanted population, even if that population had made the country into what it is today.
Affirmative action or “equity” should be exposed for the sham that it is. In Europe it is less developed than in the USA, Canada or extremist South Africa, but as immigrant populations grow, there will be more and more calls for exactly this kind of “positive discrimination”. Already the new French president, Emmanuel Macron, has declared himself in favour of “positive discrimination” against Europeans by paying a state bonus of €15 000 to companies employing “people from disadvantaged areas”.
As we have seen in South Africa, once affirmative action starts, it inevitably gets more radical and draconian. Then it becomes ethnic cleansing under another name.
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