While the university was enthralled with the upcoming vote on HJR-6 in the next session of Indiana’s General Assembly, I was pleased to see Mr. Lovelace’s article highlighting Rev. Allan Boesak and The Desmond Tutu Center in the Nov. 20 issue of The Collegian.
I became aware of Boesak last year during his semester tenure at Butler and listened to his recollections of the days of apartheid in South Africa in the Ford Salon.
I was very impressed with him until I looked into his history in South Africa and realized he had been convicted of fraud of a charitable organization.
I thought that his time be up soon enough and Butler would be moving on from the apparent risk of association with him.
To say the least, I was not happy to hear about his continuing relationship with Butler as the director of the new Desmond Tutu Center.
Now, of course, Mr. Boesak and his supporters blame the conviction on apartheid judges. Yet the conviction occurred under the new government of South Africa led by (then-president Nelson)Mandela.
With that, I can hardly say his pardon was without tarnish, being that the same man who ordered the pardon, Thabo Mbeki, is the one Boesak followed out of the African National Congress for political reasons. The man says he got out of politics, but his positions now, and in the past, seem to be all politically fueled.
Don’t get me wrong, Mr. Boesak’s actions in helping dismantle apartheid in South Africa are commendable.
What I am calling to attention is his storied past in finances and his appointment to the new directorship of The Desmond Tutu Center.
On the subject of the center and Boesak, I saw an interesting correlation between a comment from Boesak comparing the apartheid to Nazi Germany and a goal of the Center to address “America’s ‘unequivocal support of Israel’ in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.”
For one thing, both Nazism and Apartheid were both racially and ethnically fueled, but nothing compares to over 11 million people systematically killed.
Six million of those people who died at the hands of Nazism belong to the same group as the ones fighting for their right to their land in Israel, the Jewish People.
Does America unequivocally support Israel? Yes, and we should continue for years to come.
The old Palestine Liberation Organization of the past and now Hamas are great examples of why America should not support Palestinian aggression toward Israel.
Even with my reservations about Mr. Boesak and the Center, I wish them the best and hope both provide great contributions not only to the Butler community, but Indianapolis and abroad as well.
I’ll just be holding my breath for a while.
Asa Sipe, ophomore