Updated: Jun 15
Lauren Southern’s "Farmlands" is not journalism – it is lazy, dishonest and racist alt-right propaganda.
And no, we are not saying that because “our feelings are hurt”. Oh no, far from that.
To motivate our stance on Lauren Southern’s film about South Africa we will use one scene in the film as a case study. It’s a particular scene that was spread before the full film was released over youtube and on watsapp in South Africa as well as on facebook. It gathered millions of views all together. Even if you have not seen “Farmlands” you surely have seen or heard of Jeanine’s story.
Now before we continue, it’s important to make it clear that the woman in the interview, Jeanine Ihlenfeldt, has our deepest sympathies for the loss of her father Schalk Featherstone. She was not responsible for the way in which Lauren Southern used her interview and deserves our sympathies as someone who experienced a terrible loss and then had that loss exploited by an unscrupulous filmmaker.
In the interview Lauren asks Jeanine about her father who was murdered. Jeanine walks her through the events and breaks down crying. It is very difficult to watch and very sad. Our heart goes out to Jeanine as we can see it was still very painful for her to speak about the events of her Father’s death.
In this youtube video (Jeanine's Story) which has over over 933,000 views it ends off with Lauren talking about families of victims that are not convinced that these brutal attacks are just random acts, but that the South African government may well be complicit in allowing them to happen as they commit their political agenda to drive out white farmers and take their land. She then plays a clip of president Ramaphosa telling a crowd that Expropriation without Compensation and Land Reform is going ahead as planned. Lauren finishes with “I can only wonder how much worse this is going to get in the coming years”.
In the full film she starts the segment at 21:00 with the words “I had to meet the families caught up in these attacks, so I traveled to the heartland of South Africa, where these murders take place every single day.” Already starting off on a lie. Farm murders every single day? Afriforum recorded 54 murders in 2018 and 72 in the entirety of 2017. A long way off from “every single day”. So where else did Lauren Southern lead us astray in her video where she “proves” that South Africa is facing a government complicit race war? Well the biggest omission from this whole interview was the fact that the killer not only killed white farmer Schalk Featherstone but also a person of color 5 days prior. And we saw evidence that Lauren knew about this 2nd murder but chose to gloss over it. In the full film Lauren took out a crucial snippet of footage that actually was in the standalone “Jeanines Story” clip on youtube. At 4:03 minutes, Jeanine mentions “he’s killed two people, he’s destroyed two families” and Lauren quickly cuts away for some reason. Nothing further is mentioned or asked about the second murder.
Now, It makes sense for Jeanine to want focus on her father’s story. But she did mention the second victim and we really don’t think Lauren was such a mediocre interviewer and “journalist” that she had no follow-up questions about a second murder. What seems far more likely here is that she omitted the details on purpose so she could lie about the reason Featherstone was murdered and make it seem political. Also there is a very hard cut in the editing at that point in the video that tells us a section of the interview was omitted. Lauren was using an innocent man's death to advance her white genocide narrative (and rack up views on youtube). Who was the 2nd person killed by the “Farm attacker”? Her name was Brenda Finnis. She was only twenty years old, stabbed by her boyfriend Winston Booysen in full view of the police. A constable gave chase in a police vehicle but could not apprehend him. Brenda bled to death on the scene from a stab wound in her chest and Booysen had then become a man on the run from the law. Five days later Booysen was on Featherstone’s farm. He had worked for Featherstone back in 2014. And this is where the events mentioned in Lauren’s video take place. After shooting Featherstone and robbing the house he escaped in the farmer's Toyota delivery vehicle.
Winston Booysen was apprehended and is currently serving a life sentence in prison (not only 15 years as stated in the film). Justice was in fact served.
As you can see there is no evidence in the interview or any of the facts surrounding the case that this murder had anything to do with government rhetoric. Race had nothing at all to do with the murder and perhaps this story was as simple as a criminal on the run from the law who murdered an innocent bystander who he knew he could rob. Now here’s where it gets even more interesting. Jeanine was interviewed by the US publication “The New Yorker”:
“I felt exploited,” Ihlenfeldt said of Southern’s film, when we met in February. Ihlenfeldt, a fifty-four-year-old mother of two with short white hair, told me that she was interviewed under false pretenses. “Another farmer phoned me to say he’s got this Canadian chickie is doing a documentary about the drought—can he bring her to me? Hence, I was in my farm boots and my shorts, to go and show them the effect of the drought on the farm, and Lauren sat down and said, ‘Tell me about your dad.’ Completely caught me off guard.”
That is very sneaky from Lauren. Exploiting a woman’s pain to push her agenda. And she succeeded in pushing that agenda, go and read the comments under her videos:
They go on and on like this in comment after comment. “Race war!” “communism!” “Malema!” but not one of the millions of people watching and commenting on the video and film even know the 2nd person’s name. Brenda Finnis. They don’t acknowledge that 2nd murder and that it was a person of color. She was an inconvenience for Lauren that had to be omitted, edited out, as her story would have undercut the narrative of “a coming race war”. The black life did not matter, not to Lauren and not to the millions of viewers who went to Lauren Southern to confirm the racist theories of black hatred and retribution they hold in their heads.
The video became an intensely effective viral propaganda tool for the far right, with some even photoshopping in an image of Julius Malema of the EFF to the thumbnail for effect and creating a subtext that the actual evidence does not support. So did this incident hold true to the right wings definition of a farm attack?: Inspired by “Kill the boer song” - NO Killer was doing a “land grab” - NO Killer stole nothing - NO
Killer came to torture - NO Killer was only looking for white victims - NO
Killer was armed and trained by the "complicit" government - NO
This murder does not fit any of the traits that people always shout as the typical “farm murder”.
The true story challenges the right wing perception of savage black government farm invaders:
^Winston Booysen from the Karoo – Nickname Sallie And all this is just from one scene in the film, we can go on and on about Simon Roche, Orania, The hilarious BLF interview, Lauren's Apartheid textbook history of South Africa and much much more. Sources – case details: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2fl79pyQZAU Source prison sentence: https://www.graaffreinetadvertiser.com/News/Article/General/aberdeen-murderer-gets-life-in-jail-201803081122 New Yorker Article: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/05/13/who-owns-south-africa Farm murders per year: https://africacheck.org/factsheets/factsheet-statistics-farm-attacks-murders-sa/
"I DIDN'T SEE ONE SOURCE IN YOUR WHOLE MARXIST ARTICLE!" - Happy Fan https://angrywhitemen.org/2018/09/09/lauren-southerns-farmlands-is-lazy-dishonest-and-racist/
We couldn't have made this article without the brilliant facts from Jose. Check out his channel for more great debunkings and insight.