Brooklyn Legends joins the world in mourning the loss of President Nelson Mandela, who has been justly referred to as one of the world’s greatest sons! It is heartwarming to read the tributes from around the world for there was a time when Nelson Mandela’s name was not always highly regarded in some circles — even here in the United States of America.
In the late 1980s, President Ronald Reagan placed President Mandela’s African National Congress (ANC) on America’s official list of terrorist groups. In 1985, then-Congressman Dick Cheney voted against a resolution that called for Mandela to be released from prison.
In 2004, after President Mandela criticized the war in Iraq, an article published in the National Review said “his (Mandela’s) vicious anti-Americanism and support for Saddam Hussein should come as no surprise, given the longstanding dedication to communism and praise for terrorists.” As late as 2008, the ANC remained on America’s terrorism watch list.
Why is this so important to remember now? For me the answer is simple, we should never forget that Nelson Mandela’s struggle continued long after he was released from prison. We should watch as many will clamor to be a part of President Mandela’s funeral so that history can record their name. We should never forget that the leaders of our own country did not always lend their voices in support of all that he was fighting to achieve for his people and his country. How could they? These were the same injustices that African-Americans were fighting against here in America.
Nothing was given to President Mandela. He earned every accolade, every triumph and every reward that he received.
Thank you President Mandela for staying the course. Rest in peace!