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U.S. Policy on South Africa

July 16, 1985

The UC Regents have decided to remain one of the most substantial contributors to the racist regime in South Africa. By declaring their intent to look at their investments in only three companies and "maybe, possibly" divest from them, the Regents have demonstrated either of two things: either they misunderstand the real implications of their investments in companies that do business in South Africa or they are demonstrating a callous disregard of the plight of black South Africans. The Regents have also demonstrated a callous disregard of the students, staff and teachers who make up the academic institutions they supposedly represent.

There is no doubt that U.S. companies serve to entrench the morally bankrupt minority white government in South Africa, by providing important financial assistance in times of crisis, by providing the technology that is used to violently oppress blacks speaking out for their freedom, and by vitally participating in an economic system that only served to enrich those with white skin, as well as a small percentage of blacks who are essentially forced to collaborate with the white masters. It is a government that easily can be equated with the Nazi regime in Germany. The South African government has stated that it will not do away with the essential institutional frameworks on which the apartheid system rests.

Students, staff and faculty are angry because we do not want to be collaborators with what is an evil empire. We called on the Regents to divest the $2.4 billion the UC system has invested in South Africa, to join the states, cities and academic institutions trying to bring about an end to the South African regime and give blacks a right to economically and politically participate in their own country. The Regents ignored the immorality of their action. President David Gardner said, "such decisions should not be made on 'political grounds.' " Other regents, including Gov. George Deukmejian, gave lip service to the message it sends to the South African government. The only message it sends is that American greed will once again get in the way of truly attempting to make real changes in the South African government.

V. JAMES DeSIMONE

Santa Monica

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