Nelson Mandela’s death has unleashed a flood of whitewashed, politically correct memorials of a man who spent most of his life as a deeply radical and controversial figure.
In the desire to celebrate Nelson Mandela’s life — an iconic figure who triumphed over South Africa’s brutal apartheid regime — it’s tempting to homogenize his views into something everyone can support. This is not, however, an accurate representation of the man.
Mandela was a political activist and agitator. He did not shy away from controversy and he did not seek — or obtain — universal approval. Before and after his release from prison, he embraced an unabashedly progressive and provocative platform. As one commentator put itshortly after the announcement of the freedom fighter’s death, “Mandela will never, ever be your minstrel. Over the next few days you will try so, so hard to make him something he was not, and you will fail. You will try to smooth him, to sandblast him, to take away his Malcolm X. You will try to hide his anger from view.”
As the world remembers Mandela, here are some of the things he believed that many will gloss over.
1. Mandela blasted the Iraq War and American imperialism. Mandela called Bush “a president who has no foresight, who cannot think properly,” and accused him of “wanting to plunge the world into a holocaust” by going to war in Iraq. “All that (Mr. Bush) wants is Iraqi oil,” he said. Mandela even speculated that then-Secretary-General Kofi Annan was being undermined in the process because he was black. “They never did that when secretary-generals were white,” he said. He saw the Iraq War as a greater problem of American imperialism around the world. “If there is a country that has committed unspeakable atrocities in the world, it is the United States of America. They don’t care,” he said.
2. Mandela called freedom from poverty a “fundamental human right.” Mandela considered poverty one of the greatest evils in the world, and spoke out against inequality everywhere. “Massive poverty and obscene inequality are such terrible scourges of our times — times in which the world boasts breathtaking advances in science, technology, industry and wealth accumulation — that they have to rank alongside slavery and apartheid as social evils,” he said. He considered ending poverty a basic human duty: “Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It is an act of justice. It is the protection of a fundamental human right, the right to dignity and a decent life,” he said. “While poverty persists, there is no true freedom.”
3. Mandela criticized the “War on Terror” and the labeling of individuals as terrorists, even Osama Bin Laden, without due process. On the U.S. terrorist watch list until 2008 himself, Mandela was an outspoken critic of President George W. Bush’s war on terror. He warned against rushing to label terrorists without due process. While calling for Osama bin Laden to be brought to justice, Mandela said, “The labeling of Osama bin Laden as the terrorist responsible for those acts before he had been tried and convicted could also be seen as undermining some of the basic tenets of the rule of law.”
4. Mandela called out racism in America. On a trip to New York City in 1990, Mandela made a point of visiting Harlem and praising African Americans’ struggles against “the injustices of racist discrimination and economic equality.” He reminded a larger crowd at Yankee Stadium that racism was not exclusively a South African phenomenon. “As we enter the last decade of the 20th century, it is intolerable, unacceptable, that the cancer of racism is still eating away at the fabric of societies in different parts of our planet,” he said. “All of us, black and white, should spare no effort in our struggle against all forms and manifestations of racism, wherever and whenever it rears its ugly head.”
5. Mandela embraced some of America’s biggest political enemies. Mandela incited shock and anger in many American communities for refusing to denounce Cuban dictator Fidel Castro or Libyan Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, who had lent their support to Mandela against South African apartheid. “One of the mistakes the Western world makes is to think that their enemies should be our enemies,” he explained to an American TV audience. “We have our own struggle.” He added that those leaders “are placing resources at our disposal to win the struggle.” He also called the controversial Palestinian Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat “a comrade in arms.”
6. Mandela was a die-hard supporter of labor unions. Mandela visited the Detroit auto workers union when touring the U.S., immediately claiming kinship with them. “Sisters and brothers, friends and comrades, the man who is speaking is not a stranger here,” he said. “The man who is speaking is a member of the UAW. I am your flesh and blood.”
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A few months ago, physicist Harold White stunned the aeronautics world when he announced that he and his team at NASA had begun work on the development of a faster-than-light warp drive. His proposed design, an ingenious re-imagining of an Alcubierre Drive, may eventually result in an engine that can transport a spacecraft to the nearest star in a matter of weeks — and all without violating Einstein’s law of relativity.
Play with Oregon Humane Society kitty-cats through ROBOTIC TOYS that you can control through this website. IT HAS A LIVE FEED SO YOU CAN WATCH THEM WHILE YOU MOVE KITTY TOYS AROUND. AGHHAGHAHGAHGHAGHAHGHH
truly the internet is a gift
reblogging again because I did this and the cats played back and wow this was way too much fun go do it now
jUSt LOoK aT ThIS bABy
DOING THIS NAO.
this this this this this
if anyone hates me for this you’re not thinking clearly
think about the amount of people killed in the middle east, too ..
lol so edgy xD
the only reason america dropped the atomic bomb was because we were at WAR idiots, if we hadn’t dropped the bomb the war would’ve lasted at lot longer. 9/11 was an act of terrorism, why don’t you go watch a video of the twin towers as they burn after the planes crash into them and later collapse in on themselves burying not only the people that worked there inside, but also the police officers and firefighters who were trying to rescue any survivors, and before they collapsed, when people were forced to choose to burn or jump out to their deaths. so yeah, the atomic bomb killed more people, but one was during WWII and the other was a direct attack of terrorism on America. And the only reason we were at war with Japan was because they attacked us at pearl harbor, if they hadn’t done that the war would’ve stayed in Europe and the atomic bomb wouldn’t have been dropped.
Not even remotely true, but thanks for playing. This misconception largely occurs because of the famous Stimson article that was featured in Harpers’ magazine.
Of course, he didn’t actually WRITE the thing and, though it presents itself as a fireside chat between two people it was actually a heavily engineered document, and almost every fact cited was knowingly wrong by the government at the time (declassified documents - read ‘em). But hey! What better source for info!
That’s neither here nor there though since Japan tried to surrender before we dropped the bomb.
Yes, Japan tried to surrender. Once through Russia, once through Switzerland, once through the Vatican of all places, and many times appealing directly to Truman. We turned them down because of the stipulation that we were not allowed to touch their emperor, a concession the US was not willing to make at the time.
“Foreign Minister Shigemitsu has instructed Ambassador Sato [in Moscow] to find out whether Russia is willing to assist in bringing about a negotiated peace. Shigemitsu’s instructions, although cautiously worded, clearly imply that he has in mind a move by Russia to initiate peace discussions between Japan and the Anglo-Americans… [I]t seems hardly likely that he would have taken such a step without having consulted at least some of the more important members of the new Japanese cabinet… This is the first time that the Japanese have been willing to suggest to Russia directly that they are ready for peace.”
-“Japanese Consider Peace Possibilities” War Department MAGIC reports of intercepted messages: EYES ONLY for President and closest advisers
“I learn from a very reliable source that in important civilian circles in Japan the peace problem is being discussed with increasing anxiety. A speedy German collapse is expected and it is not believed that Japan can then continue the war. It is therefore considered necessary to get peace as soon as possible before the country and towns are destroyed… If any willingness appeared to exist in London the Japanese would be ready for preliminary discussions through Swedish channels. Behind the man who gave me this message stands one of the best known statesment in Japan and there is no doubt that this attempt must be considered as a serious one.”
-Telegram from Swedish minister in Tokyo given from the British Ambassador to the United States
“…It seems probably that very far-reaching conditions would be accepted by the Japanese by way of negotiation… Exchange of the Japanese constituted must also be considered as excluded. The Emperor must not be touched. However, the Imperial power could be somewhat democratized as is that of the English King”
-Report from Swedish minister in Tokyo sent to US State Department
AND EVEN LATER THEY GAVE THOSE CONDITIONS UP
“…Stated that he had been asked by Masutaro Inoue, Counsellor for the Japanese Legation in Portugal, to contact United States representatives. Source quoted Inoue as saying that the Japanese are ready to cease hostilities, provided they are allowed to retain possession of their home islands… On 19 May , the OSS representative reported Inoue again had repeated to source his desire to talk with an American representative. On this occasion Inoue declared that actual peace terms were unimportant so long as the term ‘unconditional surrender’ was not employed.”
-OSS Representative report directly to Truman
Of course, we did anyway. But that’s not important.
Because the bomb wasn’t about Japan.
In Derry and Ramsey’s Memo to Groves (May 12, 1945) when picking a target for the atomic bomb, one of the primary listed reasons for picking a target was:
“making the initial use sufficiently spectacular for the importance of the weapon to be internationally recognized when publicity on it is released.”
In fact, they ranked targets - AA to B. Know what got the lowest ratings? Military targets. The ones that got the highest ratings were civilian ones.
Japan was currently researching wooden planes. WOODEN PLANES. They had attempted to give up, we said no. They had already lost the war when we dropped the bomb. They knew this - hell, they tried to surrender.
So why did we drop the bomb, then?
A close reading of the memo tells all. It was to make an impact on the international community.
Do you know how Truman was first informed about the Manhatten Project and the bomb? It was in a discussion with the Secretary of State in regards to negotiations with Russia after the war.
Truman kept delaying the “Big Three” discussions, the most important political talks in recorded history, until basically the day AFTER the Trinity Tests - he wanted to wait until he knew he had the bomb as a political piece. Stalin and Churchill were VERY angry at him pushing the date back with little to no reason given (they knew, of course, because of spies and intelligence).
Still don’t believe me?
The Secretary of War, and MOST of the army was against dropping the bomb. They wanted to give the option of doing a demonstration and giving Japan an option of total surrender (that we get to do whatever we want with the Emperor) or of giving Japan time to evacuate the civilian population before bombing a city.
Oh, and there’s this from Stimson’s Memo of Talk with Truman (June 6, 1945)
“I told [the President] that I was anxious about this feature of the war for two reasons: first, because I did not want to have the United States get the reputation of outdoing Hitler in atrocities; and second, I was a little fearful that before we could get ready the Air Force might have Japan so thoroughly bombed out that the new weapon would not have a fair background to show its strength. He laughed and said he understood.”
An estimated 500,000 people died between Nagasaki and Hiroshima if you count deaths by radiation poisoning and long-term cancer.
And Truman could only laugh because he was worried the bomb might not be noticeable amongst the wreckage of Japan.
The reason for dropping the bomb was to give America a better condition amongst the international population, particularly Stalin and Russia, in the coming years. It was to make Russia afraid to invade Japan (and from there, the fear was, the rest of Asia) when they knew America had interests in it. They dropped the bomb to give them an advantage when negotiating in the future and to give them a start when everyone began arming (a situation tons of scientists warned everyone about in The Franck Report).
But don’t pretend it was about Japan. And don’t you dare pretend it was about peace.
500,000 people died and all Truman could do was laugh.
I’m rebloggjng this because of the fullness of the information-rich response (the part that actually contains facts, not the rah rah America one)
Bringing this back because it needs to be said and people need reminding.
I knew some of this to an extent, but holy fuck.
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