After Donald Trump was sworn in as president of the United States in January 2017, Barack Obama kept a low profile for many months. But the centrist Democrat and former president reemerged in Johannesburg, South Africa in July, when he gave a speech in honor of what would have been Nelson Mandela’s 100th birthday. And Obama gave another speech on September 7, appearing at the University of Illinois and doing something he hadn’t done since leaving office: aggressively criticizing Trump’s presidency before a large crowd.
A CIA agent played a key role in helping South Africa’s apartheid government arrest Nelson Mandela in 1962, initiating the anti-apartheid leader's nearly 28-year incarceration, a new report in the Sunday Times reveals.
For a nation in mourning, South Africa was in festive spirits in the week following Nelson Mandela’s death. From the moment that first train left at 5 am for the official memorial service, which was addressed by Barack Obama among others, until the first speech, the chanting never stopped. Thousands sang as one in praise of the African National Congress’s military wing, Umkhonto we Sizwe, and Mandela, who founded it, as well as other staples from the liberation struggle. Pretty much everybody had something — a hat, coat, umbrella, shawl or flag — that bore the colors of the ANC or the likeness of Nelson Mandela, or both. So as they danced, shuffled and swayed to the sound of their own voices, the stadium was carried away on waves of black, green and yellow. At times the crowd stomped so hard you could feel the stadium shake.
Recently, we heard the news of the passing of Nelson Mandela, a hero to so many of us and a role model for human rights activists around the world.
Editor's note: Each week, Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) takes on the media's biggest blunders. This week on FAIR TV, they take a look at how the media misremembered Nelson Mandela. They also take on a dubious USA Today poll on the White House's nuclear pact with Iran.
How High School Text Books Indoctrinate Youth With A False and Dangerous Sense of Our Racial History
In the last week, we’ve paid great attention to Nelson Mandela’s call for forgiveness and reconciliation between South Africa’s former white rulers and its exploited black majority. But we’ve paid less attention to the condition that Mandela insisted must underlie reconciliation—truth. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission that Mandela established, and that Bishop Desmond Tutu chaired, was designed to contribute to cleansing wounds of the country’s racist history by exposing it to a disinfecting bright light. As for those Afrikaners who committed even the worst acts of violence against blacks, they could be forgiven and move on only if they acknowledged the full details of their crimes.
The above photograph from the NYC Light Brigade came at the end of an incredible day of action on December 5 when fast food workers in 100 cities walked off their jobs and joined with supporters in their communities to protest poverty wages. The photo proclaims “ALL OF US” with people holding signs that identify different members of the community; and proclaims “THIS IS OUR MOMENT.”
Madiba A to Z: The Many Faces of Nelson Mandela by Danny Schechter was published on November 26, 2013 by Seven Stories Press. Reprinted with Permission.
JUAN GONZÃLEZ: As we continue our coverage of the death of Nelson Mandela, we begin with Randall Robinson, founder and past president of TransAfrica. He helped found the Free South Africa Movement and was arrested many times during the 1980s protesting the apartheid regime. He is now a law professor at Pennsylvania State University. He joins us from his home in Saint Kitts.
I tried to honor Nelson Mandela on the day of his death, and love my political enemies. But the white-washing of Mandela’s legacy, as well as the role of the United States in supporting both apartheid and Mandela’s long imprisonment, has to be rebutted.
President Nelson Mandela was truly a transformative force in the history of South Africa and the world. My heart weighs heavy about his transition, but we are reassured because his life was full, and we know the imprint he left on our world is everlasting.