Guys I have been following the coverage of Nelson Mandela’s life and history. Of course it was intimately and inextricably tied to the horrific system of apartheid. I was reminded that I was inspired to activism by the divestment movement against this system. To this day, every time I fill out an application for admission to the bar or security clearance I must explain why I was suspended from Amherst for participating and being a student leader in the take over the administration building. It was in part not only to protest acts of racism which occurred on campus ( as it turned out-a bogus cross burning staged by two black students) but also to demand that Amherst divest itself of all stock and investments tied to South Africa. We were ultimately successful in our efforts at Amherst, which years later as part of the larger economic isolation of the Apartheid regime led to Mandela’s release and the demise of that absolutely evil system of government. The next time you feel that taking a stand is inconsequential, remember Mandela and the global movement he inspired. Each of us who participated in some small way in far away places became part of this historic figure’s story.
Passin' Me By - The Pharcyde