Topic-icon David Bullard: Uncolonised Africa

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11 years 10 months ago #116212 by Aiden
This is the article that got one of the Sunday Times most controversial writers, David Bullard, fired this past week for being a racist. He probably received as much applause as he did hate mail. You decide.
I must admit that I loved reading his weekly columns.


Uncolonised Africa wouldn’t know what it was missing

www.thetimes.co.za/Columnists/Article.aspx?id=741855

Imagine for a moment what life would be like in South Africa if the evil white man hadn’t come to disturb the rustic idyll of the early black settlers.



Ignored by the Portuguese and Dutch, except as a convenient resting point en route to India. Shunned by the British, who had decided that their empire was already large enough and didn’t need to include bits of Africa.

The vast mineral wealth lying undisturbed below the Highveld soil as simple tribesmen graze their cattle blissfully unaware that beneath them lies one of the richest gold seams in the world. But what would they want with gold?

There are no roads because no roads are needed because there are no cars. It’s 2008 and no one has taken the slightest interest in South Africa, apart from a handful of botanists and zoologists who reckon that the country’s flora and fauna rank as one of the largest unspoilt areas in a polluted world.

Because they have never been exposed to the sinful ways of the West, the various tribes of South Africa live healthy and peaceful lives, only occasionally indulging in a bit of ethnic cleansing.

Their children don’t watch television because there is no television to watch. Instead they listen to their grandparents telling stories around a fire. They live in single-storey huts arranged to catch most of the day’s sunshine and their animals are kept nearby.

Nobody has any more animals than his family needs and nobody grows more crops than he requires to feed his family and swap for other crops. Ostentation is unknown because what is the point of trying to impress your fellow citizens when they are not impressible?

The dreaded Internet doesn’t exist in South Africa and cellphone companies have laughed off any hope of interesting the inhabitants in talking expensively into a piece of black plastic. There are no unsightly shopping malls selling expensive goods made by Asian slave workers and consequently there are no newspapers or magazines carrying articles comparing the relative merits of ladies’ handbags.

Whisky, the curse of the white man, isn’t known in this undeveloped land and neither are cigars. The locals brew a sort of beer out of vegetables and drink it out of shallow wooden bowls. Five-litre paint cans have yet to arrive in South Africa.

Every so often a child goes missing from the village, eaten either by a hungry lion or a crocodile. The family mourn for a week or so and then have another child. Life is, on the whole, pretty good but there is something vital missing. Being unaware of the temptations of the outside world, nobody knows what it is. Fire has been discovered and the development of the wheel is coming on nicely but the tribal elders are still aware of some essential happiness ingredient they still need to discover. Praying to the ancestors is no help because they are just as clueless.

Then something happens that will change this undisturbed South Africa forever. Huge metal ships land on the coast and big metal flying birds are sent to explore the sparsely populated hinterland. They are full of men from a place called China and they are looking for coal, metal, oil, platinum, farmland, fresh water and cheap labour and lots of it. Suddenly the indigenous population realise what they have been missing all along: someone to blame. At last their prayers have been answered.

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11 years 10 months ago #116213 by Aasia23
I don't disagree with his thinking. We should remember although we were colonised, not everything has been bad!

I think it was a tongue-in-cheek response to all those people who permanently look to blame some one.

So I take it as I perceive it!

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11 years 10 months ago #116217 by LeeLou
I too must admit that I enjoyed reading Bullard's articles on Sundays.

He's always been ascerbic and politically incorrect and although I find this particular article incredibly patronizing, he has written worse things before.

I just wonder why the article was printed in the first place??

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11 years 10 months ago - 11 years 10 months ago #116219 by Aiden
LeeLou wrote:

He's always been ascerbic and politically incorrect and although I find this particular article incredibly patronizing, he has written worse things before.


I agree with you LeeLou.

About a year ago the article below was also published in the Sunday Times...

Religion must be a matter of individual taste
By Mohau Pheko

South Africa is considered a secular state that is officially neutral in matters of religion. Its role is neither to support nor to oppose any religious beliefs or practices. It can not give unfair preferential treatment to any faith.

Theoretically, a secular state has a dual role: it protects freedom of religion and freedom from religion. It is described as a state that prevents religion from interfering with state affairs, controlling the government or exercising political power. Laws protect each individual, including those from religious minorities, from discrimination on the basis of religion.

I had no idea that a simple biscuit would force me to question whose religious rights and freedoms are more important in a secular state such as South Africa.

In a grocery store there are designated areas for various foods. This enables the consumer to make choices about which brands to buy and so forth. Diabetic or low- to no-sugar- content items are clearly marked, there may be a kosher section to fulfil the needs of the Jewish community and one will probably find a section that contains sauces, noodles, rice and spiced items from Asia. Increasingly, some restaurants distinguish themselves as halaal by putting up a visible sign for their Muslim diners.

A well-known store that used green shopping bags over the festive season fulfilled my requirement of a perfect shortbread biscuit. I happened to turn the packet over, only to discover a halaal symbol. Unless I missed it, there was no notice in the biscuit section of the store that informed me that I was buying halaal biscuits.

Why should citizens of diverse faiths be subjected to halaal food without their knowledge? I have no problem with those who eat halaal food. However, those who choose not to should be given a choice with clearly designated sections for such food items in all grocery stores. I was informed by one of the store managers that a number of food items in stores are halaal.

Most people do not take time to read labels and stores do not go out of their way to clearly mark food sections accordingly.

Should some religions have more rights than others to impose their practices on the unsuspecting public? I thought religious freedom was about the right to choose.

Should Christians insist on having a cross on food items to signify that it has been appropriately sanctified for Christian consumption?

Perhaps the debate the nation should have is whether labelling food along religious preference is dogma rather than religion.

In this Islamophobic era, some may argue that I have no religious tolerance.

Some will argue that the challenge in a country like South Africa, where the Christian faith has dominated, is gradually to take away positive discrimination in that direction with the view to equal treatment of other religions and beliefs. In so doing, proponents of this idea believe, a new generation of Muslims and Christians may become the vanguard of the next decade, offering their co-religiosity as a new vision of faith.

A second issue that made me wonder whether freedom of speech is a universal human right was over the renewal of Radio Pulpit’s broadcasting licence. Apparently after many years of broadcasting to the Christian community, it has been struggling to get its licence renewed by the government.

The separation of church and state is a key component of South African democracy, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that we live in a secular state. Freedom of religion means that the government tolerates the fact that citizens practice the faith of their choice and, while there is no official religion here, Christianity is the de facto official religion of this country.

Coupled with this, a number of churches are having difficulty securing state land on which to build churches. Yet there is a proliferation of mosques and radio stations for the Muslim community.

What does religious freedom mean in a secular state? Should minority religions have the same rights as majority religions? How does the state avoid promoting one religion or faith group over another?

What criteria can be used in practice to promote a religiously _base_d life over a secular life? Should religion retreat from the public sphere or can it find a place in the public sphere in a purely secular state?

It is said that the South African state should be neutral between the religious and secular parts of society. When the discussion turns to policymaking, however, it seems that this neutrality disappears.

I would argue that no policy should be supported without adequate secular justification since these are the only types of arguments that are acceptable to all. What has happened to neutrality in South Africa?

South Africa is a politically alert society, aware of the role that religious rights play in public life. It is clear that if the state provides more concessions to one religion, members of other faiths will feel alienated since such values would be imposed upon them. They may be prohibited from practising the rituals of their religion.

In this respect, I am not in favour of the values of any one religion being imposed on members of different religions that are present in our country


Although there was a huge outcry by many, especially by both those of Islamic and Jewish faith yet nothing was done to the journalist.
Now I am not saying that they should just go about firing journalists just because the editor has not done his job by checking everything first, especially when everybody knows that the journalist is controversial, but what is freedom of speech and are we (everyone) really allowed to exercise this right?
I know that we need to have laws in place to protect people especially from each other, but can you really have \"freedom\" with boundaries in place?
How much freedom do we have to express our thoughts and opinions?
Last Edit: 11 years 10 months ago by Aiden.

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11 years 10 months ago #116220 by Fryingpanwarrior
Bullard has become part of my Sunday routine. I'd make a big oily breakfast, and eat while reading the Times, his column being the first I devoure.
What people who don't like him might not consider, is that individuals like Bullard are very necessary spokes in the metaphorical roling wheel of a country's progress. The media is very powerfull when it comes to keeping a government in check. How else would voters know what they're voting for? Whats even more important is that the media remain independant, unbiased and not shy to tell it like it is. Public figures should take office KNOWING that their actions will be under public scrutiny. (If you're president of a ruling party and you drink home-made beer out of 5-litre paint tins, dont pee in your pants if it gets publicised. You chose the role).
Now look at our media. The ruling party has control over the SABC. Wtf?
Where else would they be scrutinised and kept in check if not by the independant 'I-dont-give-a-damn' likes of Bullard and my skattebol Deborah Pata? Like them or not, their role is important... Why else do you guys think does uncle Bob restrict a free media in Zim?

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11 years 10 months ago - 11 years 10 months ago #116223 by ern18
Bullard was fired? :huh: :ohmy: :ohmy: :ohmy:

story on iol

No man can make you feel inferior unless you give him your consent Bryce Courtnay in White Thorn
In order to attain the impossible one must attempt the absurdMiguel de Unamuno (1865-1936)
Last Edit: 11 years 10 months ago by ern18. Reason: added link

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11 years 10 months ago - 11 years 10 months ago #116261 by Mica
:woohoo:

One settler, one bullard!

Kewl Aiden drew our attention to:

...the article that got one of the Sunday Times most controversial writers, David Bullard, fired


and mi was like :P

tjek dis:

plus ou Mondli Makhanya tjoons his readers:
\"For you, i shoosh da bullard!!!\"
:P
okay okay...he dirrent say it like dat (but its definitely implied)

This is what he really said to Moneyweb: \"took some responsibility for the offending column being published, saying the newspaper's ‘systems failed'.\"

And so, like hundreds of years before, the black man has been slow to expel the white ge-vark-lik(cos da system is failed)! Aish! :unsure:

ge-vark-lik cos: it be greed that drove them colonialist oakies! Whatever benefit/infrastructure they brought was intended to facilitate the wholesale theft of our resources! Weapons o mass pilferage :ohmy:

but like: VIVA! no more bullard! :woohoo:
Last Edit: 11 years 10 months ago by Mica.

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11 years 10 months ago #116265 by Aiden
It is only fair to add the commentary by Deeleequent

Deeleequent wrote:

For those of you to lazy to read the article it basically speaks about what would South Africa be like without colonialism. He waxes lyrical about how life would be idylic and peaceful without cellphones, the internet and ostentatious behaviour while living in traditional African villages. He then mentions that the people of Africa would feel as though something was missing until the Chinese come knocking for mineral wealth and finally the indigenous people have something to blame for ruining this idyllic life_style_.

I think the article asks a fundamental question: Were it not for colonialism would the indigenous people of Africa have progressed to the point of equaling the west for wealth and progress? Fortunately it is beyond the scope of this blog to discuss that but the thing about Bullard is he is always trying to create a debate and some thought on an issue. I really don’t think Bullard was aiming at fomenting racism in his article but rather creating a debate. It seems that for Bullard futhering thought on a topic is incredibly important rather than subtly implying that the indigenous population of South Africa are inferior to the “powerful white masters”.

Here’s a thought: If the editor of the Sunday Times felt that this was racist then why did he have the article published? I’m so sick of South Africans being so uptight about “racism”. We’re so scared as a nation to discuss racism and actually deal with it so we react to anything that might be misconstrued as racism. As a nation until we deal with the past and the present issue we will never get any further.

Do I think Bullard should have been fired? Most certainly not, he’s just trying to make us think and I respect the man for actually trying to promote some thought.



I like how you started off with...

For those of you to lazy to read the article

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11 years 10 months ago #116428 by Fryingpanwarrior
Well said, Deeleequent! Agreed.

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11 years 10 months ago #116430 by Adamas
\"This is the article that got one of the Sunday Times most controversial writers, David Bullard, fired this past week for being a racist.\"Exactly which part is racist?
What happened to freedom of speech? South Africa is becoming a nation of pussy-cants do-anything construtive or critially,\" just in case someone's level & lables you a racist. Fcuk satire,for we are ignorant fools who cant desify prose & satire from Main Kharfe\". I wonder who will be next?

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11 years 10 months ago #116431 by Gnarls
Thanks Aiden. Racism is like a ticket only white folks can get.

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11 years 10 months ago #116437 by Herbsta
I agree with LeeLou and Aiden.

David Bullard was the 1 last reason I subscribed to the Sunday Times, the only highlight of a newspaper that was otherwise boring and a carrier of \"bad news\" anyway (as all other mass publications nowadays).

David Bullard is sharp witted, is unafraid of attacking sacred cows (including JZ) and his \"left field\" thinking was always welcome.

I look forward to seeing who writes for next cos that is the newspaper I will be buying!

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11 years 10 months ago #116549 by LeeLou
True dat, Herbsta! Gloom and doom mongers, they are!
Bullard will be missed.

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11 years 10 months ago #116577 by Jay
I wasn't familiar with his column, but after reading some of his stuff on the net I have to say it's a pity he was fired. We need more journalists like him. Hope he finds a place at another publication soon.

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11 years 10 months ago #116908 by allan
The article is racist because it implies that Black people (like you and I) will not take responsibility for their f-ups because it is something inherent in our make-up.
In theSunday times editorial this week Mondli Makhanya says that he was fired because David Bullard upholds these views - it is not/was not satirical - not remotely funny. And it reminded me that it is the subliminal racism of the liberal (black and white) that is the most dangerous because it is the least tangible and the most insiduous...

Mohau Pheko should be fired becaue she is narrow minded and racist as well...

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11 years 10 months ago - 11 years 10 months ago #116913 by Gnarls
And what about Jon Qwelane?
Last Edit: 11 years 10 months ago by Gnarls. Reason: the Gnarls has edited.

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11 years 10 months ago #117621 by Adamas
Anyone watch Noleen last nigth? She interviewed David Bullard & a black professor,the chairman of the FBJ & editor of 702. It was very interesting ,but I only caught the second half.

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11 years 10 months ago - 11 years 10 months ago #117634 by Gemini_01
Adamas wrote:

Anyone watch Noleen last nigth? She interviewed David Bullard & a black professor,the chairman of the FBJ & editor of 702. It was very interesting ,but I only caught the second half.


I only got to see thr first 10 or so minutes, loadshedding put it to a halt....

For the firs part they mostly debated on whether David thought that what he wrote was wrong and if he was sorry, he than said that he regrets the outcome as it was not what he anticipated. he also said that in the beginning of the article he said \"Imagine\", so what he created was imaginery and was read in the wrong light....:S
Last Edit: 11 years 10 months ago by Gemini_01.

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11 years 10 months ago #117643 by jaydee26
Watched bits and pieces but who the pock does Abbey Makoe from the FBJ think he is, roundly condemning David Bullard after less than a month ago excluding Non African journalists from Forum For \"Black\" Journalists gathering.

Allan, lift your head out the sand.....the only time we are considered \"Black\" is near elections when the ruling party starts spewing its historical racial kak to try and get the sympathy vote to stay in power.

David Bullard posted his view in a satirical manner and was roundly condemned but Jon Qwelane(former white man ass creeper) blatantly spews hatred and nothing is done about him

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11 years 10 months ago #117687 by allan
Lets not mix up the issues... What David Bullard said in that article is offensive to me and a number of other Black people... it was racist in its imagery and racist in its intent. Also, good liberal that he is, he defends his right to freedom of speech to distract us from the fact that he has not apologised for causing offence. And, unintended or not, he did offend people and, because he is a righteous man, he should apologise. Shouldn't he? Or am I so offended that i have blinded myself to the excellent manner in which he has conducted himself after the article was published?
Abbey Makoe, Jon Qwelane and a host of other Black people who you think are racist is a different issue and one that should be discussed... But their racism doesn't make Bullards any more acceptable any more than pilfering toilet paper makes murder more acceptable...
When I look up from the sand and the dust clears I'm never considered White... And their is nothing historical or kak about racism - unless you are the one who is/was kakked on.

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