Nelson Mandela has died; and to hear some right-wingers tell it, he started the knockout game when he was released from prison. Yes, in the collective psyche of many white conservatives, Mandela was a terrorist with a thirst for revenge much like Jamie Foxx’s character in Django Unchained. I don’t know whether my conservative friends are losing their collective rabbit-ass-minds because President Barack Obama let it be known that his first act of political activism while in college was with the anti-apartheid movement.
I suspect that this is the reason considering that notable GOP politicians are getting flack for offering kind remarks in the wake of Mandela’s passing. Heck, even Speaker John Boehner who tweeted today that the flag at the U.S. Capitol will be flown at half-staff, was treated like his last name was Obama on by more than a few of his ilk. For a party with an expressed interest in minority outreach, you would think that someone within the party’s elite would come forward to condemn much of the racist vitriol circulating in the atmosphere.
Greg Hood at American Renaissance wrote:
Though some whites will be suffered to live, work, and die for the benefit for their black masters, whites have no future in South Africa, and what few opportunities they have for even a decent life are shrinking every day. Mandela represented exploitation under the guise of magnanimity, murder in the name of democracy, genocide with a smile.
I don’t know Greg Hood so it’s impossible for me to gauge his sense of South African history. But judging from what he wrote (in its entirety which I suggest that you read), it sounds like Hood in comfortable in characterizing Mandela as a bloodthirsty uncivilized human being. Never mind that he was fighting a system of white supremacy that murdered many black South Africans.
Surely oppression as lived by blacks in South Africa under apartheid was nothing like the degree of murderous exploitation faced by whites under British rule — to be clear, it was less. However, I do recall it written in history books that white Americans at that time took to guerilla warfare tactics to win their liberty, yes?
And then there’s this from WND’s Joseph Farah:
Apartheid was inarguably an evil and unjustifiable system. But so is the system Mandela’s revolution brought about – one in which anti-white racism is so strong today that a prominent genocide watchdog group has labeled the current situation a “precursor” to the deliberate, systematic elimination of the race.
In other words, the world has been sold a bill of goods about Mandela. He wasn’t the saintly character portrayed by Morgan Freeman. He wasn’t someone fighting for racial equality. He was the leader of a violent, Communist revolution that has nearly succeeded in all of its grisly horror.
I guess the idea that the “Tree of liberty must be watered with the blood of tyrants,” thingy, is only reserved for patriotic white Americans, no? Surely it cannot be employed as a means to an end much like the white freedom fighters in the Irish Republican Army (IRA); or, lord forbid even by those brown-skinned people in the middle east who pray seven times a day to end Israeli apartheid.
It would be a lie to suggest that before imprisonment, that Mandela was not an advocate for violence and sabotage. But given the full context of apartheid and the subjugation of blacks in South Africa to a racist white supremacist regime, I think the following words delivered by Mandela from the dock at the opening of his trial on charges of sabotage at the Supreme court of South Africa, Pretoria, April 20 1964 bears consideration.
“Some of the things so far told to the court are true and some are untrue. I do not, however, deny that I planned sabotage. I did not plan it in a spirit of recklessness, nor because I have any love of violence. I planned it as a result of a calm and sober assessment of the political situation that had arisen after many years of tyranny, exploitation, and oppression of my people by the whites.
I admit immediately that I was one of the persons who helped to form Umkhonto we Sizwe. I deny that Umkhonto was responsible for a number of acts which clearly fell outside the policy of the organisation, and which have been charged in the indictment against us. I, and the others who started the organisation, felt that without violence there would be no way open to the African people to succeed in their struggle against the principle of white supremacy. All lawful modes of expressing opposition to this principle had been closed by legislation, and we were placed in a position in which we had either to accept a permanent state of inferiority, or to defy the government. We chose to defy the law.
We first broke the law in a way which avoided any recourse to violence; when this form was legislated against, and then the government resorted to a show of force to crush opposition to its policies, only then did we decide to answer violence with violence.” – Nelson Mandela (full speech here)
Nelson Mandela famously called South Africa’s fight against apartheid a cause for which he was prepared to die. I don’t know about you, but that eerily sounds like some of the things said by American patriots before, during, and after the American Revolution. The cause of liberty then, was no different from the fight to end apartheid in South Africa. But to hear my right-wing friends tell it, Mandela was a rebel without a cause. To some unsympathetic to his fight, he was just a madman.
I guess this would explain why President Ronald Reagan vetoed legislation to place tough economic sanctions on South Africa to bring an end to apartheid. What’s funny about this, however, is that Reagan thought Saddam Hussein was cool enough to allow him to buy and use chemical weapons on his people in Iraq. But in a bit of irony, Mandela condemned President George W. Bush’s war in Iraq that saw the death of Saddam, as nothing but war for oil. And now today, a day after Mandela’s death, there are right-wingers in America, who still regard Mandela as a bloodthirsty murderous terrorist, because he fought to end apartheid as practiced in South Africa, that not only oppressed and exploited, but killed his people.And you say the GOP isn’t racist? Okay, don’t answer that one because I’m just being a troublemaker like Mandela — yes, calling out racism is the new racism.