Wednesday, 11 December 2013 12:15
First National Bank Stadium
Johannesburg, South Africa
"It is hard to eulogize any man -- to capture in words not just the facts and the dates that make a life, but the essential truth of a person -- their private joys and sorrows; the quiet moments and unique qualities that illuminate someone's soul. How much harder to do so for a giant of history, who moved a nation toward justice, and in the process moved billions around the world.
"Born during World War I, far from the corridors of power, a boy raised herding cattle and tutored by the elders of his Thembu tribe, Madiba would emerge as the last great liberator of the 20th century. Like Gandhi, he would lead a resistance movement -- a movement that at its start had little prospect for success. Like Dr. King, he would give potent voice to the claims of the oppressed and the moral necessity of racial justice. He would endure a brutal imprisonment that began in the time of Kennedy and Khrushchev, and reached the final days of the Cold War. Emerging from prison, without the force of arms, he would -- like Abraham Lincoln -- hold his country together when it threatened to break apart. And like America's Founding Fathers, he would erect a constitutional order to preserve freedom for future generations -- a commitment to democracy and rule of law ratified not only by his election, but by his willingness to step down from power after only one term.
"Madiba insisted on sharing with us his doubts and his fears; his miscalculations along with his victories. "I am not a saint," he said, "unless you think of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying." It was precisely because he could admit to imperfection -- because he could be so full of good humor, even mischief, despite the heavy burdens he carried -- that we loved him so.
"Mandela showed us the power of action; of taking risks on behalf of our ideals. But like other early giants of the ANC -- the Sisulus and Tambos -- Madiba disciplined his anger and channeled his desire to fight into organization, and platforms, and strategies for action, so men and women could stand up for their God-given dignity.
Wednesday, 11 December 2013 11:15
In my memory is the disinvestment movement which encouraged the world to take their investments out of South Africa as long as Apartheid was their primary political activity. We all discovered that the University of California and other national American organizations had invested in the South African economy. I remember attending rallies where we promoted the disinvestment programs, while our politicians like Maxine Waters from Los Angeles and Ronald Dellums from Oakland pushed, more or less, from within. My recollection is that this push to divest was done over the objections of then Governor Ronald Reagan. However, for many investors, it was the anti-Apartheid struggle that revealed our ability to effect change through the power of our money.
Tuesday, 03 December 2013 20:37
Bill Di Blasio, the newly elected mayor of New York, is married to Chirlane McCray. They have two children. Thomas Jefferson had children by Sally Hemming. Strom Thurmond had children by his family's maid. Bill Cohen, former senator from Maine and Secretary of Defense, married news reporter Janet Langhart. In case you didn't know, each of the above mentioned women are Black and the men are White. So what's the point? This should be of little concern as the world continues to move on.
Wednesday, 27 November 2013 08:00
Once again the Season of Thanksgiving is here and we have much to be thankful for. So I have listed a few things that we should add to our lists, as people who find ourselves in bad economic times with an African American President.
Wednesday, 20 November 2013 09:03
This month marks the twenty-fourth year of publishing The Journal. We started from a four page pamphlet on the year of my father's passing and moved from that to what we have today. It has been a labor of love based on the most basic motivator, filling a need.
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