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Thursday, December 05, 2013

R.I.P. Nelson Mandela

He was an amazing man, a man that shaped alot of my youth (I was very angry at the white man's treatment of blacks) and calmed me down and showed me that ill treatment does not have to be met with abuse. My parents taught me to idolize him and I thank them for it. So often we find out that our idols have feet of clay but Mr. Mandela never seemed to be of that nature.

I remember vividly walking around my house singing "Free them President Botha" the song that as a kid I was taught as part of the 'struggle against apartheid'. Quick history Botha was the head of South Africa in the 80s and his government kept up a brutal crack down on Mandela, his ANC brethren and blacks in general. It has always bothered me that Botha was able to live out his life without ever going to prison - I really believe he should have died in prison, just as many of us feared Mandela would. To my knowledge Botha never apologized for apartheid, I find that hard to stomach but if Mandela could forgive him...maybe I should.

I guess if I really wanted to examine it I could find feet of clay with Mr. Mandela since there were 3 marriages and allegations of infidelity in his first but I cannot, will not dig deeper. I remember the shock I felt when I heard that he and Winnie were divorcing - I could not even process it. I have always just 'left it alone'. In our home it was not even talked about, we did not assign blame to either party we just treated it as "a thing that happened and cannot be explained". I know it briefly rocked my faith in marriage because those two who were so often held up as the ideal of staying together through thick or thin could not stick together. But then, as he often did, Mandela gave me more reasons to hope, I never heard him say anything bad about his ex-wife (maybe he did but again remember I was A. young and B. not ever trying to look deeply) and it made me realize that people could split apart and not hate each other.
[Seems like more and more nowadays Winnie herself may not be as good as we all first thought but hey this is about the great man]

Nelson Mandela always struck me as a man of poise, graciousness and strength of character, I sadly do not think enough of today's youths know who he is and honor and respect him enough. Hopefully his death, like much of his early life will renew in young black youth a sense of purpose a sense of internal pride and maybe just maybe a moment of deep reflection.

Good bye sir.

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Cali-J ueber alles in der Welt. Some think that I am mean; (I call them friends), in fact I am not that mean. What I am is sarcastic and dry to the sandpaper level. I have friends that I have never said a kind word to their face, but I praise to the ends of the earth to anyone I know and will defend them to the end. That’s just how I roll! My boys know that I am down for them, my girls know that no matter what I will keep them safe (and occasionally flirt with them [If you are a female friend of mine and think I haven’t flirted with you it just means you didn’t notice, it was extremely subtle or…not yet ]). No one is safe from my sarcasm even my own parents; hence of course as a kid I spent a significant amount of time in punishment. I treat people with respect if I think they deserve it – everyone starts off with the same amount of respect from me (a lot). You don’t need to earn my respect; you have to keep my respect.