When we are confronted with this kind of racist and condescending distortion of our African history by the local Germans in Namibia, it becomes clear that among these Germans the ideologies of racism and white supremacy that contributed to the 1904-1908 genocide of the Herero and Nama people are still prevalent 114 years later. The letter of Eberhard Hofmann to Dr Ngarikutuke Tjiriange is a case in point.
It is sad that the ideologies that German colonial leaders used to justify the colonisation of our people in Namibia and the hate that led to the genocidal annihilation of the Nama and Herero people has hardly dissipated among the racist local Germans.
After carefully reading Hofmann’s statement, I found several false and condescending claims about our Namibian history and German genocide, and, therefore, my rebuttal is long. Due to its length, I will break up the rebuttal into several short sections and post them that way to Facebook over several days.
In my rebuttal I am focusing on Hofmann’s attempt to conflate general migrations of African people within the African continent and its various regions with the immigration and settlement of the colonising Europeans in African countries. I explain that the racist historical narrative that Hofmann presents is not specific to the racist local Germans in Namibia and is also promoted by similar white racist groups in South Africa. Therefore, I am presenting a critique of this racist African historiography and the related historical distortions in both Namibia and South Africa.
I also touch on the history of human evolution in Africa, especially in South Africa. This archeological and paleontological history is normally ignored or distorted by racist historians because it gives Africa a central role in the evolution of human beings and negates the white supremacy views of racist whites world-wide.
At this point, some readers may not see how this paleontological history can be used to critique the racist historical narrative of Hofmann. However, when I get to this section of the rebuttal it will become clear what I mean by using the history of human evolution to critique the colonial historiography of Hofmann. The Hofmann history reminds me of the colonial historiography of Heinrich Vedder whose work, Das alte Südwestafrika, I dealt with at length in my doctoral dissertation research many years ago.
Hofmann presents one of his controversial and revisionist statements in the following way:
“It is not known whether any indigenous people from New Zealand to Canada, from Chile to India had invited their colonial masters. Likewise, the Khoi-San of Namibia (Great Namaqualand) did not invite the Orlam, who came with guns and horses from the Cape Colony. Neither had the locals of ca. 1870 invited the Baster. The San did not invite the people of Bantu languages from the Great Lake regions to Namibia. But they came all the same. The Anglo-Saxons occupied England without any invitation by indigenous Celts. You see, Dr. Tjiriange, with the example of the uninvited Germans you have opened up a useful discussion to complement the picture in greater context.”
This is a misguided attempt to equate the migration of African people in the African continent with the immigration of the colonising Europeans into African countries. Therefore, let me put this in a historical context, especially with regard to South Africa, where white racist groups make similar claims.
Recently on Facebook in my discussions with South African brothers and sisters on the land issue in that country, I pointed out that this false equation of migrations of African people within their continent and regions with the immigration of the colonising Europeans into African countries is the pastime of many South African right-wing and racist whites. In the quotation above, it is clear that this also applies to the German supremacists in Namibia.
Whenever the land issue comes up in and out of the South African Parliament, spokespeople for racist organizations such as AfriForum and the Freedom Plus party promote this historical revisionism about the migration of African people within their continent.
With regard to this issue, people like Hofmann seek to speak on behalf of the Khoisan people and act as their so-called advocates against their so-called black colonizers in Africa. The attempt of the racist white groups to speak for the Khoisan people is a curious and contradictory one given the fact that the racist whites, since their arrival at the Cape of Good Hope on April 6, 1652, under the leadership of Jan van Riebeeck, committed genocide against the Khoisan people and wiped out most of them from the face of the earth.
The racist white settler groups also seek to drive a wedge (the typical divide and rule tactic) between the Khoisan and Bantu-speaking groups such as the Zulus, Xhosas, Sothos, Tswanas, and Bapedis (also known as Pedis). They present the Khoisan people as the only people of African descent and the Bantu-speaking people as aliens who somehow came from out of space and landed in East Africa and other parts of Africa and mainly on the “other side of the Limpopo River.”
– Dr Freddy Kustaa is based in St Paul, Minnesota, USA.