Afrikaans singer stirs up controversy with war song

Success of Boer war general anthem raises question of identity of Afrikaners
Feb 26, 2007, Guardian:

The question goes out, and the response is always the same.

"I'm proud of my language and culture. Are you?" Bok van Blerk demands of the emotionally charged crowd.

Up goes the cheer, and then comes the song - an Afrikaans folk number about a Boer war general that has become a sensation in South Africa as an anthem for young whites who say they are tired of being made to feel guilty about the apartheid past.

The song, De La Rey, has swept into rugby matches and pubs where Afrikaners belt out its plea for the old Boer general to come back and lead. Many stand with a hand over their heart as they sing the lyrics about a "nation that will rise up again" as if it were a national anthem.
Delarey Song - with English subtitles

Delarey Song - Why the outcry, Beloved country - Part 1

Part 2

Quotes from video:
"We don't necessarily need a leader, we just need to revive our culture, everyone fall back on their culture. You know we are Afrikaners, we all have a bit of pride in ourselves."

"People are fed up with crime, people are fed up with corruption, they feel besieged, many things in South Africa are wrong."

"People feel uncertain - they're afraid, they feel disempowered, that explains the deep emotions."

"People don't sing about lying in trenches, but the current situation in S.A."

"The only call to arms there is for cultural revolution."

"Metaphorically speaking, we have to take up arms to preserve our Afrikaans culture."

"We're part of this rainbow nation but we're one of the colours, and we're raising our hand to say 'listen, we are here'."

"I never want a war again like the Anglo-Boer war."

Bok says it's not about war, but about pride. "I just hope that people will realise it doesn't matter who or what you are: Tswana, Zulu, Sotho, English or Afrikaner, take pride in who you are, it gives you backbone and direction in life."
Guardian, continued ...
Bok van Blerk characterises De La Rey as a stand against historic guilt.

"Young Afrikaners are tired of having the apartheid guilt trip shoved down their throats. This song makes them proud of their heritage," he said ...

The song has been portrayed in the Afrikaans press as a rallying cry for leadership which evaporated with the end of apartheid in 1994. The Afrikaner writer, Rian Malan, said the emotional impact of De La Rey caught everyone by surprise but reflects a deep-seated feeling among many whites that they do not belong in South Africa any more. Hundreds of thousands have decamped to London, Sydney and other foreign cities.

"Afrikaners were so vilified in the latter years of apartheid and they were so relieved at it ending that they just kept their heads down and put up with any shit for the first 10 years of the democratic experiment," he said.

"Afrikaners don't know where they fit in. The ANC and the comfortable class of Afrikaners have been very good at managing the Afrikaner problem. They lulled the rightwing with talk of a "volkstat" (homeland) some day. It's been very skilfully managed. The Afrikaans press carries some of the blame because they ignored the painful issues, they bought into the rainbow nation myth, they didn't rock the ideological boat."

But resentment has grown over affirmative action programmes in favour of non-whites which some Afrikaners see as a new form of apartheid.

There is also bitterness at the marginalisation of Afrikaans as a language by the state even though it is the most widely spoken in South Africa, and a perception that the government is attempting to eradicate Afrikaner culture by changing the names of roads, airports and cities, particularly Pretoria ...

Bok van Blerk ... earlier this month he performed before an audience in Afrikaner-only "Orania", a village that its residents hope will form the nucleus of a white homeland ...
"We don't necessarily need a leader, we just need to revive our culture". That is what whites need to do foremost, find songs to sing, rediscover or redefine our culture, find a way to unify the old-fashioned way. Unity will be the most vital ingredient to preserve our place in a world that many whites feel "that they do not belong ... any more". Orania, the search for a white safe-haven amidst a failing post-white nation, could be the beginning of similar movements wherever whites live.

De la Rey, De la Rey
Will you come ...

H/T: commenter

UPDATE: Mark Richardson comments at OzConservative:
This is exactly the shift Westerners need to make. For a long time, the neutrality strand of liberalism has set a different tone ...

We can be better than neutral. We can identify positively with our own culture; we can defend its value as a real entity and not just as a personal sentiment; and we can admire those who show themselves to be most connected to their own ethnic culture and who represent it at its best.
See also: comment at VFR.


Anonymous said...

The problems facing South Africa's white minority are more dire than most people in the West realise.

As Australian Niels Dempster wrote in American Renaissance back in 2000:

The fact is that in some respects the situation in South Africa is already worse than in Zimbabwe. Accurate figures are hard to come by, but since Mr. De Klerk ushered in the new rainbow nation an estimated 1,000 or more white farmers and their families have been assaulted, murdered and in some horrific cases tortured to death by their fellow African citizens. Unlike the case in Zimbabwe, this continuing outrage receives absolutely no coverage by the word press. This is because it has not had psychopathic clowns like Robert Mugabe and “Hitler” Hunzvi to draw the world’s attention to it. If it weren’t for them the plight of Zimbabwe’s farmers would also be a non-event. Mr. Mugabe has inadvertently succeeded in highlighting the plight of whites just as Idi Amin made headlines when he expelled Uganda’s Indians in 1972. Interestingly, Britain at that time granted the Indians the right to live in the United Kingdom, something the current government seems reluctant to do for Zimbabwe’s whites.

Mr. Mugabe has therefore issued a wake-up call to whites in South Africa — but they aren’t asleep, they are in a coma. On a business trip to South Africa last December I was astonished at the state of denial in which I found most European South Africans. It was surreal to sit in a luxurious restaurant in Sandon, a suburb of Johannesburg, discussing business and rugby — everything except what really mattered, which is the future of the country. People carry on as if everything were normal.

As a visitor it was easy to believe after a couple of days that perhaps my perception of South Africa’s future was excessively gloomy, since everyone seemed so confident that things were going to sort themselves out and improve. In fact I avoided meaningful conversation about South Africa’s future to avoid being seen as negative — no doubt others do, too, and much that should be said remains unspoken. And yet the constant sight of razor wire around suburban homes, along with polite advice not to visit downtown Johannesburg even in the daytime served as reminders that despite appearances, things were not normal. Hopefully, Mr. Mugabe’s actions have succeeded in driving home the hard fact that denying a problem and not talking about it does not make it go away. Perhaps those who can leave but hesitated are now packing their bags, abandoning their homes and businesses, and getting out while they still can.

The real tragedy in southern Africa has yet to take place. In the years to come the West will no doubt be faced with several million whites pleading to be taken in as refugees. The mass media and Western governments will try their best to cover up and ignore what is going on until the plight of whites becomes so extreme that even the most liberal reporters won’t be able to resist the newsworthiness of filming white women and children begging for their lives.

But even after it becomes impossible to ignore what is happening the liberal media will resort to smearing the whites trying to flee South Africa as racists unworthy of living in a multicultural society. In my mind’s eye I can already see distinguished men of learning and religion reminding the public that we shouldn’t focus on the plight of only one segment of the South African population and that all South Africans of every race deserve our sympathy and support, etc., etc. When that happens it will be useful to point to the likes of Mr. Mugabe as examples of the real reason southern Africa has degenerated into barbarism. Mr. Mugabe has given us a striking example of the incompetence, corruption and hopelessness of African rule and in doing so has generated a groundswell of public support for the millions of white South Africans who, before long, will be knocking at our door.

Mark Richardson said...

Exellent post. Van Blerk is right when he says:

Tswana, Zulu, Sotho, English or Afrikaner, take pride in who you are, it gives you backbone and direction in life.

This is the natural attitude that has been stifled in whites. One problem is that liberalism tells politically-oriented whites that it's high-minded to remain neutral and detached; that we should abandon communal allegiances and turn instead to private pursuits.

It's something we have to decisively break from. We should not admire the neutralist type of Westerner, but instead those like Van Blerk who make clear their natural allegiance in a group setting and with a group purpose.

Anonymous said...

It's important to note that the Afrikaners have a long history of ethnocentrism. The Afrikaners were essentially a people frozen in time; a "lost" white tribe at the ends of the earth who missed the developments of 18th century Europe, the age in which liberalism was born. Therefore, they were never exposed to the same anti-ethnocentric liberal thinking that became dominant among other white peoples.

It was this strong sense of ethnic identity that allowed the Afrikaners to politically gain the upper hand over the British during the apartheid era, despite the fact that British-descended whites still controlled most sectors of the economy.

Anonymous said...

Ilana Mercer has documented what she calls "The Genocide In Democratic South Africa" at her site.

The article is not for the faint-of-heart; it has some graphic descriptions of the savagery going on in South Africa.

More evidence to support what anonymous said in the first post.