“No Past To Speak Of: A Story Of Infant Rape In South Africa” was on ABC Television last night. The documentary follows a story of a five-month-old girl raped in a Johannesburg slum and tries to explain the reasons why infant rape occurs so frequently in South Africa.
There is no other way to describe this documentary other than heart-wrenching. Some of the stories told in the film were so morally repugnant that it was impossible to imagine any human being being capable of such abhorrent evil.
I was completely surprised that blacks and whites saw the problem of infant rape in South Africa so very differently. Blacks saw the problem as one of general ignorance and ingrained backward attitudes of complete male dominance and sexual violence common in black South African culture.
Whites were mainly talking in abstract phrases about apartheid, oppression, conflict and brutalisation of blacks by whites while mentioning very little about black culture and black ownership of the problem. This was rather curious. Firstly, it is hard to picture how oppression and brutalisation turns into infant rape. It is hard to imagine a culture more oppressed, discriminated and brutalised than Jews during the WWII era. Did we see the epidemic of child rape in post-war Israel? No. Secondly, no country was exposed to more death, oppression and conflict than USSR. Officially 20 million Russians lost their lives in WWII with another estimated 10 – 50 million losing their lives in Gulags during Stalin’s brutal reign. Did Russia experience excess child rape? Again, the answer is – no.
In one part of the documentary a white social worker tried to equate infant rape to the sort of abuses that took place in Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad. Ho can anyone can equate taking photos (no matter how gruesome and disgusting) of adults to physical rapes of infant girls that are so common place in South Africa? It was a truly disgusting moment that said so much about the perverse political correctness and apathy of white South Africans.
Such perverse political correctness is a hallmark of modern multiculturalism and by no means confined to South Africa. Multiculturalism insists that all cultures are equal and likens criticisms of culture (no matter how valid) to racism. We see such outcries of racism time and again whenever there is any mention of high rate of single parenting in Afro-Carribean communities in UK, discrimination of women in Islam or the epidemic of sexual abuse in Aboriginal communities in Australia. It is a small wonder that a social worker in South Africa would rather construct an absurd moral equivalence than dare criticise black culture and be labelled a racist.
This begs an obvious question. What does this say about our multicultural societies, when it is more important to so many of us to be seen as non-racist that saving a child from brutal rape? Surely something stinks here…