By John Harrington
While we are all very sad to lose such a wonderful human being as Nelson Mandela, we were so fortunate to live at a time in history that he achieved so much for so many. I was particularly honored to work with many of my colleagues and friends to witness the death of apartheid thanks, in part, to our successful corporate divestment campaign in California and throughout the United States.
As early as 1972 the California Legislature recognized the cruelty of apartheid, U.S. corporate support, and, indeed the state’s economic investments in corporations financially benefitting from racism. Beginning in 1973, and eventually successful in 1986, the state of California divested from corporations doing business in South Africa.
This is a day to honor Nelson Mandela, his humanity, his humility, his kindness and generosity, but most of all, his ability to overcome all obstacles to achieve freedom for the people of South Africa. His struggle for human rights was not only successful in his homeland, but allowed all of us to gain freedom from an oppressive system of racial discrimination, and recognize our ability to successfully stand up and fight against corporate social injury and injustice throughout the world.
“It always seems impossible until its done” – Nelson Mandela