Racism, Xenophobia and Hate Speech
Only Biblical Christianity offers a rational basis for opposing racism and for pursuing justice. Equality before the law is a Biblical principle: “The community is to have the same rules for you and for the alien living among you; this is a lasting ordinance for the generations to come. You and the alien shall be the same before the Lord. The same laws and regulations will apply both to you and to the alien living among you.” Numbers 15:15-16
Creation Leads to Respect for Life
The Biblical doctrine of Creation where people are made in the image of God (Acts 17:26); and of Redemption, undermine racism, xenophobia and hate speech. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation.” 2 Corinthians 5:17-19
Evolutionism Breeds Racism
On the other hand, those who hold to Darwin’s theory of evolution, have no objective basis with which to counter racism. In fact, Darwinian evolutionism has inspired a whole host of racist ideologies and movements, especially communism. The actual title of Darwin’s famous evolutionary book is: “On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or The Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life.”
Evolution Leads to Revolution
Karl Marx wanted to dedicate Das Kapital to Charles Darwin and wrote, “Darwin’s book is very important and serves me as a basis in the natural sciences for the historical class struggle.” “Violence is the midwife…” as Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin so succinctly put it, “Evolution leads to revolution!”
Darwin and Marx were Racists
Both Darwin and Marx expressed racist views. It is ironic that so many Russians and Africans have held Marxist and evolutionary beliefs because Darwin taught that the “advanced races” should “exterminate” the primitive races in order to speed up evolutionary progress!
Karl Marx himself despised the Slavs and Blacks, writing that they were “frozen at pre-civilisation levels” and would never make any contribution to history! (Karl Marx – the Racist, 1978; Understanding the Times, David Noebel, 1991; Marx and Satan, Richard Wurmbrand)
“They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity…” 2 Peter 2:19
Discrimination and Antagonism
The Oxford English Dictionary defines racism as: “…discrimination against or antagonism towards other races.”
Yet many, who speak out vitriolicity against racism, are themselves racist, displaying intense antagonism towards people of other races and advocating policies which discriminate on the basis of race.
Character or Colour?
These are many of the same people who would respect Martin Luther King, but who are not willing to live by his maxim: that people should be judged by the content of their character, not by the colour of their skin.
Frustrated people are easily manipulated by mesmerizing slogans sold by murderous hate-mongers. One of the easiest ideas to sell anyone is that he is better than someone else. The holocaust in Rwanda where mobs of Hutus slaughtered over eight hundred thousand Tutsi Christians, is just one example of the destructive power of tribalism in Africa in recent years. More people were killed with machetes in six weeks in Rwanda, than have been killed by nuclear weapons in all of history.
Media Marketing of Hate
In the month and weeks leading up to the holocaust in Rwanda, the state radio RTLM denigrated all Tutsis as “foreigners”: “Hamitic invaders”, “cockroaches”, “racist supremacists”; who needed to be “returned to Ethiopia” by having their bodies thrown into the Niabarongo River. Wild rumours were recklessly spread by RTLM accusing the Tutsis of sinister plots. The MRND government bluntly asserted: “every Batutsi is dishonest” and “the Bahutu should stop having mercy on the Batutsi.” The state media editorialized that the Bible instructs you to kill snakes and “all Tutsis are snakes!”
Newspeak in Rwanda
This fanatical extremism was not on the fringes of society, but was propagated by top leaders of the MRND government and by the Anglican and Roman Catholic hierarchies. Popular poet and songwriter, Simon Bikindi composed songs which provoked Hutus to hate their Tutsi neighbours. Extremists toured the country to incite racial hatred against the Tutsi. New terms were popularized: “clearing the bush”, which originally had referred to clearing land for cultivation, came to mean killing Tutsi’s. “Intehambwe”, which used to mean communal work parties, now came to mean mobs that would hunt out and kill the Tutsi. Even the term “work” itself now came to mean the task of killing!
State Sponsored Hate
In my book, Holocaust in Rwanda, I quote some examples of this extremist ideology propagated by senior government officials. Here are the words of MRND Vice President Dr. Leon Mugesera: “The Tutsi are inyenzis (cockroaches)… what are we waiting for to decimate these families…? They have no right to live…eliminate these people…destroy them. No matter what you do, do not let them get away.” After the holocaust Leon Mugesera fled to Canada.
In the run up to the genocide, Radio Television Libre Des Milles Collines (RTLM) broadcast inflammatory stories and twisted all news to have an anti-Tutsi angle: “They are cockroaches from cockroaches who speak for cockroaches”; “the Tutsis need to be killed”; “hunt out the Tutsi…”; “who will fill the half empty graves?”; “take your spears, clubs, guns, swords, stones, everything, sharpen them, hack them, those enemies, those cockroaches…”; “like a mad dog you have to beat it up, and up and up…”.
Mobilising Mass Murder
By totally dominating the mass media, the Hutu extremists were able to mould minds and fill them with hatred and a lust for blood. The MRND ruling party planned and promoted the systematic annihilation of the Tutsi minority from as early as 1990. The pattern of the killings reveals that the massacres were meticulously organised in advance. Most of the victims were slaughtered inside church buildings, hospitals, and schools. I walked knee deep in corpses in the church at Ntarama. At the Kigali Hospital over seven thousand corpses had to be removed before the hospital could be reopened.
Racism has been described as “the maximum of hatred for a minimum of reason.” H.G. Wells noted that racism “justifies and holds together more baseness, cruelty and abomination than any other sort of error in the world.”
It is disturbing how many African leaders, while ostensibly opposing racism, support one of the most vitriolic racists on the continent today: Robert Mugabe. Despite this Zimbabwean dictator being guilty of some of the most vicious racism, with a disastrous policy of state sponsored terrorism, the stealing and looting of farms and businesses, the murder of farmers and opposition members, the terrorizing of Supreme Court justices, bombing of opposition newspaper offices, imprisoning of critics and reckless promotion of racial hatred against whites, the ANC government of South Africa have steadfastly refused to criticise Mugabe.
National Suicide in Zimbabwe
The crisis in Zimbabwe is severe - the worst inflation in the history of the world. People are dying of starvation in a man-made famine, orchestrated by the ZANU-PF government of Mugabe. Over five thousand productive white commercial farms have been seized by government organised mobs. Vast herds of cattle and wildlife have been slaughtered. Crops and stores have been burned, farmhouses looted and many people beaten or murdered. One of the most productive agricultural economies in Africa has been systematically destroyed, because of fanatical racial hatred. Not only did these farms feed the entire nation, but they also exported food, providing the highest percentage of foreign exchange earnings for the country. These commercial farms were also the highest employers of labour in the country and provided homes for up to four million farm workers and their dependants.
When the president of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe, needed a scapegoat for his failed socialism, he played the race card, declaring: “farmers are enemies of the state!... We have degrees in violence!...those farmers who resist will die!”
Supporting a Racist Dictatorship in Zimbabwe
Yet, despite blatant fraud in elections, and tens of thousands of human rights abuses documented, many ANC leaders in South Africa have evidenced an obscene infatuation and warmth towards the violent dictatorship of Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe. “Whoever says to the guilty, you are innocent – peoples will curse them and nations denounce them.” Proverbs 24:24
Racism and Hypocrisy
It is evident that this blind support for Mugabe is inspired, in large part, by racial prejudice. Despite Mugabe engineering one of the most “spectacular economic collapses of history” with his national suicide of Zimbabwe, all too many political leaders support him – irrespective of the lawlessness and savagery afflicting the population of Zimbabwe. Despite half the population of Zimbabwe having voted with their feet by fleeing the country, many in the African Union have evidenced both racism and hypocrisy in enthusiastically applauding Mugabe. This racism and hypocrisy was particularly evident at the UN World Summit on Sustainable Development. While Mugabe supporters were slaughtering endangered wildlife and destroying huge forests and game reserves in Zimbabwe, Mugabe was being applauded with standing ovations as a key note speaker! “How long will the land lie parched and the grass in every field be withered? Because those who live in it are wicked, the animals and birds have perished.” Jeremiah 12:4
Under Mugabe’s racist regime even judges have been assaulted by mobs in their chambers in court, journalists and editors have been arrested and tortured, pastors have been arrested for praying for peace and justice, and the only independent daily newspaper and radio station in Zimbabwe has been blown up. “Destructive forces are at work in the city; threats and lies never leave its streets.” Psalm 55:11
Supporting What They Claim to Oppose
How can anybody in the ANC ever again speak against the racial discrimination of “apartheid South Africa” when they have instituted their own racial discrimination through Affirmative Action and Black Economic Empowerment, job reservations and racial quotas in South Africa? And when they are so enthusiastically supportive of Robert Mugabe’s vicious racism in Zimbabwe? And when they actively support Julius Malema’s crude racism and hate speech? And when they happily sing “Kill the Boer! Kill the farmer!” even while over three thousand white commercial farmers have been murdered – in the most torturous and brutal ways. “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness… who are wise in their own eyes… who acquit the guilty for a bribe, but deny justice to the innocent…they have rejected the Law of the Lord Almighty…” Isaiah 5:20-24
What is a Biblical Response to Such Hatred?
In the face of the racism, xenophobia and hate speech evidenced in Robert Mugabe’s national suicide in Zimbabwe and Julius Malema’s “Kill the Boer!” slogan and songs, what is the Biblical response?
We need to recognise that crime and violence, corruption and malice are symptoms of our society’s rebellion against the Laws of God. “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.” Ephesians 5:11
The scourge of animism, tribalism, Islamic slave trade, genocidal clan warfare and the legacy of Marxist hatred needs to be exposed. “Who will rise up for Me against the evildoers? Who will stand up for Me against the workers of iniquity?” Psalm 94:16
The Biblical solutions to racism, xenophobia and hate speech are found in the Doctrine of Creation, The Greatest Commandment, The Golden Rule, The Good Samaritan and The Great Commission. “For He Himself is our peace who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility.” Ephesians 2:14
The Greatest Commandment
Our Lord Jesus Christ taught that the Greatest Command is to: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength… Love your neighbour as yourself.” Mark 12:30-31
The Golden Rule
Our Lord Jesus Christ taught us to observe the Golden Rule: “And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise.” Luke 6:31
The Good Samaritan
In the parable of the Good Samaritan the Lord Jesus spoke of a man from the despised and hated Samaritans caring for the traveler beaten and robbed on the side of the road. Then He taught His followers to go and do likewise (Luke 10:27-37).
Love Your Enemies
Jesus even taught His followers to: “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you and pray for those who spitefully use you…” (Luke 6:27-28)
The Great Commission
After rising from the dead, and before ascending into Heaven, the Lord Jesus Christ gave His followers the Great Commission: “All authority has been given to Me in Heaven and on Earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20
Christian Love in Action
Because of these and other Scriptural commands, Christians like St. Patrick, Boniface, William Wilberforce, John Newton, William Carey, David Livingstone, Mary Slessor, Lord Shaftsbury and General Charles Gordon, and so many others, worked tirelessly to end the slave trade, stop child labour and set the captives free. Amongst all the religions of the world, only Christianity brought an end to the slave trade. “Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favouritism to the great, but judge your neighbour fairly.” Leviticus 19:15
Dr. Peter Hammond
Africa Christian Action
PO Box 23632
Tel: 021-689 4481
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