Happy 90th Birthday Nelson Mandela: You’re Finally Off the U.S. Terrotist Watch List

mandelaNelson Mandela and other members of the anti-apartheid “terrorist group,” called the African National Congress were just issued a pardon by United States president, George W. Bush. “He had no place on our government’s terror watch list, and I’m pleased to see this bill finally become law,” said former Democratic presidential nominee, Senator John Kerry. The bill gave the State Department and the Homeland Security Department the authority to waive restrictions against current and former ANC members. South Africa’s apartheid government had designated the ANC a terrorist organization over 40 years ago, during the group’s struggle against institutional racism. At the time, the United States of America was South Africa’s ally. Current vice-president Dick Cheney voted to keep Mandela in prison, because he supported the apartheid government’s condemnation of the ANC. 27 years in prison, a Noble Peace Prize and a presidency later, the United States has finally caught up with reality on the eve of Nelson Mandela’s 90th birthday.

This change of heart brings up some interesting questions. Does Mandela’s transformation from terrorist to inspirational revolutionary mean that the United States is ready to admit that “terrorist activity,” like the armed conflict and sabotage Mandela was involved in is justified in some contexts? Furthermore, In the 21 Century “terrorist” is the new buzz-word to instill fear in the hearts of Americans, the same way “communist” had us shaking in our boots during the Cold War. How does this progressive move counteract established perceptions about disenfranchised people who engage in armed combat in the struggle for freedom and equality?

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Published on July 2, 2008 at 12:56 am. Post A Comment.
Filed under Africa,news/politics,ridiculousness.