How a Far-Right Conspiracy About South Africa Reached Donald Trump
Tracing claims of a white farmer "genocide" from South African extremists to the White House.
This week, Fox News primetime host Tucker Carlson once again talked about the alleged plight of white South African farmers on his program. President Trump was evidently watching the show since he called for further study of it on Twitter soon after the segment aired. But in his tweet, Trump wrote about a “large scale killing of farmers” as if it is a settled fact, when reporting indicates that against the background of a generally high murder rate in South Africa, there is no evidence of white farmers being specifically or systematically targeted and killed, reports The Guardian.
I have asked Secretary of State @SecPompeo to closely study the South Africa land and farm seizures and expropriations and the large scale killing of farmers. “South African Government is now seizing land from white farmers.” @TuckerCarlson @FoxNews
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 23, 2018
Trump’s tweet is significant because it shows how a dubious, far-right claim of “white genocide” in South Africa has been mainstreamed, working its way from far-right Afrikaner websites to U.S. cable news to, now, a policy inquiry from the White House. The Guardian explains how the myth of “white genocide” has been a staple of the racist far right for decades, and though it takes many forms, the main idea revolves around a complex plot to replace, remove, or liquidate white populations.
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