Anybody Here Seen my Old Friend Ian Smith?: Where do Evil People Go When They Die?

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When I saw the name, that name, Ian Smith, in the paper’s today, I shrunk back from my own computer.

I’m 48 and was raised to be apolitical by fundamentalist Southern Baptists who thought having a news awareness, with all the ungodliness on display there, was, well, ungodly. We weren’t allowed to play cards (tools of the devil) or games with dice in them (like Monopoly). Needless to say, we weren’t allowed to watch the news, listen to news radio or read newspapers. Both the Civil Rights Movement and the Viet Nam War, which raged through my adolescence, were tumults I learned of during my 20’s in the 1980’s. Still, even I somehow knew how much that man hated me and how much his hatred was required to justify white privilege. His racism, and the larger reality of racism in general, was a poison I couldn’t avoid inhaling. It’s hard to describe what knowing how thoroughly you’re despised does to you. And now, like Richard Nixon, Smith’s gotten to die peacefully in his feather-bedded mansion. Where’s the justice for those who brutalize the world, curse an entire race/continent, and go to their graves defiant?

Ian Smith, the former Rhodesian prime minister who broke away from Britain and fought to preserve white minority rule in what is now Zimbabwe, has died at age 88 in South Africa, the BBC says. …

Smith ruled from 1964 to 1979, isolating the former British colony by waging an ultimately futile racial war against the black majority. And estimated 40,000 people died and tens of thousands were imprisoned. He ultimately was replaced by Robert Mugabe, the black nationalist whom Smith jailed for 10 years and who has ruled Zimbabwe since its creation in 1980.

“I don’t believe in black majority rule ever for Rhodesia, not in a thousand years,” Smith once said. He felt vindicated by Mugabe’s dictatorial rule and the country’s economic collapse and hyperinflation

Yesterday, it was the heroic pastor of the church were the “four little girls” died. Today, Ian Smith, the destroyer who helped give us Africa’s present day problems.

Where’s the justice? I guess Death is the great equalizer.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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