I disagree with Hightower.

What you will find here is: a centrist's view of current events;
a collection of thoughts, arguments, and observations
that I have found appealing and/or amusing over the years;
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He not busy bein' born, is busy dyin'. - Bob Dylan

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Friday, December 6, 2013


If an American could imagine a kind of Washington-Lincoln-King all rolled into one, he would have what I think the South Africans see in Nelson Mandela.

Nelson Mandela was a violent revolutionary in his youth, a paragon of patience in his middle years, and a peaceful nation builder in his later years.  His enemy was South Africa's apartheid - the strict separation of the black and white races and the absolute supremacy of the white race. 

After being held in jail for twenty-seven (27) years for the crimes of his "youth" he was released in 1990 in response to world pressure at the age of 72.  To me the most impressive thing about Mandela is that he emerged from that 27 years without being overcome by bitterness.  He kept his eye on the prize and his approach was the antithesis of seeking revenge.  He worked with his former jailers, the Apartheid government, to build a new South Africa.  He produced a new Constitution and universal elections which placed him in the presidency.  He also instituted a Truth and Reconciliation Commission (chaired by Bishop Tutu) which is renowned for meeting the objectives of its name.

He received over 250 awards, including the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize, the US Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Soviet Union's Order of Lenin.

They call him Mandeba or Tata - the father of the nation.

1 comment:

  1. It's indicative of the way that Mandela worked that the Nobel Peace Prize he won was shared with F. W. de Klerk, the last
    (so far) white President of South Africa.