Don’t Sanitize Nelson Mandela: He’s Honored Now, But Was Hated Then

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“As with King, it is this subversive aspect of Mandela’s legacy that is most in danger of being erased as he enters America’s pantheon of sanitized moral icons. But it is precisely the aspect that Americans most badly need. American power and human freedom are two very different things. Sometimes they intersect; sometimes they do not. Walking in Nelson Mandela’s footsteps requires being able to tell the difference.” –  Peter Beinart

Greg Russak‘s insight:

Speaking truth to power requires courage. Mandela had that courage, and while some might look at some of his decisions, his positions, his statements, and his allies and say, "Communist" or "terrorist", that’s a perception and a judgment that needs to be viewed in context.


If Mandela found allies and support from Communists, isn’t it because he wasn’t getting help and support from others like America? It’s easy now to look back and claim credit for supporting the overthrow of Apartheid rule. The reality is that America’s leaders, including the likes of Reagan and Cheney, were in the Apartheid camp, not Mandela’s.

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Author: Peaceful Patriot

Proud middle class husband, father, and progressive liberal. Registered Non-Partisan but have much more in common with Democrats than Republicans. Consider Libertarians to be immature and underdeveloped in their understanding of reality. An atheist who doesn't care what you believe so long as you stop pretending the Founding Fathers intended for you to legislatively force your beliefs on everyone else. Laughs out loud in mocking disdain at the abject lunacy of birthers, climate science deniers, and hard core tea partiers. If that offends you, too bad. You're not rational and have no place at the adult table.

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