Trump Tweet on South Africa Farmers Sends Currency Into Tailspin, Libs Shout 'White Supremacy!'
On Wednesday night, President Donald Trump echoed Fox News host Tucker Carlson, lamenting the plight of farmers in South Africa. He said he had directed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to look into it. This one tweet sent South Africa's currency into a tailspin and unleashed a new round of accusations that Trump is a white supremacist.
"I have asked Secretary of State [Mike Pompeo] to closely study the South Africa land and farm seizures and expropriations and the large scale killing of farmers," the president tweeted. He then proceeded to quote Carlson, "South African Government is now seizing land from white farmers."
This tweet followed a segment on "Tucker Carlson Tonight" in which the Fox News host reported that South Africa's government had already started expropriating the land of white farmers without pay, a policy South Africa's government insists it has not implemented and which would require a constitutional amendment that is currently working its way through the legal process.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has pushed the expropriation of land from white people. In the wake of the fall of the white-dominated apartheid system, black leftist leaders have demanded radical reforms to essentially reverse the white racism of the previous regime. The Left is demanding the expropriation of farmland from white owners and its redistribution to blacks. Tucker Carlson called this what it is: racism.
According to a government survey, white farmers possess 72 percent of the farms, despite the fact that white people make up only eight percent of the population. Meanwhile, black people — who make up about 80 percent of the population — own only 4 percent of the farms. Activists like Ramaphosa push land expropriation to fix that "imbalance."
On Tuesday, Ramaphosa promised to defend property rights and privatize public land in order to boost the poor. This boosted the nation's currency, the Rand, Bloomberg's Paul Vecchiatto reported.
Trump's tweet, however, sent the Rand spiraling down amid fears of U.S. sanctions, Bloomberg's Colleen Goko reported.
South Africa's government pushed back on Trump's tweets, suggesting they misrepresented the real situation in the country. "South Africa totally rejects this narrow perception which only seeks to divide our nation and reminds us of our colonial past," the official government account tweeted.
The account promised that "South Africa will speed up the pace of land reform in a careful and inclusive manner that does not divide our nation."
South Africa did not explain how expropriating land from one group of people due to the color of their skin will avoid "dividing the nation," however.
Like South Africa, liberals pounced on Trump, accusing him of spreading "literal Nazi propaganda."
"As the President tweets literal Nazi propaganda about white farmers in South Africa, please please please start listening to the antifascists and leftist journalists who have been tracking this for years. You may not like us but we’re not wrong," Emily Gorcenski, a leftist data scientist and blogger living in Charlottesville, Va., tweeted.
Gorcenski not only pushed antifa and left-wing journalists, but directed followers to follow many accounts that push the radical leftist line.
"Given the white identitarian obsession with what they call a 'genocide' of white farmers in South Africa, this might be some of the furthest down the white nationalist rabbit hole the president’s ever gone," tweeted Jack Smith IV, who covers white nationalism for Mic.
He noted that "White nationalists, identitarians and the far right are celibrating Trump’s South Africa tweet as a victory," sharing a screenshot of former KKK leader David Duke celebrating Trump's tweet.
Mark Pitcavage, a senior research fellow at the Anti-Defamation League, endorsed a claim that Trump's South Africa tweet followed "literally a white nationalist pipeline."
So what's going on? The push to expropriate farmland from whites without compensation is real, and violence against white farmers is also real, but exaggerated.
Due to the history of apartheid and the mainstreaming of anti-white racism in South Africa, white farmers complaining about being demonized and targeted by the government have grown desperate. Ignored for so long by so many, they escalated their claims, alleging a "white genocide." Some have even repurposed photos from other countries in order to further the narrative.
When Zimbabwe adopted a similar racist policy to dispossess white farmers of their land, thugs targeted and killed white farmers, crops were destroyed, and farm production crashed, dragging the economy down with it.
Violence against white farmers in South Africa is not a myth. Of the 1,544 murders on South African farms between 1990 and March 2012, only 208 victims were black. The last government analysis of farm attack victims by race took place in 2001. That year, 61.6 percent of the victims were white, 33.3 percent were black, and 4.4 percent were Asian. Racial statistics around crime are no longer collected by the government.
According to Reuters, 47 farmers were killed in 2017 and 2018, a tragedy but also a 20-year low.
Trump's tweet about a "large scale killing of farmers" may be mistaken, but farmers are being targeted, and the government is trying to dispossess farmers of their land based on the color of their skin.
Undermining property rights and unleashing the violence likely to come from a government policy of dispossessing whites of their property are no small threats. The United States should indeed investigate this situation and avoid working with a country that dispossesses people without compensation based on the color of their skin.
Trump was right to ask Pompeo to study the situation.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.