advertisement
advertisement

The problem with Trump’s tweet about South Africa

White nationalists are claiming victory over Trump’s tweet.

The problem with Trump’s tweet about South Africa
[Photo: Flickr user Gage Skidmore]
advertisement
advertisement

President Donald Trump has been watching Fox News again.

advertisement
advertisement

After a report by Tucker Carlson, the president said on Twitter that he has asked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to investigate “large scale killing of farmers” in South Africa. He even tagged Carlson and Fox News in the tweet. Caveat: Most experts agree there are no widespread farmer murders in South Africa.

Since international affairs now takes place on Twitter, the South African government responded with a tweet of its own, rejecting Trump’s “narrow perception” and promising land reform in an “inclusive manner.”

Here’s more context:

advertisement
  • Are there widespread murders of farmers? As The New York Times bluntly puts it, “There is no evidence of this.” However, it is true that the South African government is considering seizing lands owned by white farmers. The controversial decision comes in the aftermath of apartheid and is an attempt to balance land ownership in the wake of colonialism and apartheid-era land seizures by white South Africans.
  • The demographics: According to official figures, white residents make up just 9% of the population, but they own 72% of the land, while black South Africans make up 79% of the population and directly own less than 15% of the country’s land.
  • The process: While South African President Cyril Ramaphosa is interested in working to address land ownership inequality, despite what the U.S. president tweeted, “farm seizures and expropriations” have not taken place yet.
  • More dirty details: A far-right white-led South African group called AfriForum has reportedly teamed up with U.S. conservatives like Ann Coulter and Alex Jones to spread disinformation and is reportedly claiming victory over Trump’s tweet—a triumph for their U.S. lobbying efforts.

Meanwhile, white nationalists in the U.S. are thrilled by Trump’s tweet.

Patrick Gaspard, a former ambassador to South Africa, was less impressed with Trump’s tweet, calling the claim a “disproven racial myth.”

About the author

Melissa Locker is a writer and world renowned fish telepathist.

More