Saturday, December 07, 2013

Mandela and US policy toward South Africa

I haven't said much here about Nelson Mandela's passing simply because I don't really have much at all distinctive to say about him and am not that familiar with the details of his career.

Sculpture of Nelson Mandela in Howick, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa

There is no shortage of tributes and documentary remembrances of him.

This is a biographical video by the PBS Newshour's Charlayne Hunter-Gault on Mandela's life, Remembering South African leader Nelson Mandela 12/05/2013:

Also from PBS Newshour Online: Larisa Epatko, Activist and peacemaker Nelson Mandela dead at 95 12/05/2013.

It's also brought new examples of attempts of cooptation of his history and the images and sentiments associated with it to perspectives Mandela himself not only rejected but actively opposed. Cenk Uygur and Ana Kasparian and The Young Turks crew discuss that phenomenon here, The Right Wing Vs Nelson Mandela 12/06/2013 (includes some profanity):

Chauncey DeVega addresses the co-optation issue in I Have No Particular Emotional Attachment to Nelson Mandela. But, I Wonder if Sixto "Sugar Man" Rodriguez Will Perform at Nelson Mandela's Funeral and How Long Until Republicans Try to Claim That Reagan and Mandela were Allies? WARN 12/06/2013. He writes, "I wonder how long until the American conservative propaganda machine tries to rewrite history so that Reagan and Mandela were allies? ... Republicans are feckless in their lies. They have tried to claim Brother Doctor Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks. Why not go for Mandela too?"

The Real News brings some more thoughtful critical perspectives on Mandela's legacy in Mandela Embodied the Victories and Failures of the South African Liberation Struggle 12/05/2013, featuring Glen Ford of Black Agenda Report:

And, Mandela Led Fight Against Apartheid, But Not Against Extreme Inequality 12/05/2013, with Patrick Bond of the Centre for Civil Society:

Both the Real News pieces rely on points on economic policy made by Ronnie Kasrils, another left-leaning South African Ronnie Kasrils. Bond points out that Mandela himself later regretted his policy as President of South Africa of insisting on paying the debts of the Apartheid regime. Kasrils writes about South Africa in How the ANC's Faustian pact sold out South Africa's poorest Guardian 06/23/2013.

Juan Cole has several posts related to Mandela's passing at his Informed Comment blog, including United States, Israel opposed Mandela, supported Apartheid 12/06/2013 and Photo of the Day: Mandela Training in Algeria 12/06/2013.

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