Posts Tagged ‘white supremacy’

Jan Christian Smuts(1870-1950) had the distinction of being only man to sign the peace treaties at the end of both wars. Smuts was also a leading figure in the drafting of the United Nations Covenant. Born in Malmesbury, Cape Colony and educated at Christ’s College he went back to South Africa to join Paul Kruger’s government. In 1899 Smuts presented a pamphlet that explained the Boer case against Britain. Next three years he proved himself an exceptional guerrilla leader through the Boer War, and he avoided being cast as die-hard nationalist. He had the prescience to understand the ground realities with a world war in the horizon that in co-operation with Britain lay the future of his country.

Smuts held a succession of cabinet posts, including defense minister, under President Louis Botha and on the outbreak of WWI he rejoined the army and led South Africa’s successful campaign in German East-Africa. This led an invitation by Lloyd George to join the Imperial War Cabinet in 1917. At the Paris Peace Conference he worked closely with Woodrow Wilson in advocating a League of Nations. Smuts returned to South Africa after the signing of the Versailles Treaty in 1919.
Soon after he became the Prime Minister and lost power in 1924 but later returned to office as deputy prime minister. In 1939 he became the prime minister (1939-48). As with Lloyd George before he worked closely with Winston Churchill during the WWII. Jan Christian Smuts died in 1950.
Smuts was a man of many parts and his concept of holism, (defined as “the tendency in nature to form wholes that are greater than the sum of the parts through creative evolution”) was laid out in his 1926 book, Holism and Evolution. Smuts’ formulation of holism has been linked with his political-military activity and his belief in white supremacy.

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Dr.Martin Luther King (1929-1968) Civil Rights Pioneer

It fell to Lincoln to abolish slavery by a law but Luther King gave the blacks their self-respect. Civil Rights movement captured the nation’s imagination in 1957 when he led the African Americans of Montgomery,Alabama in a boycott if buses which ended seregation of blacks on buses practically every city in the South. His sit-ins in 1960 enabled them to share lunch counters, libraries,parks with whites. His ‘freedom rides’ ended segregation in inter-state travel. These and much publicized confrontation with’Bull’ Connors, the brutal Birmingham Police chief in 1963 hit the climax when they marched to the Capitol which resulted in the pushing through Congress the Civil Rights legislation. Law helped and publicizing the segregation to give Afro-Americans equal rights in their daily lives were also succeeded. But did he really clear up the nation’s prejudice against the blacks was a question that didn’t have ready answer. The non-violent methods by which Dr. King achieved a social revolution held up the precepts of Gandhi and Thoreau and also the Christian ideals that he as a minister found useful. He certainly put the Afro-Americans in the South on a plane of moral superiority in the wake of outrages that sporadically broke out. The Racial doctrines by which the extreme Right groups were unleashing violence against the Jews and the blacks sounded false and out oif step with the times. His life was threatened his home was bombed and he had certain premonitions of death and his moral courage shone through in these sombre period. He tiirelessly toured through the country preaching non violence and in his spell-binding style of his vision for future. His style of delivery and content were spontaneous to give an emotional edge in the listeners but none matched ‘I have a dream’ speech given on the steps of the Capitol Hill.

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