Following Nelson Mandelas death, his life, his accomplishments, and yes even failings, will be scrutinized and dissected.
He may belong to the ages now as Obama stated but the media and historians will claim an ownership as well. Most importantly though is that Mandela belongs to the people of South Africa he labored tirelessly for, and every oppressed, poverty stricken and downtrodden person on this planet
He will be praised and reviled depending on a person’s viewpoint-much the same as he was during his lifetime where he was alternately labelled a terrorist and a great humanitarian.
Those who know oppression, poverty, and disenfranchisement see him for what he was, one of our own—those who live in fear of social or economic change that threatens the status quo will condemn him as a malcontent.
In an ironic way though we are all malcontents, the rich aren’t content and want more, likewise the poor and a working class living on the edge of an abyss they will be plunged headlong into in the event of a lost job, economic down turn, or catastrophic illness.
I question little of Mandela’s life, knowing that the struggle South Africa engaged in was a universal one- a struggle also defined by location and various aspects related to that.
A struggle with common familiarities and shared miseries, yet at the same time a uniqueness peculiar to each nation.
A struggle for equity and freedom, for those who deny that and yet support foreign wars in diverse places that are always qualified as an effort to “free” a people and lead them to democracy I suggest they re examine their positions.
They should remember the birth of what became the United States-that those engaged in it’s creation were deemed to be terrorists and malcontents, and yet today are celebrated as heroes, founding fathers, and patriots by this nation.
I don’t agree with every position Mandela held, but neither am I willing to throw the baby out with the bath water. But then that’s pretty much true of everyone we know or speak of as individuals isn’t it? and shouldn’t detract from their overall worth or accomplishments.
Below is a link I received this morning detailing some of the positions Mandela held, a brief synopsis that as the article states for the most part aren’t commonly known or discussed.
Yes Mandela was a malcontent, and South Africa, if not the world, is a better place because of that.