Winston Churchill: Greatest Briton Ever? Dec 4, 2018 18:07:36 GMT
Post by Admin on Dec 4, 2018 18:07:36 GMT
"Is it right," the guard asked Churchill, "that a dirty Kaffir [native] should walk on the pavement [sidewalk] without a pass? That's what they do in your British Colonies. Brother! Equal! Ugh! Free! Not a bit. We know how to treat Kaffirs....They were put here by the God Almighty to work for us. We'll stand no damned nonsense from them. We'll keep them in their proper places."
After recording his guard's opinions Churchill states his own: "What is the true and original root of Dutch aversion to British rule? It is the abiding fear and hatred of the movement that seeks to place the native on a level with the white man. British government is associated in the Boer farmer's mind with violent social revolution...the Kaffir is to be declared the brother of the European, to be constituted his legal equal, to be armed with political rights...nor is a tigress robbed of her cubs more furious than is the Boer at this prospect." After the statements of his captor, Churchill concludes, "[he and I had] no more agreement...Probing at random I had touched a very sensitive nerve."
Now it is accurately said that Churchill's view of native Africans was not that of, say, Martin Luther King, Jr. half a century later. Churchill was paternalistic, and held, if not in these pages then in My African Journey, that immediate equality was impractical and unworkable. But his views in the Ladysmith are in striking contrast to those of most contemporary Britons. Of course, whatever improvements might have evolved in a South Africa under British suzerainty, the Union of South Africa in 1910 led to something different.
By combining the Boer-dominated Transvaal and Orange Free State with the British Cape Colony and Natal in a Union where only whites could vote and Boers outnumbered Britons, Great Britain established the Boer patrimony which the Boers had failed to achieve by arms; and from that Union grew the policy of Apartheid. It is interesting to find Churchill in 1899 representing the same essential approach to native emancipation as the South African reformers of the early 1990s and agreeable to know that Nelson Mandela is an admirer of Winston Churchill.