President Obama is very much a Nelson Mandela — if white boy Billy Ayers is a Sakharov. The two Americans share skin color with celebrated foreign symbols of resistance, and in our world race is given a primary consideration when selecting role models or, in Ayers’s case, objects of envy.
Mandela was a brave man, and the apartheid had to go, but he was also a communist terrorist, and South Africa of today is not exactly a bastion of freedom and prosperity. I find it telling that Amnesty International didn’t consider the South African a prisoner of consciousness and never took on his case. After his release AI found it necessary to hob-nob with him, contributing to the whitewash of his record. The end of apartheid was not so much a personal achievement of Mandela’s, who, apparently, was not much of a leader, but a course of history (h/t The Daley Gator). To say that the man’s record is checkered is an understatement. His ANC and his wife were supportive of lynching (see some lovely pictures at The Camp of The Saints), which I take to mean that the chattering classes will be comparing Mandela to Tea Party in 1, 2… never mind.
Mandela’s deification is in full swing with Empire State building lit in colors of the South African flag, and our own flags flown half-mast. None of that happened on the occasion of passing of, say, the Czech hero Vaclav Havel. After all, he only fought of freedom of pasty-colored individuals in snowy northern stretches where no lofty neo-marxist post-colony theory applies (although I’m pretty sure an enterprising employee of a four-year college can invent such neo-marxist theory in exchange for tenure). Also, Havel was not known for clinching fists.
And G-d forbid we officially mourn the death of Margaret Thatcher, a great friend of our country. Obamas, who are now on their way to South Africa in two separate planes, elected to save taxpayers’ money when Havel and Thatcher were laid to final rest. Because what nations need shared values and friendship when you have post-Marxist theory and skin color?
What the masses know about Mandela is a low-brow version of post-colonial theory. He was black, he was in prison, he was freed and somehow at some point he befriended a recording artist who wrote a non-committal protest song thus solidifying his reputation for, like, being political.
Nelson Mandela’s story is certainly meaningful to blacks and those who project into them. Obamster, for instance, dutifully tweeted a picture of self against a background of some Mandela-related artifact, and Michael Shear of NYT gushes that ‘Without Nelson Mandela, there might never have been a President Obama.” (H/t Rush). OK, I get it, Barry Soetoro, the abandoned child, had to find a black-skinned role model, and maybe Mandela filled the niche — or not, we know very little about the president’s personal development. We do know, however, that the first family is very much enthralled by South Africa with the First Lady draping her progenies into South African flags and their dear friend Oprah Winfrey doing some charity work there. So thank you Nelson Mandela for saddling the free world with our 44th President.
Did you know that the Czech PM Jiri Rusnok was caught on hot mike complaining about having to go to Mandela’s funeral? Bibi is sitting it out, allegedly due to the high cost of the trip, but I can’t help thinking that maybe he’s trying to make a statement about post-colonial marxist drivel and and is avoiding our treacherous president.
I can understand Mr. Rusnok: why go to Johannesburg if you are in Prague? Apartheid ended shortly after Berlin Wall fell, and while nearly everyone in the West agrees that that Mandela is “inspirational”, who wants to visit to South Africa? Few people know of Havel, but who will refuse a trip to Czech Republic, which, to be sure, has a lot to do with the country’s long history and friendly people. Heritage Foundation put Czech Republic at #29 on its current world index of economic freedom and the country’s leadership deserves some praise for that.