It’s difficult for me to think of Nelson Mandela as anything but a universally-respected, wise, kind, and thoughtful asset to humanity. But he also organized attacks that would today be unconditionally condemned as terrorism. His government fought peaceful demonstrations with violence, and so he brought violence to his government. He was a fighter…once the fight got started. And he never stopped fighting, and the world is so much better because of that escalation to violence. That is the rarest sort of change, and it is a testament to his care as a diplomat, a politician, a human, and a warrior that it did not merely end in perpetual turmoil and bloodshed. To go from terrorist to president in only thirty years, with most of those thirty years spent in a cell, is an achievement I would never accept if I read it in fiction.
My video tomorrow is about inequality, and it doesn’t mention Mandela because I finished it yesterday and I had to fight the urge to remake it. But he is in my thoughts tonight, I hope he is in yours as well. If you’d like to learn a little more about his life, this short documentary is lovely.
Yeah, Mandela was technically considered a terrorist by the U.S. until 2008. When the U.S. congress tried to impose sanctions on the South African government in 1985 to protest Apartheid, President Reagan vetoed those sanctions. (His veto was later overruled.) That was 1985! NINE YEARS after the Soweto uprising and massacre, and the President of the United States didn’t want sanctions on South Africa.
Although I was a kid, I overheard a lot of discussions about Apartheid, because my parents and their church were involved with organizations linked to Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s anti-Apartheid work. And at the time, it was very controversial. As a kid, I remember hearing that my parents were naive, that Mandela was a terrorist, that one-person-one-vote could never work in South Africa, that it would immediately become a communist dictatorship, that all the white people would be massacred, etc. And had things gone differently in South Africa—had Mandela been a less brilliant leader—the transition could indeed have been catastrophic. To me, the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission is one of the great human accomplishments of the past hundred years.
The world is now mourning the loss of a great man, as well it should. But let’s not forget that Mandela (and South Africa) might’ve been free decades earlier had it not been for the fear and discomfort of white people not just in South Africa but around the world.
My dad is downstairs watching the harry potter series for the 1st time screaming and i go to check on him and he says ” YOU’VE GOTTA BE FUCKING KIDDING ME THEY DON’T KILL THE EVIL LITTLE BLONDE LESBIAN FROM THE SNAKE HOUSE BUT THEY KILL DOBBY? WHY DOBBY. THIS RUINED MY CHRISTMAS.”
little blonde lesbian from the snake house
And I feel solipsistic and afraid some of the time
And I feel effervescent and lonely
And I feel like an anxious anchor weight most of the time
And I feel powerless to control me
Tom Milsom (Better/Going Out Again)
Too bad it didn’t really work. I knew no one with a lynx, everyone had a gameboy.
Retro Lynx Advert
Well , this is embarrassing - initially I thought:
“Why is tom reblogging coke on a leaf” um…it’s an island with a cloud over it.
This was in my psychology book. I thought it might be useful to those who can’t think if gender-neutral terms.
So I was drinking a SoBe life water today and