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Meet the Conservatives Who Campaigned for Apartheid South Africa


Grover Norquist, Jack Abramoff and Jeff Flake all spent their early years trying to end the divestment movement.

In his recent visit to South Africa, President Obama credited Nelson Mandela and the anti-apartheid movement for inspiring him to get involved in politics. As Obama recounted in Dreams From My Father, he made his first political speech at Occidental College as part of the divestment campaign. When two white students in paramilitary gear pulled him off stage—in an act of political theater designed to reflect the oppression of blacks under apartheid—Obama said that “a part of me wasn’t acting, I really wanted to stay up there…I had so much left to say.” One of his friends recalled that he “showed no sign of being the orator who would become president nearly twenty-eight years later,” but that he had begun his journey...