Friday, January 2, 2009

A South African hero died today - Jan. 1, 2009

Helen Suzman, the tireless, articulate and courageous opponent of apartheid and of all types of discrimination, died today at 91. A whole generation of South Africans has grown up, in the post-Apartheid era, without knowing who she was or what she stood for. But those of us who grew up in apartheid South Africa will remember her vividly.
For me she was a role model - a shining example of principled consistency in the face of brutal oppression. She epitomized the qualities of a classical liberal, dedicated to the proposition that all people are endowed with an intrinsic equality and are entitled to equal treatment under the rule of law in a free society. She stood by this all through the years of state enforced racial oppression and she stood by this in the post apartheid South Africa of Thabo Mbeki whom she criticized for his anti-white policies. Her moral compass was rock solid. She was a rare human being with compassion and humor to match her incredible intellect. May her example inspire us.


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