Nelson Mandela is 90, and America still doesn't care
Back in the far reaches of time there was a prisoner that no one knew. Well at least in America. Back in 1962 a Black man was thrown in a jail (with the help of the CIA) because he wanted freedom. He wanted a say in his government, he wanted to be equal to those around him. He wanted an end to the poverty that was focused on ever other Black in the nation. He was a visionary, and that vision was enough to have him locked up for 27 years.
Back in the 1980’s people like Rev. Wright realized that this man existed in a tiny jail cell. They realized that what he wanted was an inalienable right. They realized that no nation should ever rule over its people in such a manner.
That nation was South Africa, the rule of law was Apartheid, and the man is Nelson Mandela.
Throughout the 1980’s and afterwards America woke up to the fact that a modern day slavery existed in the world. It was something the nation stood up and rejected, though not without resistance in some parts. But eventually the nation refused to do business with South Africa, hitting them in their pockets hard. We protested and held rallies. We politically turned up the heat internationally. And in 1990, Nelson Mandela saw the light of day as a free man. In 1994 he became the leader of his nation and abolished all vestiges of Apartheid. He led his nation to democratic rule, and improve the lives of millions of Africans in the process.
Today that man is 90 years old. An age many never envisioned him reaching in 1980. And his message today, though retired from elected office and generally from public life, is as strong as at any point prior. He seeks peace in Zimbabwe, as well as social and economic reform. He has fought to gain international attention to AIDS in Africa, and is a Nobel Prize winner. His words resonate as strongly in the world as almost and current national leader.
And I have to wonder. America woke up to Africa in 1980. For a brief moment the nation paid attention to a land filled with Black people, and the injustice being wrought by the Whites in power their. And then we walked away.
Today there is a genocide raging in Africa, and America does nothing. We don’t even discuss the atrocity on the nightly news. There are nations in unrest, and the majority of Americans can’t name 3 countries in the continent. [Most just refer to Africa as if it were one nation instead of multiple nations on a single continent. That’s not just rude, it’s stupid.] There are those starving, and those striving to survive, and America imagines the continent to be a big jungle filled with savages – even in the 21st Century.
“It is Not On Our Watch that again did something our nation seems incapable, or unwilling, to do. Today they gave $500,000 to the World Food Program (WFP) of the United Nations. The WFP has been providing food and support people in Darfur for years, in fact 70% of it’s aid goes to this area alone.”
Has America acted to help all the African nations? A bit. There is of course Somolia, and various donations of food and money given by individuals and a touch by the government. But that’s all the political polispeak of it. We aren’t involved in Africa. We don’t care what happens there. Because if we did all the African nations would be different today.
“America has become a policeman of the world in my lifetime. We have entered multiple nations as a peacekeeping force and in wars. Yet, for some reason America has turned its back while the equivalent of Orlando, Florida (or possibly Cleveland, Ohio – the exact number is unknown) have been killed since 2003. Let me make this clear, that’s between 200,000 to 400,000 men women and children that have been killed and counting.”
China is the leading investor in the African continent. America openly does business with, and therefore funds, the Sudan – funding the murder of children and women every day. I have spoken about HR 180 IH, and the presidential candidates won’t. Congress fails to act and the news media ignores it.
“When I think of Darfur I am reminded of a quote,“Man's inhumanity to man is not only perpetrated by the vitriolic actions of those who are bad. It is also perpetrated by the vitiating inaction of those who are good.” – Dr. Martin Luther King.
Back in June I noted that there had not been a single candidate that had spoken about the atrocity in Darfur. Today that genocide in Darfur continues, Congress has not acted, and the Presidential candidates continue to turn a blind eye…”
But how much money has America poured into Serbia? How many laws were enacted to resolve that conflict? How many soldiers did we send to help end that genocide, which was discussed at least weekly on the news? And yet we can’t even pass one law to limit the money going to the Sudan from our government to say nothing of businesses.
Nelson Mandela is a great man. He has lead a life worthy of notice and remembrance. At 90 he continues to call out to the world to do the right thing. And America has gone back to the deaf ear it had the day the jail cell doors closed on Mr. Mandela.
We can do better, we can be better. And all the polispeak from both political parties is not enough to hide the fact that America treats all the African nations like they were in a Tarzan movie.
You can write to Congress to request action in preserving the lives of thousands of women and children via your local Senator or Congressman: