Beyond black and white: Uncovering the hidden realities of racism and violence – Andrew Kenny

Andrew Kenny reflects on two recent crimes against black people, one in the USA and one in South Africa, and the different reactions to them, noting that incidents of white racism against black people are more widely reported and emphasised in the media, while incidents of black racism against other groups are ignored. Kenny suggests that the focus on white supremacy and racism ignores the suffering of the majority of law-abiding black people, who are most affected by the actions of a small minority of criminals. Kenny also discusses the different ways in which the crimes were reported and the motives behind them, highlighting the issue of ‘muti’ killings in South Africa, drawing on personal experience and observations to argue that the focus on race obscures important issues and leads to a neglect of other forms of violence and suffering.

Black victims don’t matter, only white offenders

By Andrew Kenny*

Two horrible crimes against black people, one in the USA, another in South Africa, made me ponder. Reactions to the crimes made me ponder even more.

On Thursday last week, in Kansas City, USA, a 16-year-old black boy, Ralph Yarl, looking for his brothers, pressed the doorbell at the wrong house. The owner, an 84-year-old white man, Andrew Lester, shot him in the head through the glass door, and then shot him again as he fell on the ground. Yarl recovered in hospital, although he is badly injured. Lester said he thought Yarl was a criminal intruder and was scared of him because of his size. Lester was arrested and faces life in prison.

On Wednesday this week, in Soweto, Johannesburg, two little boys, six-year-old Tshiamo Ndlovu and five-year-old Nqobizitha Zulu, were kidnapped and then, according to the police, mutilated and murdered. Notice the word sequence: ‘mutilated and murdered’, not ‘murdered and mutilated’. I shall come back to this. (As part of the South African background, on Friday last week, ten members of one black family were shot dead at their household in Pietermaritzburg. Taxi feuds or drug dealing are suspected.)

In the USA, in most of the mainstream media, the Kansas City shooting made headlines, and the races of victim and offender were loudly announced. They all suspected white racism as the motive for the shooting. It may have been – Lester’s grandson said he was a bit of a weirdo and a racist – but I haven’t seen any other evidence that it was. On Saturday last week, a 20-year-old white woman, Kaylin Gillis, was shot dead by a 65-year-old white man, Kevin Monahan, when the car she was travelling in turned into his driveway by mistake. Monahan shot her dead after the driver, her boyfriend, had realised his mistake and was driving away. Monahan and Lester sound similar types. However, what the big media wants to hear are stories about white racism. Incidents of white racists killing black people are gold dust to them, and the race of the offender is always trumpeted around the nation. Incidents of black racists killing white people or Asian people are ignored, and the race of the offenders is never mentioned.

Read more: South Africa’s rise, fall, and call for accountability

Racial proportions

By the racial proportions of the population at large, a white man is more likely to be killed by a black man than the other way around, and an Asian is even more likely to be killed by a black man than the other way round. The number of white policemen killing black people is proportionately small.

Incidents of black people killing other black people, which account for by far the biggest number of black murders, are met with embarrassed silence. In this case, black lives don’t matter at all. Decent, gentle, law-abiding black people, by far the majority of black people, in America’s inner cities are murdered, raped, robbed and terrorised by a small minority of young black male criminals.

The woke mass media care nothing for them. Nor do the Democrat politicians. Nor does the white ruling class coastal elite. Nor does President Biden. They all care mightily, almost exclusively, about ‘white supremacy’ (the belief that apart from themselves, who are sensitive, upper class, and superior, all other whites are crude, bigoted, low class and inferior – ‘deplorable’ in fact – and want power for themselves only.)

To fight white supremacy, you have to ignore all black suffering unless white men cause it. Then you suddenly believe that black lives matter. This is what Biden thought in the case of Ralph Yarl.

Biden invited Ralph Yarl to the White House to express his profound sympathy and to apologise on behalf of all America. This he had not done for far worse crimes where people were actually murdered, not just wounded. For example, he did not do this for the families of the three school children and three teachers who were shot dead by a woman at Nashville Christian School.

In Soweto, the mutilation and murder of the two little boys was treated with much greater seriousness than such dreadful incidents – which are appallingly frequent – usually are.

The new Premier of Gauteng, Panyaza Lesufi, spoke with dignity, anger and sorrow. The mothers of the victims were pleased with the quick and urgent police response, surely something that does not usually happen. Perhaps Lesufi was right when he said his immediate task was to catch the offenders and not speculate about their motives. They could tell him after he had arrested them. But he knows and the parents know, and even I know exactly what their motives were: muti. Some muti requires human body parts. We all also know why murder followed mutilation, not the other way round. A white policeman explained this to me in graphic detail in 1987.

Read more: Rob Hersov: SA’s new Electoral Act – A positive step for democracy or an unfair game rigged by the ANC?


I was working as a trainee engineer at a coal power station in the Eastern Transvaal (now Mpumalanga). One of the senior operators, who had formerly been a policeman in the area, invited us to a braai at his house. He was a large, loud, jolly man. He told me proudly how the police used torture to extract confessions from black male suspects.

One method was to tie down the suspect to a chair, take an inner tube that had been cut open into a strip, and press the strip tightly over his mouth and nose so that he couldn’t breathe. When he went purple in the face and was writhing and heaving in the chair, they would release the strip, allow him one gasp of air, and then apply it again. After several rounds of this, they would take off the strip and ask him if he was ready to confess. If not, the procedure was repeated indefinitely until he did.

Another method was to hold the suspect’s head in a tub of water until he was nearly passing out, then lift it out for him to take one gasp, and then push it down again. He told me this while he was smiling at us and making potjiekos (he was a good cook). I asked him if the suspects were guilty of political murders. He looked surprised and turned away from the potjie. ‘God, no! Muti murders.’

His policemen or black people in the area would come across the mutilated bodies of little black boys in the veld (never little black girls as far as I remember his saying). Their eyes, testicles, knees and elbows had been removed for muti. Then he got rather scientific. To make strong muti, sangomas had explained to him, the body parts had to be fresh â€“ meaning they had to be removed when the donor was alive.

This is no doubt the reason for the word order in the descriptions of the two little boys killed in Soweto last week, which the parents perfectly understood, as did the parents in the Eastern Transvaal in 1987.  (Reports never went further than saying the little boys had been mutilated but we can be pretty sure that this means body parts had been removed.)

I was wondering this: suppose that Eastern Transvaal policeman made a public confession today of his torturing those black men and of what those black men had done to those children. How would our politicians and mainstream media respond? How would ordinary black people respond? My guess is that the Daily Maverick, the Mail & GuardianBusiness Day and all the IOL papers would go on and on about this shocking new revelation about the brutal behaviour of the apartheid police state, and mumble or be silent about the muti murders, whereas the Daily Sun and the Daily Voice would repeat all the details of the torture and all the details of the body parts removed from the little boys while they were still alive.

Read more: ANC’s race rules keeps Elon Musk’s Starlink out of SA – Dianne Kohler Barnard

ANC elite

My guess, too, is that the black ANC elite would condemn the policeman, and poor black people would praise him. I say this because of what happened in May 2016, in Mahlabathini, KZN.

On that occasion, a 23-year-old black man was abducted by three other young black men, drugged, and had his eyes gouged out and his testicles cut off. He survived (fortunately or unfortunately).

One of the offenders was caught, arrested and convicted and is now in prison. I have the details and dates of the crime and court case. This incident, which seemed of nightmarish horror to me, did not seem so to the woke media. Thank goodness, the Daily Sun did report the case in some detail, telling how the police had found the victim’s ‘fresh balls’ in the refrigerator of the offender who was convicted, making it clear that this was a muti crime. The Daily Maverick and the Mail & Guardian had no editorials on it.

At that time, Penny Sparrow, a silly white estate agent in KZN, tweeted that blacks on the beaches were like monkeys, and Vicky Momberg, another silly white woman, hysterical after being robbed in her house, called a black policeman a ‘kaffir’.

All of the big mass media, with the Mail & Guardian and the Daily Maverick leading the charge, went on and on about this terrible example of white racism and the terrible suffering that black people suffer under it. A black man has his eyes and testicles chopped out by other black men. No problem. Black men are compared with monkeys and have slurs flung at them by trivial white women. A colossal problem.

In the USA, black people are falling behind other races, especially Asians, the most successful race, but also whites. I think the main reason for this is indeed white people. A certain type of white people, feeling very superior to other white people, have systematically undermined the confidence of black people and persuaded them that they are perpetual victims, and must blame white people for all their failures, and cannot better themselves, and must become dependent on the state and on the patronising advice of themselves.

The break-up of the black family is the prime example. Black family life was very strong even under the evils of slavery, when it was almost unknown for a black child to be without a married mother and father.

Read more: How world sees SA: The city of gold stripped and laid bare – FT

Number one curse

This continued for decades after slavery ended in 1865, right through until the mid-20th Century. Then black family life faltered. More and more black girls became pregnant before marriage; the single unmarried black mother took over from the married mother and father. The number one curse of black people in the USA now, the missing father, became the norm. Why? Because of the welfare state.

The black family could survive slavery, could survive the bigotry and persecution of Jim Crow, but could not survive the welfare state – which was foisted on them largely by white people, the very same white people who are now cheering for Black Lives Matter and Critical Race Theory, and writing books such as ‘White Fragility’. These whites are usually socialists and often communists.

In South Africa they run ‘workshops’ on ‘diversity’. Their fundamental mission is to undermine black people and persuade them they are unable to be masters of their own fate, and to make all other white people feel ashamed of themselves. They care nothing about black suffering in itself, but only when whites have caused their suffering. President Biden has given us a prime example of this by inviting Ralph Yarl to the White House while ignoring the far worse suffering of black people in the inner cities.

Back in South Africa, I am encouraged by the response of the authorities to the atrocity regarding these two little boys in Soweto. Perhaps black lives are beginning to matter in South Africa. I shall see if the mainstream media now give them the same banner headlines and anguished editorials as were given to the words of Penny Sparrow and Vicky Momberg.

*Andrew Kenny is a writer, an engineer and a classical liberal.

The views of the writer are not necessarily the views of the Daily Friend or the IRR

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