Rick Perry Voted Against Sanctions on Apartheid-Era South Africa

Jason Cherkis, Huffington Post, October 14, 2011

Conservatives concerned about Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s Democratic past may have one less reason to worry. From Perry’s past comes a crucial rebellion: a vote against a Democrat’s proposal to sanction Apartheid-era South Africa.

In 1985, another member of Perry’s former party put forth an amendment in the Texas State Legislature that would have outlawed the state’s investments in the South African government. South Africa had been widely condemned for its vicious racial segregation, and economic sanctions were considered a popular–and ultimately successful weapon–against its Apartheid government.

As proposed, the rule was explicit: “Investments of the Permanent University Fund and other funds available for investment may not be invested directly in the Republic of South Africa.”

The amendment was killed, with state Rep. Perry voting with the majority, according to Texas Legislature voting records.

A subsequent bill included a similar amendment to ban state investments in any business incorporated in South Africa. Again, Perry voted against the measure. That measure ultimately passed.

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Other incidents in Perry’s past have caused controversy in his home state, whether it was standing up for an underling who was accused of using the n-word during a meeting, or referring to immigrants as “Jose” during a press conference.

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  • (AWG) Average White Guy

    Affirmative Action is no less racist than was Apartheid; perhaps even less so.

    That being the case, the world has an obligation to press sanctions against the United States for it’s racist policies that discriminate against White people.

  • Anonymous

    When it comes to race, each and every person of color in the united states is a victim unworthy of scrutiny let alone investigation. When it comes to whites all must be held accountable in case there’s even a possiblity they may be racist or their ideas lead to or come from a racist mindset. Why would the most likely white themselves writers at the Huffington reject their own race and elevate all persons of color? It can’t be because all persons of color extend this ‘tolerance’ to whites because they don’t. They organize along racial lines. There is a real difference between the racial experience of whites and that of persons of color. The Huffington, who no doubt are self-proclaimed experts on race, cannot plead ignorance on the issue.

  • Anonymous

    “vicious racial segregation”

    I was in S. Africa during apartheid, and I saw no “viciousness”. I saw blacks working in shops, going about their daily business, and enjoying a standard of living higher than most of the continent.

    Apartheid has been misrepresented as near to slavery. If it was offered today, most blacks from the rest of Africa would gladly choose it over black rule.

  • highduke

    Old news to me and it’s partly why they censored Perry’s ‘black cloud’ comment a couple of months ago. No doubt he may have hoped to fool any authentic nationalists and give himself an early lead but he’s a flip-flopper and has already been expose & discredited.

  • fred

    South Africa had been widely condemned for its vicious racial segregation,

    I’ve observed that racial segregation is often less “vicious” than forced racial integration.

    It’s interesting, however, that those who would harangue Perry for not voting in favor of sanctions against South Africa haven’t even bothered to suggest them for Moslem countries that persecute women, minorities, other religions, etc.

  • FireForce

    What people seem to forget is that in 1985 South Africa was the last county in southern Africa that was still fighting against the southward expansion of Communism in the region. Not only were they at war with a marxist neighbor (Angola) but they were also fighting their own “War on terror” against a Communist backed terrorist organization (SWAPO) in Namibia. I would have voted againts further sanctions that harmed her war effort as well. I’m no fan of Perry, but he made a good call at that point.

    Google “The South African Border War” to see what I’m talking about.

    I’m sorry, but in a fight between a country that has harsh and oppressive internal policies and that of agressive, expansionistic communism, I’ll back the former all day long.This is especially the case back in the days of the Cold War, when South Africa’s enemies were backed by the Soviets and Cubans.

  • ATBOTL

    “A point in his favor.”

    Not at all. So did Dick Cheney, IIRC. It means nothing now. His motivation was probably to appease “business interests.”

  • mr. no perry

    at least perry did something right back in “85

  • Anonymous

    I don’t understand African communism. In the Soviet Union and Europe, there was a rudimentary standard of living, but there was something. Communist citizens lived in high rise apartments, owned simplistic cars, went to school, worked, went on vacation, received pensions in old age. Yes, everything was falling apart, the government was oppressive, everything was rationed, there were long queues for life’s basics…but there was some structure and quality of life. In “communist” Africa, I only see extreme abject poverty, starvation, violence, AIDS, death, etc. Most in Africa are living off of what is left of the decaying colonial world. There are no high rise apartment projects, lada (car) factories, cosmonauts, etc. I don’t think “communism” is the proper term for the African version.

  • ATBOTL

    Capitalist Africa and communist Africa are the same, the regimes often switched labels every few years anyway. Communism was adopted in Africa and other third world countries primarily to give national liberation struggles a veneer of being modern and universalist. Also, to get aid from the USSR. It’s a classic case of an abstract ideological superstructure overlaying biological (ie racial)conflicts.

    Americans didn’t understand this, causing us to waste huge resources and tens of thousands of American lives getting involved in tribal wars, propping up doomed colonialism, supporting evil mass murdering dictators and funding Islamic terrorists.

  • rjf101

    He did it for economic reasons, not because he sympathized with South Africa. That is exactly the same motivation that makes him so supportive of immigrants today.

  • Repentant Radical

    I was an activist in the “Divestment” campaign of the mid 1980s. It took me many years to realize what a fool I had been. Perry, likewise, may not hold the same views he held in 1985.

  • Anonymous

    Apartheid was put in place to keep the normally warring tribes from decimating each other and from bringing their violence into “civilized” areas . . . nothing more. As previous posters have pointed out, during apartheid, there was an influx of black african immigration TO South Africa . . .