- Created on 11 December 2013
Nearly 2 dozen U.S. lawmakers were scheduled to be at the memorial service for Nelson Mandela, many of them members of the Congressional Black Caucus. The caucus' link to the South African leader and his people's struggle is longstanding. Former Ohio congressman Louis Stokes described the history on NewsOne Now with Roland Martin.
"The Congressional Black Caucus had long been involved as the major force in Congress fighting for [economic] sanctions on South Africa," Stokes explained, "and in that role, we have also been in in protest there in Washington, D.C. Delegate Walter Fauntroy had been organizing protests."
After refusing police requests to leave, said Stokes, "We were arrested, taken to jail, refused bond, we spent the night in jail in order to symbolize our alignment with cause of Nelson Mandela."
Stokes also mentioned the leadership of former California congressman Ron Dellums (who introduced an anti-apartheid bill in 1972), Rep. Maxine Waters (who still serves California), and the late Parren Mitchell of Maryland, in the fight against apartheid.
It would not be until 1986 that The Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act finally passed. The economic sanctions that resulted helped put pressure on the white-controlled South African government to start dismantling the country's brutal system of racial segregation and oppression.
Listen here as Stokes describes the struggle, as well as the joy of attending the inauguration of Mandela as South Africa's first black president.
- Created on 10 December 2013
U.S. President Barack Obama implored thousands gathered in a cold, rainy stadium and millions watching around the world on Tuesday to carry forward Nelson Mandela's mission of erasing injustice and inequality.
In a speech that received thunderous applause at FNB stadium and a standing ovation, Obama called on people to apply the lessons of Mandela, who emerged from 27 years in prison under a racist regime, embraced his enemies when he finally walked to freedom and ushered in a new era of forgiveness and reconciliation in South Africa.
"We, too, must act on behalf of justice. We, too, must act on behalf of peace," said Obama, who like Mandela became the first black president of his country. Obama said that when he was a student, Mandela "woke me up to my responsibilities — to others, and to myself — and set me on an improbable journey that finds me here today."
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- Created on 10 December 2013
Apartheid might not have ended in South Africa if it weren't for the help of African Americans. Jesse Jackson spoke with Roland Martin on NewsOne Now to talk about contributions to end apartheid as well as how Nelson Mandela was viewed after he became the first Black president of South Africa.
"Once he [Mandela] won the battle, Whites feared that he would engage in retribution," said Jackson. "He said, 'There's no future in retribution. The future is in voting. You don't realize who you are and who I am.'"
Jackson also went over the parallels between civil rights in the United States and apartheid, "The parallelisms run infinitely," he said, "and many of them [South Africans] got their education here."
Jackson also recounted how he, along with other notable figures in the Black community, such as Radio One's own *Cathy Hughes, Maxine Waters, and Harry Belafonte, raised money to end apartheid.
Finally, Jackson discussed how difficult it was to be South African in America after apartheid ended. "Anything South African became toxic," he said. "Even today we're much better off than South Africans. We freed them of the pariah status."
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- Created on 09 December 2013
The Obama administration appears to have almost no international support for controversial new trade standards that would grant radical new political powers to corporations, increase the cost of prescription medications and restrict bank regulation, according to two internal memos obtained by The Huffington Post.
The memos, which come from a government involved in the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade negotiations, detail continued disputes in the talks over the deal. The documents reveal broad disagreement over a host of key positions, and general skepticism that an agreement can be reached by year-end. The Obama administration has urged countries to reach a deal by New Year's Day, though there is no technical deadline.
One memo, which was heavily redacted before being provided to HuffPost, was written ahead of a new round of talks in Singapore this week. Read the full text of what HuffPost received here. (Note: Ellipses indicate redacted text. Text in brackets has been added by a third party.) Another document, a chart outlining different country positions on the text, dates from early November, before the round of negotiations in Salt Lake City, Utah. View the chart here. HuffPost was unable to determine which of the 11 non-U.S. nations involved in the talks was responsible for the memo.
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