Paul  Weyrich

On May 8 the House of Representatives passed by voice vote H.R. 5690, a bill to remove the African National Congress (ANC) from treatment as a terrorist organization for certain acts or events and to provide relief for some members of the ANC regarding admissibility into the United States. The passage of this bill identifies those whom our Representatives on the left admire and are willing to help.

H.R. 5690 was sponsored by Representative Howard L. Berman (D-CA) and had six co-sponsors - Representatives John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX), Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Donald Payne (D-NJ) and Peter Welch (D-VT). The bill states that for the purpose of entry into the United States present and former members of the ANC will not be inadmissible based upon either their membership in the organization or their "anti-apartheid activities undertaken during the 1948-1990 period of apartheid rule in South Africa." As far as exempting the ANC from treatment as a terrorist organization, the bill states that anything ANC members did before H.R. 5690 is enacted will not qualify the organization for inclusion among the ranks of terrorists.

A little historical background is in order. ANC was formed in 1912 to advocate the increase of rights for black South Africans. This surely was a laudable goal, as was resistance to the policy of apartheid, which was implemented formally in 1948. But as the years passed, the organization became increasingly enamored with violence until in 1961 it created Umkhonto we Sizwe, a military wing intended to fight the South African Government in a series of guerrilla campaigns.

The ANC Website acknowledges its revolutionary and military fervor and "desire for radical change." It states, "Does this mean that before an actual beginning can be made by the armed challenge we have to wait for the evolvement of some sort of deep crisis in the enemy camp which is serious enough to hold out the possibility of an immediate all-round insurrection? Certainly not! We believe that given certain basic factors, both international and local, the actual beginning of armed struggle or guerrilla warfare can be made and having begun can steadily develop conditions for the future all-out war which will eventually lead to the conquest of power." And so ANC began its "all-out war" to seize power in South Africa (all of it duly noted on its current website in increasingly militant and racist language).

Paul Weyrich

Paul M. Weyrich is the late Chairman and CEO of the Free Congress Research and Education Foundation.
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