JusticeThe third broad area in which Africans seek our assistance is the search for racial and political justice in southern Africa. There is perhaps no issue which has so pernicious a potential for the well-being of Africa and for American interests there. It is, for many, the sole issue by which our friendship for Africa is measured. I wish to review in all frankness our policy toward this grievous problem.
Both our statements and our actions have, or should have, made it patently clear to all concerned that racism is abhorrent to the American people, to my administration and to me personally. We cannot be indifferent to apartheid. Nor can we ignore the tensions created in Africa by the denial of political self-determination. We shall do what we can to foster equal opportunity and free political expression instead. We shall do so on both moral and practical grounds, for in our view there is no other solution.
The United States has, therefore, reaffirmed and continued to enforce the embargo on the sale of arms to South Africa. When Southern Rhodesia attempted to sever formal ties with Britain, we closed our consulate there. We have reaffirmed and continued to enforce the economic sanctions against Rhodesia, and we have sought ways to ensure a more universal compliance with those sanctions.
The United States also has continued its embargo on the sale of arms for use in Portuguese African territories. In support of the United Nations effort to terminate South Africa's jurisdiction over Southwest Africa, we have adopted a policy of discouraging American investment in that territory. We have sought to provide assistance and encouragement to Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland in their efforts to prove the viability of multiracial societies in the heart of southern Africa.
These measures define our policy toward the problems of southern Africa. We intend to continue these efforts, and to do what we can to encourage the white regimes to adopt more generous and more realistic policies toward the needs and aspirations of their black citizens.
However, just as we will not condone the violence to human dignity implicit in apartheid, we cannot associate ourselves with those who call for a violent solution to these problems.
We are convinced that the use of violence holds no promise as the solution to the problems of southern Africa. Neither the military nor the economic strength is available to force change on the white minority regimes. Violence would harden the resistance of the white minorities to evolutionary change. Resort to force would freeze the prejudice and fear which lie at the heart of the problem. Finally, violence would certainly hurt most the very people it would purport to serve.
The interests of the white regimes themselves surely dictate change. The United States believes that the outside world can and should use its contacts with southern Africa to promote and speed that change. We do not, therefore, believe the isolation of the white regimes serves African interests, or our own, or that of ultimate justice. A combination of contact and moral pressure serves all three.