From Juan Cole comes some sanity in the west, washing its hands now again.
South Africa, and other oppressive states, survived with the aid and support of western governments, though the western citizens had very different ideas.
Supporting Apartheid was a legacy of Ronald Reagan's of course, but Reagan was not alone in his vile collaboration. Writes Cole:
In the US, the vehemently anti-Palestinian Anti-Defamation League in San Francisco spied on American anti-Apartheid activists on behalf of the Apartheid state. If the ADL ever calls you a racist, you can revel in the irony.
Ronald Reagan imagined that there were “moderates” in the Botha government. There weren’t. He wanted “constructive engagement” with them. It failed. The Afrikaners imposed martial law. Reagan tried to veto Congressional sanctions on Pretoria in 1986 but Congress over-rode him.
Nelson Mandela was a socialist who believed in the ideal of economic equality or at least of a decent life for everyone in society. He was also a believer in parliamentary government. So, he was a democratic socialist.
The current Republican Party is implementing Apartheid policies of making it difficult for minorities to exercise their right to vote. And they are changing tax laws to throw ever more of society’s wealth to the top 1%. And they just threw millions of Americans off food stamps, including children and Veterans. The US House of Representatives still stands against everything Mandela stood for.
President Obama first became interested in politics at Occidental College in California and attended anti-Apartheid demonstrations. It was then that fellow activists informed him that Barack would be a better name for such an activist than “Barry.” In many ways Mandela’s cause started Obama on his path to the White House