Nelson Mandela: Far More Than Words

Nelson Mandela: More Than Words

As we sadly say goodbye to one of the most influential people of our time, some will remember Nelson Mandela to be a hero while others a terrorist. Sometimes the truth can be hard to digest but the truth must be told and as the saying goes “the truth will set you free”. Well, here goes.

It is quite ironic how many people will come out speaking of racial violence towards whites; particularly that of the Church Street bombings and yet not many of them will come out and speak so passionately about the racist policies that led to such a reality of consequences. 

In all honesty, a man in his motherland, whether that be Iraq, Afghanistan or anywhere else, can never be a terrorist; should the Dutch boats come along and people move in, only to later bring about racial segregation; curtailing all rights and forcing the indigenous peoples out into the slums; abductions, police brutality and murder brought upon them first; thousands of arrests and political prisoners of peaceful protest; students gunned down by the police against those calling for racial harmony – and should one defend themselves against this, does that really make one a terrorist or a freedom fighter?

 It is never right to take another life. If anyone should be responsible then it should be the National Party governments and all of right wing politics to which gives birth to all suffering. In Mandela’s first interview (above) in 1961, he had basically said that violence was the last option, and that South Africa was not a country of one race but of many races. However, as we look at South Africa today, he achieved his goal to bring about one person, one vote but economically, it all appears to have benefited one race alone.

 According to Bloomberg, a more recent census published that: “About 80 percent of South Africa’s 51.8 million population is black, about 9 percent of the population is of mixed race, 8.9 percent white and 2.5 percent Asian.

While incomes for black households increased an average 169 percent over 10 years, their annual earnings are 60,613 rand ($6,987), or a sixth of that for whites. Incomes for white households increased 88 percent to 365,134 rand in the past decade.

Under white segregationist rule, black South Africans were disadvantaged by poor education that confined many to unskilled, low-paying jobs.”

 It is evidently clear that decades of racist policies from the National Parties has created racial divisions. However, the knife has cut far deeper than the social class layer. When we look at the most common denominator in this case, we must see that a minority of white people are hoarding all wealth whilst a majority of black people face the most hardest of struggles.

 This is not something that black people alone must challenge, but something white people around the world should also be challenging. We all have a part to play in ensuring that every child has a life that’s worth living regardless of where they come from or what skin colour they have. We can all make a change, and follow in Mandela’s footsteps we must.

 If we are truly to honour Nelson Mandela’s memory, then we must do more than simply reiterate the greatness of his quotes but also apply them to our every day lives. We must do more than praise his name. We must put into action the vision of what this great man sought out. We must attempt, at all costs, to bridge the gap between the richest and the poorest in every society. We must do all within our grasp to ensure that right wing governments are a thing of the past, and that ALL people have a fair shot at life as well as a fair opportunity to contribute at every level.

If we are truly to honour Nelson Mandela’s memory, then we must do more than simply reiterate the greatness of his quotes but also apply them to our every day lives. We must do more than praise his name. We must put into action the vision of what this great man sought out. We must attempt, at all costs, to bridge the gap between the richest and the poorest in every society. We must do all within our grasp to ensure that right wing governments are a thing of the past, and that ALL people have a fair shot at life as well as a fair opportunity to contribute at every level.

RIP Nelson Mandela. His legacy has not been left behind but is one that has only just begun. Mandela could have done a lot more for the people of South Africa, this is true, but in hindsight, his accomplishments to achieve democracy for all with his democratic vision of ‘one person, one vote’ will most definitely be one of his greatest victories for the South African peoples.

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Posted on December 6, 2013, in Speaking Out and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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