Theorists speak of the "colonial wound", which does not allow the victims of colonialism to see much good in it — if any at all. Belabouring the metaphor somewhat, apartheid was the scab that grew on the wound, creating an unbearable itch which was removed in 1994. The recent student uprisings, with all their faults and anti-white racism, at least removed the scab to remind the country that the wound underneath is still gaping and bleeding. It was clearly not enough to treat only the symptom of apartheid, which for white liberals has been a cover-up of their complicity in the exploitation of blacks. The current demands for land restitution are driven by the pain of this wound — something that is difficult for most whites to understand, even though the forebears of Afrikaans speakers had suffered some of its worst atrocities. The state is after them, they believe, and wants to destroy the bedrock of their culture — the mythical "plaas". On the other side of the artificial racial divi...

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