Sanitizing Mandela

by Jackie Muhammad

Article Reprintmandela

As 90 heads of state converged on South Africa to commemorate and memorialize the lifelong accomplishments of former South African President Nelson Mandela, a cadre of liberal and conservative pundits wasted no time modifying the true image of the iconic South African leader. Many of these media mavens have sought to reduce Mandela’s image to that of a race reconciler, someone who sought to bridge the racial gap between the citizenry of a “rainbow nation.” Mr. Mandela was a dignified humanist. But he was also a revolutionary and a man committed to the social, political, and economic betterment of the millions of oppressed South Africans.

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