Apartheid and International Sanctions
One reason Reagan thinks economic sanction is a bad idea is that many black workers would lose their jobs. Most of these black workers are the family breadwinners. The suffering will not only affect the employees but even the rest of the blacks in the society. The sanctions will also cripple the economy of South Africa and that of its neighbors. For example, countries like Zambia and Zaire depend on South Africa for electricity. If sanctions are to pass, a country like Zaire will be out of power, which means a crippling of its economy. Further, leaving of Western investors will leave South African proprietors inheriting farms, factories, plants, and mines at a fire sale price. Finally, the sanctions would tarnish America`s flexibility, destroy the diplomatic advantage, and increase the crisis in South Africa.
It is true that prosperity brings racial progress because as everyone secures employment, their standards of living rises, which calls for a need to deal with racial inequality issue. He also fails to mention that capitalism will help blacks earn at least a small wage and few other benefits, while the high gainers will be those at the very top.
The government according to him should eliminate apartheid laws, release political prisoners like Nelson Mandela, and allow black political movements. The steps are essential in ending apartheid as they encourage healing and peaceful co-existence that are crucial to putting an end to the policy. The blacks needed their voice heard, but blocking their movements prevented it, leading to violence. The positive changes would see both opposing sides engage in a healing process, giving each person in South Africa the freedom they all seek.
According to Reagan, Soviet Union installed a client regime in Angola, supplied it with weapons to fight black liberation movement, which demanded representation of Angolans in their parliament. The situation in Cuba is similar to that in South Africa since both involve non-observance of some human rights. Just as the blacks in South Africa suffered from apartheid, U.S citizens suffered due to Fidel Castro’s actions. The Cuba sanctions led to the suffering of Americans just as blacks living in S.A would have suffered due to Western sanctions.
According to Wolpe, constructive engagement has given apartheid a sense of legitimacy, leading to increased sufferings among the colored and Indians in South Africa. It also gives the South African authorities power to do whatever they want. It reveals to the Afrikaaner government that their actions will not bring any real cost on their relationship with America even if they imprison black leaders, terrorize the black communities, or even kill them. Solomon, on the other hand, is objected to some statements made by Desmond Tutu. He disputes demands by Tutu citing that other leaders in South Africa such as Reverend Boesak think there are different methods of solving the problem facing South Africa. He also objects Tutu’s reference of constructive engagement as evil and un-Christian, hoping that Tutu did not refer to a person such as him or President Reagan, but the policies only.
Tutu mentions Communism and Russians because just as apartheid claimed many lives in South Africa, communism too claimed many Russian lives. Both apartheid and communism regimes failed to observe rights of many innocent people. He criticizes of how U.S responds quickly to discriminations in Poland than it responds to South African’s sufferings. Tutu outlines different approaches by the U.S government when dealing with repressions of communism in Poland and apartheid in South Africa. According to him, U.S is fast to apply sanctions in Poland but reluctant to do the same in South Africa. During the cold war of 1945 to 1970, Soviet Union spread the ideology of communism around Europe and China while U.S allied itself with capitalist countries. They restricted trade and contact between each other. This made them back different countries during wars or other repressions, including Vietnam and Angola.
According to Tutu, the new constitution is not progressive since it is an agent of political exclusion. The blacks, who make up 73 percent of South Africa`s population, have no part in it as it mentions them in few areas. Thus the constitution is instead helping in spreading racism and ethnicity. Tutu says that constructive engagement has worsened the situation in S.A just as it did in Namibia and Angola. Under the policy, people continue to die and suffer since it is an unmitigated disaster for the black people. To him, apartheid and Naziism are evil, immoral, and un-Christian those utilize evil, immoral, and un-Christian ways. It is also immoral, evil, and un-Christian for Reagan’s administration to support apartheid.
Solomon tells Tutu that Buthelezi, Reverend Hendrickse and Boesak who are South African leaders have different views to that of Tutu. In his reply, Tutu tells Solomon that the people he mentions could not be categorized as those saying constructive engagement is good nor to all members of UDF, or trade union leaders. He adds that the blacks Solomon refers to may be people operating within the system.
According to Reagan, those supporting the sanctions are immoral, as supporting it is bringing suffering to black workers through hunger. Tutu states that those supporting constructive engagement have adopted an immoral position, which has made them immoral, evil, and un-Christian. Tutu and Reagan agree that apartheid is a bad practice.
They can agree on several statements
Apartheid is immoral
All people regardless of color or race should enjoy equality and freedom
Apartheid laws should be eliminated and see to it that political prisoners such as Nelson Mandela are released.
The two speakers refer to same information about apartheid and ways of removing it. Reagan, however, looks at the issue in a different way. He is concerned about the suffering of black South Africans due to sanction. His moral view focuses on ensuring the blacks have food and drink by retaining their works through constructive engagement, but all Reagan talks are economic speculations. Tutu, on the other hand, does not take a constructive engagement as an agent of change. He mentions real issues such as the killing of white and black children. He shows the adverse effects of the policy that Reagan fails to show. He questions why Reagan is opposed to using of sanctions in South Africa similar to those U.S employed in Poland. I agree with Reagan`s speech that economic sanctions would bring more sufferings to the blacks. The closing of West industries and businesses means loss of employment by the blacks that means increased suffering to the people U.S is trying to assist.
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