The recent racially-motivated shooting of nine black churchgoers by a young white gunman has reverberated across the United States and the internet. Although gun violence is primarily associated with black people, more astute observers may have noticed something else odd about the gunman before being told so by the media:
Yeah, those are the flags of apartheid South Africa and the old Zimbabwe, a.k.a. Rhodesia, named after the British imperialist Cecil Rhodes (the Rhodes Scholarship is also named after him). That’s surprisingly specific for an American to come up with, given our infamously poor grasp of geography. South Africa is one thing to know, but the short-lived, unrecognized, white supremacist, and Cold War state of Rhodesia is something else entirely. I had no idea Americans could be this historically and geographically literate. Too bad this one was also wrong.
Flag of Rhodesia (1968-1979)
I think for white nationalists to idealize Rhodesia, or even South Africa, is misguided. That Dylann Roof did so is indicative of his poor credentials in addition to overall unhingedness. I understand the angle that these countries functioned best under white rule and that it brought material prosperity to them, albeit mostly for whites. But other than their unashamedly pro-white ideology, I don’t think there is much to be emulated or aspired to here. The best way of explaining this, in my opinion, is through Lothrop Stoddard’s concept of the “dikes erected by the white race during the centuries of its expansion.”
…the rising tide of color to-day finds itself confronted by dikes erected by the white race during the centuries of its expansion. The reader will also remember that white expansion has taken two forms: settlement and political control. These two phases differ profoundly in character. Areas of settlement like North America have become integral portions of the white world. On the other hand, regions of political control like India are merely white dependencies, highly valuable perhaps, yet in the last analysis held by title of the sword.
Between these clearly contrasted categories lies an intermediate class of territories typified by South Africa, where whites have settled in large numbers without displacing the native populations. Lastly, there exist certain white territories which may be called “enclaves.” These enclaves have become thoroughly white by settlement, yet they are so distant from the main body of the white world and so contiguous to colored race-areas that white tenure does not possess that security which settlement and displacement of the aborigines normally confer. Australia typifies this anomalous class of cases.
The white defenses against the colored tide can be divided into what may be termed the “outer” and the “inner” dikes. The outer dikes (the regions of white political control) contain no settled white population, so that their abandonment, whatever the political or economic loss, would not directly affect white race-integrity. The question of their retention or abandonment should therefore (save in a few exceptional cases) be judged by political, economic, or strategic considerations. The inner dikes (the areas of white settlement), however, are a very different matter. Peopled as they are wholly or largely by whites, they have become parts of the race-heritage, which should be defended to the last extremity no matter if the costs involved are greater than their mere economic value would warrant. They are the true bulwarks of the race, the patrimony of future generations who have a right to demand of us that they shall be born white in a white man’s land. Ill will it fare if ever our race should close its ears to this most elemental call of the blood. Then, indeed, would be manifest the writing on the wall. [emphasis added]
Stoddard wrote The Rising Tide of Color Against White World-Supremacy, which this passage is from, in 1920, meaning Rhodesia would not have really been on his radar. South Africa was always the elder and more important settler colony in Africa, after all, but Rhodesia was similar concept. I would also disagree with his assessment of Australia as an insecure enclave, but I digress; Rhodesia and South Africa were undoubtedly always peripheral parts of white civilization and space. Defending white rule in either country military and politically was and did become a logistical nightmare. For those with a nostalgia for white colonial imperialism, non-white-majority settler colonies like Rhodesia and South Africa (and French Algeria) were important nodes for controlling the overall empire and provided reliable manpower so long as the metropolis respected the interests of its white colonial subjects. Rhodesians, White South Africans, Pied-Noirs and the like, whether born in Africa or Europe, were the men guarding the outer dikes of white civilization. That is admirable from a racial perspective but ultimately not the ideal configuration of a white nationalist state; it is the configuration of a colonial province within a larger white-imperial context.
We do not have that context anymore; Dylann Roof is acting in the name of a defunct world. Without those empires, South Africa, Rhodesia, French Algeria and the like are meaningless. They are not the inner dikes of the white race like Anglo-America or Europe. They are not the outer dikes of the white race. They are vestigial remains of an imperial system that we’ve stopped maintaining since the Second World War.
So for this Lanza-esque “white nationalist” to be idealizing white colonialism in Africa is, well, not well-thought out. You know what’s LARPier than having a white ethnostate in Europe or North America? Having one in Africa where whites would be a minority. You know what’s even worse? Murdering nine black churchgoers in South Carolina because you like Rhodesia. Dylann with two n’s is an unhinged stooge with a poor grasp of the ideology he thinks he’s carrying out. I would not be surprised if in the coming days we get all kinds of biographical information that lets us safely say he was both mentally-ill and a terrorist.
He is going to be painted as a white supremacist, which is correct, but as for people who are politically white nationalists, he should not be seen as anything more than a lunatic. White nationalism is not about Rhodesia or apartheid South Africa. No matter how much better those countries were under white rule:
- The restoration of such a system is impossible.
- It is more important to defend the inner dikes.
- It would only be possible to restore 1 by securing 2.
- The inner dikes are not secure, as evident by the immigration- and birthrate-driven demographic disaster unfolding across the white world.
- If we believe in self-determination as the guiding principle of our own nationalism, why would we recolonize Africa?
Roof is not only a terrorist, he is a terrorist for something we do not advocate.