Mayor Bloomberg plans to name a new Brooklyn school after Nelson Mandela, but Hizzoner should rethink his parting legacy before dedicating American land to a man whose hostility for America was as clear as his admiration for ruthless tyrants.
By now, rivers of tears have been shed and emotional sentiments delivered from sob-filled bosoms around the world for the South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, who emerged from prison after 27 years to become his nation’s first democratically elected president — and a living symbol of resistance.
Mandela invoked a reverie meant for Jesus Christ, Moses, and the pope, and hoped to wipe out racism, poverty, and inequality, but he vilified the world’s top democracy while flattering bloodlusty oppressors.
“If there is a country that has committed unspeakable atrocities in the world, it is the United States of America — they don’t care for human beings,” he said in 2003.
Yet rogue regimes were model societies for him: “There’s one thing where that country stands out head and shoulders above the rest. That is in its love for human rights and liberty,” Mandela waxed about Fidel Castro’s Cuba in 1990.
The Nobel Peace Prize winner then praised his “friend” Moammar Khadafy’s “commitment to the fight for peace and human rights in the world,” ignoring the late Libyan dictator’s human rights abuses, including torture, rape, and setting dogs on prisoners.
He also flattered convicted terrorists. In 2002, Mandela visited Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Megrahi in prison and urged for better conditions for the mass murderer who killed 270 innocent people.
The warped moral stance was in keeping for the self-professed pacifist who did not renounce violence and kept company with radicals. In 1982, Mandela and Lithuanian-born communist Jew Joe Slovo formed the armed group “Spear of the Nation,” which launched guerrilla attacks on the government. And Mandela’s second wife, Winnie, signed off on the “necklace” killings of blacks suspected of being spies, in which petrol-drenched tires were ignited around their necks.
In his retirement years, Mandela became a pop-culture icon and was sidelined by the new black leadership, while South Africans — overwhelmed by increasing crime and corruption — mourned the loss of the bad old days. Bishop Desmond Tutu accused the South African government of being “worse than apartheid” after Pretoria failed to grant the Dalai Lama a visa to appease its trading partner China. And a series of 2002 public polls found that most South Africans believed their country was better off under segregationism, with some stating that it was politically correct to kill whites in post-apartheid South Africa.
Nelson Mandela exposed the horrors of white supremacy, but he also abided more of the same or worse under black rule.
For that he should be remembered as a man who followed his conscience, and who — in his own words — was “no angel”