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Video of South African politician Julius Malema leading a stadium of nearly 100,000 supporters in a genocidal chant went viral last week, shocking many Americans. Malema led the crowd as they sang a song with the lyrics “Shoot to kill, kill the Boer, kill the farmer,” a reference to the white Afrikaner population of South Africa.
In any other circumstance, the horrific call to violence would have generated an international outcry, but Malema chose the right target. Instead of issuing an unconditional condemnation of this dangerous rhetoric, progressive media outlets like the New York Times ran cover for Malema and his Marxist-Leninist party, the Economic Freedom Fighters, as they chanted their demand for racial violence. Say what you want about the American left, they recognize an ideological ally when they see one.
American media are always scouring the country for stories of bigotry against minorities in the hopes of amplifying their divisive racial narrative. In the United States, popular opinion grants political authority, and progressives seek to generate hegemonic control over the popular consciousness by keeping the population in a constant state of woke paranoia. The Democratic voting base must be kept in a perpetual state of fear, believing that an underground network of neo-Nazis and Klan members could surge back into political power at any moment, visiting a reign of terror on all the vulnerable groups that the left pretends to champion. Republican voters must be kept in a state of constant apprehension, painfully aware that one stray look or unguarded comment at work or school could destroy the rest of their lives as the media search for the newest villain to parade before the public during their two minutes of hate.
The relentless nature of this witch hunt means that journalists have an increasingly difficult time finding any suitable villains, but the progressive media never declare victory and end the revolution. Instead they fabricate increasingly outlandish conspiracy theories to perpetuate the woke jihad. In the last few years, working out, drinking milk, and using the “OK” hand gesture have all been declared the coded dog whistles of white supremacy.
In a media climate where one’s choice of breakfast beverage may reveal secret racial animus, surely the press would jump at the chance to decry an open declaration of hatred and violence chanted by a political leader and a stadium full of his militant supporters. But of course, anyone who has been paying attention knows that progressive leftists have no problem with racial hatred, in fact they encourage it at every opportunity. For the progressive journalist, the morality of any interaction is dictated entirely by the melanin content of the groups in question. One group is the oppressor and everything they do is evil; the other group is oppressed and everything they do is justified.
The murder of white farmers in South Africa is a very real phenomenon, but those who dare to notice it are often smeared as racist conspiracy theorists by progressive media. In the last week of July, nine farm attacks and two murders were committed, according to the South African civil rights organization AfriForum. After the direct call to violence by Malema and his political party, a number of residents were attacked on their farms, including 79-year-old Theo Bekker, who was brutally beaten before having his throat cut. A few days later, farmer Duwayne Smith and his wife, Ingrid, were shot by gunmen in front of their two young children. Duwayne was killed, and Ingrid is still recovering from her injuries in a local hospital. In many cases nothing of value is taken during farm murders, indicating that these are not just robberies gone bad but targeted acts of violence.
Despite the fatal consequences of Malema’s rally, the New York Times decided to defend the use of the murderous chant. Journalists at the paper became furious after South African-born billionaire Elon Musk stated the obvious: that these chants were calls for genocide targeting white people. The Times ran a piece characterizing Musk’s concern as opportunistic and inflammatory. The author claimed, “Despite the words, the song should not be taken as a literal call to violence, according to Mr. Malema and veterans and historians of the anti-apartheid struggle. It has been around for decades, one of many battle cries of the anti-apartheid movement that remain a defining feature of the country’s political culture.” To the progressive journalist, drinking milk and working out are dangerous signals of racial hatred, but a song openly calling for genocide is simply a quaint little ditty that should not be taken too seriously.
Malema has been asked point-blank in court if he would pledge not to call for the slaughter of white people in South Africa, and he refused repeatedly to rule it out. His party, the EFF, has demanded that land be confiscated from white farmers without compensation. The politician was previously banned from singing “Kill the Boer” by a South African judge, an order that he promptly violated after forming the EFF.
The intentions of Malema and his party are clear, but the Times feels compelled to downplay them to its American audience. This is not the first time the paper has run cover for a violent Marxist for whom its journalists felt sympathy. In the 1930s, New York Times reporter Walter Duranty won a Pulitzer Prize for covering up the mass starvation inflicted on Ukrainians by the Soviet Union. At least five million people died in the Holodomor genocide, but the Times has never returned Duranty’s Pulitzer.
For progressive journalists, the justifying narrative is black and white. The apartheid regime ended in 1994, but no matter how much time passes or conditions on the ground change, the dynamic of oppressor and oppressed is already set in stone. The population of South Africa is 80% black, Afrikaners are the clear minority, and the nation’s laws explicitly call for racial quotas that limit opportunities, business ownership, and even water distribution for white citizens. It is tempting to graft America’s racial politics onto other nations, but the dynamic in South Africa is complex. Many different ethnic communities and cultures exist simultaneously, and political factions do not fall strictly across racial lines.
But for the Times the American racial grievance lens is all that exists, and one race is the eternal oppressor. The left justifies rhetoric about “abolishing whiteness” in the United States by characterizing what is an obvious slogan of racial hatred as an attack on a historically oppressive system. The New York Times justifies the genocidal call of “Kill the Boer” in South Africa with the same logic. The left recognizes no radicals in its racial grievance jihad and turns a blind eye when the consequences turn deadly. If reality is inconvenient to the narrative, simply discard it. You might even win a Pulitzer Prize in the process.
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Auron MacIntyre is the host of “The Auron MacIntyre Show” and a columnist for Blaze News.