In the video above Pulitzer Prize winning columnist Clarence Page talks about President Mandela's legacy. He mentioned a number of things I didn't know, but those are things that are of note. His most important legacy, is he left South Africa as the strongest nation on the continent. Could any of his successors have risen to the occasion as he had?
I was prepared to take this time to get on my soapbox and start throwing some opinions around. One opinion to thrown out is that he like Blacks here in this nation sparked a movement that was necessary. Apartheid was wrong just as segregation was wrong here. I could cringe at people calling the injustice here "American apartheid", but then in some respects there were little difference.
Yeah Blacks were forced to give up their seats to a white person on a bus. Yeah Blacks were forced to be served in very inferior accommodations. Yeah like South Africans, Blacks weren't even allowed to cast a ballot and influence the direction of their nation, state or even cities. Still the civil rights and anti-apartheid movement was necessary.
Although there is one thing I would still get on my soapbox about. Unfortunately humans still look at each other differently. You don't live here, what are you doing here? You don't speak like us? It easy to point out the differences between people and then turn around and say I'm better than you because of these minor differences.
Now I realize I'm putting apartheid simply here. But that's the deal while Africans in South African were probably more in number than the whites who instituted apartheid the differences were only because of skin color and possibly an assumption that whites were superior. Sadly I'm sure people still point out the differences, in fact perhaps the roles have reversed.
Now that Blacks are in power over there I'm sure there are still some tensions. All the same if President Mandela has a legacy it's that we need to continue to bridge these minor differences whatever tongue you speak, your ethnicity, your faith, or even your geography. These differences are minor but somehow we still have to find a way to live together and hopefully we too can build a positive legacy for the next generation.