The conservative reaction to the death and funeral of Nelson Mandela, including the politicization of the actions of President Obama, has been even more ignorant,
cowardly, and vicious than I ever would have imagined. I mean, I knew many conservatives, especially the louder ones, were lacking in intellectual firepower and testicular heft. But they surpassed
even my meager expectations.
One particular friend, whom I have known since I was a little kid, chimed in with this little nugget of Facebook brilliance:
"In the "for what it's worth" column...It’s uncommon for the U.S. flag to be lowered in honor of foreign leaders’ deaths. Obama issued a statement of
mourning earlier this year after the death of Margaret Thatcher, former prime minister of the United Kingdom, but he didn’t order the lowering of the American flag. In fact, the last foreign
dignitary to be memorialized with the flag was Pope John Paul II in 2005."
Thatcher was an elected official, and a polarizing one, in her own country. She is not remembered well, certainly not as fondly as Reagan is in this country. She
was, however, a staunch conservative whose policies have been long since discredited and dismissed, and an ally of Reagan's. Bringing her up as an example is only the first indication of the
ridiculous "dog whistle" intent of this statement.
Mandela was far more than an mere elected official or bureaucratic functionary. He was a revolutionary figure, one who was imprisoned for fighting against an
oppressive social machinery, and whose message of tolerance, equality, and (most importantly) forgiveness gives him the rightful status as one of the leading humanitarian figures of the last
Not unlike the cited Pope John Paul II...the flags weren't lowered to celebrate their position or their accrued power; it was to celebrate their accomplishments as
human beings. Maggie simply doesn't make the cut.
Oh, yeah... Mandela was black. Like Obama. You hearing that dog whistle a little clearer now?
So, a couple of his more "enlightened" FB followers chimed in.
"That tells us that POTUS identifies with a anti-colonialist, (never renounced} communist"
"It is unfortunate that, by definition we are "required" to pay any attention to anything this man says or does...Sad days for our
"He makes me sick!"
"This was stupid, showing once again that he is the WORST President EVER!! His loyalties disgust me."
And a couple of his other followers gave the "thumbs up" to these pearls of pig-shit ignorance.
To the first gentlemen...I'm not sure why pro-colonialism would be such an enticing concept. You must see something in the oppression and eradication of a culture
that I just don't get. Or maybe you're just a dick.
Yeah, I'm going with the latter.
And Mandela was never a Marxist; he allied with an also-outlawed communist party that aligned itself, like Mandela's ANC, against apartheid in South Africa. Such
alliances, in times of conflict or for political expedience, are nothing new. The United States allied itself with Stalin, to cite the despot who exploited Marxism to the most dramatic and tragic
effect in history. Of course, some called Roosevelt and Truman, who championed that alliance, communists, as well...with the same dazzling lack of accuracy as those who say the same about Mandela.
Mandela never, at any time, claimed or endorsed the concept of Marxism, not in his private letters or public statements, and there is not even a shred of anecdotal
evidence to suggest otherwise.
So later, another friend, who I have known for almost two decades now, and like a good deal, started harping about Obama :
"Taking selfies and cutting up at a funeral".
To which some fuckwit replied:
"I would have been asleep at that funeral. so freakin boring hear how horrible whites were.... he was sentenced for a reason...LOL"
and (same guy):
"I think Obama really is thanking his ancestors for being taken to America. he has it good..LOL"
Let's forget the obvious racial undertones of this yammering squirrel monkey, and examine the "facts" as presented by this little round table...
A) It wasn't a funeral. It was billed as a memorial service and celebration of Mandela's life. It was closer to a pep rally than a funeral, with bright colors,
chants, singing and dancing going on in the audience, even while the speakers were talking. Had you watched it, rather than tossing off groundless insults, you probably would have known that. More
comparable to an Irish wake than a funeral.
B) There were no words demeaning whites or any race at the service. In fact, the sight of whites and blacks dancing and hugging, in South Africa, and the messages
given by the speakers I heard, was quite inspiring.
C) Obama is not the "descendant" of African-American slaves, but of a Kenyan father who lived in the United States of his own design. Doesn't this guy know he's
mucking things up for his "birther" buddies?
D) The fact that conservatives are jumping on this, and his micro-second handshake with Castro, just illuminates how empty their policy arguments are.
One more thing...all of you left wing pages that keep reminding me that Dick Cheney and Ronald Reagan and a bunch of other stodgy old white men voted to keep
apartheid in place? Shut the fuck up. Anyone with any sense of history knows that. But this was a time to celebrate Mandela, and what he did, and what he represents, not a chance to excoriate
Because in the end, to me, anyway, what Mandela is to be celebrated for is not merely his willingness to fight for what he believed, or the strength and resilience
he showed during his twenty-seven year imprisonment, or his political and legislative skills as the President of his country.
It was in the showing us, ultimately, the astounding and beautiful power of unconditional forgiveness.
So, I guess I should forgive the dumbfucks I have quoted here.
Doesn't make 'em any less of a dumbfuck, though.