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Andrew Young speaks at Harvard University

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Summary
Andrew Young talks about his transition from the civil rights movement into politics
Topics
African American politicians, African Americans--Civil rights, Apartheid, Middle East--Politics and government, Universities and colleges, Civil rights, Segregation, Civil rights movement, United Nations, Harvard University
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0:00:44: Visual: Andrew Young (Ambassador to the United Nations) speaks at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. A representative from the school sits on stage while Young speaks. Young talks about the Trilateral Commission. He says that the Trilateral Commission "is the rich people of the world getting together to talk." Young says that UN has been criticized for being a part of the "Western Bloc"; that five members of the UN Security Council are western nations; that the UN must make policy with all nations in mind. Young describes UN efforts to initiate an arms embargo against South Africa; that the UN resolution on South Africa was not as strong as many would have liked; that the resolution is effective because all of South Africa's trading partners have agreed on it. Young mentions the "North-South dialogue." He says that it is important for nations to deal with issues like trade, debt relief and foreign aid as a group; that the Trilateral Commission is a negotiating group. Young says that there are competition and adversarial relationships among members of the Trilateral Commission; that the members of the Trilateral Commission are competing with each other, not with the Third World.

0:04:12: V: Young responds to an audience member's question about the UN Security Council. Young says that the US, France and England are permanent members of the Security Council; that France and Canada hold two of the rotating seats. Young has a good rapport with the crowd. The crowd laughs at his jokes. An audience member asks about UN policy in Africa. Young says that he does not think pressure should be put on US corporations to divest from South Africa. Young adds that companies would continue to invest in South Africa through complicated transactions using foreign subsidiaries. Young notes that the students at Harvard should be learning all about the complicated finances of multi-national corporations. Young says that nothing would change through divestment; that US corporations are complicit with the government of South Africa; that change can be wrought through the guilt felt by these corporations. He notes that the students should continue to put pressure on Harvard's Board of Directors to divest from South Africa. He says that students should be idealistic, while administrators like him must be realistic. An audience member asks about the Carter Administration's policy in the Middle East. Young says that Jimmy Carter (US President) has been willing to expend political capital pushing for a peace settlement in the Middle East. Young says that Carter has never tried to impose peace on the parties involved in the conflict. Young says that Anwar Sadat (President of Egypt) has moved boldly to move the peace process forward; that the Carter Administration must work with Sadat; that the USSR must be forced to participate in the peace process; that the USSR will undermine the peace process if they are not involved. Young notes that Sadat and the Soviets have had a difficult relationship.

0:12:55: V: An audience member asks how he can remain morally conscious when the policy he conducts for the US is not always morally conscious. Young says that protest movements in the 1960s have led to a reawakening of the nation's moral conscience; that the Carter Administration was voted into office by morally conscious voters. Young notes that it is easier to protest than it is to govern; that the Carter Administration is staffed with idealistic, moral people of all races and ethnicities. Young notes that he chose to enter politics to put his ideals into action; that effective change can be made through politics as well as protest. Young talks about his experiences in the civil rights movement and the movement against the Vietnam War. Young says that there was a logical progression from the protest movements of the 1960s to the politics of change in the 1970s. Young says that he took his post in order to effect change in foreign policy; that foreign policy issues and domestic policy are closely related; that he has not compromised his ideals in performing his job. Young jokes that he tries to stand up for what is right while doing his job; that he might be looking for a new job someday because of that; that perhaps Harvard will hire him if he ever needs a job. The audience laughs at the joke.

0:18:30: V: An audience member asks Young if he has seen an increase in "television diplomacy." Young says that he has seen an increase in "television diplomacy." Young responds to another audience question. Young says that the Carter Administration is staffed with people who are advocating change; that these people were outside of politics before. Young notes that Ernie Green (Assistant Secretary for Manpower) was one of the students who integrated Little Rock High School in 1958; that Green is working hard to create jobs within the African American communities; that he has been working on the problem for only six months. Young notes that an African American lawyer from Harvard helped prepare the brief for the Bakke court case. Young notes that Patricia Harris is Carter's Secretary for Housing and Urban Development. Young says that African American organizations needs to work within the structure of the government; that the activists in the civil rights movement were working with the Kennedy Administration in the early 1960s.

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