On air: Are white South Africans victims of racism?


Brandon Huntley is 31 years old and South African. And he doesn’t live in his home country. He lives in Canada where he’s been granted refugee status after a series of muggings that he says were racially motivated. The tribunal panel chair William Davis found “that the claimant was a victim because of his race (white South African) rather than a victim of criminality.”

The ANC’s none too impressed and has labelled the decision ‘racist’ and says it will further ‘perpetuate racism’. The case’s been rapidly picked up online – here’s a Facebook group for him, and against him.

Here’s how it’s being reported by The Star in Johannesburg.

I know South Africa pretty well ( I used to live there, and have been back plenty of times since) and I’m sure the accusations Brandon Huntley is making will resonate very strongly with some white South Africans. I’m equally sure, others (black and white) will see this as evidence that some white South Africans are still struggling to adapt to life where all are equal, including in their exposure to violent crime.

And just to put some context on this, the South Africa murder rate remains at an astonishing 18,000 a year. Violent crime touches every part of society, though how often there’s a racial element I’d need to find out. Maybe we can approach ISS, who can be very good on these issues. w

Are you in South Africa? Do you know it? Do you believe some white South Africans are victims of racism? And even if that is the case, would that warrant another country giving them asylum status?

Mikezilla thinks crime is bad in South Africa “but it’s hardly a systematic mistreatment of white people” and the Canadian government has been duped by someone who wasn’t able to qualify for citizenship

But Vanilla Ice, says “Let as many white South Africans into Canada as needed” arguing many white South Africans have similar education, morals, cultural background, and ideals as Canadians so if “racist South Africa can’t understand their benefit let Canada succeed with them.”

This cartoon is another take on the Brandon Huntley story!

102 Responses to “On air: Are white South Africans victims of racism?”

  1. 1 anu_D
    September 2, 2009 at 11:13

    I am not white and have travelled to SA a number of times( Jo’burg genreally) and regardelss of your color, if you happen to be at the wrong place at wrong time ( lonely places after dark)……you will get mugged if lucky and killed if extremly un-lucky.

    I have had several lucky escapes…and while Jo’burg is most dangerous with the exception of Cape town somewhat…most other places are similar.

    From my experience SA is not racists…but a dangerous place if you do not know how to take care of yourself.

    The only racism was National party government sponsored apartheid policy discriminating against the blacks

  2. 2 Dennis Junior
    September 2, 2009 at 11:46

    I have to agreed with the Canadian Government decision to grant ASYLUM to Brandon Huntley…..

    I think that the White South Africans are to a point a victim of Racism…..

    =Dennis Junior=

    • 3 Stephan
      September 5, 2009 at 14:26

      Ask any South African who is going on vacation with his family ” whether he would approach his local Police Station, and ask them to ” keep an eye on his home” while he is on holiday. The answer will be a deffinate NO. Even the very same people who are trying to discredit Huntley will give you the same answer. That in itself explains why he never reported the 7 x attacks / muggings


  3. 4 Charles Scheepers
    September 2, 2009 at 12:07

    There is no question that crime affects all, but there are some cases that should raise concern. We could look at farm murders for instance – tying up an elderly couple and torturing them with boiling water. It seems a bit much if you are looking for a TV or some food perhaps. This is, of course, not racially motivated, but when the tables are turned no time is wasted in drawing the race card. It is all politics, but very real.

    The ultimate in discrimination is none other than our beloved AA/BEE legislation. Regardless of what your favourite spin is, this is discrimination based on skin colour. It is institutionalised racism with no requirements on the beneficiaries. The oppressed have become the oppressor, as so often happens with abused individuals.

    Alas, all is not lost. There is a lot of good in this country, but we are a stupid bunch when it comes to truthfully addressing serious issues.

    • 5 mark gallacher
      September 2, 2009 at 13:32

      in my opinion the black south african still lives and functions in a violent tribal society!
      greed and corruption are pandemic bankrupting the services put in place to improve their quality of life eg health care service in durban.
      i watched a video on humoron recently it contained images and commentary of an alleged thief being dragged from his house and beaten to death in front of his very young son..no police. no protection. no justice.
      the final comment from a young black woman “the community wanted it!
      so what chance do white people have?
      it may be time for the worid to embrace and encourage the hard working white south african to change continent and leave south africa to its tribal instinct.

  4. 6 ZMB
    September 2, 2009 at 12:37

    Focus on Curing Problem rather than creating new Apartheid in Canada. . Racism Mugging and Guinea Pig Experimenting of Self interest individual or group has had Victim in South Africa and Even in Canada UK Germany India or any where. I can pin point big finger with proof against Canada as the worst kind. But looking into various Ethnic Group and the circumstances which create mugging looting Plundering Theft stealing Invasion Occupation discrimination is still ongoing in wide scale. Those who are benefiting can be called current Rich
    and Beneficieries. They are neither just white or just black or just Brown or just yellow Kind individual nor group. They are not just Christian Jews Hindus Muslim or Buddhist. Factors determining cause can be understood!

  5. 7 Nelson Isibor
    September 2, 2009 at 12:53

    Race and racism is one subject that evokes strong emotions anytime. We may just have seen someone who may have capitalised on that to secure a ‘better life’ else where through the back door.
    P.s : South Africans of every colour are potential victims of racism.

  6. 9 patti in cape coral
    September 2, 2009 at 13:18

    I don’t know, I would have to see a comparison, maybe statistics on white on white crime, black on black crime, black on white crime, white on black crime, etc. I had the impression that things weren’t too safe for anyone regardless of race. Is it possible that crime seen as racial is actually economic? If white South Africans are seen as having more money, maybe they get attacked more often?

    • 10 mark gallacher
      September 2, 2009 at 14:37

      if the government was not infested with corrupt politicians and their families may be the taxes that have been raped from the white businessmen and productive white workers would have gone to the services and education needed to bring a culture into the 21st century so at least 10 of the last 15 years would have shown some improvement.
      instead its been a free fall back to pre-colonial times with easier prey.
      dont talk about statistics look at the source of the problem and the politicians who brainwash their people instead of educating them.
      the racist card cannot be played here its a question of ignorance and greed with violence and murder the new form of communication .start at the top and work your way down.look at winnie mandella as a perfect example.

  7. September 2, 2009 at 13:58

    Ben here: just been looking at some South African comment on this story – here and here .

    One talks about “an embarrassment to South Africa”; the other thinks Brandon Huntley is “stretching certain realities” about the country. What do you think?

  8. 12 Jennifer
    September 2, 2009 at 14:32

    Black people do not have a monopoly on “racism”. Other races are subject to it as well. This man may have been the “victim” of racism. If he feels more safe as a refugee in Canada; allow him to stay there.

    • 13 Michael
      September 2, 2009 at 15:29

      In response to Jennifer
      In the US black people do have the monopoly on racism. When I am with my friends (black/white mix) whites get made fun of a lot. When the joke goes to blacks there is always an argument, and the word racist get tossed around alot.

  9. 14 Henry Nyakoojo, Kampala
    September 2, 2009 at 14:36

    I tend to agree with Patti. Muggers are interested in only one colour – the colour of currency notes. Even post apartheid, non-black South Africans tend to have more. Our asylum seeker was unfortunate and may be a bit careless – he was in the wrong places too often. He forgot the adage about being once bitten …

  10. 15 steve
    September 2, 2009 at 14:39

    I’d think the murder rates, rape rates, and HIV rates would be a bigger embarrasment to SA than this man is, even if he isn’t telling the truth.

  11. 16 Pete Pucklington, Toronto
    September 2, 2009 at 14:42

    Truthfully, it isn’t hard to put one past either the Canadian refugee board or immigration. Case in point, the notorious Vincent Li.

  12. 17 leo goki
    September 2, 2009 at 15:07

    I agree wiyh jenifer no one has a monopoly of racism, i’m black but sometimes the way i hear my friends talk about white people or the words they use to describe them it’s worse than using the N word on blacks.

  13. September 2, 2009 at 15:20

    ..his lawyers claim ‘he stood up like a sore thumb’ as a white person in SA. Ridiculous. Last time I checked (which was yesterday)…white population stood at over 4.5 million in SA. Of course these are recorded numbers…how about those not included in the stats?

    As for why had to lie about being mugged 7 times….I will not even try and dignify that with an answer.

    Good riddance.

  14. 19 Nelson Isibor
    September 2, 2009 at 15:24

    @ Ben, with regards to the links you posted, I think South Africa have more things to worry about , Bradon Huntley has simply carried out a publicity stunt using racial undertones as his vehicle. While not disregarding the well publicized crime rates in the rainbow nation, they would be a thing of concern if they don’t drop before the 2010 World cup some publicity stunt.

  15. 20 Michael
    September 2, 2009 at 15:25

    Racism is everywhere. I think it is reinforced by policy of the local government. The day I go to an Interview and my skin color is not the right color, is the day racism starts. People are too often judged on their race/color and not on ability. I am white and live in the US. Too often I see advantages given to minority people. Minority in the US is anyone but white even know there are less white people then the so called “minority”.
    There were cases in the US where white was a wrong color many times. Is it wrong for everyone to persue happiness the way they want? Why should anyone be given any king of preference based on his/her color. If I do not like Jamaican food that does not mean I do not like black people. I happen to like Chinese, that does not mean I give preference to Asian people.
    To summarize: Talking about racism and providing so called “measures” against racism is what actually breeds racism. Work hard and honest and give respect before you expect it from someone else.

  16. 21 Ron
    September 2, 2009 at 15:44

    I’m african and black. While the South Africans are making alot of noise about the Brandon saga, perhaps they might stop to deeply think about their country. I’m sure we all remember the xenophobic attacks last year and the Mozambican man on fire. If Black South Africans could do such to fellow black Africans, then I wonder why it suprises us when Brandon says that he is a victim of racist attacks.

    My country may be much poorer than South Africa but the fact is South Africa is the last place in the world i would ever like to be.
    By the way, Is it really too late to change the venue for the world cup to any other African country?

    • 22 Monate
      September 4, 2009 at 18:31

      I’m african and SA citizen,I just wonder how many of you in here really being to SA. If I wanted to get asylum into any country and proves somehow difficult, I’ll pull a rabbit out of a hat. There is crime in South Africa, no one will deny that but what this man is saying and most of you agreeing about percecution I find it absurd.

      We are a demogratic country where anyone is free to do anything including leaving the country. But please should you decide to leave do so without trashing it. Most of us,black and white who are passionate about SA will stay and rebuild/claim it from criminals.

      For as long as there are people with different pigmentation, there’ll always be racism. We just need to learn to workout our differences. Crime affects all of us in SA and I don’t understand the whole thing of racialising it. It is people like him who put up website to say negative things about SA. In the eyes of most white people especially those who can’t embrace change, a black man is good for nothing, is stupid and cannot think for himself unless if the baas is there to show him how.Racism is still rife in this country, going both ways.

      I love my country and never dreamnt of leaving. Those who said will never put foot here it’s your given right. We are going to host WC 2010 and to all those pemmistic, please remember to blog again. VIVA Mzansi!!

  17. September 2, 2009 at 15:44

    In Kenya what happens is a weird form of racism whereby white people are given preferential treatment in hotels,airlines,bank queues!Many Kenyans have never experienced racism unless they have travelled abroad!
    But they experience it here in Kenya from fellow Kenyans especially when they have to share facilities and services with white people !Tragic.

  18. 24 Anthony
    September 2, 2009 at 15:51

    That makes sense. Plus, look how huge Canada is, and they only have like 30 million people. They need to fill some of that country out.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  19. 25 Assiya
    September 2, 2009 at 16:05

    I wonder if the canadians would let black south africans in if they where to claim that afrikaaners are being racist towards them. perpahps the canadian goverment is racist and they only want to let in white south africans

    • 26 Michael
      September 2, 2009 at 18:09

      Just an FYI Canada is one of the most laxed and cosmopolitan places I have ever been. All races live in peace there as compared to other nations.

  20. 27 anu_D
    September 2, 2009 at 16:42

    One or a isolated few Whie South Africans make noises on racism and BBC makes it a headline debate topic.

    Tens of thousand Indian students with recorded evidence have shouted themselves hoarse of the racist treatment meted in Australia….and I am yet to see a debate on that subject on this site

    • 28 Ange
      September 2, 2009 at 21:35

      True! anu_D and I am a South African making a huge noise about this because I do believe that the decision to give him assylum was racist – BUT hell Australians are racist too! I lived there for a year and my two best friends were Japanese and Chinese and the terrible things that were said and done to them were awful (including spray painting WOGS GO HOME on a wall). We (South Africans) don’t have a monopoly on racism but I still think that this issue needs to be looked at and the lies that Huntley told need to be exposed

  21. 29 Keith
    September 2, 2009 at 16:54

    White people are persecuted in South Africa. Racism cuts in all directions, we need a colorblind society.

  22. September 2, 2009 at 16:56

    Hi WHYSers!
    I do think there is merit in the claim that white people are also victims of racism, whether Brandon Huntley is another matter – and that is not to say I don’t think so. What is clear however, as pointed in several of the comments above, the issue is clearly political in terms of who gets to claim racial discrimination. More often than not, it is non-white peoples the world over who are discrimated against this way and with real implications for their life chances. This does not mean it does not work the other way as well, but what is clear that the attitudes towards such and issue and the subsequent treatmen of it changes, as a result. Would this have been viewed with the same levels of sensation were the ‘victim’ in this case black?

  23. 31 Pete Pucklington, Toronto
    September 2, 2009 at 16:58

    @ Assiya

    Nope not racist, just stupid – and god forbid as Canadian citizen visting your homeland that should lose your passport in a place like Kenya — it’ll take months to process the paperwork.

  24. September 2, 2009 at 17:00

    @ Keith:

    I think what is needed in any society is real development of all peoples. When that has been achieved then there will be less likelihood of these kinds of complaints and even less chance that we will believe them. Policy makers have to become aware of these historically entrenched practises of privileging one group over another and seek to find real ways of addressing such concerns. The same is also true of providing space for the discussion of these issues in a relatively non-threatening, solution-oriented kind of way. In Jamaica, for instance, it is not the done thing to acknowledge that race plays a big part in the privilege of certain social classes. The same holds true for other parts of the world. People are offended by the inconvenience of the discussion of race and racism, generally!

  25. 33 nora
    September 2, 2009 at 17:00

    What were the attackers saying to the guy while he was being beaten? Hate crimes differ from standard muggings only by the flavor of the hate and the social identification of the attackers.

  26. 34 ME
    September 2, 2009 at 17:03

    i am from SA, Afrikaans dont like coloureds, white people dont like coloureds, they are a mixed breed, of course if u happen to be in a dangerous situation, then it is ur own fault most times, my father grew up with black ppl, they are not so bad, its the one’s who dont get there own way that cry racism, it’s a bunch of bull, take it from me, i lived in SA foe 27 years, it’s not at all bad, ppl just cry racism because they cant adapt, to the new life.

    Cape Town Rules.

  27. 35 Steve/Oregon
    September 2, 2009 at 17:04

    Racism exsists it always will. We should embrace our differances and get over it. If black people in SA act the same way black americans do then yes i could see this man being picked on becuase he is white.
    as a small child i moved into a all black neighborhood and was beat up and shot at almost daily because….. I am white. now if one of those black kids moved to an all white neighborhood and the white kids in the area beat the little black boy up the kids and the parents would be racist
    What is the difference? People whos ancestors were repressed feel they can return the favor. The same applies to SAs.
    We should accept our differences and just admit to each of our underling racist tendancies

  28. 36 Dora
    September 2, 2009 at 17:10

    Seems to me this chap is unhappy with the government of South Africa and what he perceives as a lack of action to reduce crime rates. Canada was clearly more to his liking so he fell on this idea to stay. We only have his word for it he never reported a single incident to the police, why?
    Of course racism exists again white people, that’s a silly argument and I’m not convinced it applies here.

  29. 37 Keith- Ohio
    September 2, 2009 at 17:10

    I would agree with the one commenter in the report that said that white south Africans are targets for muggings because they are perceived to have more money, which, according to the article, is very true. White South Africans have a comparatively high income, so they could potentially be targeted more. As he is being mugged because of his skin color, he is a victim of racism. Racism is a very subjective word, and what qualifies as racism is often different under a different person’s perspective. I would say that this claim of racism is very strong. If being a victim of racism is grounds for refugee status in Canada, then he qualifies.

  30. 38 Keith- Ohio
    September 2, 2009 at 17:11

    An addition-

    I don’t know why it’s so hard to acknowledge that a white person can be a victim of racism. If you say that a white person can’t be a victim of racism then you obviously don’t know what the word means…. All you guys know about this is that the man was mugged 7 times and stabbed 3 times and you are so quick to jump to the conclusion that he is a liar or doing this for publicity. He’s not even targeting specific people, he just wants to get out of the crime-ridden place that keeps trying to kill him.

  31. September 2, 2009 at 17:14

    The problem with racism is that it is not a one way street. It is a two way street.

    All races have people who are limited in their dealings with other groups. If you are stuck in a situation where you do not have interaction with all kinds of different racial groups, you might end up being stuck in a rut with people of your racial group and make judgements based on one or two experiences or rumors of what those different racial types are like.

    Racisim is a disease of ignorance and non education and non interaction.

    All races have their strong, beautiful, handsome, smart, fun loving and interesting people. All races also have their dull, limited, angry, poorly equipped people who cause people of different races to conclude “Those people” are all the same and not good. Hense the eternal conclusions of tribalism and assumption.


  32. September 2, 2009 at 17:15

    @ annu_D:
    Cynical though your remarks sound, I am inclined to agree with you. However, only to an extent. While, I do not agree with racism it is, indeed, curious how certain complaints are dealt with compared to others, generally, on this subject and in this forum. A couple months ago I recalled seeing a similar discussion here about a white American Peace Corps volunteeer who complained about related issues as they pertained to his experiences in Jamaica. Interesting I thought, except within the subtext of that posting and the following discussion, was the implication that concerns raised by white people about their experiences of racism (from non-white peoples) is somehow more valid than those routinely faced by non-white peoples, generally. There is a sort of silencing of certain concerns, almost. This is part of the problem with racism – the discussion is structured in a very specific way and we are required almost to argue certain positions.

  33. September 2, 2009 at 17:19

    South African radio presenter Kieno Kammies from Talk Radio 702 is coming on today’s show to talk about this and tell us what his callers have been saying.

    He has just blogged about it here too. Take a look at the cartoonists’ take on Brandon Huntley he includes in his post …

  34. 42 mark gallacher
    September 2, 2009 at 17:34

    i cant translate violent hysteria but find the participation of women in the act of public murder very disturbing!

  35. 43 steve
    September 2, 2009 at 17:44

    It’s actually rare for stories like this to make international news, let alone national news. I’m sure everyone heard about the Professor Gates story, and the BBC even discussed it, it was international news, and the man was only arrested. This story was completely buried by the press, because it’s not PC to point out acts of racism by non whites. This white couple was raped, murdered, and mutilated by blacks, and it simply wasn’t covered, though the trials and convictions are coming in, and it’s beginning to be covered. Had the victim’s races been switched, this would have made international headlines, instead, it was ignored. I think all horrible crimes should be covered equally.


  36. 44 helen in usa
    September 2, 2009 at 17:44

    If someone is mugged and a court finds that he is a victim of racism and not of criminality I have to assume there were plenty of non-whites to choose from,yet he was repeatedly mugged. Whether or not he was mugged by non-whites doesn’t have to be an issue,because a white person can choose other white people to victimize or harm or hate,also. So white South Africans can be victims of racism,if one is;like in the media,for every contact one person makes expressing a a view,there are many more with the same view who did not contact them. He is one known case. How many silent victims are there?People tend to just ‘take it’and say nothing;or do nothing because they don’t know what to do,or cannot do what needs to be done to change things. Just because someone suffers through something without reacting,it does not mean that something wrong isn’t happening.

  37. September 2, 2009 at 17:46

    the problem with racism is that it is cross-cutting. all of us are victims at one point or another, when with judge people without giving them a chance to prove themselves; when we routinely exclude and silence difference because it does not coincide with our own agendas, etc. Racism can be the in-your-face variety which most can identify, or it is the less obvious and subtle ways in which you are excluded and silenced, etc. it is entirely possible, therefore, and does happen that white people are victimised by these kinds of ignorant, in-group attitudes which seek to premise their superiority on questionable notions of moral authority, cultural similarity, etc. the thing is, how do we end these kinds of discriminatory practises? what worries me always is how we assume a sort of privileged voice on the premise of which group we belong to.

  38. 46 Dora
    September 2, 2009 at 17:52

    Keith, “he just wants to get out of the crime-ridden place that keeps trying to kill him”, that’s not really the point, the point is: is the crime-ridden place trying to kill him more than anyone else purely because of the colour of his skin.
    Or is SA just a crime-ridden place where anyone with a little wealth can be the victim of crime and Mr Huntley wants to get out.
    Why didn’t he report it to the police?

    • 47 Keith- Ohio
      September 2, 2009 at 18:53

      well he was mugged 7 times and stabbed 3 times. You wouldn’t say that this is disproportionately high compared to the average person in South Africa? And it doesn’t matter if it’s “purely” because of the color of his skin, even if it’s SLIGHTLY because of the color of his skin, he’s STILL a victim of racism!

      Even if he’s being targeted because South African muggers associate white people with more money, he’s STILL a target of racism. It doesn’t matter if it isn’t a malicious hate crime, it’s still prejudice if he’s being targeted because of his race!

      The point is he wants to leave South Africa because he feels that people are mugging him because of a preconceived notion about his race (that white people have more money). If this is true, how is it not racism? For pete’s sake…

    • 48 SA-ireland
      September 5, 2009 at 23:09

      YOU try report to SA police. First off all the vans/ cars are out and one will come as soon as possible. After the tenth call, if one comes you are lucky, and you need to show haw appriciative you are to them.
      now they are there. They will look at you with a blank face, as if they have no idea what to do next. you need to say, can you write it down please.
      Now you are ~~talking down ~~to them and they become even less helpful.
      Well you have made a statement and given all the details. you need to go and fetch the case number. Only when you get there you are told they have no record of it.
      After a few hours of waiting, you may be lucky and get it, o rrepeat the previous step again.
      you now have the case number and that is the end of the investigation, because you will be told that there are more serious crimes that they are (pretending) to solve.

  39. 49 anu_D
    September 2, 2009 at 17:53

    ^ The cartoon on Kieno Kammies’s blog is hilarious 🙂

  40. 50 Bob in Queensland
    September 2, 2009 at 17:54

    Is there racism in South Africa? Almost certainly: small minded people exist everywhere. Is there enough “institutional racism” to justify an asylum claim? Based on the evidence, that’s far less likely.

  41. September 2, 2009 at 17:55

    Racism is like a cancer which destroys the very fabric of society. Whether the racism is from white people towards coloured people or the reverse, this attitude cannot be condonned at all. With globalization and all the advances in technology, the world is becoming a smaller place, better connected. It is very important to ask ourselves why people of different racial backgrounds harbour so much of hatred and distrust towards other groups. Education and better communication should make us better human beings. Alas that does not seem to be the case! For instane decades of hatred between the Israelis and Palestinians seems to be perpetual. Let us all make a positive commitment to international world understanding.Blacks in South Africa should forgive and forget the dark days of apartheid and look to the future!

  42. 52 nora
    September 2, 2009 at 17:58

    If the Canadian board heard evidence of repeated hate speech and threats combined with seven muggings and three stabbings, they have to play by their own rules. If the hatespeech is racist, that is the grounds for admission. Why is everyone so enflamed at the board?

  43. 53 Dora
    September 2, 2009 at 17:59

    A person wiser than me (whose name escapes me) postulated that there is a phenomenon in mainly white men where they feel persecuted and oppressed, the reason (she suggested) was that when you are used to getting everything 100% your way any reduction of that feels like you’re losing freedom on the way to everything being 50-50. She meant it to apply to men/women but does it apply here?

  44. 54 Julia in Portland
    September 2, 2009 at 18:01

    I know racism/reverse racism/general prejudices exist everywhere….I choose to believe that this doesn’t and won’t have to be always the case.

    I think we need more information on what exactly happened with Huntley before a solid view on the good/bad of the situation can be decided. Too many variables that are unanswered, feels like there is more to the story and the events that led up to it than we are getting.

  45. September 2, 2009 at 18:06

    “I have never met a nice South African” was the title of a satirical song ,they have the worst crime statistictics outside a war zone.

    Can’t wait for the World Cup when some tourists will be jackrolled and given AIDS.

    Boers could talk about British concentartion camps Blacks can blame Apartheid,but there has been ample time to address Racism and lack of economic development in South Africa after 1994 instead people have taken the easier options of replacing white masters with black masters and carrying on as normal,pretending everything is alright now and social problems will take care of themselves.

  46. 56 Bert - USA
    September 2, 2009 at 18:11

    Racism is a human condition. It is practiced daily everywhere, among all races. But it only gets attention from the press when it’s between whites and blacks.

    Even when the issue is obviously racism, such as in China recently with the Uyghurs, the press seem to have a hard time figuring it out. Either that, or political correctness taken to the point of stupidity.

    What is India’s caste system if not institutionalized racism? What about the situation in Zimbabwe with respect to white farmers?

    Why does this case invoke such incredulity? I don;t believe the level of disbelief is genuine. I think people are just play-acting.

  47. 57 Mohammed Ali
    September 2, 2009 at 18:12

    funny ehn? are you guys now trying to change our thinking about the horrors the whites in south africa committed? that will never happen.

    • September 2, 2009 at 19:03

      Thank you, like here in America, you are to forget the past, scratch your head and wonder at the supposed reverse racism. Medgar Evers was murdered in the ’60’s and it took 30 years to get his murderer, even though he was known. 4 little girls were blown up in church in 1963, they are now trying them for this heinous crime. The 3 civil rights workers never received justice for their murders because an all white jury in Mississippi freed them. Yet, white people will cry OJ for everything. YOu will never combat racism if you do not confront it.
      That means in all it’s colors, shapes and forms. Blacks were relegated to ghettos here, also, as in SA. I have never understood how the type of apartheid practiced in SA and America is supposed to be forgotten because we are told to ‘get over it’.

  48. 59 Tariku
    September 2, 2009 at 18:30

    No way! A black man who thinks with his heart can never be a racist! Africans love every race — all of humanity!

  49. September 2, 2009 at 18:37

    No challenge to the Canadian Immigration Board’s decision.

    The question for me is, though, how many Black South Africans qualified for asylum to Canada during Apartheid?

    The other question for me is not whether or not Black people are capable of racism and discrimination: they very obviously are. The real question is whether or not we have treated racism directed AT Black people with the same degree of urgency.

  50. 61 Charley in Portland
    September 2, 2009 at 18:41

    Bigots come in all colors.

  51. 62 Half-Not
    September 2, 2009 at 18:45

    It is shocking that the world seems to believe that everyone but white people can be the victims of racism. I went to a majority black school for 4 years and was repeatedly the victim of racism. It was clear racism, because of the words used. I could have switched schools but I stayed.

    So, yes, every race is racist. White people have quite frankly just had more opportunity to be in power, so their racism had more impact.

    Black people can also kill black people, remember Rwanda? It was the equivalent of racism on a repulsive scale.

  52. 63 Mary
    September 2, 2009 at 18:45

    So I’m a white South African and I’m pretty disgusted by this turn of events, I have to say. White South Africans have always had a sense of entitlement, but this really takes the cake.

  53. 64 Phyllis, Naples ,Fl.
    September 2, 2009 at 18:56

    Did Canada grant asylum to Black South Africans during Apartheid?

  54. 68 knowledge-seeker
    September 2, 2009 at 19:32

    I’ve been working with refugees in Austria for many years and the rule (according to the Geneva Convention) is that an asylum seeker only gets asylum if and when his home country is neither willing nor able to save him from systematic (well proven) attacks.
    Even Chechens, Iraqis, Afghans etc hardly get asylum here, Nigerians (even from Delta State) can forget it alltogether! Even women from those countries who lost their families for belonging to a certain ethnic group and got raped in front of their own children or women who had to witness the rape of their dughters, women who got raped in front of their husbands only to then have the husband killed in front of their eyes (i.e. not only ethicity but also gender discrimination of the worst kind).

    Based on what I know about this case I find it quite unfair and even disgusting that a white South African gets the refugee status (crime in SA is just as high as it is in a highly unequal society)!

    Does anyone know how the Canadian system works and what it is based on (I just cannot believe that the court assumed that South Africa is not willing to protect this man)?

  55. 69 Lamii Kpargoi
    September 2, 2009 at 20:02

    Western countries always give asylum for the dumbest reasons. I used to be of the view that Westerners were smarter then people from my part of the world, but some of the decisions they make have got me re-evaluating that thought.

  56. 70 Setumo Stone
    September 2, 2009 at 20:12

    Hi Ben. Thanks for the call.

    I think the first point to make would be that SA has a history of inspirational leaders who have won the acclaimed Nobel Prize awards, and their achievements remain translational to the peoples’ sentiments. We have made big strides since the dawn of democracy, perhaps better than any other nation that would come close to the atrocities of racial segragation and oppression.

    That said, I think we have a challenge that some white SAns tend to play to the public gallery in order to gain sympathy. I’ll give you one example.

    A couple of years back, a group of white youth painted their faces black, and went marching against Affirmative Action. The sad part is that after such a demonstration, each would go back to their posh homes and wipe the paint off. Black South Africans do not have such a privilege. Being black comes with a painful history of socio-economic exclusion. The reality of being black cannot be compared with “painted faces”.

    Many of these gimmicks have become the order of the day. What then do we have to make of the fact that “there is NO PROOF” that Huntley was ever a victim of crime? The police have NO RECORD of his claims!

    Truly and honestly, black SAns do not deserve these kind of insults, especially after extending a hand of forgiveness.

    • 71 Ron
      September 3, 2009 at 13:34

      This issue is about discrimination, not economics. Any South African can tell you, police seldom record details of crimes as this has a negative impact on statistics.

  57. 72 cindi
    September 2, 2009 at 20:15

    I live in SA, I am white, and have black next door neighbours who have more visible wealth and a much larger home than me, they have been victims of housebreaking on more than one occasion were held up at gunpoint recently; I seem to have escaped being targetted.

    I work in a government hospital and there are plenty of black victims of contact crime there. Crime is not something that only happens to white people, done by black people. Black people are at least equally, and probably much more likely to be victims of violent crime, and i imagine statistics would show this too, if people were willing to get past the politics and emotion and look at the facts.

    This guy’s case has made a mockery of genuninely persecuted people the world over.

  58. 73 Des Currie
    September 2, 2009 at 20:29

    Racism is endemic in South Africa. In particular black on white racism. I would suggest that the current status could easily boil over to a full blown race war including all the factions, white, black, coloured and Indian populations included.
    The recent attack the black refugees is merely a prelude of things to come.
    Keep your spears sharp and at hand and hope that they never have to be used. Des Currie

  59. 74 ME
    September 2, 2009 at 20:42

    Racism will always be evey where, Back people are having trouble in Russia now aswell, it doesnt matter where u are in the world, there will always be some form of racism.

    It’s pretty sad.

  60. 75 CJ McAuley
    September 2, 2009 at 20:47

    South Africa has been in the top ten nations for murder rate for years, along with Columbia. This fact suggests 2 reasons; either poverty or drugs. I’d say that SA falls into the former category. I also wonder if Mr. Huntley provided any proof that he had actually contacted police and was ignored? I am ashamed of the government of my country for this action, as our hands are also unclean vis-a-vis the Aboriginal Peoples of Canada!

  61. 76 Keith
    September 2, 2009 at 21:09


    I agree that all peoples must be helped but the people should be addressed based on their economic status and not on their racial status.

  62. 77 Bryan
    September 2, 2009 at 22:30

    This has been a long time coming. Fifteen, twenty years ago I was wondering if there would ever come a time when a white, liberal, Western country would accept an asylum application from from a white South African victim of racist attacks by blacks. For decades now there has been a concerted and often coordinated movement by a significant section of black South Africa to dispossess whites and drive them from the country. It is a political as well as a criminal movement, often manifesting in extraordinary brutality.

    The left wing media has ignored this aspect of the new rainbow nation because it jars with the supposition that all would be sweetness and light once the evil of apartheid was history. The BBC has had its collective head buried especially deeply in the sand in this regard.

    So it is refreshing and encouraging to see the BBC finally airing the matter.

    17 Linda
    September 2, 2009 at 15:20,

    I guess from your comment that you regard an asylum application by a white South African as an act of treachery. Try to face the fact that the dream of a rainbow nation was stillborn years ago and that the oppressed have become the oppressors.

    Why do you imagine that Brandon Huntley was lying about being mugged seven times? Don’t you think the Canadian authorities would have investigated this important evidence before granting him asylum?

    Nelson Isibor
    September 2, 2009 at 15:24 ,

    A “publicity stunt?” What brings you to that conclusion? I guess you also imagine that he was lying about the attacks.

  63. 78 Tom K in Mpls
    September 2, 2009 at 23:13

    Racism is a facet of bias. No different from any other ‘ism’. We all do it occasionally at different moments. Judging every aspect of our lives is important and at some moments we all do things outside our nature. That is the personal level.

    On the social level, bias is what defines a society. It is adopted for many reasons ranging from justified historical reasons, to a quick way to solve a new problem, to preserving a sense of national self.

    Every bias changes over time getting stronger or weaker or even changing focus. This is determined by the citizens. To change it you need to change the minds of the citizens. Start counting……

  64. 79 Jack
    September 3, 2009 at 00:08

    Hegemony, like any drug, doesn’t impart to the abuser any notion of what life might be like without it. It is tragic that the children of those, who a generation ago thought themselves moral to end Apartheid, must second guess that wise and proper decision. Thomas Jefferson had similar fears for the United States, knowing the moral inconsistency of slavery, but understanding as well that the horror of its memory would long outlive its practice. He could not conceive of an America in which freed slaves lived alongside their former masters without harboring a deep and abiding hatred for them. Moreover, he knew that generations would pass and the memories of slavery would remain, as would the hatred that it spawned.

    Changing which ethnic group has hegemony over another doesn’t make South Africa a post-racial society, anymore than the election of a black President makes the United States post-racial. That happens on an individual basis, not a national one.

  65. 80 Archibald
    September 3, 2009 at 01:26

    Comeuppance is more like it…….

  66. 81 Kindi Jallow
    September 3, 2009 at 01:59

    The Canadian government should be very careful no to blow this race issue out of proportion. It can be like that wild hurricanc that will bring havoc not only in SA but also in other parts of the world. It is an undisputable fact the rising crime rate in SA has reached an alarming point mated not only against whire SA but also Africans.
    This is the product of aparthied regime, youths who are very angry because they do not have any confidence in government dispite the sacrifices they made in the past, are not rehabilitated and integrated into society to serve humanity in a better way, situations are still unchanged, no job, no education, live has not change. It is often said that it is an ill wind that blows nobody good. The bush fires knows no discrimination, and so with the violent youths in SA whose lives has for so long been trumatised. It is not going to be easy to calm this angry youths, I think I am certain of this is a moment when ‘ right is fighting against wrong’ and ‘rightiousness against evil’ ‘light struggling against darkness’ at the end of these all its ‘ right over evil.
    There needs to be a new world order in the delivery of justice, human rights, respect for the rule of law and good governance if we are not to repeat history.

    • 82 SA-ireland
      September 5, 2009 at 22:45

      the so called opressed youths are now 20 years older. There is no excuse for the curent youths to be angry, as they have grown up in the so called new sa. There are now 2 generations of school leavers that can get a proper education, but they are always wanting to strike. in 2007 the school kids went on strike to call for anyone to pass, no matter what the grade. The official leaving grade pass is 25%. They are always rioting at the university for some reason or another. Dont bame apartheid 20 years later for kids who were not even born then!

  67. 83 Bob
    September 3, 2009 at 05:21

    South Africa is failing to do it’s part against raceism by denieing that whites can be and are victims of racially motivated violence.It may be politically correct to be in denial, but if the truth is suppressed, it will be less pleasant when it gets out.

  68. 84 Jake Oboede (Canada)
    September 3, 2009 at 06:31

    It is certainly a valid scenario in this case both in terms of
    racism and the failure of the rule of law. In many ways there
    are symptoms of the disease which destroyed Rhodesia appearing
    in SA. I have visited both countries in the eighties. I hope that this
    can be curbed soon because the whites in SA will not be victimized
    as those in Rhodesia were so easily. The only hope is that the effect
    of sincere and universal education will bring blacks to a level of
    reason and rationality which allow them to prosper and have hope
    in a progressive society with the rule of law supreme. If this does not
    overtake the incline of the state to go bottoms up which is the current
    trend, then i fear a terrible blood bath on a scale which would make
    even Africa blush. The common tendency of African leadership to rapidly
    succumb to total self interest, corruption, abuse of women and the use
    of terror and violence as a means of control is a very real threat here.
    It seems that the ANC is simply trying to keep a lid on things until after
    the World Cup and then ‘god help the country’. Let us hope for an awakening.

  69. September 3, 2009 at 06:53

    In the posts above one question is prevalent: “Are people being attacked in SA solely because they happen to be white people and therefore therefore have what the aggressors want. Cases of non white persons having been victims too are quoted as being evidence that racism is not involved.
    There appears to be a prevalent underlying assumption that the perpetrators are invariably black?
    I have no experience of SA at all. I offer no comment.

  70. 86 Edwin
    September 3, 2009 at 09:05

    I am a white South African male (36 years of age). I am glad that Canada has given Brandon asylum. Like many South Africans I am living in conditions that are not of my doing.

    Yes there was racism and Yes there is still a lot of racism going on everywhere in South Africa. The only difference now is that the roles are reversed. White South African males find it almost impossible to find work locally. You are either over quallified or the post has been frozen.

    Our goverment advocates NO RACISM but that is obviously not the case at all. Concerning attacks on people because of their race, colour or creed… well I will be lying if I said that it does not occur.

    Have a look a our local newspapers and TV. Racism in a country like South Africa will never just go away. This is not only directed towards whites but towards all colours of our “Rainbow Nation”!


  71. 87 vieome
    September 3, 2009 at 09:45

    I agree 100% with huntley, the strange thing is that black Africans don’t like to be accused of racism. But racism is rife in Africa, in Zimbabwe most of the whites lost their land because of the color of their skin. Africans tend to blame their suffering on the legacy left by white colonialist and it is that that breeds contempt for the white man. Many african leaders promote this hate when they blame their suffering on colonialism. I live in Zimbabwe and many of the bars blacks frequent are no go areas for non blacks. In Zimbabwe we have a whole generation of born frees take the rascism further by borrowing moral attitudes from African american radicalist,
    However it must too be noted that many white africans too are racist.
    But the Canadians are something else they grant Huntley asylum but refuse my zimbabwean aunt a visa to bury her daughter who was Canadian.
    The hate that hate produces is an infinite loop.

  72. September 3, 2009 at 09:48


    Brandon did not report any of the muggings to the authorities – he said so himself.

  73. September 3, 2009 at 11:49


    yes i am also a victim. of racism. i done 6000 jobs apllications an no one wants to help me not even the labour depatment they told me since i was an european they could not help me i refuse to say that i have a south african nationallity as that has never helped me
    i await your reply

  74. 90 Barbara in Johannesburg
    September 3, 2009 at 13:06

    So what is this now- Canada’s White Card lottery?

  75. 91 Ron
    September 3, 2009 at 13:18

    I can’t see what all the fuss is about. SA’s ANC led government has allowed in millions of refugees from neighboring Zimbabwe, a country which they insist has no problems. So what if Canada accepts one refugee from South Africa? The fuss is because the ANC government is racist, and is unhappy at being found out. The comment that the guy was in the wrong place resulted in his multiple attacks is ignorant, there is no ‘right place’ then, people are murdered, tortured and raped in their homes.

  76. 92 sofars
    September 3, 2009 at 14:00

    I am 47, recently departed ex-south african…..white….. for what its worth.
    I grew up with apartheid, and have now seen 15 years of freedom post apartheid.
    I am politically private but philosophically outspoken.

    Trying to leave SA was extremely difficult. It took 12 months of extreme effort to find a country that would accept my family and I as “working permit visitors intending to settle”.

    I found the beurocracy of attempting to move very discriminatory…..probably because I am from Africa. Nowhere was it asked what my race or skin colour was. Maybe its just difficult for anyone to move countries? Why?

    We have green card status…my wife does anyway…which was subject to first having a job in the new country. This entitles one to work in the new country for a fixed term….and it costs a lot of money (in terms of SA currency which is weak).

    Whilst here we have had to register with the local police and we must notify them of our whereabouts all the time. This is similar to the old apartheid pass book system? Well I think so anyway.

    We left to find a place where we could simply live without very stressful continuous threat to our lives and property, where my children could walk safely to school and back, and where I could enjoy a peaceful night’s sleep without high walls, barbed wire, burglar guards, alarms, dogs and guns.

    Call me crazy but I think I am just a normal simple human like the vast majority of S Africans (all colours) who simply want to live and let live but did not have that luxury in a country where my family had been for 300 years.

    Philosophically I do not believe in borders, control of movement of people, manipulated social engineering, I have seen and experienced enough of all the negativity of that.

    In essence refugee status means that the host country feeds, houses and clothes you…..but are at liberty to send you back “home” when they think it is safe for you to go back.

    Send mr Huntley back, maybe he becomes a registered statistical, reported and documented victim…..then see what happens…..

    Mostly people in SA only report crime when insurance companies need a report reference number for the victims to make some form of claim or another…..not because they have any hope that the crime will indeed be solved. I personally was victim to a few “minor” crimes in SA which I also did not report after reporting more serious ones previously without any form of resolution or justice ever being achieved.

    I sleep well now, my children are safe, the police are respected and the community fully supports them, no one owns weapons, no cars are hijacked, no one is killed during house robberies, no one is killed in a mugging for their shoes or watch.

    Most people here would not have actually met someone whos car was broken into, house burgled , freind or family member shot or stabbed, ….so call me stupid but the values in SA are certainly not shared by me. Im just hope we do not get sent back home when our work permit expires. I hope my children become citizens of this new, peaceful, relatively crime free, positive civil place and can one day call it home.

  77. 93 T
    September 3, 2009 at 21:59

    Ever since the ANC took over, I’ve tried to keep up with news in South Africa. When I listen to SA radio online, what do I hear? Many times frustrated whites who are sick of many ANC things that are being one. But almost every one of them also says, and by the way, I’m not racist. Is that true or just social conditioning?

  78. 94 Bryan
    September 3, 2009 at 22:02

    September 3, 2009 at 09:48,

    Yes, you are right. I got to that fact after I had commented. But my point still stands. The Canadian authorities would not have granted him asylum without an investigation. Could be that they have come to realise that there are countless others who do not report crime because there is little or no hope of their goods ever being recovered or anyone ever being brought to justice. What is most striking about this story is that the Canadians have apparently come to accept the fact of violent black on white racism in South Africa. As I said before, it’s about time, but better late than never.

    This wonderful new South Africa of ours continues to fulfil and even exceed the darkest apartheid-era prophecies of what life would be like under a black government. And the ANC needs to shoulder the blame for that and not white South Africans like Brandon Huntley. Good for him that he has managed to extricate himself from the hell of the New South Africa and may he succeed in making a new life for himself in Canada.

  79. 95 Kindi Jallow
    September 4, 2009 at 01:48

    If you could allow me respond to the above comment ‘…. which would make even Africa flush. The common tendency of African leadership to rapidly succmb to total self interest ………..’ just to put a little light.
    During the colonial rule, Africas educational system was designed to produce a bunch of cleaver layers, thieves and other social misfits. Africas woes can largely be attributed these and the segregationist and raciest policies over the years cannot be so easily eradicated it is not an African product.
    This is why Africa needs to redesigne a new educational system that fits all and sundry, responsive to social justice, human rights, respect for the rule of law and good governance.

  80. 96 scmehta
    September 4, 2009 at 08:45

    Yes it is possible, but mostly at the hands of ruffians, rogues, robbers and gangsters of any race.

  81. 97 Dennis Junior
    September 4, 2009 at 17:38


    Now, Canada is feeling the heat….From the South African people for making a just and acceptable decision in giving this white South African gentlemen asylum….

    =Dennis Junior=

  82. 98 Edwin
    September 6, 2009 at 07:17

    Some ignorant South Africans make mention of the fact that we are to host the Word Cup soccer in less than 400 days! How does that show we are not a racist country???

    In a country like SA , we the people that stay here permanentaly, always pull together during big sporting events. It is a hell of a pity that we cannot seem to take it passed there and keep it up.

    True South Africans seek the positive in our Country and its people! Crime has nothing to do with race, creed or colour. Crime in South Africa does pay and PAYS healthly. Just remember, in South Africa some of my black brothers are racist towards eachother and not towards whites. Zulu againts Xhosa, there is so much infighting between people across the bar.

    You are not like me so therefore I hate you is the way things happens here. That is the biggest shame of all. We live in one of the most beautiful countries in the world if only we could all learn to forget the past and to move forward but learn from the mistakes in our past.

    Edwin ( Cape Town)

  83. 99 T. THIART
    September 7, 2009 at 11:33

    I support the case of Brandon Huntley. He may have exaggerated re his attacks, but in a nutshell he is correct. White South Africans are one of the minority groups in South Africa(the others are the so-called Coloureds, a group a mixed descent, and the Asians(Indians,Chinese). Minority groups in any country always suffers at the hand of the majority. The blacks, who are by far the overwhelming majority of the population, surely target white South Africans because the whites holds approximately 60% of the wealth in their hands.
    Furthermore, according to statistics many white farmers have been killed since the ANC black government came to power in 1994. It seems it is done with the intention to eliminate white farmers. The government also support the re-distribution of land(farms) to black owership. One of the languages of the whites, Afrikaans(mainly derived from Dutch) is no longer welcome in many schools, universities and the government, although it is one of the official languages of South Africa. Brandon is correct, they sometimes call us derogative names like “whitey”,”boer”, etc. to show their dislike or disgust with whites. Personally I as a white do not feel very much at home and welcome in my own country just because I am white – I would also be very greatful if Canada, or any other first world country, give me refugee status. Happy Canada for you Brandon !

  84. September 8, 2009 at 18:40

    Is Black on White Crime in South Africa racially motivated?

    Know any journalist who is willing to put their money where their mouth is, on their opinion? A blogger journalist is willing to put a Krugerrand (R10,000) on her opinion that black on white murder, rape and assault is racially motivated….

    Any journalist willing to put thier money where their mouth is, and take the bet?

  85. 102 Wayne D
    September 9, 2009 at 15:10

    White, 30 and South African. White South Africans are not afraid to admit that we did wrong with apartheid etc. We are happy to embrace our darker brothers in the social scene and workplace.

    But lets look at some facts:

    1) I cannot apply for 90% of the jobs in the workplace cause I am white…no cant even apply
    2) I cannot apply to study certain Degrees because…I am white. even if I qualify.
    3) I cannot tender for certain business – because…I am white.

    But maybe I am just a racist.

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