“Nelson Mendela” is still riding high on the google news headlines. Using pretty mainstream sources I questioned his ongoing canonization earlier. But the anointing of the dead continues. One sample headline, this one from CNN: “Mourners hail Nelson Mandela’s courage, conviction, ‘remarkable lack of bitterness’.”
Honestly, I’d be more impressed if some journalist would actually work for a living and dig up an elderly amputee from one of the ANC’s bombings. Or perhaps a child who saw his father necklaced. If someone like that displayed a “remarkable lack of bitterness,” I would be impressed.
Joel McDurmon of American Vision wrote a piece on “The Real Mandela” and made an apt comparison:
In the wake of the Boston bombings, Obama stated that the acts would be investigated as acts of terrorism, because, “Any time bombs are used to target innocent civilians it is an act of terror.”
“Any time. . . .”
Yet this morning, when addressing the death of Mandela only a few months later, the same president said, “We’ve lost one of the most influential, courageous, and profoundly good human beings that any of us will share time with on this earth.”
There is indeed a disconnect in the public discourse.
But when you think about it, it is a disconnect that all politicians demand of us. They demand that we hate their targeted countries for sponsoring terrorism while they sponsor terrorists, the same kind of terrorists who attacked us on 9/11/01. They insist that we pretend the weapons and money they send overseas is only going to a handful of moderates and not the “extremists” even though we all know better. They insist that all their secret drone killings be accepted, though secret, as morally justified even when caught underestimating or lying about civilians those drones have killed.
Killing innocent people is only wrong for politicians when they don’t win the PR battle.
And the deifying of Mandela also shows that the occasional arguments from “realism” really don’t work for politicians. Sure, sometimes they will say, “Yes, he did this and this which are morally wrong but the results were worth it.” But that is only when cornered. With Mandela, all the bombings simply vanish down the memory hole. The man is lauded not as a committed strategist who refused to surrender, but as the most righteous and perfect man on earth—“one of the most influential, courageous, and profoundly good human beings that any of us will share time with on the earth.”
I have to wonder: Is Mandela being sainted despite his past violence? Or because of it?
The lesson here is that when you hear of some political revolutionary planting bombs to terrorize society, you had better be careful not to set your heart against him. You never know if you might be required to revere him at his funeral.