"While dictators rage and statesmen talk, all Europe dances — to The Lambeth Walk."

Saturday, 9 May 2009

A Little Colonial Irony in Kenya

The case of Thomas Cholmondeley, a white Kenyan of British descent, an aristocrat and heir to one of the largest Kenyan estates still in white hands, is a peculiarity in many ways.

Cholmondeley has been in prison for three years. He was accused of murder after shooting a black trespasser on his family's ranch. In May 2006, Cholmondeley was showing a friend plots of land on his family's estate, a 48,000 acre ranch in Rift Valley.

He saw two men, one of whom was carrying a freshly-killed Impala. When he challenged them, they set their hunting dogs on him, and he raised his gun and shot the dogs dead.

Having done so, he realised that a bullet had entered a buttock of one of the men, a black Kenyan called Robert Njoya.

Mr Cholmondeley immediately administered first aid. He called for a car to take Mr Njoya to hospital and arranged to cover all medical costs.

Sadly, the bullet had nicked an artery, and Njoya died on the way to hospital.

A year earlier, a murder case against Mr Cholmondeley had collapsed after he shot dead another black trespasser on his land - who turned out to be an undercover wildlife ranger.

I'm not condoning Cholmondeley's actions. However, if life for whites in Kenya is even one tenth as difficult as it is in South Africa and Zimbabwe, then I can't honestly say I would have acted differently in his position.

On Thursday, he was convicted of manslaughter, and now faces life in prison.

He has already spent three years in a breeze block cell in Nairobi's maximum security Kimiti Prison as his trial has dragged on. Oddly (or perhaps not), I've seen little interest in or even acknowledgement of this case among the usual suspects - Amnesty, human rights organisations, those who campaign for the guilty to be released from foreign prisons.

The establishment in Kenya was afraid that if Cholmondeley got off once more, it would appear there were two legal systems - one for rich whites, another for poor blacks. Clearly, this echo of colonialism could not be permitted under any circumstances (even if he wasn't guilty), and therefore Cholmondeley's colour and ancestry have pretty much damned him from the start.

The decision came as something of a shock; in March, two lay assessors who had followed the case recommended a 'not guilty' verdict in a non-binding ruling.

However Mr Justice Apondi, sitting in red robes and a white horse-hair wig in the inherited British tradition, felt otherwise - although he did downgrade the charge from murder.

This is all very interesting - because in Britain, what we are told is the 'legacy of colonialism' works the other way. If poor blacks kill, rob or rape rich (or even poor) whites in Britain, we are told to be understanding.

It can't be blamed on background or the inherent attitudes of some groups - that would be racist, unlike in Kenya, where such an approach is not only right but just.

The over representation of certain elements in the British criminal justice system is all down to racism, discrimination and past injustices, or so we're told. Apparently if you have difficulty getting a job or pretty much anything else you want out of life, then criminality is a perfectly natural and rational second choice - for some, at least.

In 2001, British magistrates were issued with a telephone-book sized volume called the 'Youth Court Bench Book'.

This was designed to keep them abreast not only of youth culture (to which apparently they must bow and scrape, not vice versa), but also of cultural traditions of various minority groups.

For example:

"Young teenage Afro-Caribbean males will, within their culture, acceptably define their masculinity through behaviour which would be defined as exhibitionism within Western [white] culture." To avoid stereotyping young black offenders, magistrates are asked to "reflect upon the way in which Lenny Henry parodies such personalities".

So, they are not disrespecting the court - it's their culture. The same culture which sees countless Afro-Caribbean youths put a blade or a bullet in other people for that same perceived disrespect.

So it occurs to me - all Mr Cholmondeley has to do is plead to be extradited to Britain, then agree with the Kenyan authorities that shooting black trespassers is the culture of white African settlers.

On the 'respect for culture' guidelines, he will be home on time for tea.

No?

How pathetic the world created by Western weakness and acquiescence is.

Pictured: Thomas Cholmondeley awaits the verdict. He showed no emotion when it was announced and he was escorted back to a maximum security prison, where he is the only white inmate among thousands.

4 comments:

MK said...

"Oddly (or perhaps not), I've seen little interest in or even acknowledgement of this case among the usual suspects - Amnesty, human rights....."

They're too busy barracking for terrorists and such.

"To avoid stereotyping young black offenders, magistrates are asked to "reflect upon the way in which Lenny Henry parodies such personalities"."

What a pile of shit, this is what happens in the multicultural utopia, eventually you end up with one law for blacks and a different one for muslims and so one. In other words racism.

Great going lefties, another thing they've successfully managed to turn to shit.

Proud Non Black said...

The consequence of this anti-white bias here in South Africa is that whites are beginning to NOT report housebreakins when they catch the perpetrator, instead there is a growing tendency to cart the body off in the night and just dump it, the lack of forensic skills and ability ( known as capacity challenges here) assist in this.

The Venerable 1st Earl of Cromer said...

MK:

It's a very fair point, such discrimination is clearly racism - and of the most patronising kind.

The Venerable 1st Earl of Cromer said...

Proud non Black:

Well, being as aware as I can be of the situation in South Africa from a different continent I can fully understand why.

A lot of people here judge based on their own life experiences, rather than the reality for white Afrcans on the ground.

Do you know anything about the situation for whites in Kenya? I understand that in SA disarming whites will be a priority for Zuma's government, creating the situation we have in the inner cities here - only the criminals have guns.