Nelson Mandela passed away on Thursday.
He had a remarkable life, full of drama and suffering and redemption. Despite his early associations with communism and his undeniable youthful participation in terrorism, he emerged from prison as a man of peace, and a man of genuine courage and integrity.
When he was released from prison, many feared that he would seek vengeance. There is no doubt that the policy he fought-- apartheid-- was manifest evil and a crime against humanity. Oddly, Mandela was a (tempered) socialist, although he devoted his life to tearing down a government-imposed system of racial stratification that was the last full measure of socialism.
After living his life under a system that denigrated his humanity, he showed astonishing mercy and forgiveness once in power. It might have been expected that he would seek vengeance against his jailers and against the racists who treated him and most South Africans as less-than-fully-human. Yet he showed astonishing mercy. He spared his nation much bloodshed, and brought to public life a rare dignity and decency. A comparison to Lincoln is not inappropriate. He fought to free his people, and in power he ruled with malice toward none and charity for all.
He was a devout Christian-- a Methodist. He spoke to the Zionist Christian Church Easter Conference in Zion City, Moria, South Africa in 1992, two years after his release from prison:
This great festival of rejoicing [Easter] marks the victory of the forces of life over death of hope over despair.
As we bow our heads in prayerful worship this day, our minds cannot but dwell on the evil of violence that today stalks our land. We cannot but call to mind the cries of mothers violated, brutalised and outraged by armed foreign mercenaries and killers in our midst.
As we lower our heads in supplication to the Lord of Hosts, the blood-curdling battle cries of armed men, sweeping through a township like a swarm of locusts in a maize field, ring in our ears, and we know that in some home, this night shall be night for mourning.
We pray with you for the blessings of peace! We pray with you for the blessings of love! We pray with you for the blessings of freedom! We pray with you for the blessings of reconciliation among all the people of South Africa!
Khotso e be le lena! May peace be with you!...
I wish to close on a note of hope. May this Easter bring with it the blessings of the our risen Messiah and may His love shine upon you all. May the Almighty grant Your Grace the wisdom to continue in your great work of spiritual guidance. You shall remain in our prayers as we shall be in yours.In his mercy and work for peace and reconciliation, he followed in our Lord's footsteps, just as he had carried his cross for so many years under the vile system he brought down.
He was a moral giant of the 20th century. May God bless him, and welcome him home.
NB: Deroy Murdock has a thoughtful reminiscence on Mandela's life at NRO.
[it is very well known that he was an atheist.]
Yea. When I read that speech, I thought at first that it was Richard Dawkins.
This was a unique perspective and a great counter point and to what some on the right have written. I remember when apartheid was abolished and Mandela was named president. I was sure then that South Africa would be just another tin horn communist African banana republic like the Congo aka Angola, but it didn't turn out quite like that. For that Mandela deserves the legacy with which he will be buried.ReplyDelete
I distrusted Mandela as well. I was wrong.Delete
I'm not sure you were wrong. He certainly wasn't a Martin Luther King figure. MLK didn't plant bombs.Delete
It's true that he was fighting an unjust and racist government, which is why most people see Mandela as a heroic figure.
You seem to think that he was reformed in prison. I'm not so sure. Here's a video of him singing a song about killing whites.
My assumption is that those people standing around him are his ANC buddies.
After the singing is over he begins to talk to reporters about peace, democracy, and love between all South Africans. I see two plausible explanations here. First, he really does want to kill white people but refrains from saying that in English when reporters are around. That's the oldest trick in the book. Second, I think it's entirely possible that Mandela doesn't see the contradiction in his own thinking. That would only make him a typical leftist. People in our country have the same thought process--believing that they are the furthest thing from racists because they always give preference to non-whites, excuse bad behavior from non-whites, etc. The truth is that that's not the opposite of racism, but rather racism applied in the opposite direction.
In either case, I don't think he's so reformed.
He didn't kill whites when he had the power to do so. He advocated mercy and reconciliation. His actions, especially his actions in power, are what really matter. They were largely admirable.Delete
It's true that he didn't kill any whites, but you can see that the sentiment is there. The song is both racist and violent. He isn't appalled by it. He sings right along.Delete
Heh. We're talking about the same conservatives who fought tooth and nail against imposing sanctions on the apartheid government. Ronald Reagan called the Anti-Apartheid Act "immoral" and "utterly repugnant" and tried to veto it. Margaret Thatcher wasn't far behind. Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson sided with the apartheid government and against Mandela.ReplyDelete
Conservatives were wrong about Mandela.Delete
That means we've only been 98.5% right about the world. We'll try harder from now on.
I think your count is a tad optimistic. Let's see what else you got wrong.Delete
Most recently, conservatives were wrong about the Iraq war.
Conservatives were wrong about Medicare.Delete
President Botha of South Africa is incontestably right in saying in effect that he was not elected leader of his government in order to preside over the liquidation of the South Africa he was elected to govern. Critics are perfectly free to contend that his election does not suit our political criteria. But having admitted that his government does not do so, it hardly makes sense to criticize him for proceeding on the basis of his (misbegotten) criteria. If you criticize somebody for being mean to his mother, don't be surprised if he goes on to be mean to his mother.ReplyDelete
William F. Buckley
Where Mandela belongs, in his current frame of mind, is precisely where he is: in jail.Delete
William F. Buckley
The release of Mandela, for all we know, may one day be likened to the arrival of Lenin at the Finland Station in 1917.Delete
William F. Buckley
Can we abandon a country that has stood by us in every war we have ever fought, a country that is strategically essential to the free world in its production of minerals that we all must have?ReplyDelete
Don't mourn for MandelaReplyDelete
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.
Joseph Farah (WND)
Communist icon Nelson Mandela dead at 95ReplyDelete
David Swindle (PJ Media)
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder characterized by unreasonable thoughts and fears (obsessions) that lead you to do repetitive behaviors (compulsions)ReplyDelete
--- Mayo Clinic
In South Africa, according to their press,ReplyDelete
It is widely understood that Mandela is an atheist.
Of course an atheist communist politician would never play along with the superstitious electorate during Easter and pay some lip service to their beliefs, oh no.
@troy: Sure, our atheist, communist president talks that meaningless holy garbage all the time and doesn't believe a word of it.ReplyDelete
It doesn't strain incredulity that Mandela, a communist, took the communist line on religion: that it's the opiate of the people. That just makes him a liar.
So besides being a terrorist, a communist, and a liar, what other attractive traits does he have?
i was born in south africa and came here when i was seven years old. i don't remember very much at all, but my parents tell me that it was a very racist place. i guess i saw that it was racist but didn't understand that there could be any other way. it was just the natural order of things, i thought.ReplyDelete
the racism was on all sides, however. don't think for a moment that the blacks love the whites. both blacks and whites hates us, the indian south africans, which is why we were happy to leave.
"Communist icon dead..."ReplyDelete
Mandela was a flawed man. But he was trapped for much of his life in a monstrous system, and he was right to fight it (although not right to use violence in the way that he did in his youth).
After his release from prison, and during his political ascendency, he acted and governed with remarkable mercy and integrity. He (verbally) supported some odious types-- Arafat, Castro, etc-- but they had supported him during his imprisonment. That does not excuse his support of them, but it makes it understandable.
Mandela was, in sum, a courageous man who did much good, and in power he showed genuine statesmanship and morality. That's saying something, and his life should be celebrated.
I note that the "conservative" critics of Mandela have little negative to say about apartheid, which is a brutally non-conservative socialist system. Apartheid is analogous to segregation in the American south, which was PROGRESSIVE Democrat big-government socialism.
Real conservatives don't celebrate or excuse apartheid or segregation.
[the racism was on all sides, however. don't think for a moment that the blacks love the whites.]
I have a (white) friend who emigrated from South Africa for the same reasons. There is still a great deal of hate there, on all sides.
What is remarkable about Mandela is that he could have stoked that hate for his own revenge and power. Instead he insisted on mercy and reconciliation, and he is largely responsible for the fact that there has been no racial bloodbath for the past two decades.
South Africa has a revanchist, discriminatory affirmative action policy that favors black applicants and black-owned businesses. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. The supposed dream of an equal South Africa was a lie. The new South Africa is still racist, it's just a majoritarian racism that prevails.ReplyDelete
The new racism is to be condemned, just like the old racism. Let's see how vocal our progressive friends are about the new racism.
Egnor: Yes, that's true. But let's not pretend that Mandela had nothing to do with it. Read your own words above: "When he was released from prison, many feared that he would seek vengeance. There is no doubt that the policy he fought-- apartheid-- was manifest evil and a crime against humanity. Oddly, Mandela was a (tempered) socialist, although he devoted his life to tearing down a government-imposed system of racial stratification that was the last full measure of socialism."Delete
Stop saying crap like that. It isn't true.
you phrased it well, joey. it is a majoritatrian racism that prevails in south africa. the racist black majority seized control of the racist white minority and the whole world cheered. this guy got a noble peace prize for it too.Delete
I note here genuine bitterness from several of my friends regarding the current racial policies in South Africa. I think the bitterness is justified.Delete
Where is the corresponding bitterness about apartheid, which I rarely hear those who justly oppose anti-white policies condemn?
Why is the bitterness about South African racial policies always about the racial advantages of the OTHER race.
All racial discrimination should be condemned.
And the continuing racism should be decried, just as the old racism should have been.Delete
I don't see Mandela as the problem here. In fact, he seemed (imperfectly) to work for racial reconciliation.
Can't stoke much love for Mandela, Dr. Egnor? Tough crowd, I suppose. Not used to singing kumbaya.ReplyDelete
Sometimes folks who are on my side let their (justifiable) disdain for leftism dominate the better angels of their nature. It's a disagreement among friends.
I have a lot of respect for Mandela. He lived his life in whirlwind of intrigue and hate, and came out of it with remarkably benevolent policies. That is something to celebrate.
Oh, yeah. They display the same pig-headed partisanship that you display most of the time. Today you surprised me.Delete
[Today you surprised me.]
Why would my support for color-blind policies and racial reconciliation surprise you?
Because you are a partisan, pretty much like your friends here. You still can't admit that you have mischaracterized Gene McCarthy. You're as pig-headed as Joey.Delete
What's pig-headed about being opposed to racism, communism, and terrorism?Delete
Of course I'm partisan, ace. I root for the truth.
McCarthy is mainstream in the sense that he believes humans can be explained entirely as the consequence of an animal f**k.
A little squabble among atheists about which animals did the f**king doesn't make him out of the mainstream.
Just because an astrologer believes that Saturn, not Venus, will make you wealthy this month doesn't mean that astrologer is out of the mainstream, even if the astrology consensus is Venus.
If you live in your own corner of the insane asylum, you still live in the insane asylum.
Pig-headedness, Joey, isn't about which opinions you hold, it's about how your opinions influence your behavior.Delete
There are two lies in your very first paragraph, Michael. (1) The McCarthy is affiliated with the University of Georgia. (2) That he is a mainstream evolutionary biologist.
Your pig-headedness doesn't let you admit that you are wrong about (1), let alone (2).
You know that you are wrong on both counts, yet you still are trying to dance around it.
My behavior? When have you ever seen me behave?Delete
So ape-ape f**k evolutionary biologists are mainstream, and ape-pig f**k evolutionary biologists are the mavericks?
The narcissism of small differences.
You got it, Michael.Delete
Now go ahead and surprise me again by issuing a retraction.
If you call 80 million years between pigs and apes a 'small difference', then you're probably right with your prediction that Romney would win the 2012 presidential election with 53% of the vote. His actual result was so close, he should have been given the election. And some conservatives wanted some of the delegates to the electoral college to change their votes.
Mandela probably wasn't a bad sort, considering everything, but he was no saint as he is being portrayed in the hagiographies one sees in the mainstream press. His ex-wife Winnie Mandela is, of course, a murderous lunatic.ReplyDelete
Geographically, South Africa is a near-magical country. My wife and I spent our honeymoon there in the early 90's and had a wonderful time. It was uncomfortable and weird, to say the least, to see apartheid in action, but overall we had an unforgettable honeymoon.
Our tour of wineries along the Garden Route took us to Hunter's Country House, an establishment with lovely gardens and individual thatched guest cottages with fireplaces. I've argued it is - or was, anyway - one of the best hotels in the world. We still have bottles of a wonderful cabernet we bought at a winery, and, amazingly enough, it's held up! I still shop for South African wines, but I worry that the racial farm attacks will eventually destroy the wine industry. The Blue Train (you can see a marketing video here, which is not overstated) was an amazing experience after traveling on government-run American Amtrak dirtbag trains.
I would love to visit South Africa again, but the murder, rape, carjacking (we always rent cars when we travel abroad) and assault rates are off the scale. Not worth the effort and the long flight just to go somewhere and risk getting mugged, or worse. I expect South Africa to ultimately go the way of Zimbabwe.
I had never heard of Winnie Mandela until you mentioned her name. I checked out her Wiki page. Nice lady. She ordered kidnapping and murder and endorsed the practice of necklacing. Necklacing is when you put a tire around your enemy's neck, douse it with gasoline, and light it ablaze.Delete
The old South African government was oppressive in more ways than one. I was reading a book the other day that briefly mentioned the old South African system. According to the book, there were only 3 television stations and all were government-controlled. Controlling ideas was the goal. They wanted to ensure that nothing quote-unquote subversive ever reached the people, which is to say ideas that were subversive to the apartheid system.ReplyDelete
Mandela was a complicated person, like us all. It's inaccurate to think of him as completely villainous or completely saintly. He was basically a terrorist in his youth and I'm sure he hated white people. He was an angry young man. Yet he was fighting a government that oppressed him.
Speaking of books, an absolutely wonderful book about the history of South Africa and the clash between the Afrikaners, the Boer War, and the origins of apartheid is Michener's The Covenant. It's dated, but it's comprehensive right up to the threshold of the 1994 elections.Delete
And it's a damn good read.
Whoops... I meant to say the Afrikaners and the Zulus.Delete
Sure, our atheist, communist president talks that meaningless holy garbage all the time and doesn't believe a word of it.ReplyDelete
I wouldn't call Obama a communist, but I do suspect he is an atheist, as most US presidents were of course.
So besides being a terrorist, a communist, and a liar, what other attractive traits does he have?
One person's terrorist is another person's freedom fighter. Remember that Reagan supported Bin Laden when BL was considered a freedom fighter against the evil communists?
Of course Mandela was a liar. All politicians are. We all are. But some lie more than others. Egnor is a pathological liar, for example.
Mandela helped kick out the white conservative protestant racists from power without much of a bloodshed. He could have gone Mugabe's way and take away the whites' properties, but he didn't because he knew it would destroy the economy. Clever man. He saved a lot of lives that way, though.
It's true that SA is still a racist society. You can't do business there without some kick backs to black politicians' friends. But no different from anywhere else really.
troy, the ubl comparison is not exactly helping your cause.ReplyDelete
So now Reagan isn't a real conservative, according to Egnor. Of course, more evidence of Egnor's utter stupidity is superfluous at this point.ReplyDelete