Excluded…For the right reasons?
Hey Hey Hey Friends! Long time no see!
As promised, blog post number two! I’ll go back at some point and add the link to the podcast I’m going to record about the two of the with my two partners, you remember how it went last night. So last post was on the earlier side of Post-Apartheid Africa, and I focused in on the global reaction to the Sharpeville Massacre. If you haven’t read that post yet, go do it becuase I’m going to jump ahead about 20 years to 1979 Africa. Now this was pretty much the peak of the Cold war, and the world was divided in half. Almost every country had to decide which side they fought on. The nuclear arms race was on.
I found a really interesting article from my good ole’ fav, theNew York Times. So for 22 years, South Africa had been participating in the International Atomic Energy Agency. 22 years! Then 1979 the other nations, decided to kick them out of the conference. This decision came just two years after the other member nations decided to remove South Africa from the board, even though they had one of the most advanced nuclear facilities in Africa. Normally I would be screaming racism, and there were probably a few nations who were glad to see South Africa gone based purely on geography and race, but this is a little differnt. Some nations (cough cough Egypt) thought that South Africa was getting a little too big for her britches. However, most nations cited the prevalent racial discrimination that was running rampant through South Africa. As the representatives from Kenya phrased the other nations needed to show their opinions towards the racism in South Africa” ‘not with words’ and explanations but with actions’ “. They wanted to make a statement to the international community, which I think is actually really important. This is another example of an international show of support for the repressed minorities in South Africa. Much like the solidarity protests, these nations are taking a stand for what they believe in. They believe that this racial discrimination is wrong, and they are doing some (small) steps to stop it.
As you can imagine, the South African representative at the conference was not super pleased with what was happening. He saw this distrust as the beginning of the end. He meant the agency, but really it signified a shift away from racial attitude in the international community. Now the world is still an incredibly racist place, but the decision made here was important. This decision was a small step by the internationally community to doing what’s right. The other nations knew that this would cause strife in an already perilous world, but they did it anyway. This may be a small thing, but it does give me a little bit of hope for the future. Maybe international pressure will be enough to cause some much-needed changes in our own country today. Who knows? An orange Oompa-Loompa is president of the United States, anything is possible.
I know that this seems like an almost completely isolated incident that doesn’t really have much to do with the rest of what I have been talking about but I did that on purpose. I wanted to talk about something that many other people aren’t talking about, something the world has forgotten. I wanted to remember that Kenyan representative who tried to help support those who needed it.
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See ya soon!
“Nuclear Parley Ban South Africa in Implicit Warning.” New York Times, December 5, 1979. Accessed April 11, 2018. https://www.nytimes.com/1979/12/06/archives/nuclear-parley-bars-south-africa-an-implicit-warning.