| 6 things about Mandela the mainstream media whitewashes!

Six Things Nelson Mandela Believed That Most People Won’t Talk About ~ AVIVA SHEN and  JUDD LEGUMThinkProgress.

In the desire to celebrate Nelson Mandela’s life — an iconic figure who triumphed over South Africa’s brutal apartheid regime — it’s tempting to homogenize his views into something everyone can support. This is not, however, an accurate representation of the man.

Mandela was a political activist and agitator. He did not shy away from controversy and he did not seek — or obtain — universal approval. Before and after his release from prison, he embraced an unabashedly progressive and provocative platform. As one commentator put itshortly after the announcement of the freedom fighter’s death, “Mandela will never, ever be your minstrel. Over the next few days you will try so, so hard to make him something he was not, and you will fail. You will try to smooth him, to sandblast him, to take away his Malcolm X. You will try to hide his anger from view.”

As the world remembers Mandela, here are some of the things he believed that many will gloss over.

1. Mandela blasted the Iraq War and American imperialism. Mandela called Bush “a president who has no foresight, who cannot think properly,” and accused him of “wanting to plunge the world into a holocaust” by going to war in Iraq. “All that (Mr. Bush) wants is Iraqi oil,” he said. Mandela even speculated that then-Secretary-General Kofi Annan was being undermined in the process because he was black. “They never did that when secretary-generals were white,” he said. He saw the Iraq War as a greater problem of American imperialism around the world. “If there is a country that has committed unspeakable atrocities in the world, it is the United States of America. They don’t care,” he said.

2. Mandela called freedom from poverty a “fundamental human right.” Mandela considered poverty one of the greatest evils in the world, and spoke out against inequality everywhere. “Massive poverty and obscene inequality are such terrible scourges of our times — times in which the world boasts breathtaking advances in science, technology, industry and wealth accumulation — that they have to rank alongside slavery and apartheid as social evils,” he said. He considered ending poverty a basic human duty: “Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It is an act of justice. It is the protection of a fundamental human right, the right to dignity and a decent life,” he said. “While poverty persists, there is no true freedom.”

3. Mandela criticized the “War on Terror” and the labeling of individuals as terrorists without due process. On the U.S. terrorist watch list until 2008 himself, Mandela was an outspoken critic of President George W. Bush’s war on terror. He warned against rushing to label terrorists without due process. While forcefully calling for Osama bin Laden to be brought to justice, Mandela remarked, “The labeling of Osama bin Laden as the terrorist responsible for those acts before he had been tried and convicted could also be seen as undermining some of the basic tenets of the rule of law.”

4. Mandela called out racism in America. On a trip to New York City in 1990, Mandela made a point of visiting Harlem and praising African Americans’ struggles against “the injustices of racist discrimination and economic equality.” He reminded a larger crowd at Yankee Stadium that racism was not exclusively a South African phenomenon. “As we enter the last decade of the 20th century, it is intolerable, unacceptable, that the cancer of racism is still eating away at the fabric of societies in different parts of our planet,” he said. “All of us, black and white, should spare no effort in our struggle against all forms and manifestations of racism, wherever and whenever it rears its ugly head.”

5. Mandela embraced some of America’s biggest political enemies. Mandela incited shock and anger in many American communities for refusing to denounce Cuban dictator Fidel Castro or Libyan Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, who had lent their support to Mandela against South African apartheid. “One of the mistakes the Western world makes is to think that their enemies should be our enemies,” he explained to an American TV audience. “We have our own struggle.” He added that those leaders “are placing resources at our disposal to win the struggle.” He also called the controversial Palestinian Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat “a comrade in arms.”

6. Mandela was a die-hard supporter of labor unions. Mandela visited the Detroit auto workers union when touring the U.S., immediately claiming kinship with them. “Sisters and brothers, friends and comrades, the man who is speaking is not a stranger here,” he said. “The man who is speaking is a member of the UAW. I am your flesh and blood.”

Fidel Castro and Nelson Mandela

CREDIT: AP

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5 thoughts on “| 6 things about Mandela the mainstream media whitewashes!

    • Hi Michael,
      I see what you mean, but satire?
      Honestly?
      You may wish to read these and reconsider.

      Peace.

      | Marwan Barghouthi: Imprisoned Palestinian leader mourns Mandela’s death! http://wp.me/p1xXtb-3jI
      | Palpable hypocrisy: Vultures feed off Mandela’s memory! http://wp.me/p1xXtb-3jN
      | Nelson Mandela: Obama, Clinton, Cameron, Blair – Tributes of Shameful Hypocrisy! http://wp.me/p1xXtb-3jR
      | Analysis: A dissenting opinion on Nelson Mandela! http://wp.me/p1xXtb-3jT
      | Perspective: Why imperialism mourns Mandela! http://wp.me/p1xXtb-3jV
      “What is noteworthy in the sanctimonious blather served up by the media on the occasion of Mandela’s death is the way in which a man whose life is inextricably bound up with the history and politics of South Africa is turned into an entirely apolitical icon, a plaster saint embodying, in the words of Obama, “being guided not by hate, but by love.”
      What is it that the capitalist oligarchs in country after country really mourn in the death of Mandela? It is clearly not his will to resist an oppressive system—that is something they are all prepared to punish with imprisonment or drone missile assassination.
      Rather, the answer is to be found in the present social and political crisis gripping South Africa, as well as the historic role played by Mandela in preserving capitalist interests in the country under the most explosive conditions.
      It is significant that on the day before Mandela’s death, South Africa’s Institute for Justice and Reconciliation issued an annual report showing that those surveyed felt overwhelmingly that class inequality represented the paramount issue in South African society, with twice as many (27.9 percent) citing class as opposed to race (14.6 percent) as the “greatest impediment to national reconciliation.”
      Two decades after the ending of the legal racial oppression of Apartheid, the class question has come to the fore in South Africa, embodied in the heroic mass struggles of the miners and other sections of the working class that have come into direct conflict with the African National Congress.”
      | Perspective: Why imperialism mourns Mandela! http://wp.me/p1xXtb-3jV
      “Before taking office, Mandela and the ANC ditched large parts of the movement’s program, particularly those planks relating to public ownership of the banks, mines and major industries. They signed a secret letter of intent with the International Monetary Fund pledging to implement free market policies, including drastic budget cuts, high interest rates and the scrapping of all barriers to the penetration of international capital.
      In doing so, Mandela realized a vision he had enunciated nearly four decades earlier, when he wrote that enacting the ANC’s program would mean: “For the first time in the history of this country, the non-European bourgeoisie will have the opportunity to own in their own name and right mills and factories, and trade and private enterprise will boom and flourish as never before.”
      However, this “flourishing,” which boosted the profits of the transnational mining firms and banks while creating a layer of black multi-millionaires, has been paid for through the intensified exploitation of South African workers.
      The ignominious path trod by the ANC was not unique. During the same period, virtually every one of the so-called national liberation movements, from the Palestine Liberation Organization to the Sandinistas, pursued similar policies, making their peace with imperialism and pursuing wealth and privilege for a narrow layer.
      In this context, the death of Mandela underscores the fact that there exists no way forward for the working class in South Africa—and for that matter, worldwide—outside of the class struggle and socialist revolution.”
      | Perspective: Why imperialism mourns Mandela! http://wp.me/p1xXtb-3jV

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  1. Speech by Nelson Mandela at the Rally in Cuba
    Occasion: 38th anniversary of the start of the Cuban revolution
    Date: Friday, July 26, 1991

    First secretary of the Communist Party, president of the Council of State and of the government of Cuba, president of the socialist republic of Cuba, commander-in-chief, Comrade Fidel Castro;

    Cuban internationalists, who have done so much to free our continent; Cuban people; comrades and friends:

    It is a great pleasure and honour to be present here today, especially on so important a day in the revolutionary history of the Cuban people. Today Cuba commemorates the thirty- eighth anniversary of the storming of the Moncada. Without Moncada the Granma expedition, the struggle in the Sierra Maestra, the extraordinary victory of January 1, 1959, would never have occurred.32

    Today this is revolutionary Cuba, internationalist Cuba, the country that has done so much for the peoples of Africa.

    We have long wanted to visit your country and express the many feelings that we have about the Cuban revolution, about the role of Cuba in Africa, southern Africa, and the world.

    The Cuban people hold a special place in the hearts of the people of Africa. The Cuban internationalists have made a contribution to African independence, freedom, and justice, unparalleled for its principled and selfless character.

    From its earliest days the Cuban revolution has itself been a source of inspiration to all freedom-loving people. We admire the sacrifices of the Cuban people in maintaining their independence and sovereignty in the face of a vicious imperialist-orchestrated campaign to destroy the impressive gains made in the Cuban revolution…………………

    http://db.nelsonmandela.org/speeches/pub_view.asp?pg=item&ItemID=NMS1526&txtstr=Matanzas

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      • I made this comment in my FB news feed earlier Today.

        Ray Joseph Cormier: Thinking a little more on the situation, the Americans were surely watching that 1st speech he gave on his 1st foreign visit after being released from 27 years in prison – to Cuba of all places.

        He came out of prison already a Global Celebrity, honored and feted. The world was waiting for his words at that time. Being totally human, after all those years of sacrifice, like Mother Teresa, enjoyed all the flattering attention being gushed on him. He was gradually co-opted right back into the system that imprisoned him in the 1st place.

        Imagine this scene! Again, the devil took him up into an exceeding high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;
        And said to him, All these things will I give you, if you will fall down and worship me.
        Then Jesus said to him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.
        Then the devil left him, and, behold, angels came and ministered to him.

        Jesus has the Will and the Word mightier than the sword. It is much harder for the rest of us ordinary mortals to resist the temptations. Read the article downstream by Jonathan Cook, an Independent British Journalist that lives in Nazareth, reporting the situation on the ground for many years.

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