The Green Party of the U.S. Mourns Nelson Mandela

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.”

Source

34 thoughts on “The Green Party of the U.S. Mourns Nelson Mandela

  1. Bondurant

    Over the years I have read a lot about the tactics used by Nelson and Winnie. The latter, allegedly, was a fan of “necklacing” (placing a gasoline filled tire around someones neck and setting it on fire). It’s also said that the armed wing fighting apartheid bombed civilian locations such as restaurants and supermarkets.

    Can anyone verify if such information is correct? Pure propaganda? Half truth?

  2. Jed Ziggler Post author

    Winnie was indeed a terrorist, and it’s a disgrace that she’s now a member of parliament in South Africa. The ANC was definitely involved in some dark doings, though I’m unsure about specific acts, I haven’t done enough research.

    That said, Mandela is noted for his time in prison and the good work he did to end apartheid & bring peace & stability to the country afterward. His actions, while many were morally questionable in his early years, brought freedom & equal rights to the people of South Africa. He’s not a perfect man by any measure, but that doesn’t make him less of an important figure. Overall, he was a force for good. I mourn his passing.

  3. Bondurant

    I would be interested to learn more from credible sources. Some of the websites telling of his evil deeds are not what I would consider credible (not that they are wrong, just that I would seek verification from other sources as well) but I am also skeptical about leaders and politicians that are lionized. The candy coating is typically never far away. Some people get upset with me as I do not refrain from bringing up the dirty deeds and people considered to be heroes and respected. The faults of each man are equally important to his history and legacy as his success.

  4. paulie

    Agreed about Winnie. I believe this was a major issue in their divorce. Winnie was his second of three marriages.

    Fun fact I did not know before: His birth name, if I understood the article correctly, roughly translates as “trouble maker.” Nelson was a name he was given in Christian school a few years later.

  5. James Babb

    I guess non-violence is no longer a Key Green Value. A lot of Greens probably do support “necklacing” their opponents. Thank god they don’t have any power.

  6. paulie

    I guess non-violence is no longer a Key Green Value. A lot of Greens probably do support “necklacing” their opponents.

    I think you have your Mandelas mixed up on that one. Winnie was the one involved with necklacing; Nelson was the one who divorced her in large part over those types of things.

  7. Deran

    The use of such horrible things as necklacing is to be condemned. But the ANC was fighting a violent authoritarian regime. A regime that used absolute brutality to maintain minority rule. So, the ANC taking up arms against the white regime is a matter of freedom fighting, and that sort of struggle is not related to Winnie Mandela’s gangsterism. imo.

  8. Jed Ziggler Post author

    Again, James, no one is denying the bad things Mandela & the ANC did, but we celebrate the way he changed his ways & became a positive force for good. Do you judge everyone by every bad deed they’ve done in their past, or do you look at the whole person? Who can possibly deny the great things Mandela did for South Africa? For the world?

  9. Deran

    Do you honestly think the American revolutionaries were always gentlemen and kind in all their actions? It’s freaking revolutionary war between an all powerful dictatorship and an oppressed majority with very limited resources. Get over yourself and your prejudices, comrade Babb.

  10. Green Party Voter

    Green Party founder Petra Kelly, and winner of the Alternative Nobel Peace Prize was absolutely always nonviolent. This was an informative Green Party post. Thank you.

  11. James Babb

    Nelson probably was a benefit to South Africa. That’s not in dispute. What is in dispute is the Key Green Value of non-violence. Greens have never been overly concerned with that one. In fact, most openly support state violence to enforce their social agenda. They really should rewrite their values to be consistent with the use of violence when it suits their agenda.

  12. langa

    No one who supports the existence of monopoly government could possibly be a consistent advocate of non-violence, since violence is absolutely intrinsic to monopoly government.

  13. Bob Tiernan

    “I guess non-violence is no longer a Key Green Value. A lot of Greens probably do support ‘necklacing’ their opponents. ” = J. Babb

    .
    .
    Well, Nelson Mandela wasn’t into that. As for the Greens, well, I do note that a large chunk of the Left adores killers, and non-democracy, and are probably disappointed that Mandela didn’t declare himself dictator, slaughter those whites still living there, and confiscate all property. Just like they adore that island off Florida that’s had no elections in over 50 years. And those people have the nerve to squeal like stuck pigs regarding something like Voter ID or shortening early voting periods as an “attack on democracy”.

    .
    .
    Whatever.

    .
    Bob T

  14. paulie

    According to his own book, Nelson Mandela “signed off” on the Church Street Bombing that killed 19 and wounded 217.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_Street_bombing

    The link says that civilians were not the target, which was the South African Air Force HQ. However, it should have been hit at night rather than at rush hour.

    regarding something like Voter ID or shortening early voting periods as an “attack on democracy”.

    That’s exactly what it is.

  15. Bob Tiernan

    “regarding something like Voter ID or shortening early voting periods as an ‘attack on democracy’.
    That’s exactly what it is.” — Paulie

    .
    .
    Depends. We’re not talking about shortening voting periods to a couple of hours, which would fit into your description. Look, we once had election DAY. Everyone knew what it was. Now we have three weeks in some places, and some talk of shortening the period – never back to one day but more like a week or so. I see nothing wriong with that. Less time for others to vote several times. Particularly if we have what many were advocating for years, i.e. Election Weekend (starting on Fridays).

    As for Voter ID cards, I’m not big on that at present but in these days when there are so many important things people cannot do unless they have a picture ID I find the arguments against this idea becoming less and less convincing. But it matters only if we have polling places again. I miss polling places. One went in, signed the book (sig was compared to last time), and then voting commenced. Pretty hard to go to another polling place as Brian Donlevy did in “The Great McGinty” (1940) to cast additional votes using other identities, but I’m sure it still happens.
    .
    .

    Again, it’s all in how this is done but my point still stands: it’s comical to hear lefties whine and scream over these ideas when at the same time they adore Castro (no elections since 1959), and Che, who loved to murder anyone who advocated anything like democracy.
    .

    B. Tiernan

  16. paulie

    Now we have three weeks in some places, and some talk of shortening the period – never back to one day but more like a week or so.

    There’s no good reason to shorten it. It’s really an attempt by Republicans to keep people that are less likely to vote for them from voting at all.

    I see nothing wriong with that. Less time for others to vote several times.

    Where’s the evidence that that has been a problem?

    Particularly if we have what many were advocating for years, i.e. Election Weekend (starting on Fridays).

    Which hasn’t happened.

    As for Voter ID cards, I’m not big on that at present but in these days when there are so many important things people cannot do unless they have a picture ID I find the arguments against this idea becoming less and less convincing.

    There are still many millions of people without a curret state ID and having problems getting one. I’m one of them.

    But it matters only if we have polling places again. I miss polling places

    The vast majority of states still have them. Talk to your state legislature since you are in one of the few exceptions.

    Pretty hard to go to another polling place as Brian Donlevy did in “The Great McGinty” (1940) to cast additional votes using other identities, but I’m sure it still happens.

    Anecdotes are nice, but that kind of voter fraud is passe. The voter fraud these days is electronic black box voting and is mainly carried out by election software companies like Diebold with ties to the NSGOP.

    As for Castro and Che you will get no argument from me.

  17. James Babb

    The truth here seems well defined to me. Murder, plunder, economic destruction… Feel free to dispute these facts if you have other information.

  18. James Babb

    I don’t see anything in that blog post that erases his horrific use of violence, militarization and the economic desolation he caused. Some may approve of these methods and his nationalist socialism, but his actions are not consistent with Key Green Values or the NAP. This is indisputable.

  19. paulie

    violence, militarization and the economic desolation he caused.

    Compared with what? The apartheid regime which, as Kevin Carson points out in his article (not very positive about Mandela BTW) rested on

    historic wrongs of land and mineral resource appropriation by white settlers, forced resettlement of the black population, and the historic legacy of entire industries built on slave labor and virtual slave labor.

    http://c4ss.org/content/22891

    Or perhaps you’d like to compare post-Apartheid South Africa with the rest of post-colonial Subsaharan Africa and what has happened all over that continent?

    Violence and militarization…compared with Apartheid South Africa? Zimbabwe, Angola, the Congo…?

    It’s nice to fantasize about Key Green Values and the NAP, and it would have been interesting to see whether they could have solved the problems of post-colonialism in the real world, but let’s examine the actual historical alternatives that we have seen in action in Africa. That may be a more realistic standard to judge an African leader by than philosophical ideals.

  20. Bob Tiernan

    Babb: “I don’t see anything in that blog post that erases his horrific use of violence, militarization and the economic desolation he caused.”

    .
    So? Point is he apparently disappointed a lot of people who either wanted to see him slaughter people and make himself dictator, or were afreaid he was going to slaughter people and make himself dictator. We could have used a lot more like him.

    .
    Bob Tiernan

  21. Jose M Lopez Sierra

    Dear Partners,

    President Obama said in his speech at Nelson Mandela’s memorial that we should all ask ourselves how well we are applying Nelson Mandela’s lessons.

    The facts that the United States government has not liberated Puerto Rico’s political prisoner Oscar López Rivera, and decolonized Puerto Rico prove that President Obama obviously is not applying them at all! How easy it is to find fault in others, and never see our own. Nevertheless, Nelson Mandela has taught us that together we can make miracles happen!

    José
    http://www.TodosUnidosDescolonizarPR.blogspot.com

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