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Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela

Saturday Night Card Game takes the night off to remember.

Nelson Mandela died on Thursday.

I have been deliberately deliberative on writing about his death, in this post for the first time.

As so many rushed out with statements based on self-proclaimed expertise on Mandela’s life, I realized that I knew little of his life other than the big picture — A fight to end Apartheid and a famous lack of desire for revenge. Maybe that was enough to know.

What I’ve read the past couple of days confirms both the greatness of his accomplishments, yet also the mixed record of his life which does not justify simplification. Mandela embraced totalitarian communist and socialist regimes during his struggle against another form of unjust regime; he embraced the murderous thieving Yasser Arafat, yet also insisted on Israel’s right to exist in secure borders.

Here are just a few of the more informative pieces, among many dozens I’ve read:

This immediate post-release press conference seems to embody the conflicting aspects of his history and that of South Africa:

The rush to deify Mandela upon his death saw some real perversities of our political life come out in force. Obama made it all about Obama, while Chris Matthews and many others used it to bash Republicans.  Anti-Israelis used the death to reignite the false and disgraceful analogy of Apartheid to Zionism.  We will see more of that in the coming week, as some people just can’t help themselves.

My take-away from all this is that the big picture was enough.  The struggle against and victory over Apartheid was indeed a historic accomplishment.  The lack of desire for revenge and retribution was just as great.

What Mandela did not become was the best testimony to what he was.  He didn’t become Robert Mugabe, Fidel Castro, Pol Pot, or any number of megalomaniacs who used power to exact revenge and personal fortune.  He didn’t become a bitter person whose bitterness consumed him.  He didn’t become a racial demagogue.

Nelson Mandela never made it to the Saturday Night Card Game, unlike so many lesser pretenders who use race to divide us.

So tonight we honor Nelson Mandela’s accomplishments, what he was, and what he wasn’t.


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Once again, Professor, you show why you are qualified to be a teacher of law. A lot of your fellow law teachers do not have your wisdom, and worse, do not even know they need it.

Slightly O/T: These non-wisdom professors keep on churning out “lawyers” (degree holders) who are then licensed as attorneys for hire, who proceed to inflict their politically slanted views on the public.

Have a nice holiday, no matter how you celebrate it. 🙂

What Mandela did not become was the best testimony to what he was. He didn’t become Robert Mugabe, Fidel Castro, Pol Pot, or any number of megalomaniacs who used power to exact revenge and personal fortune. He didn’t become a bitter person whose bitterness consumed him. He didn’t become a racial demagogue.

IMO only because the eyes of the world were upon him. I think he wanted to though.

Mandela *was* a communist terrorist, and pointing it out does not make one an apartheid supporter. It’s pretty amazing that he didn’t turn into a Mugabe, but I’m not sure how much of an achievement that is.
As a matter of comparison, when Vaslav Havel died a few years ago there was no international displays of adulation.

he could have gotten out of prison so many times (seems to was at least 10 times, may be wrong) just by renouncing terrorism.
he didn’t so he stayed.
I will not mourn his passing and hope he spends eternity wearing one of his wifes necklaces.

Mandela went out on a grace note.

It certainly could have been otherwise. His bio is remarkably like that of Gandhi in many respects.

I think the Pollock synopsis is one of the best.

I also am appalled at things like this…

Some people literally have no shame.

Midwest Rhino | December 7, 2013 at 8:08 pm

I sure haven’t sorted out Mandela’s whole history or psyche … but I get the impression he learned while in prison, that a peaceful approach using white guilt would be more powerful than violence. (Maybe Ayers counseled Mandela before he helped Obama) And indeed, the whites in SA embraced the change, and cheered him loudly.

By African standards, Mandela was pretty peaceful. He invited old Apartheid leaders into his transitional events. This may have been largely political, but it was a solid choice. And then he stepped down when he could have extended his term.

But Mandela remained a faithful party man, speaking out softly against the more totalitarian direction of the ANC. And now it seems likely the ANC will be even more racist and totalitarian, and SA will become even more third worldly.

Ayers/Obama have taken a similar route in many ways … as Pollack points out in his interview. I don’t know that Mandela WAS a communist, but he aligned with them for weapons and power. And that is more what communism is about … bunch of mobsters fighting over power and turf. The idyllic commie philosophy is just statist propaganda.

I don’t know that Obama IS a communist, but he sure has a lot of them in his history, and even in his administration. And afaik, Rev. Wright’s black theology church sided with the commies and Sandinistas in the 80’s.

Mandela seems so universally idolized because he is the icon of blacks overcoming a white colonialist/western institution, by mostly peaceful means even, though they are killing many. But now in power they are falling apart and going third world, returning to their “roots”. Obama also is taking leftist control carrying the race card flag of white guilt. And he seems intent on turning us further into a banana republic as well. The Boers seem to be getting the sharp end of the stick.

anyway, that’s my nickel analysis at the moment, from several articles and a FB friend that’s been in the region.

I respected Mandela for his fight against apartheid, for his forgiveness of the repressive and usurping Boers who made him spend his prime in prison for wanting to be free in his own land. He was not like the Arabs who migrated from different countries into Israel, Judea, and Samaria. Mandela was a Zulu; the land was his, and invaders not only stole its wealth, they made the indigenous people little more than slaves. So, Mandela’s fight against them was just. No man is a terrorist when he is fighting invaders in his own land for his God-given rights.

However, for his treatment of his wife, his Communism, his embrace of Castro (who treated his own people just as the Boers did the Zulus, Xhosas, etc.), his embrace of Islamic terrorists (particularly of that piece of rotting filth, Yasser Arafat) and his rejection of Israel, his anti-Semitism, his inability to restrain his countrymen from walking in the path of Zimbabwe, he lost a lot of standing in my eyes. He was no longer the hero that he had been before he was freed and showed his true colors.

    BannedbytheGuardian in reply to Juba Doobai!. | December 7, 2013 at 10:36 pm

    Not so . The Zulus are colonists themselves. Other peoples lived there before them & had been there for millenniums namely the khoikhois. & their closely related Bushmen of the Kalahari.

    Zulus are part of the dark skinned Bantu peoples who migrated south in the 14 -17 th century . The Khoikhoi are lighter skinned& smaller by stature.

    The Portuguese & the Dutch turned up around that period also .

      Juba Doobai! in reply to BannedbytheGuardian. | December 8, 2013 at 8:50 am

      So you would call the Sioux colonizers when they moved into Absaroke territory. I would call all of them colonizers because they all came from Asia. Nobody can make that claim about the Zulus.

      How do you consider those making aliyah to Israel? Do you regard them as colonizers, too?

    I’m sorry, but according to multiple sources, Nelson Mandela was a Xhosa, of the clan name “Madiba” … nickname he was often called by in SA.

At what point are people finally going to talk about the fact that South Africa went from a industrialized country to a third world hellhole under this man’s reign?

People act as if ending white rule was the be all, end all problem. South Africa today has the highest rape, murder, crime rates in the world. It is a society that is in complete freefall and moral collapse.

Mandela had his merits, but the real world economic and social consquences of his leadership have been disastrous at best. Its as if George Washington, after fighting an 8 year Revolutionary War, became President of the newly formed United States, and soon after, the U.S. became the leading country in the world in the commission of rapes, kidnappings, murders, and HIV/AIDS infections.

    Midwest Rhino in reply to Nick405. | December 8, 2013 at 9:22 am

    Right, the ANC reportedly has killed ten times more blacks than Apartheid ever did. And now in power, whites are targets. Was Mandela’s more statesmanlike approach part of building a racist free first world society, or just a deceptive means to a longer view warlord victory?

    From your link, more parallels to Team Obama goals:

    “Then in 2010, the government passed gun-control laws mandating that all guns be re-registered. In the process of registration, more than half the applicants were turned down and their weapons were seized.

    Thus, white farmers were forced to relinquish their last line of defense against mobs of criminal gangs roaming the countryside. The criminals, of course, weren’t silly enough to register their machine guns.”

    Mao loving Team Obama has said, “in the end it comes down to the barrel of the gun”. Electing a black president in response mainly to inflicted western/white guilt, may yield short term false comfort, and long term regret.

As well as being a central-committee member of the South African Communist Party, he signed abortion and homo marriage into law.

While I appreciated Joel Pollack’s perspective, Mandela isn’t worthy of honor. I’m disgusted that Hussein put our flag at half-staff for him.

Here is another thoughtful read on Mandela:

“Nelson Mandela, an Honest, Unfawning Remembrance”

If you are famous, dead, and would have been a minority in America, the left will co-opt your memory to push their agenda.

In South Africa you spend 27 years in prison and get to be President.

Here we might try the reverse.

I don’t consider Mandela’s refusal to go down the Mugabe road as evidence of his “goodness”. Let’s not forget why he was thrown in prison in the first place. In my book, you’re not a freedom fighter if you target civilians and children. You certainly deserve no accolades for refusing to speak out against the brutal and violent tactics used by your organization… or your wife.

Mandela was in the right place at the right time and he was savvy enough not to screw up his “image” in the world press once he reached hero status.

Okay, Mandela had a remarkable life.

Why do I just not care that he’s now died (at a very old age). What difference does it make.

Mandela refused to go down the Mugabe road. OK. I refused to go down the Charles Manson road. Where’s my parade?

For some reason, I just can’t get right with Mandela. I guess I just don’t understand.

One day some leftist will, in my presence, take a pot shot at our Founding Fathers because they owned slaves or did some other objectionable thing. I will ask their opinion of Mandela.

It should be fun.

Nick405 said …

People act as if ending white rule was the be all, end all problem.

In the case of SA, that was and is the be all/end all. No one is going to admit the third world outcome in much of SA, or that it was as racist as anything prevailing before it. Nothing melded. Nothing changed except who held power. I’m guessing that the violent crimes committed are more on the majority, who are in power in fact, than against any minorities. And shortly we shall dance?

Daniel Greenfield has some sobering words and photos on the Mandela legacy. There are photos of Mandella and Ghadaffi, Mandella and Castro, Mandella and Mugabe, and my personal favorite, a photo of Mandella Kissing Yassar Arafat on the mouth.


“Even as the mourning for Mandela goes on, one child is raped every three minutes in South Africa and three children are murdered every day.

If there is anything that the world ought to mourn, not only today, but every day, it is a horrifying reality in which a South African woman is more likely to be raped than to learn to read, a quarter of the men admit to having raped and men with AIDS believe that they can find a cure by raping a baby.”

Excellent analysis.
It’s also important to remember that Mandela stepped down after one term in office so any mistakes/abuses cannot be attributed to either him or his policies unless he implemented them himself and/or supported them.

Have a friend who left SA at the end of apartheid. Has told me enough tales of what his life and his families life was like that I can assure everyone that tribal rule is now back in place. Apartheid needed several more generations of planning and slow implementation to have had a chance of leaving a decent, functioning society that had been integrated. Instead, the black majority has taken it upon themselves to extract revenge and reparations upon the white community and SA fast slip back into the dark continent continues unabated while George Bush and Bono raise money from shocked Europeans and Americans who think they can simply test AIDS out of existence.