FLASHBACK: Goldie Hawn & Kurt Russell vacationed in Apartheid South Africa?
To be clear, that never happened. At least not that I know of. But imagine if it had.
Imagine if an American celebrity supercouple chose South Africa–of all the countries in the world–to vacation in the 1980s at the height of the Apartheid era during rampant human and civil rights abuses.
Imagine them staying at hotels reserved only for whites, dining at restaurants that only allow whites, dancing and partying in clubs where only whites are welcomed, and infusing thousands of American dollars into a regime that will only use that money to continue oppressing its people.
And if all that wasn’t enough, imagine the regime covering and touting these celebrities’ every move on state television, showing what a great time they had as a propaganda ploy to distract from its own oppression and undermine dissidents’ efforts to call international attention to their plight.
What would have been the reaction of American politicians? Would the Congressional Black Caucus have remained silent? The same CBC that shepherded the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986 that imposed economic sanctions on South Africa for its human and civil rights abuses?
What about Dr. Leon Sullivan, the African-American reverened and civil rights activist? Remember, he conceived the “Sullivan Principles,” which eventually turned into a massive campaign to pressure American corporations against transacting business with South Africa. Would he have condemned those American celebrities for undermining his noble efforts by vacationing in South Africa while its people were continually tormented by that government?
What about the American press? How would they have covered such a visit? Would they have contrasted the celebrities’ posh vacation there with the hardships and persecution the average South African faced on a daily basis? Or, would they have merely regurgitated the propaganda coverage fed to them by the regime’s state media?
The obvious result to an American celebrity couple vacationing in Apartheid South Africa ion the 1980s is that there would have been outrage on a massive scale. They would have been excoriated by the American public for their utter disregard and for so arrogantly turning a blind eye to what was going on in that country as they feasted on the backs of those oppressed. In short, they would have probably seen their careers crash and burn–and rightfully so.
Which brings us to the present.
American pop singer Beyonce Knowles and her rapper husband Shawn Corey Carter, better known by his stage name “Jay Z” made headlines over the last week for choosing the Stalinist dictatorship of Cuba as their wedding anniversary vacation venue.
Cuban state media have relentlessly covered the couple clad in flashy 1950s wardrobe as they stroll down the few streets of Old Havana that have actually been kept up for tourists.
Funny how the Cuban regime promotes the whole 1950s throwback imagery when according to them, it was the island’s darkest moments. But I digress.