We the members of the Umkhonto have pledged ourselves to kill them — kill the whites. The MK was established by its commander, Nelson Mandela, to prosecute a terrorist war against South Nelson mandela apartheid essay’s racist apartheid regime.
Interestingly, but not ironically, as Mandela and others repeated the refrain about killing Boer farmers, it was a white man who stood next to him, similarly clench-fisted and singing. The man’s name is Ronnie Kasrils. A Soviet-trained terrorist who helped Mandela found the MK, Kasrils was a member of the Central Committee of the South African Communist Party. No surprise there: Communism was, and remains, the animating ideology of the ANC. That makes it the enduring tragedy of South Africa. I admit to finding this week’s Mandela hagiography tough to take. It was, to be sure, predictable.
Still, while high-wattage fawning was to be expected in the mainstream media, the conservative press, too, tripped over itself to praise Mandela. Race, of course, is at the bottom of all this. We are all properly repulsed by the apartheid system of legally coerced racial segregation. Institutionalized racism is a thing of the past in the United States, but the blight lingers, overshadowing the heroic moral crusade to overcome it and become a nation that fully lives its founding ideals. An event like Nelson Mandela’s death, like the airbrushing of Mandela in life, becomes less about him than it is an occasion to reaffirm our historic, impersonal guilt — it being as facile to proclaim the ability to redeem other people’s sins as to exhibit charity with other people’s money.
Nevertheless, it is worth remembering — particularly here at National Review — that the modern conservative movement has never been about liberty as an abstraction. Its trailblazers, led by William F. In South Africa, the fissure to exploit was race — with the added advantage that apartheid was immoral because it rejected the equal human dignity of every citizen. The ANC, however, were no freedom fighters. The armed struggle Mandela led was not to give every South African an equal opportunity to enjoy the fruits of liberty.
It was a will-to-power struggle to give the Communists dominion over the country. As Ron Radosh recounts in the most clear-eyed Mandela remembrance to be found this week, Mandela fully accepted the positions of the South African Communist Party and used its strength to turn the ANC to terrorism. The MK led a terrorist insurgency that included bombings of public places. It killed many, many more civilians than it did members of the regime’s security forces — copiously including women and children. Indeed, it killed many more people than the approximately 7,000 black South Africans who, according to the post-apartheid Truth and Reconciliation Commission, were killed by the regime during the 46 years of apartheid.
In fact, twice that number, over 14,000 people, were killed between 1990 and 1994 — the period during which the ANC was legalized and black-on-black violence became rampant, just as it is in South Africa today. As Ron Radosh further recounts, Mandela struck alliances with the world’s worst Communist thugs. He similarly courted Moammar Qaddafi, Yasser Arafat, and the totalitarian regimes of North Korea and Iran. Mandela was thus, naturally, stinging in his rebukes of the United States. In 2002, President Bush — much like the press this week, preferring to see the Mandela of Western lore rather than of South African reality — presented him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. A year later, after the American invasion of Iraq, Mandela ripped the U. If there is a country that has committed unspeakable atrocities in the world, it is the United States of America.
He is deservedly lauded for not following the path of Zimbabwe’s monstrous Marxist dictator, Robert Mugabe. South Africa, and where it is headed. Defying fears justified by his past, Mandela did not allow South Africa to slide into civil war upon becoming president in 1994. Nor did he immediately fulfill the revolutionary hopes of his fellow Communists. Nevertheless, as the South African journalist Ilana Mercer recounts in Into the Cannibal’s Pot, a searing if depressing account of her country post-apartheid, approximately 300,000 South Africans have been murdered since the day, almost 20 years ago, that Mandela took office.