- Posted March 16, 2014 by
On Thursday, December 5th, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela passed away, leaving an orphan-looking South Africa and minds full with admiration.
100,000 South Africans, of all ages and colours, attended his funeral. Several presidents wrote in his honour, such as Obama did, saying : « Over 30 years ago, while still a student, I learnt of Mandela and the struggles in this land. It stirred something in me. It woke me up to my responsibilities – to others, and to myself – and set me on an improbable journey that finds me here today. And while I will always fall short of Madiba’s example, he makes me want to be better. »
Madiba was of course a symbol, but more significantly, he was a man who lived up to his symbol. He did not only embody freedom, respect, tolerance, equality, solidarity and justice : he defended these values. Yet I fear his battle was never won. Our society keeps on oozing racialism. Our modern scourge, religious racism (for eg, between islamists and islamophobic people) is as pernicious as apartheid was. Therefore, let's not forget to wonder what are admiration and noble thoughts if they are not followed by acts. Shouldn't we fight for the values we believe in ?