Jim Wagner
The necklacing of Tiger Woods
By Jim Wagner
May 9, 2019

In the years preceding the belated denouement of Apartheid in South Africa, some black Africans were apprehensive that a takeover by the Marxist ANC (African National Congress) might actually make things worse. It scarcely needs to be mentioned that those individuals were not in favor of second-class citizenship for themselves or for other blacks, nor was their desire to end colonialism less fervent than that of their neighbors. And yet in the face of a groundswell of understandable racial passion, they dared to eschew the radicalism au currant in favor of the more gradual rapprochement between Whites and Blacks that was already taking place.

What distinguished these moderates from the mob, in the final analysis, was not a difference of opinion regarding the ultimate objective, but only a divergent view of the best means of achieving it. More specifically, it was their anticipation – an absolutely correct anticipation, it turns out – that a socialist revolution in South Africa would accomplish exactly what other recent socialist revolutions across the continent had accomplished, one-man rule by corrupt and violent demagogues who played on tribal prejudices to reduce their new nations to civil war, abject poverty, and a lingering misery that remains to this day.

But to express such a view in that political climate was intolerable, and those Blacks who espoused it openly were widely condemned as traitors to their race. Blacks caught promoting moderate means, reporting crimes to the police, or for that matter cooperating with the government in any way whatsoever were labelled collaborators, and as such were lynched in a manner more brutal than any ever imagined by the most perverse Mississippi Klansman. By subjecting such non-conforming Blacks to the most severe punishment conceivable, the ascendant Marxist vigilantes hoped to display them as examples that would silence others. Silence them it did.

The ANC prevailed. South Africa today is for the vast majority of its residents more squalid and hopeless than it ever was under Apartheid, although the racial animus that was once black against white is now black on black. (Some perverse minds do take consolation in that fact.) Of 149 countries examined last year by the World Bank, South Africa ranked worst in terms of the gulf between its rich and its poor. https://www.timeslive.co.za/news/south-africa/2019-05-03-poverty-is-so-extreme-in-sa-that-even-lower-middle-class-areas-looks-rich/ One percent of South Africans now own 71% of the country's wealth, while the 60% at the bottom hold a scant 7%.

South Africa has one of the world's worst crime rates, and its violent crime – in particular its murder rate – is on the rise. https://theconversation.com/murder-on-the-rise-as-south-africa-fails-to-stem-high-crime-rates-64912 What is more, South Africa's crime falls most heavily upon those least able to do anything about. Each day 150 rapes are reported by South Africa's women. But since only one in five is ever prosecuted that number likely represents only a small fraction of the actual rapes. Moreover, with a conviction rate of only about 6% for forcible rape, most women likely feel the crime is not worth mentioning to the authorities. Of course if they could afford to pay for an effective prosecution, then perhaps.... But alas, government corruption in South Africa, while mild by sub-Saharan standards, is still deplorable by comparison with the free world. And it is not improving. https://www.transparency.org/news/feature/cpi2018-subsaharan-africa-regional-analysis Let's just say that "Me Too" means something entirely different in South Africa from what it means here in America.

I almost forgot to explain the punishment that was meted out to those opposing violent revolution in South Africa or suspected of colluding with the government during the final years of Apartheid. Dragged from their homes and surrounded by chanting tormenters, such transgressors were publicly humiliated, punched to the ground, kicked by one and all, dragged about by their hair, and made to understand that they had exceeded the bounds of free association or free speech. Onlookers were invited to take a lesson from this punishment, and that lesson was hard to miss.

Should a defendant attempt to defend himself against his accusers, he was simply mocked and then pummeled into silence. Following these preliminaries, a tire was bound around his neck and chest so that his head protruded between them. This was usually accomplished with a scrap of stiff wire. The tire was then filled with gasoline, and the condemned was provided matches. If he (or she – I don't want to be sexist) refused to set himself on fire when so instructed, other forms of persuasion were imposed until the newly convicted individual had a change of heart. Typically, pins were inserted into the victim's eyeballs to this purpose.

Notwithstanding the widely held myth that torture does not work, there are no reports of this particular form of inducement ever having failed. Inevitably, the alleged perpetrator set himself alight, and then, much to the delight of the cheering mob, ran shrieking in horror until he was reduced to a moaning, smoldering mass of char. Death often took as long as 20 minutes, though in some cases the suffering was ended prematurely by stoning.

I suppose the casual reader might be tempted to imagine that the punishment of "necklacing" was rare in South Africa or merely an impromptu event occasionally carried out by extremists. Let me assure you that this was not the case. Although the western press largely refrained from reporting it, necklacing was as common as it was horrible, and it was promoted at the highest levels within the ANC. Winnie Mandela, the wife of ANC leader and future president Nelson Mandela, endorsed it quite explicitly. "With our boxes of matches, and our necklaces, we shall liberate this country," she declared in 1986.

Mrs. Mandela went on to hold several high government positions. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Necklacing Convicted of 43 counts of fraud and 23 counts of theft, she gave up political office for a time. But in spite of South Africa's official "Truth and Reconciliation Commission" investigations she never was prosecuted for her promotion of torture, except in a single case where she kidnapped four young men and had them beaten (https://www.nytimes.com/1991/05/15/world/winnie-mandela-given-sentence-of-6-years-in-kidnapping-case.html). Subsequent to that she came in 5th in the presidential election of 2009, not bad for a felon convicted of nearly six dozen counts of corruption.

Tiger Woods yesterday colluded with the much-hated Trump regime, publicly accepting from the president a coveted Presidential Medal of Freedom. And when the president hung that medal around Tiger's neck, Marxists in the press (I'm sorry, "progressives") were quick to pounce. Opined Paul Krugman of the New York Times, "I'm old enough to remember when Presidential Medals of Freedom were given for showing courage and making sacrifices on behalf of the nation and the world. Tiger Woods... hits golf balls for money." Krugman may be forgiven for his failure to recall that both Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicholas were awarded that same medal for "hitting golf balls for money." But how could he have forgotten that Barack Obama awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to another golfer, one whose name you likely would not recognize because he never won a major tournament. Like Tiger Woods, that golfer was black. But that is where the similarities end.

Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson, coincidentally also black, suggested that Woods had devalued the award itself by what he saw as a treacherous Uncle Tom act. Though his insinuation was directed at Woods, Robinson deftly couched his insult as an attack on the president. "He gives this award, which was a hallowed award, maybe someday it will be one again, to people he wants to associate himself with." Robinson said. The Baltimore Sun was more explicit: "Mr. Woods has made his choice, and part of his legacy will be embracing a man who incited bigotry and racism and," according to the Sun "regularly demonizes minorities and emboldens those who hate." Lost on both writers seems to have been the fact that the ostensible "racist" Donald Trump was extolling the achievements of a black man not so much because of Woods' golf skill, which is formidable, as because of the character he demonstrated in overcoming personal adversities. But perhaps Trump did not realize that Woods is black.

CNN's Jim Acosta saw Tiger Woods collaboration with Trump in commercial terms, suggesting that the collusion between a prostitute golfer and an illegitimate president was a bargain with Mammon to impart renown to the former and filthy lucre to the latter. "That obviously shows that there are some business ties between these two men," Acosta said, "And I suppose a critic could argue after watching all of this that there might be somewhat of an advertisement going on here, a TV ad going on here in handing out this Presidential Medal of Freedom to Tiger Woods. It is, in effect, publicizing one of the Trump golf courses there in Dubai that Tiger Woods had a hand in." As if Tiger Woods needed additional acclaim or billionaire Trump needed more money.

Now to be clear, I am not saying that Tiger Woods is literally being necklaced for accepting a medal from President Trump. After all, it was in a more thoughtful time well understood, and it still remains true, that the pen is mightier than the sword. So let me spell out the inference we are asked to draw from all this virtue signaling on the part of our press. Donald Trump symbolizes "white privilege," which for Marxists and racists alike is the equivalent of Apartheid in America. Tiger Woods represents that once celebrated Black man who has fallen from grace, not for betraying his wife with a pancake waitress, a forgivable peccadillo, but by lending his estimable celebrity to the hated ancien regime. He is, in other words, that legendary self-loathing "house negro" who has turned his back on his people to serve his "master." The "necklace" in this morality play, while literally a Medal of Freedom, is figuratively speaking that opprobrium the left hangs about the necks of errant Blacks to sear their racial consciousness and to warn others against such crimes.

Tiger Woods accepted his medal, along with all of the public degradation that came with it, with his usual dignity and grace. He must have known that an attack was coming, but in biblical terms he "set his face like flint" and patiently accepted the cudgels and the slurs. For that alone he deserves the Presidential Medal, and my admiration for him is now greater than it was before. Such a display of courage cannot have been easy. But for the honor of the thing, in his place I might not have accepted that necklace.

The incident will in all likelihood be soon forgotten. Because Tiger Woods is seen by so many as a national treasure – that is to say that because real racism in America is so desperately scarce that this black man is practically worshipped – his present lapse will likely pass over. But his admonition will serve as a warning to lesser stars with similar inclinations, for instance those who have noted the dramatic improvement in Black unemployment during the Trump economy! The left has been very clear in its messaging on this point. "Tiger, take note! Kanye West collaborated with Trump, and for that we quickly brought him to his knees. Don't think you are above our law, Tiger! Continue to collude with the enemy, and we may one day have a necklace for you too!"

© Jim Wagner


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Jim Wagner

Jim Wagner is a retired businessman and freelance writer. His degree is in Psychology with a minor in English from Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, where he lived, worked, farmed and studied for nine years after his repudiation of the Vietnam War... (more)


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