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no which hardly 10 percent of the faculty comes from all three of those majority groups discriminated against. He gives us an opportunity to sense a little of the complexity of coping with human rights violations when one is a victim of gross discrimination. Next, we will hear, as a discussant, from Robert Kates, a geog- rapher who has worked in overseas situations such as Tanzania on problems of how Tow-income people wrest, in the face of natural haz- ards, a harmonious relationship with the resources of the area. He was, as you have heard, first chairman of the Committee on Human Rights. Then we will hear from Walter Rosenblith, a physicist and com- munications engineer who became interested in the brain as a commu- nications system and who has studied its electrical activity through the use of computers and has been interested in communications on a much broader scale. Most recently, as vice president of the In- ternational Council of Scientific Unions, he has been concerned with how scientists collaborate with each other in the face of human rights e c ~scr~rn~nat~on. I expect each member of the scientific group here today has encountered in her or his own experience the question of how we respond to the organization of a meeting of scientists in South Africa and how we respond to the notion of bringing a South African scien- tist to a meeting we organize elsewhere. Where do we take our stanc] in the face of what we regard as discrimination of a political or social or economic character? We hope these issues will be exposed in the following discussion in which you will join. First, Professor Ismai! Mohamed. APARTHEID IN SOUTH AFRICA Ismail Mohamed Mr. President, members of the academy, and honored guests. It is an honor for me to be a guest speaker at this symposium on human rights at the annual meeting of the National Academy of Sciences. and my fellow oppressed in South Africa value your concern for us. We applaud your efforts to bring about a respect for human rights and a democratic society in our country. ~ tale this opportunity to thank the National Science Foundation and the City College of the City University of New York for financial _ O ~

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41 support and the opportunity to spend my sabbatical there, as well as the hospitality of its Graduate Center. Our country faces serious social, political, and economic prob- lems, and we are mindful of your concern that a new society should emerge with the minimum possible upheavals in South Africa and beyond its borders. We dare not be deterred from attempting to re- solve these problems by the nationalist government's threats against democratic forces and the front-line states. Indeed, our people are more determined than ever to bring an end to apartheid, oppression, and economic exploitation and to create a nonracial, unfragmented, and democratic society in South Africa. am going to tell you a little bit of our struggle to understand the determination in the face of the mounting repression, what are the events and forces shaping that determination, and perhaps, then, briefly, in the light of those comments, ~ hope to discuss some of the issues that must concern this academy. Our struggle has been a peaceful one. First, against the humilia- tion of race and caste organization of our society, in which we occupy a position of inferiority. Second, to participate in the decision-making process to determine our own destiny and that of our country. Third, for the redistribution of the wealth of the land and, of course, for an unfragmented South Africa. In short, our struggle has been about the unacceptability of homelands. That struggle was met with repression and armed violence of the state. The state signaled by these acts that it was not prepared to resolve the social conflict outside the parameters of apartheid. Because that conflict could not be resolved on the political plane of the liberation struggle, that struggle was extended by the African National Congress to include armed struggle. While black workers are part of the liberation struggle, their sig- nificance has grown with time due to an expanding economy and the inability of industry and commerce to rely solely on white workers. The balance of forces on the factory shop floor and in the mines has dramatically shifted to black workers. The black workers' growing strength had its repercussions in the community and amongst the students who could now challenge the state's attempt to broaden its social base in order to preserve apartheid. We note particularly the growth of the United Democratic Front, which serves as a catalyst for the formation of opposition to apartheid at all levels of society.

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42 The state's attempt to repress the growing opposition by de- tention, by bannings, and by killings has led to the Revolution of leadership to the grassroots. Within the United Democratic Front, its leadership is hauled in front of the courts to be charged with trea- son or they are detained without trial. Many have been assassinated and murdered and they are increasingly being replaced by leadership in the community-at-large, what ~ have called the grassroots. They are being replaced by people in the so-called "street com- mittees," in the defense committees, committees which have been set up to defend ourselves against the security forces of the state. In fact, we have reached a situation that all the peaceful democratic or- ganizations are forced to operate in some measure clandestinely and at the local level, and so new leadership is arising at the grassroots. When apartheid will fad! to be, the new government and new institutions will not rise phoenix-like; they are being created right now through those street committees and defense committees. In an attempt to stop these developments, the security forces have occupied the townships and the schools and have attempted to exterminate the exiles and external leadership. In so doing, they are ensuring the growth of an internal, revolutionary, armed leadership within South Africa. Because the problems leading to the strug- gle have not been resolved, opposition to Pretoria's rules will gain momentum until that system of apartheid is destroyed. You know that 20,000 women marched to Pretoria on the 9th of August in 1956 saying to then-Prime Minister Strij~om: "Strij~om, you have struck a rock, you have unearthed a boulder, you will be crushed." ~ can ted you today that boulder is reverberating throughout the townships in South African society and it is gaining momentum. In short, ~ am not overdramatizing when ~ say there is a war being waged in the streets of the townships in South Africa. With that kind of background to tell you, really, about what is it that drives people along, ~ want to turn now very briefly to the issues that must concern you. The concern of the oppressed people in South Africa about the decisions that we make, or you make, at aD the various levels confronting us is who wiD it help in that struggle that is being waged in the townships and the streets. Will it help those who rule over us or will it help us to liberate ourselves from that oppression? Let me turn to our role in the political struggle. ~ believe we must destroy the lie that government is engaged in an orderly change

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when, as we know and ~ hope ~ have demonstrated, it is asking for a license to prolong apartheid and the exploitation of black people. We need to make clear that there is no possibility of resolving the social conflict within the parameters prescriber! by governments, the parameters of apartheid. In fact, we are being driven down the road of escalating violence and bloodshed. We need to educate others to the fact that there is not going to be peace in our country until Mandela, Sisulu, Mbeki, and all the other leaders in prison or in exile, people like Tambo, are released and allowed to return, the ANC unbanned and a national assembly convened to dismantle apartheid. Let me comment, also, very briefly on the scientific and cultural boycotts. While the vast mass of our youth are struggling to acquire rudimentary knowledge of reading and writing, the children of the rulers can reach out to an understanding of the universe, to the theories of an expanding universe and of black holes millions of light years away. While the vast mass of our youth lack the most elementary knowledge of health and hygiene they are the victims of disease, of malnutrition and poverty the children of the rulers can reach out to an understanding of the very basis of life, of DNA molecules and of genetic materials and of electrical and chemical messages in nerve endings. Those who wield this kind of knowledge use it as a weapon against those who do not have that knowledge. You know the rulers arrogantly proclaim these achievements of mankind as their own special achievement. We hear them speak of white art and of white literature and of white music and of white mathematics and of white science, thereby demolishing those who presumably have made no contribution to the achievements of mankind. ~ want to say that those who have stood aside from educational battles that are being fought in the schools and in the universities have helped those who use education to batter our children into sum mission. Therefore, the only meaningful question to ask in relation to participation by those in South African universities and academic institutions in international conferences and other forums is, Who will be helped in that war that ~ spoke about? You must clearly identify those struggling for liberation. It is not sufficient to claim, as some South Africans do when they come to international conferences, that they do not represent the South African government, that they, in their institutions, have from time to

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44 time protested against apartheid in education, while at the same time ignoring flagrant discrimination against blacks in their universities, medical schools, research establishments, and other institutions. Their actions help to legitimize the South African system. These people often use apartheid as a shield to hide behind and white prejudice to hide behind as a means of maintaining the status quo and white privilege. We have to demand that they prove their role in that war of liberation. We should help set up international panels to set equal opportu- nities and affirmative action programs and targets and exarn~ne the credentials of those wishing to participate at the international level. think that is the first step that we need to take. Let me turn to the academic field at a broader level. For gener- ations, our black youth have cried out for the right to an education that will enable them to take their place in the ranks of the free youth of the world, so that they may determine their own destiny and that of our country. They have battled for a system of education in which their values and their ideals are not treated as inferior and of no consequence. They found that the universities were closed to them, except in token numbers, first by tradition and the prejudice of white academics, by exorbitant fees and the lack of residential accommodation within those universities or surrounding towns, and later by legislation. On the other end, their white counterparts were given every assistance to get into universities and qualify themselves to enter the ranks of those who rule over them. In recent years, the so- called Open universities" have adopted a more enlightened view, motivated partly by the shortage of white academics. Because of the international Isolation of South African universities, more blacks have been appointed to academic positions. We have heard the annual reaffirmations of the ideals of aca- demic freedom and opposition to apartheid in university education. As we have heard, the protests from time to time, as the police came, battering our students on various campuses, but we have not heard them about the racism in these institutions, the lack of appoint- ments of blacks to positions in the governing councils or meaningful programs of recruiting black staff. We are concerned about the silence on the crisis in black edu- cation. We must not forget the racism that lurks in the corners to frustrate black advancement. So, here, too, in this area, we need to

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45 set up positive measures. ~ am suggesting panels to investigate that situation. To tell you about the racism that lurks in corners, a deputy vice-chancellor once wrote to me (vice-chancellor is equivalent to a president or vice-president of a college), "One can see that to appoint you in a permanent position of authority over white students and junior white staff would be to wound the very heart of Baasskap White supremacy] and that there are limits to which we can go to offend a government." In short, he was saying, ewe cannot appoint you." Or, as one head of a department once wrote to me, "they imean- ing the university administration] would require the appointment tof myself] to be strongly motivated in the sense that ~ should have to guarantee that certain topics, presumably at honors and research level, could not be taught by anyone else available." The mind bog- gles at such bigotry and prejudice that still lurk in too many corners. But ~ think it reinforces the view of a selective academic boycott while helping them to set their house in order. Now, the crimes of apartheid are many, and ~ cannot go through them all. Perhaps just to give you a little bit of an insight into the trauma of the lives of people in South Africa, ~ am going to tell you very briefly of my own, not because we epitomize in any sort of way the frustration of our people, but perhaps, on the contrary, because we, ~ anti my family, live rather middIe-cIass lives. If I tell you a little bit of my experience, then you might appre- ciate the depth of what the people who do not have access to the international community must go through. In 1976 I was detained without charge or trial, and when ~ was thrown into that cell at Caledon Square in Cape Town, I learned from the children in the cell next door, 11-year-olds, that the strips of blankets that were hanging from the corner of my cell is where they had found Story Mazwembe, a political detainee, apparently having committed suicide a few days earlier. A few days later, ~ was transferred to a maximum security prison and there ~ met Story's brother, and he had to learn from me what had happened. I shall never forget the morning of July 30, 1980, when we discovered that our l~year-old son had fled the country to escape police harassment. That morning ~ had to go and teach my students, by far and large mostly white young students, 1~ and 18-year-old boys, without betraying to them what was stirring inside me.