THE DINNER PARTY
Devlin still did not speak. This man captivated him as if an eminent character rising out of a Victorian novel in the library of this august mansion.
Noticing this, James said, "The W stands for William. My mother was a history don at Oxford, and an authority on William the Conqueror. Need I say more?” He waited. Devlin finally moved to speak but James filled the void before he could.
That stung. “Before 1948,” Rung said, “the British exploited the Bantu tribes for 300 years. They exploited us as well. They pushed us out of our own homes on the Cape, resulting in our trekking across the continent, not once but twice to the Transvaal and the Orange Free State. Diamonds were discovered on one trek and gold on the other. Both times the British followed to steal our wealth and discoveries, both times we capitulated and were subjugated to British rule, that is, until 1899, when the Boer War was fought against them, which we lost, enduring more subjugation and humiliation.” He paused to see if Devlin was listening.
“I will concede apartheid hasn’t worked as planned, but I will not concede that it is draconian.”
“You've already said that.
“The Second Boer War ended in 1902, and for forty-six years we plotted our revenge. We went to school, studied hard, which made us ready for governance. We developed our own language, created universities, wrote books, composed music, and created an indigenous white South African race of people. This is our homeland. We are a nation. We have nowhere else to go.” His eyes watered.