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Albie Sachs

Constitutional Court of South Africa

I was doing fascinating, interesting work. I was working on a new bill of rights, why we needed a bill of rights in a free South Africa. And there was a lot of opposition from very progressive, very bright, young black students to a bill of rights. They saw it as a "bill of whites." That the bill of rights was there to be opposed to democracy. "Once we get the vote, we won't be able to do anything because our hands will be tied by provisions in the constitution that will insure that all the property " and by law the whites owned 87 percent of the surface area of South Africa. But "By law they would be able to hang on to 87 percent of the surface area through a bill of rights. They would constitutionalize apartheid." And I had to explain -- and under Oliver Tambo's leadership I was given the authority and the responsibility of doing that -- "The bill of rights can be emancipatory, a progressive bill of rights that includes social economic rights, that allows for transformation and change under conditions of equality and fairness is part of a bill of rights. We mustn't allow extremely conservative, ultra-conservative people to write the bill of rights and tie our hands and make the constitution an unpopular document in our country. We must insure that the terms of the bill of rights recognize the rights of everybody, and especially the rights of the dispossessed, the marginalized, the poor, the women suffering under patriarchal domination, the children who have no rights at all, people dispossessed of their land, workers trying to get a decent job with a decent wage. They are all part and parcel of the bill of rights project, as well as people who invest who want their investments protected, who want to insure that there is a rule of law if there should be any economic transformation." So we were debating all these questions while we were in exile, and it meant we were ready. We were ready when the day came.
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Albie Sachs

Constitutional Court of South Africa

We had a very industrious team. We worked day and night, day and night. We'd lived everywhere in the world. We'd lived in the United States and Canada. We'd lived in East Germany and West Germany. We'd lived in Cuba and we'd lived in the Argentine. We'd lived all over Europe, all over Africa. We didn't have to study textbooks to know about political systems. We had to remember our lives in the Soviet Union. We'd seen advantages and disadvantages of different systems, and we had a very, very powerful negotiating team. And in the end, I think it's fair to say all the main elements of our constitutional order derived their strength from the wisdom of the leadership of the ANC in wanting a constitution that would embrace everybody, and that was the vision of Oliver Tambo. He'd always had that. He'd always had the vision of the Freedom Charter, an open, pluralistic, democratic society where people could say their say. They could agree to disagree, as long as they agreed on certain basic fundamentals. No human being was more important than any other human being, that everybody had to be looked at with equal respect and concern. That was foundational, and that was our answer to the idea of the whites having special reserved seats and veto powers which would have been a disaster in South Africa. Whites had to be people like everybody else, with the same rights, responsibilities and duties. The same concerns, anxieties, hopes for their children, whatever it might be. Fully respected, but not somehow a specially protected group in our society. We fought hard for that, and we won that in the new constitution order.
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Jonas Salk

Developer of Polio Vaccine

In some instances, anti-semitism played a role. I always realized that was always a factor. In fact, I almost didn't get into medical school because of quotas at that time. So, I was prepared for other eventualities. I was already prepared to go to graduate school to study endocrinology, for example, if I had not gone into medical school. It becomes necessary to be prepared for alternative paths. There may be a greater opportunity when something is denied.
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Jonas Salk

Developer of Polio Vaccine

Reason alone will not serve. Intuition alone can be improved by reason, but reason alone without intuition can easily lead the wrong way. The both are necessary. The way I like to put it is that I might have an intuition about something, I send it over to the reason department. Then after I've checked it out in the reason department, I send it back to the intuition department to make sure that it's still all right. For myself, that's how my mind works, and that's how I work. That's why I think that there is both an art and a science to what we do. The art of science is as important as so-called technical science. You need both. It's this combination that must be recognized and acknowledged and valued.
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Fritz Scholder

Native American Artist

They were nice enough, but they didn't know what art was. I did finally, accidentally, bump into a "professional artist" -- quotations -- an Indian artist, Oscar Howe -- in Pierre, South Dakota. A full-blooded Sioux, who had gone to Europe because of the war, found out about "modern art" -- quotations -- and it really messed up his mind in a way, but he did come away doing Indian subjects in a cubist style. I realized that art is very serious from him. After he would talk to us -- and he wasn't really a teacher, he just happened to be at the Pierre High School -- he'd have a place in the corner where he'd go and then paint his own paintings. So I would go and just watch, and I saw that it was very serious.
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