Letter From anLegislaturenby Ron GamblenColor-Coding the PennsylvanianPension FundnRepresentative Ron Gamble’s speechnon the floor of the Pennsylvania Housenof Representatives against legislationnto divest Pennsylvania pension fundsnfrom South Africa:nI oppose this legislation wholeheartedlynbecause state government has nonbusiness dealing with foreign policy.nHowever, if we are going to initiate anforeign policy based on compassion fornour fellow man, let’s do it fairly andnpass my amendment to do the same innevery country whose practices arenmorally reprehensible to us. And thatnis what this amendment does. I believenlegislation has been introduced in thisnHouse to address divestiture of companiesndoing business in Ireland. But Inask you, if we pass the bills before usntoday, how can we not pass thisnamendment to do the same in thenSoviet Union, Poland, Afghanistan,nCambodia, Albania, Kenya, Nigeria,nUganda, or Angola, all countriesnwhere violations of human rights areneveryday occurrences?nFirst off, we should not be dealingnwith moral issues thousands of milesnaway with Pennsylvania pension dollars,nat the expense of Pennsylvanians,nbut rather through the Resolutionnprocess — memorializing Congress asnwe have in the past. South Africa is notnan isolated case, nor is it the mostninhumane country in the world.nThe Washington Post reported innAugust of 1985 that the Vietnamesentorture of Cambodians includes beatings,nelectrical shocks, and lye powdernbeing thrown in victims’ faces. ThenWall Street Journal in April of 1985nalso described inhumane torture. ThenNew York Times in December of 1984nreported of the legalized arrest andndetention policies in Poland, whichnoften lead to the death of the detainees.nThe same paper reported in Decembernof 1984 of the saturationnbombings in Afghanistan in whichnmany thousand innocent civilians havenbeen killed and from which millionsnhave fled. They also reported the habitualndiscrimination against several re­nligious groups in Albania, a selfdeclarednatheist state.nWhich brings me to my constantnconcern: Why is it that we have singlednout South Africa? Currently, all thenother black ruled countries of Africanare experiencing political, economic,nand social unrest far more debilitatingnthan anything that’s occurring innSouth Africa. Many more people arenkilled in these countries in one daynthan in South Africa in a year. AndnGod knows of the seven million thatnhave starved to death in Ethiopianalone, not to mention the others whonhave starved through corrupt and ineptngovernments.n— In Uganda, soldiers shoot civiliansnwith Soviet-made weapons, accordingnto a Washington Post articlenentitled “Political Violence Has LeftnScars on Ugandan Children.” Thesenkids have seen their mothers raped,ntheir fathers killed, their housesnburned, and when orphaned, they takenup arms and fight.n— In Kenya and Nigeria, shantytownsnare being demolished, and peoplenare being forced to relocate into thenbush.n— In Zimbabwe, there has been ansharp rise in torture of political prisoners.nAmnesty International reports thatnin the city of Bulawayo alone, morenthan 350 political detainees are beingnheld without trial.n— In Mozambique 200,000 ton300,000 people are being held behindnbarbed wire.n— According to the WashingtonnPost in May of 1985 and the New YorknTimes in September of 1986, in Zaire,nin some portions of this one-partyncountry, the armed forces routinelynwhip detainees with barbed wire, halfstarventhe prisoners, and afflict themnwith electric shocks. In early 1986,nsome leaders of the only other politicalnparty were shot and other leaders werensent into exile.n— In Angola, a one-party Marxistnnation under strong Soviet influence,ncomplete with Cuban troops, wherenthe very worst atrocities occur, severalnhuge American companies thrive.nHere is a perfect example of a countrynwhose economy could be hurt by divestiture.n— In many other black-ruled countriesnin Africa, it is common to requirenpassbooks to go from one section ofnnnthe country to another, a practice thatnappalls us when it happens in SouthnAfrica.n— In many of these countries, expertsnnow predict a new wave of massnstarvation because the people cannotnfeed themselves.n— In many of the now black-ruledncountries of Africa, since the 1950’sn(when many broke away from thencolonial system), four million peoplenhave been killed. This number edgesncloser daily to the number killed in thengreat Holocaust.nI now ask you — Do we have a casenof misplaced compassion? Why arenthese countries, which have seennbloodbaths, famine, and a lack of votingnrights, not on the same or a higherncrisis level than South Africa? Is itnbecause South Africa has become then”issue of the day”? It makes headlinesnbecause it is, quite simply, a black andnwhite issue. Any move by the SouthnAfrican government is termed racist.nThe word “racism” has become anconvenient term used freely to intimidatenwhites in this country. Fearnof being called a racist is a powerfulnmaster. Politicians who normallynpound podiums tremble at thenthought. Those who expound freedomnof speech shrink from practicing itnwhen it comes to black and whitenissues. Yes, there is an inherent fearnamong white politicians of being calledna racist. The prime sponsor of thesenbills was quoted in the Patriot News:n”I’ve been dealing with bills on SouthnAfrica for three terms, and each yearnthe issue is escalating more and more.nI’m going to be optimistic. I hope thencommonwealth of Pennsylvania is notna racist state.” Just recently, I’ve heardnthe term “bigot” kicked around on thisnHouse floor. Do you see what I mean?nThat is why the black agendas andnliberal agendas have been so successfulnacross this country. Don’t be hornswoggled.nDon’t let it happen herentoday. It would be hypocritical for us tonaddress the problems of South Africanand not the problems of the otherncountries in Africa, Asia, or Europensimply because South Africa’s problemsnare black and white rather thannblack and black, and Vietnam andnCambodia’s are yellow and yellow, andnthe Soviet Union’s, Poland’s, and Afghanistan’snare white and white. I findnthe practices of all these countriesnMARCH 1988 / 39n