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Raining on the Nelson Mandela Parade

You're not supposed to speak ill of the dead, so I figured I'd get a head start.

Kathy Shaidle


July 12, 2013 - 1:00 pm

Nelson Mandela at the Communist Party’s first public meeting in post-apartheid South Africa, 1990. (Greg Marinovich/Africa Media Online)

One of the landmark events of my Gen X youth was the 11-hour, internationally televised “Free Nelson Mandela” concert in 1988.

Because, come on: how could you not be anti-apartheid?

It was a no-brainer, risk-free cause, the type you could support without having to think about it too much or inviting unpopularity or controversy, right?

Actually, no.

Lots of big-name musicians who now boast of being on that concert roster were hesitant to sign on the dotted line unless other bands came on board first.

In fact, most of the backstage machinations and politicking are unedifying tales of cowardice and egomania.

During that concert and the massive publicity surrounding it, Nelson Mandela was presented to millions of young people around the world as a wrongly imprisoned, peace-loving freedom fighter, detained for decades by the evil, crazy, stupid white South Africans, who kept the rest of the country’s majority black population enslaved to various degrees, too.

(Speaking of enslavement, did you know that the term “concentration camp” originated, not in Nazi Germany, but in South Africa, to describe the disease-ridden camps in which South Africans were held by the British during the Second Boer War [1899-1902]?)

Idealistic kids eagerly embraced Mandela as the Gandhi they never had, a Martin Luther King of their very own.

Of course, the real Nelson Mandela was, like those two men, flawed. Arguably more so.

At least Gandhi and King had preached and practiced non-violence.

During my youth, Mandela’s criminal past was, if you’ll pardon the expression, whitewashed.

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In those pre-internet times, it was obviously harder to quickly access “counter-cultural” facts about anyone or anything.

When it comes to learning about Nelson Mandela’s past these days, however, we might as well still be living in that far-away, unplugged era.

Today, googling “Nelson Mandela terrorist” brings up either mocking, preemptive apologias for Mandela’s criminal activities — whatever would we do without Nicholas Kristof? — plus a few shaky looking anti-Mandela websites that probably haven’t been updated since the Tripod era.

(You know you’re in a bad internet neighborhood when you see the words “Illuminati” and “Zionist.”)

However, few would characterize PBS as a “white supremacist” organization (although you’re free to insert your own Juan Williams jokes in the comments).

And sure enough, at their pages devoted to a sprawling Frontline documentary about Mandela, there it is at the top of the page:

During the 1950s Mandela was banned, arrested and imprisoned for challenging apartheid. He was one of the accused in the massive Treason Trial at the end of the decade and, following the 1960 banning of the ANC, he went underground, adopting a number of disguises–sometimes a laborer, other times a chauffeur. The press dubbed him “the Black Pimpernel” because of his ability to evade police.

During this time, he and other ANC leaders formed its armed wing–Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK).

Mandela was secretly appointed its commander in chief.

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That “armed wing” carried out terror attacks at shopping centers, movie theaters and other civilian targets, not just “establishment” ones like courts and banks.

These attacks blew many innocent whites and blacks to bits.

(Note: some of these crime scene photos are disturbing.)

And when Mandela was arrested, the authorities claimed to have uncovered “210,000 hand grenades, 48,000 anti-personnel mines, 1,500 time devices, 144 tons of ammonium nitrate, 21.6 tons of aluminium powder and 1 ton of black powder.”

Governments around the world, such as the ones in the U.S. and Great Britain, placed the ANC on their terror lists, along with the PLO, the IRA and the FLQ.

So when the Left adopted the destruction of apartheid as its new fashionable cause in the late 1980s, the organizer of that “Free Nelson Mandela” concert, Tony Hollingsworth, knew he needed to “personalize” the cause, and give that particular person a big makeover, pronto.

Hollingsworth now admits that the all-star extravaganza “had everything to do with ridding Mandela of his terrorist tag and ensuring his release. (…) Mandela and the movement should be seen as something positive, confident, something you would like to be in your living room with.”

Mandela danced out of prison less than two years after the concert.

Oh, and not long after that, he was filmed singing an ANC song about killing white people:

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Not everybody was willing to go along with what they perceived as the Left’s whitewashing of history, even for a cause as appealing as the abolition of apartheid.

Take Canadian MP Rob Anders.

He was the only member of Parliament who voted against a 2001 motion to make Nelson Mandela an hono(u)rary Canadian citizen, and earned highly vocal, passionate and enduring scorn for doing so.

“I think it’s horrible, absolutely horrible to call Nelson Mandela. … I will not repeat the term used,” sputtered then-Prime Minister Jean Chretien, the hopelessly corrupt leader of the hopelessly corrupt Liberal Party.

The “term” Anders used was “a terrorist and a Communist.”

Now, the long, storied anti-apartheid battle in South Africa itself was populated with white communists and black communists and black anti-communists and factions of factions within factions.

Mandela matter-of-factly admits to reading Che Guevara, Mao Tse-tung, Fidel Castro — and Menachem Begin.

And look:

This is apartheid South Africa we’re talking about, not the Thirteen Colonies or the British Raj.

However, I think I understand the impulse that drove Anders to, shall we say, put on that political suicide vest.

(Which failed to go off, by the way. For what it’s worth, his constituents keep on re-electing him.)

The manufacturing of heroes is a strange and often ugly business.

So is the promotion of “good causes.”

What happens when the whitewash washes away, revealing things we’d hoped would stay hidden forever?

These revelations breed cynicism, disillusionment and resentment among those who’d joined the cause in good faith, and now feel conned and used.

Are we grown up enough to “do the right thing,” even when the cause is more complicated than we’d wish, and its “heroes” more human?

Go, go, go, said the bird: human kind
Cannot bear very much reality.
Time past and time future
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present.

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(KATHY SHAIDLE is a blogging pioneer who runs FiveFeetOfFury, now in its 15th year. She's been called "one of the great virtuoso polemicists of our time," by MARK STEYN. Her NEW book is Confessions of A Failed Slut (Thought Catalog, 2014).

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
Nelson Mandella is a communist and murderer along with his then wife Winnie.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The Apartheid program sprang from post Independence South Africa trying to undue the after effects of the above mentioned Second Boer War. One of the primary causes of the war came from the discoveries of both gold and diamonds in in the Boer Republics. On the one hand the British wanted this new found wealth. The Boers had little to no interest in exploiting it themselves so let the Brits have at it. The real friction came with the British wanting to import large numbers of laborers to work the digs. What most modern westerners don't know was at that time the population of Southern Africa was almost all European. British and Dutch (Boer) . The black migrations from Central Africa had just recently started to come that far south. Anyways the Brits won and threw open the borders to black labor from the north. Much like some want to do with the southern border here in the US. In just a couple of decades SA went from a roughly 90%+ white European population to a majority Black nation. With virtually all of the black pop, themselves, their Parents or their Grand Parents, being what we would call illegal immigrants. A study in Immigration Reform.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Yeah, Mandela is scum, and should never have been released. He's definitely no Martin Luther King, even with MLK's flaws. He's also a communist (which you actually noted with the cover header for the article), and I strongly suspect the USSR orchestrated the Free Mandela movement. Mandela was even worse for the RSA than Apartheid ever was.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (17)
All Comments   (17)
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I've known or met several S.A folks who were anti-apartheid (one once arrested for protesting it) who readily call NM a terrorist. They all have also left the nation of their birth because it is such a massive mess. One of these was a black person who had a relative who was killed in one of the attacks (a grocery store bombing iirc) and was replying to a salesman who voiced support for the freeing on him. This of course was even before the Free Nelson concert. The reply was "I hope the terrorist dies in his cell of old age, or one of his victims kills him soon after he is released". Yeah, some shocked looks from those standing near by.

If it weren't for the gold and diamonds, S.A. would be another Zim-Bob's-Way
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Zeprin is extremely misinformed. South Africa was never 90% white.

When the Dutch established the Cape Colony 1652, there were no Bantus (negroes) in South Africa. However, there were several hundred thousand Khoisan. the racial group of the Kalahari Bushmen, and distinct from Bantus in several ways. (Physical anthropologists consider the "Capoid" Khoisan the oldest human sub-type, and "Negroid" the newest.) Both are "black", but Khoisan are lighter-skinned, and have tight-curled rather than kinky hair.

Unlike American Indians, they were not vulnerable to Old World diseases, and their numbers did not crash. Their numbers were not much changed by 1800, while the white colony at the Cape numbered about 40,000.

Bantu migrants spread across the Limpopo river into South Africa starting around 1750. By 1800 there were substantial Bantu settlements all the way to Natal on the southeastern coast. That's where the Zulu kingdom under Chaka was formed in the early 1800s.

However, the entire region was still thinly populated, with plenty of room for settlement by the "Voortrekkers". (Dutch-speaking who moved out from the Cape after it was taken by Britain in 1806,) They clashed with the Zulus, and defeated them at Blood River in 1838. Also with the Ndbele, whom they drove north across the Limpopo.

The Voortrekkers established the "Boer Republics" of Transvaal and Orange Free State. In these states, whites owned most of the land, and Bantus either lived on the remaining land or worked as farmhands for Boer landowners. Non-whites could not vote, hold office, or own firearms.

Back to demographics. The whole of South Africa had about 3M people in 1890, with the Witwatersrand Gold Rush in progress. By 1911, there were 6M, of which 1.2M were white. If there was no white population growth in those 20 years (and we know that immense numbrs of "Uitlanders" poured in during the gold rush) then South Africa was overwhelmingly non-white before any British meddling.

And the mines didn't need _millions_ of laborers.

As to the merits of the apartheid regime; read what that notorious left-wing shill Robert Heinlein had to say, after his visit in 1953 (in his travel book _Tramp Royale_, published in 1992).

Another point: opposing apartheid was a major Left cause since the 1950s. Communists beat that drum as much as possible (nothing like being against someone else's evil to disguise your own). As Heinlein noted, Communists were very good at hijacking legitimate grievances.

As to Mandela: he's no saint. But he deserves kudos for what he accomplished after coming out of prison: presiding over a peaceful transition of power and making it possible for whites and non-whites to live together in South Africa in peace. Compare to the partition of India for what could have happened. Or read Heinlein: "Oh no! I cut throat of missy lady next door; _her_ boy cut _your_ throat." Evil begets evil, and Mandela did a lot to prevent reprisals - despite his own grievances against white South Africa.

Yes, there are huge problens in South Africa, and serious dangers for the whites, and those problems and dangers emanate from the non-white majority.

But, ya know, the Khoisan and Bantu were there before the whites, they didn't invite the whites to move in, and they didn't ask to be treated as just short of slave labor for 150 years. White South Africans are in a bad place - but their ancestors built it, not Mandela. He kept it from crashing down on them.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Raining? How about we pee on his parade instead.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Get your licks in before the Old radical kicks the bucket. Good thinking.
Has anybody heard any stories about the white murder rate in South Africa the last few years.
The media seems to ignore it but blacks are and have been for quite some time killing whites like flies.
For that reason, Mandela deserves no respect, dead or alive.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I remember BJ Clinton telling some moron journalist that the one person he would most like to sit down with for a chat would be Mandela. Maybe he never got the memo on that cold-blooded terrorist thing?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Considering he openly advocated the destruction of America while at Oxford, I doubt he'd even care if he did get the memo.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Here, let me fix that for you:

"Considering he openly advocated the destruction of America while at Oxford, I'm sure he got the memo and cheered for Mandela."

Anybody who thinks the Clintons are "centrists" should call me about a bridge I need to sell.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Nelson Mandella is a communist and murderer along with his then wife Winnie.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
We can't forget Mandela's victory tour in 1989.
First stop - Qadaffi, the on to Fidel.
I wanted to write this article last week, and will celebrate his death, and remind PC Libs how bad he was and destroyed a great country.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I lived in South Africa from 2002-2006 (Pretoria). Most of the white South Africans I knew simply knew they had no choice but to live with the revisionist history as it was often presented in almost all ways, (not just Mandela's legacy).

Apartheid was wrong in nearly all ways, but the fate of SA since has been just as bad in many ways also (google the word "plasmoorde" for a taste of modern SA).
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Thanks, Kathy, for telling it like it is. Once again, the Nazi dictum of "if you tell a big lie often enough, and loudly enough, most people will believe it" proves all too true.

Here's one case where the truth most definitely will not set you free.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Yes, which is why we must push even further to ensure the actual truth comes out. People actually believe that Mandela isn't undegoing ethnic cleansings, even though a lot of Whites are being butchered as we speak. The Human Rights division even mentioned that RSA is getting close to genocide.

For that matter, we also must push to fully expose the French Revolution for what it actually was: Proto-Marxism, and also eliminate ALL Atheism, if we are to ensure our Christian, Jewish, and even Muslim breathren.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I remember watching the MSM the day he was released and saw several communist party flags on the stage at the beginning of the broadcast. The network quickly changed the camera angles and field of view and never showed the flags again!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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