On December 5, 2013, Nelson Mandela – revolutionary, freedom fighter, prisoner and president – died at the age of 95.
Read ROAR Magazine’s coverage of Mandela’s death in 2013: “Nelson Mandela passes away — his struggle continues“.
While Mandela’s symbolic leadership helped unite a country that teetered on the brink of racial violence or even civil war, a new form of political activism will be needed to help South Africa emerge from the deep-rooted socio-economic divisions and widespread political abuse that still persist. The Mandelas of the future will be faceless and plural; they will be nameless multitudes of disaffected poor people — those who grew up in the Rainbow Nation and have learned as much from Mandela’s unrivaled moral fortitude as from the many mistakes he made on his long march to freedom, not least his embrace of a neoliberal economic policy framework. Today’s liberation movements are here to remind us that the only appropriate way to honor Nelson Mandela’s legacy is not to beatify the man but to take his struggle to its logical conclusion.
Just days after his passing, a fierce battle is already raging over Nelson Mandela’s legacy. On the one hand, smug liberals who have never dared to raise a finger to injustice in their own countries, and insincere conservatives who are doing everything possible to undermine human rights in their capacity as world leaders, are all over the good old man, praising him for his immense moral fortitude. Apart from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — who, in an attempt to whitewash Mandela’s support for the Palestinian cause by praising him as “a fighter for freedom who rejected violence,” and whose heavily armed soldiers then proceeded to violently crack down on peaceful Palestinian gatherings in Mandela’s honor – it is hard to imagine a more hypocritical statement than the thoroughly Orwellian New York Times headline praising the founder of the ANC’s armed wing as an icon of “peaceful resistance.”
Source URL — https://roarmag.org/2015/12/05/on-this-day-in-2013-mandelas-death/