As the alt-right obsesses over white South African farmers, indigenous activists are murdered in ever greater numbers
The first time Donald Trump tweeted about Africa, he agonised over white people. After watching Fox News’ coverage of the South African land debate last week, the President of the United States instructed his secretary of state to look into the “large scale killing of farmers”. Followers of Peter Dutton’s nine months tenure at Australia’s home affairs ministry will recognise the lie, peddled by the “alt-right”, that black South Africans are targeting white farmers. As the Guardian reported in June, farmer and farmworker murders are at a 20-year low.
But for white people living in every settler state, there’s an awkward question that translates from the Americas to Australia to South Africa to Canada and beyond. How did land become private property, and is that property legitimate? Land struggles, it turns out, might be a way of teaching racists a bit of history and geography.