Saturday, December 14, 2013
This is our 799th post.
Nelson Mandela is one of my heroes and I have been following the news about his death and funeral. Today, I read an article by Jim Maceda for NBC News titled, Mandela’s freedom fighter days not part of ‘saintly’ image.
Many argue that the Sharpeville massacre on March 21, 1960, when police opened fire on a peaceful protest in a black township killing 69 people, was the turning point when black resistance went from a non-violent campaign to an armed resistance movement.
Mandela, far from remaining a passive, non-violent activist, became the first commander in chief of the African National Congress’ military wing, called the “Umkhonto we Sizwe,” or “Spear of the Nation,” (and better known as “MK” – the South African version of the IRA) after Sharpeville.
Inspired more by the writings of Mao Zedong and Che Guevara than Gandhi, Mandela built up from scratch a small insurgent force, trained in blowing up easy targets, like electricity transmission towers and rail lines. His recruits learned to make primitive bombs from ingredients normally found on South African farms.
By 1962, Mandela was already an underground “terrorist,” wanted by the police and living an outlaw existence who the media had dubbed the “Black Pimpernel” — a twist on the fictional “Scarlet Pimpernel” who struck at will and, Zoro-like, always avoided capture.
We know the rest of the story.
Jesus is another one of my heroes and my favorite story about him is when he overturned the tables of the money changers at Passover and kicked them out of the Temple.
I support what he did. I believe his outrage was fully justified.
I also support Mandela’s selective use of targeted violence as a means to accomplish revolutionary change.
What do you think?
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