The naivete of your editorial on disinvesting from firms doing business in South Africa is astonishing. I am tempted to call it disingenuous, if not dishonest.
First of all, do you really think that American businesses operating in South Africa are there as social reformers, rather than profit-making enterprises? You say nothing about the 230 or so U.S. corporations that have not signed the recently stiffened Sullivan Principles. What are we going to do about them?
And secondly, the 119 companies you applaud for having signed the principles are still profiting from apartheid’s machinery of oppression. No matter how benevolent General Motors or Ford may be in their personnel policies, they are still selling vehicles to the South African police and the army, the twin arms of tyrannical control in South Africa.
Those of us working in the anti-apartheid movement are asking the people of the United States to go on strike against South Africa as it is presently constituted. It does not matter what peaceful tactics are used to start a wholesale economic boycott of South Africa. Whatever pressures work to persuade U.S. corporations to pull out of South Africa will do the job.
The rulers of South Africa are fanatically trapped in a psychologically sick mind-set. They need electrical shock therapy to be jolted out of their racist and horribly destructive ways. This is the last chance we have for peaceful change, the only one left at this late and desperate hour.