Was the US really helpful to South Africa?

Ronald Reagan with Bishop Desmond TutuThe Reagan Administration was one that did not take the issue of apartheid seriously.  Though Reagan instituted constructive engagement, he did not truly follow through with it, and when presented the opportunity to talk to the Nobel Peace Prize winner, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Tutu came out saying that Reagan was implementing quiet diplomacy.

People like Jeane Kirkpatrick felt that the black community had too many issues to be dealt with and that they should leave the black community to themselves.  Someone like this should not be making the decisions for other people in the country.  As Reagan’s ambassador to the UN, she had a lot of power when it came to how other countries looked at South Africa and other countries that she talked negatively about.  This put South African people, who were against apartheid, in a weird situation because they now knew that some of the top people in the United States government were not excited about helping them through this horrible time in their country.


Though the Reagan Administration was not as helpful as they said they would be, the people of the United States joined together to bring forth the support for South Africa.  Many protests took place across the country.  One of the main places that protests took place was on college campuses throughout the country.  One of the main colleges that had these protests was Columbia.

Across the Atlantic, many of the townships in South Africa were rioting.  Because of all the rioting, the police now had the authority to take people from their homes and detain them for no reason at all.  With all of the news coverage that was now being sent to the United States, it was hard for the people of the US to let this go on any longer.

Stop playing with apartheid

One of the main supporters of all this was Rosa Parks.  Ever since 1955, when she would not give her seat on the bus up for a white man, she had been seen as a leader in Civil Rights.  On December 1, Rosa Parks spoke out against the apartheid movement and with her words many felt that they needed to help her cause because she was the one that started it all in the United States.

In the United States, the opposing views may have put the US in some turmoil, but the protests and picketers that stood up for what they believed in changed how the world viewed apartheid, and this was a step in the right direction to end apartheid.


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