At The Atlantic, Ta-Nehisi Coates spotlights Americans who enabled South Africa's murderous racists in Apartheid's Useful Idiots. An excerpt:
|For many years, a large swath of this country failed Nelson Mandela, failed its own alleged morality, and failed the majority of people living in South Africa. We have some experience with this. Still, it's easy to forget William F. Buckley—intellectual founder of the modern right—effectively worked as a press agent for apartheid:
Buckley's racket as an American paid propagandist for white supremacy would be repeated over the years in conservative circles. As Sam Kleiner demonstrates in Foreign Policy, apartheid would ultimately draw some of America's most celebrated conservatives into its orbit. The roster includes Grover Norquist, Jack Abramoff, Jesse Helms, and Senator Jeff Flake. Jerry Falwell denounced Desmond Tutu as a "phony" and led a "reinvestment" campaign during the 1980s. At the late hour of 1993, Pat Robertson opined, "I know we don't like apartheid, but the blacks in South Africa, in Soweto, don't have it all that bad."
|Buckley was actively courted by Chiang Kai-Shek's Taiwan, Franco's Spain, South Africa, Rhodesia and Portugal's African colonies, and went on expenses-paid trips trips to some of these countries.
When he returned from Mozambique in 1962, Buckley wrote a column describing the backwardness of the African population over which Portugal ruled, "The more serene element in Africa tends to believe that rampant African nationalism is self-discrediting, and that therefore the time is bound to come when America, and the West ... will depart from our dogmatic anti-Colonialism and realize what is the nature of the beast."
In the fall of 1962, during a visit to South Africa, arranged by the Information Ministry, Buckley wrote that South African apartheid "has evolved into a serious program designed to cope with a melodramatic dilemma on whose solution hangs, quite literally, the question of life or death for the white man in South Africa."
Not all prominent conservatives were so dishonorable. When Congress overrode President Ronald Reagan's veto of sanctions of South Africa, Mitch McConnell, for instance, was forthright—"I think he is wrong ... We have waited long enough for him to come on board." When Falwell embarrassed himself by condemning Tutu, some Republican senators denounced him.
But the overall failure of American conservatives to forthrightly deal with South Africa's white-supremacist regime, coming so soon after their failure to deal with the white-supremacist regime in their own country, is part of their heritage, and thus part of our heritage. When you see a Tea Party protestor waving the flag of slavery in front of the home of the first black president, understand that this instinct has been cultivated. It is still, at this very hour, being cultivated. [...]
Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2006—Lieberman: It's your fault:
Tweet of the Day
|Fox News Democrat Joe Lieberman is at it again.
Lieberman, whom the Bush administration has praised repeatedly for his war stance, defended the president. "It's time for Democrats who distrust President Bush to acknowledge he'll be commander-in-chief for three more years," the senator said. "We undermine the president's credibility at our nation's peril."
Funny thing is that he thinks he's helping Israel out by supporting this "transformation" in the Middle East, when all this war did was replace a secular dictator with an Iran-style Islamic regime and Iranian ally.
On today's Kagro in the Morning show
, the first hour-plus was given over to reactions to the death of Nelson Mandela, mostly spent gawking with Armando
at unearthed relics of conservative opposition. George Will provides the bulk of the entertainment. The review included Joan Walsh's "Fight the right-washing of Nelson Mandela's legacy," RightWingWatch.org's "Remembering The Religious Right's Attacks On Nelson Mandela," including intimate involvement of both Jack Abramoff and Grover Norquist. Turning back to Detroit: more from the Demos backgrounder, an explainer from David Sirota, an interview from Josh Eidelson, and an AP report on the next round of the city's screwing.
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