Nelson Mandela (1918 - 2013) with Lady Diana, the Princess of Wales (1961 - 1997)
The legacies of 1948
Eric LaMont Gregory
The lights of liberty dimmed in South Africa in 1948 when Nelson Mandela was 30 years old. The new regime in South Africa introduced a regressive system that mirrored the - separate but equal status - that Americans of African origin endured in the United States of America, where the constitutionally garanteed promise of equality was seen as for - whites only. Mandela, the privileged son of a tribal chief could not accept the undemocratic nature of a system of governance based on race, especially when that system granted superior status to 10 percent of the population and gave them unholy control over 90 percent of the population who were mostly indigenous.
Manela's opposition to the fascist order of the South African government would cause him to be incarcerated for nearly 30 years. And yet, history shows that Nelson Mandela overcame the fallicy of superiority and rose to become president of a reasonably ordered South African nation.
At the other end of the African continent in 1948 the State of Israel came into being. Settled by people who had suffered at the hands of yet another fascist ordering of society, and yet today, unlike the progress seen in South Africa the Middle East remains mired in perpetual conflict. A seemingly endless series of peace initiatives have come and withered under the weight of either Arab nationalism, and more recently Islamic revivalism. The ordering of society based on religion has engulfed nearly one seventh of the world's population and increased intolerance. So much for peaceful relations.
Nevertheless, progress will be made when people of vision, like the two pictured above, realize that peace as well as poverty are the result of human engineering and the former can by attained and the latter eliminated by human effort.
This author spent nearly three years in the Middle East and knowing that peace is attainable there plans to engage himself in that effort. Although long overdue, it is time to stop the waste of life and resources.