The Green Party of the United States is remembering former South African President Nelson Mandela as an inspiration in the struggle for global justice, liberation, and peace.
Greens expressed their sympathy for President Mandela’s family and the people of South Africa and paid homage to his fight against apartheid and economic oppression, the courage that sustained him through 27 years of imprisonment, and his “Rainbow Nation” legacy.
Social justice and nonviolence are two of the four pillars of the Green Party. Greens believe that those who are now praising President Mandela — especially U.S. political leaders — should honor him by honoring those values.
Cynthia McKinney, Green Party presidential nominee in 2008 and former six-term member of the U.S. House (http://claritypress.com/McKinneyII.html): “My condolences to the family and loved ones of Nelson Mandela and to the people of the Republic of South Africa and all of Africa. I had the opportunity to meet Nelson Mandela on several occasions. It is true that he was a transformational leader; I also visited Robben Island and saw the prison where he lived and worked and the cell in which he was incarcerated. Mandela’s is a very moving journey, one that carried the dreams and aspirations of an entire nation and world of people ready for change and alleviation of suffering. And to all of us who work for the day that oppression is a phenomenon unknown to humankind.”
Thomas Muhammad, co-chair of the Green Party Black Caucus (http://www.gp.org/caucuses/black/index.php): “We mourn the loss of this great man and that of the people of South Africa. He began as a great freedom fighter to regain land and freedom for the native Africans there. Unfortunately, the living conditions for his people got horribly worse while he was president and to date has not changed as other presidents have followed him. We continue to pray for true land reform and relief of suffering for the people of South Africa and for a very special place for Nelson Mandela in paradise for this great African warrior.”
David Doonan, Green Mayor of Greenwich, New York: “Humanity has lost one of the most heroic and most gracious figures of the 20th century. Nelson Mandala’s lifelong struggle for freedom and equality may never be equaled. Let us not be sad at his death, but let us rejoice in his example of never giving up for the dream of a South Africa free of apartheid. Let us rejoice that despite spending a long portion of his life underground and then incarcerated on Robben Island, he walked the earth as long as he did, providing an example for generation after generation.”
T.E. Smith, member of the DC Statehood Green Party and former member of the South Africa Support Committee picket line: “Nelson Mandela was a man of peace, who wisely negotatied the freedom of South Africa, but we must remember that, in the face of irrational, implacable, and violent oppressors, Nelson and Winnie Mandela were willing, ready, and able to mobilize the oppressed masses to do what needed to be done for freedom. Some circumstances require the beauty of a spotless soul, the brain of a hero, and the might of the masses. The Mandelas fit the requirements.”
Jane Hunter, member of the Green Party of New Jersey: “Having spent several months in the past year working in South Africa, on a project to bring universal Internet connectivity to the most vulnerable in the townships of the Western Cape, I realized that Nelson Mandela’s greatest legacy is one of peace and universality of humanity and the establishment of the ‘Rainbow Nation.’ Young people of all colors and ethnicities in South Africa have learned from his example.”