Public Forum on South Africa

by Frank T. Walker, Berkshire County Branch NAACP
Pittsfield, Massachusetts, United States
April 9, 1971
Publisher: National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
3 pages
Type: Press Release
Coverage in Africa: South Africa
Coverage outside Africa: United States
Language: English
The press release says the Berkshire County Branch of the NAACP is sponsoring a PUBLIC FORM ON SOUTH AFRICA at the Christian Center on April 19, 1971. The press release says speakers at the forum are Mr. John Lewis of the United Nations Association, Mr. Robert Brookins Gore of the American Committee on Africa, and Mrs. Goler T. Buther of the United Sates Department of State. The press release says the racial problem pervades every aspect of South African life and has serious repercussions on the Republic of South Africa’s foreign relations; with a ratio of about four nonwhites to one white, almost all white South Africans subscribe to some degree of white supremacy; the governing National Party leadership has made clear its determination to pursue the present policy of “separate development” of the various races (apartheid). The press release says despite the softer image South Africa is trying to project to the outside world, the country’s ponderous security machine continues dissidents and crush potential revolutionaries; its armed forces equipped with the most sophisticated weapons and expecting to be able soon to purchase more will be more than a match any threat black Africa can pose for a long time to come. The press release says internally, a vast security network operates against blacks and whites, liberals and ultra-conservatives, and even snares American diplomats stationed in South Africa. The press release says with a vast array of vaguely worded laws at their disposal, the police do not have to jail all dissidents; they can force some into exile; they harass and intimidate others into silence. The press release says the Republic of South Africa today is a complete state backed with morality through legislation; through the Morality Act, no blacks can sleep in the same house as a white or be entertained as a guest; through the Suppression of Communism Act, all subversive parties and groups opposed to the government policy have been arrested and detained indefinitely; under the Riotous Assembly Act a crowd numbering over 10 is illegal without a permit; after three warnings issued by police, such a crowd can be fired upon; through legislation, all blacks have been excluded from universities and Parliament; under the Terrorism Act of 1967, retrospective to 1962, the writ of habeas corpus has been suspended and a prisoner may be incarcerated for a lifetime with trial; all blacks must be in their appropriate living sections by 11 P.M. each night and carry passes at all times; these sorts of restrictions enforced by a 40,000 man civilian police force impair constructive change in the direction of greater majority rule; today 11 million blacks are ruled by 4 million whites; the white hold all the material wealth, and like their ancestors, live by the virtues of black slavery. The press release discusses the United Nations Association, Yale College, E.W. Stitt, Jr. High School, the Educational Committee of the Community Planning Board, the Harlem Parents Association, the National Association of Foreign Students Advisors, the Bureau of African Affairs, the State Department, CORE (Congress of Racial Equality), Sara Lawrence University, the New School for Social Research, the New York Urban Coalition, and the Washington Bar Association.  [Note: Goler T. Buther is incorrectly spelled, the correct spelling Goler T. Butcher.]
Collection: Brenda Randolph Africa archive, Michigan State University Libraries Special Collections