What to remember of Nelson Mandela

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English: Young Nelson Mandela. This photo date...
English: Young Nelson Mandela. This photo dates from 1937. South Africa protect the copyright of photographs for 50 years from their first publication. See . Since this image would have been PD in South Africa in 1996, when the URAA took effect, this image is PD in the U.S. Image source: http://www.anc.org.za/people/mandela/index.html (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What are things that we should remember of Nelson Mandela?

1948 was a symbolic date in many ways, not least because during this year the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was being drafted and the very same nations writing this declaration were wholly supporting the South African Apartheid system. Nelson Mandela stood as a powerful personality against the Apartheid system, he stood for equality for the right of a black skin person to be judged equal to a white skin person and to a brown skin person.  He also stood for the right of the white and the brown skin people to have equality with black skin people.

Nelson Mandela embodied the notion of equality. He asked but 2 questions:

  1. Is it fair that because a person has white skin that they have more rights than those who don’t?
  2. Is it fair that because a person has black skin that they have less rights than people who don’t?

What remains of these questions about skin colour is found in the collective imagination. All nations must be sure to say collectively that their nation belongs to them no matter what colour your skin is, that each and every one of us has a role to play, that we have equality of opportunity and of responsibility.

There are un-countable millions who feel as I do that an educated population provided with equality of opportunity not judged on skin colour or religious practice has within its collective imagination the resources to overcome the challenges of harmful ideas and victimization.


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