Nelson Mandela: The real legacy
Few of the encomia about Nelson Mandela deal honestly and forthrightly, if at all, with the dubious background of the former South African president and slayer of apartheid. But had they, an even more remarkable portrait of the man would be painted. For his transformation was a true reclamation.
Mr. Mandela, 95, died on Thursday. And the tributes quickly poured in for the man who did so much to end blanket racial segregation and who helped to set the standard for free and just democratic black rule on an African continent so dominated by henchmen and thugs.
But few care to recall — and virtually no editorials mentioned — that for most of his life, Mandela was not only a Marxist who revered Lenin and Stalin but also was a terrorist. He abandoned efforts for peaceful change in favor of guerrilla tactics and sabotage. And that's what led to his trial, conviction and life prison sentence in the 1960s.
He emerged from prison 27 years later as a changed man in a changed country. Mandela became South Africa's leader in its first free presidential election four years later, seeking unity instead of exacting revenge, and served a single term before retiring.
But most media's failure to detail the full history of Mandela's Marxist past actually diminish the man and his achievements. Through his words and deeds, he renounced Marxism and terrorism, learning, albeit late in life, that such ideologies were merely recipes for another form of tyranny no more acceptable than apartheid.
That's the true legacy of Nelson Mandela — one that exposes as fraudulent the kind of failed “progressivism” to which so many of his Fourth Estate admirers continue to cling.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Your right to know: Those racy emails
- What day is it? It’s Constitution Day
- An independent Scotland? Think again
- Drilling laws: Your rights
- Pittsburgh Tuesday takes
- Greensburg Tuesday takes
- Alle-Kiski Tuesday takes
- U.N. Watch: The aid ingrates
- A misdialed number suggests a criminal conspiracy in the IRS scandal
- Saturday essay: Saving Catalpa
- Sunday pops