Did Trump endorse 'white nationalist conspiracy theory' in South Africa tweet?

Donald Trump is being accused of spreading a "white nationalist conspiracy theory" about murdered South African farmers.  The current government is trying to change the constitution to allow for the seizure of white-owned farms without compensation.  Even before that, white farmers have been alarmed at what they say is a rising murder rate.

Washington Post:

White-nationalist groups have for years spread false claims about the murder rates, assertions that have been widely debunked.  Local police data shows the number of people murdered on farms has dropped by half over the past two decades – from 140 in 2001-2002 to 74 in 2016-2017, according to the Associated Press.

Trump's tweet appeared to come in response to a segment on Fox News in which host Tucker Carlson railed against a plan by South Africa's governing party to pursue constitutional changes allowing the government to redistribute land without compensating the owners.  The measure is designed to redress racial inequalities that have persisted for nearly a quarter-century after the end of apartheid in 1994.

White nationalists in the United States and South Africa, where a fringe group called Afriforum has advanced the conspiracy­theory, hailed the president's remarks.  David Duke, a former Ku Klux Klan leader, thanked Trump on Twitter and tweeted an image of a white woman holding a sign reading "Stop white genocide."  Mike Peinovich, a far-right podcast host, called Trump's endorsement "very big" and said that "this is how we slowly chip away at the all-consuming anti-white discourse."

Are white South African farmers exaggerating the threat?  In truth, it is impossible to get any accurate numbers about murders of whites in rural areas.

In a recent debate in South Africa's parliament, two different farm murder rates were shared.

"The farm murder rate is 133 per 100,000," Freedom Front Plus member of parliament, Pieter Groenewald, told fellow parliamentarians.

But 45 minutes later, the African Christian Democratic Party's Steve Swart cited a lower figure.

"Whilst we have an unacceptably high murder rate in this nation of 34 people per 100,000, for farmers the figure is 97 per 100,000. Almost 3 times the average," claimed Swart.

So when white South Africans possibly exaggerate the numbers, it is a racist conspiracy, but when the nearly all black government possibly downplays the number of murders, it is to be believed without question?

The questions are simple.  Are white farmers being targeted for death?  At least 74 were, according to the government's own figures, so you would have to answer "yes" to that question.  Are attacks increasing on South African farms?  There is a specific definition of "attack," and police have been keeping track since the '90s.  In fact, 2017 saw the highest number of attacks on South Africa's farms since 2011.  Those numbers are down from the early part of the century but are on the rise.

Is it really a "conspiracy theory" that white South African farmers are under threat?  No one denies that there was a slaughter of white farmers in neighboring Zimbabwe when "land reform" (i.e., seizure without compensation) was instituted in that country.  And it's no conspiracy theory that the black nationalist government of South Africa is eager to seize the land of white farmers.

So Trump was parroting a theory that is exaggerated but hardly a fantasy.  Perhaps those accusing Trump of promoting a "conspiracy theory" should ask the white farmers of South Africa just how safe and secure they feel in their homes today.

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