To the Editor:

Sound the bells, fly world flags at half mast for a great world leader, Nelson Mandela.

President Mandela’s leadership, commitment to reconciliation and his moral compass changed South Africa and the world.

Mandela was introduced to me as a young woman fighting for civil rights in my country, America. The apartheid in South Africa mirrored the civil rights fight black Americans were and are still fighting. In 1974 Arthur Ashe, an American tennis star, used his fame to bring attention to America’s and Britain’s reluctance to join the world in financial sanctions against the South African government.

I believe divine intervention alongside millions of people around the world speaking truth to power and the relentless call for change in South Africa ended apartheid and freed Nelson Mandela.

He was released from prison in 1990 and became the first black president of South Africa in 1994.

How could a man imprisoned for 27 years breaking rock become the leader of the country who had treated him and 85 percent of South Africans so brutally?

Could I be so magnanimous to my oppressor? I don’t know but I have had the opportunity to witness Nelson Mandela show me how it is done. His call and actions for reconciliation and forgiveness between all South Africans touched me deeply.

Nelson Mandela died but the largesse of his humility, dignity, and willingness to unite his country no matter his pain and loss still inspires me.

Nelson Mandela, may you rest in peace.

Patricia Muldrow Roberts

Harker Heights

(2) comments


@ The apartheid in South Africa mirrored ---- the civil rights fight black Americans were and are still fighting.

This writer seems to always have something derogatory to write to the editor about concerning America.
The way she writes makes me wonder, if things are so bad for the black race in the U.S. then how come I have went to school with black kids, read from the same books as they did at school, went to the movies with black kids, laughed and joked with blacks kids (and adults) worked with black Americans ,worked for black Americans.

The writer seems to have never progressed from 50-60 years ago, and she is a big problem when young blacks want to move onward. People like her try to keep young blacks back in the day, by trying to make them feel guilty if they are not willing to carry hatred, and bitterness, from so many years past.

Because I remember him too and have followed him myself through the years , I believe Mandela did do a good thing when he was willing to help do away with apartheid.
Who he joined with after that and became involved with, paints a different picture to some.

Things aren't hunky dory in the African nations just because apartheid was done away with though.
There has never been complete rest since the British left. Women and children are savaged and raped on a daily basis .Children are starved. There are no civil rights laws to protect in these country's like in the U.S., only dictators and war lords.
If the writer wants to work for a cause that really needs rectifying, she should go somewhere where help is really needed such as into the country/s that were common ground to Mandela and his fellow Africans.

Unlike the country's in the part of the world where Mandela lived,
The U.S. does have civil rights which is suppose to protect us all, blacks, but also whites,Hispanic and any other race who are living in the country legally.

The writer should stop living in the past, Since the majority of the young do not feel the same as ones who aren't able to face reality, but always have a problem with the American way. The young are progressing.

Arthur Ashe who was a wonderful tennis player and a champion in this field, before he died from AIDS, Did work for the humanitarian causes. But didn't last long enough to make a truly big difference.


"This writer seems to always have something derogatory to write to the editor about concerning America."

Well said, Eliza! You make an excellent argument against the nonsense this letter writer and others like her repeatedly come up with and get published in the KDH.

You should edit your comment to 300 words and submit it to the editor for publication. Not everyone reads the online comments and anyway, KDH needs to print both sides of the argument! [smile]

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