The First Lady's Trip to Africa

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
June 22, 2011
Screenshot of Trip Page for First Lady Travel to Africa

First Lady Michelle Obama will travel to South Africa and Botswana during an official visit to Africa from June 20-26, 2011, focused on youth leadership, education, health and wellness. The trip is a continuation of Mrs. Obama's work to engage young people, especially girls and young women, at home and abroad. Follow the First Lady's trip on WhiteHouse.gov/YoungAfrica and on Twitter using the hashtag #YoungAfrica.

Comments

Comments

Sam
|
South Dakota, USA
June 23, 2011

Sam in South Dakota writes:

I wish I would have had a chance to meet Nelson Mandela. I loved the way Morgan Freeman portrayed him in the movie Invictus. What does "Invictus" stand for? I would love to ask the First Lady what this term stands for since she has met with Nelson Mandela and has toured his jail cell.

Zharkov
|
United States
June 24, 2011

Zharkov in the U.S.A. writes:

Had the sainted Mandela ascended to power in the 1960s instead of languishing on Robben Island and in Pollsmoor Prison [Mrs. Obama's destinations in Cape Town], he would have nationalized the South African economy and banned private enterprise. That's what the ANC's Charter called for in 1955. That's what South Africa's black-ruled neighbors to the north did.

While South Africa is not quite a one-party state, it is a dominant-party state.

Demographics dictate that Mandela's African National Congress will likely never lose an election to one of the country's tiny, tokenistic opposition parties. One shudders to think what the ANC – now slowly Sovietizing South Africa – would have wrought on the sophisticated, industrialized economy of the country had it been given the opportunity circa 1960.

In his submission to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, F. W. de Klerk, who received a Nobel Peace prize for surrendering South Africa to the ANC, corrected the record. The following is excerpted from "Into the Cannibal's Pot" (which cites liberal historian Hermann Giliomee):

Apartheid was not only about white privilege but also about development and redistribution of income from whites to blacks. The economy had grown by an average of 3.5 percent per year under apartheid, the black school population grew by 250 percent in the first 25 years of apartheid, and the black share of total personal income had nearly doubled from 20 percent in the mid-1970s to 37 percent in 1995, while that of whites declined from 71 to 49 percent." As bad as the Bantu Education system was, it vastly improved black literacy. Twelve years into the Nationalist government's rule, the rate of literacy among the Bantu of South Africa was already higher than that of any other state in Africa, or that of India.
Indeed, longevity under apartheid attests to the constantly improving (if imperfect) public health and government services for blacks. From the 8.6 million recorded in the 1946 census, the black population rose to 17.4 million in 1974 and 28.3 million by 1991. From the 1940s to the 1990s, life expectancy for blacks soared from 38 to 61 years!

Since the dawn of democracy around 1994, life expectancy in South Africa has plummeted by nine years, and unemployment has jumped from 19 percent in 1994 (before "freedom") to 31 percent in 2003 (after "freedom"), steadily rising until, in 2005, it stood at 38.8 percent.

The Apartheid Museum will make extravagant claims for Mandela's movement. Air brushed out of a slanted historical presentation is this:

By staving off crime and communism, the apartheid regime, a vast repressive apparatus though it was, saved black South Africans from an even worse moral and material fate.

Sam
|
South Dakota, USA
June 24, 2011

Sam in South Dakota writes:

We must look at other variables that cost unemployment to skyrocket. The Apartheid system of free capital had run its course similar to how the capital system in the U.S. had run its course (Keynes economics had fail). Also whites controlled 87 percent of the land compared to 13 percent by blacks. This land contained all the precious minerals for production such as diamonds and other materials. If you look at history when a religious group or race is forcibly put in power of another race, civil problems without true democratic elctions follow (ie Lebanon,Afghanistan,etecetera). Also the ANC Charter did not argue that private enterprise was not important. It just favors more of a Socialist economy similar to how Russia's economy was during the Cold War. Russia's economy was dominated by the state, but it did have private enterprise. China's economy ,before it went to a freemarket, was dominated by central control, but it still had private enterprise. Finally, Mandela when he was president alowed private enterprise to continue in the country, but as I have pointed out before the free enterprise had run its course (Keynes economics had failed). So to refute your argument: As President Mandela continued to allow free enterprise in the country, and no he did not attempt to nationalize the country. Also I felt that the Europeans failed when they installed an apartheid government. Especially since they were democracies themselves. One final note, the ANC has been losing its power. It is no longer the only major coalition in town. There are others.

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