Chapter 11
SOCIAL DYNAMICS OF PARTNERSHIP

"They're just children. Give them 300 years to grow up."

"We should have done to them what the American settlers did to the Indians."

"They're really just down from the trees."

"Fifty years ago they hadn't even heard of the wheel."

"If God meant us all to mix, why did he make different races?"

The racial dialectics of almost any white Rhodesian, however sophisticated, are very likely to dredge up at least one of these clichés with which the settler-mentality evaluates the black partners in federation.

At the root of these clichés lies the belief that the Africans of the Rhodesias, most of them only one or two generations "out of the bush," cannot be given the responsibilities and opportunities of civilized men and women until after they have observed, for several generations, the civilizing example of the white settlers. "Look, but do not touch," is the sign over the wares of European society.

How is this civilizing process, which allegedly requires several generations of patient waiting on the part of the Africans, to occur? In the Americas, West Indies, Ghana and, surprisingly, among the Boers of South Africa, there has been a substantial rate of interbreeding, so that it might, in each case, be said that, after generations of African exposure to white "civilization," certain fundamental genetic changes have occurred in an important part of the population.

But no substantial genetic impact is being felt in the Rhodesias or Nyasaland. The social prejudice is too deep, the shortage of white women not acute enough, the size of the European community too minute. Nor may the African expect a substantial acceleration of the inter-genetic process in the foreseeable future.

-203-

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