Friday, December 6, 2013

In praise of Nelson Mandela

He fought the power and won
As a white-bred American, I knew little of the world and the problems that existed outside our borders or even within our borders.

But then, after a bit or reading and watching the news, I picked up a few things.

I remember the time in the 1980s when the economic boycott against South Africa was the topic of the day.

I supported whatever boycotts the world deemed appropriate against the racist government of South Africa.

Naturally, many white Americans, including President Reagan and the editor of the local daily newspaper, railed against these sanctions as counter-productive.

But, guess what? The boycotts were so effective that they ushered in the end of apartheid in South Africa.

So much for the thinking of old white men in America.

They were totally wrong. And, I'm being kind here.

The hero of all this was Nelson Mandela.

Reagan and his acolytes dismissed Mandela as a terrorist because he fought for freedom for black South Africans.

Well, Reagan was a racist as were all those who opposed the economic boycott of the racist South African government.

Mandela, who became South Africa's first real president after serving 27 years in prison, had more credibility, heart and soul, than any of his predecessors or any pro-apartheid American, including Reagan.

Mandela was one of the great figures the world has ever known.

He was for reconciliation before anyone knew what the process meant.

Mandela, the founding father of the modern South Africa, proved to be an inspiration to not only South Africans, but also to freedom-loving people everywhere.

He was one of the greatest men who ever lived.

He is missed already.

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