Saturday, December 7, 2013

Not Just A Nice Old Man

Current Affairs---

“When a man is denied the right
to live the life he believes in,
he has no choice
but to become an outlaw.” 
It is interesting to hear all the glowing statements of praise coming from leaders of some of those governments whose policies and practices Mr. Nelson Mandela so severely condemned.  They made statements about Mandela's influence on their lives, about his vision, about his example to the world, and about his role as a freedom fighter.  Yet their own policies in no way reflect that which Mandela stood for.  Many of his sharp statements against the policies of the U.S., Israel, and repressive institutions have not seen the light of day in the mainstream media.  In his 2003 speech at the International Women's Forum in Johannesburg he noted, “If there is a country that has committed unspeakable atrocities in the world, it is the United States of America."  Just prior to the invasion of Iraq he pointed out that the action of the U.S. was a threat to world peace.  He was also unreserved in his support of the cause of the Palestinians.  So while everyone seemed to embrace him, from war criminals and oppressors to those in the fight for freedom and justice, it was always clear where and on whose behalf Mr. Mandela stood.  He was not just a nice old man but a man who stood fiercely for the exploited, the oppressed, and the excluded.