Advertisement

Out of South Africa

September 04, 1993

As an African-American taxpayer of Ventura County, I was extremely upset to learn of the investment of county pension funds in South Africa. However, the comments made by County Supervisor John K. Flynn are an indicator of why Ventura County has obtained such a racist image around the country following the Rodney King verdicts last year. Mr. Flynn says that only the 20,000 black residents and liberals would care that this county has its pension funds invested in South Africa.

What Mr. Flynn is saying is that making a dollar is more important than what is right or wrong. Never mind that the state of California and many other states in this country do not invest in South Africa. Never mind that the government has imposed trade sanctions on South Africa. Never mind that several other countries throughout the world have imposed sanctions on South Africa.

It's a good investment, Mr. Flynn concludes, because it makes money, so the retirement committee for Ventura County has invested $35 million in South Africa. More than that, Mr. Flynn is stating that the concerns of the minority mean nothing to him and should not be considered in county policies. Archaic attitudes such as this cannot be tolerated at any level of government.

I call on Supervisor Maria VanderKolk and members of the retirement committee to correct this problem by surfacing it as an issue at the next board meeting. I propose adopting a policy which immediately removes all funds invested in South Africa regardless of the current political environment.

As a taxpayer, I feel that county workers deserve the best retirement investment available. However, as a government organization, the needs of the constituents must be considered in investment decisions. Bottom line, my tax dollars are being invested.

KEITH B. FRANKLIN

Thousand Oaks

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|