Benedict reading the lyrics to R. Kelly’s song
"Only free men can negotiate. Your freedom and mine cannot be separated." —Nelson Mandela to then-South African President Pieter W. Botha, in 1985.
"Fellow South Africans, Nelson Mandela brought us together, and it is together that we will bid him farewell." —current South African President Jacob Zuma, announcing Mandela’s death today.
An article titled “8 Foes of Apartheid Get Life Terms in S. Africa" appeared in the L.A. Times on June 13, 1964. Here’s what the paper’s front page looked like on the day of Mandela’s release from prison, February 11, 1990. In December of that year, he spoke optimistically about South Africa’s future in this interview:
Q: What sort of South Africa do you envisage?
A: Very simple. It is a South Africa based on the Freedom Charter (a manifesto drawn up by the ANC and political allies in the 1950s), which is our basic policy; … a non-racial society where all population groups would enjoy equality before the law, and where all forms of racial discrimination were abolished. It is a South Africa where there will be a bill of rights defining the rights of citizens, a bill of rights that is entrenched by the ability of any person who considers his rights are threatened or violated to have access to an independent judiciary. It is a South Africa in which there will be political parties; where political dissent will not be dealt with in a way that shows a lack of patience and a lack of political tolerance.
Here’s Mandela’s obituary in the L.A. Times, by Deputy Managing Editor Scott Kraft, who covered Mandela as a reporter (you’ll see his byline more than once on the front page linked above); Deputy Washington Bureau Chief Bob Drogin, who described Mandela as “the most remarkable man I ever met” in a tweet today; and Johannesburg correspondent Robyn Dixon (who has also been covering today’s events on Twitter). More recommended reading: a timeline of Mandela’s life; a first-person account of growing up in a changing South Africa by Times photojournalist Jerome Adamstein; a recollection of his 1990 L.A. visit by columnist Patt Morrison; and Mandela’s own address to those assembled at a Cape Town rally upon his release from prison in February 1990.
Top photo: Mandela and his then-wife Winnie, along with L.A. Mayor Tom Bradley, on the steps of City Hall during a trip to Los Angeles on June 29, 1990. Credit: Los Angeles Times
Middle photo: Mandela holds up the key to the city that he was presented by Mayor Bradley, also on June 29, 1990. Credit: Los Angeles Times
Bottom photo: Mandela visits L.A.’s First AME Church on July 9, 1993. Credit: Los Angeles Times. More photos from Mandela’s life.
There should be a White History Month in America. That way we can teach all about the things White Americans have done in history, like:
- Cherokee Trail of Tears
- Japanese American internment
- Philippine-American War
- Jim Crow
- The genocide of Native Americans
- Transatlantic slave trade
- The Middle Passage
- The history of White American racism
- Black Codes
- Slave patrols
- Ku Klux Klan
- The War on Drugs
- Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo
- How white racism grew out of slavery and genocide
- How whites still benefit from slavery and genocide
- White anti-racism
- The Southern strategy
- The rape of black slave women
- Madison Grant
- The Indian Wars
- Human zoos
- How the Jews became white
- White flight
- Proposition 14
- Homestead Act
- Tulsa Riots
- Rosewood massacre
- Tuskegee Experiment
- Hollywood stereotypes
- Indian Appropriations Acts
- Immigration Act of 1924
- Sundown towns
- Chinese Exclusion Act
- Emmett Till
- Vincent Chin
- Indian boarding schools
- King Philip’s War
- Bacon’s Rebellion
- American slavery compared to Arab, Roman and Latin American slavery
- History of the gun
- History of the police
- History of prisons
- History of white suburbia
- Lincoln’s racism and anti-racism
- George Wallace
- Fox News
- Real estate steering
- School tracking
- Mass incarceration of black men
- Boston school busing riots
And so on. No fear of running out of topics: there is more than one a day! I am sure my commenters can come up with tons more, probably some big ones that are not coming to mind at the moment (I did not list slavery, the abolitionist movement, the civil war, Reconstruction or Lincoln since they are, in fact, covered in history class, however poorly).
hobbit next week
hOBbit NExt WEEK
HOBBIT NEXT WEEK
THE HOBBIT NEXT WEEK
- NEXT WEEK
- NEXT FUCKING WEEK
Why are we so ashamed of periods? … Women’s bodies are incredibly sexualized in our media and in our every day experiences. So much so that even mentioning menstruation sends a lot of people into kindergarten levels of EW. And why? Because for a moment, you have broken the spell. And suddenly, you are no longer a magical mannequin unicorn fairy existing purely for the sexual fantasy of other people. Suddenly, you’re a human being! (X)
The news media wouldn’t cover Blackstone’s shady dealings, so Samantha Bee brilliantly took matters into her own hands on last night’s Daily Show.
Click here to watch.
This whole segment, amazing.
Benedict Cumberbatch reads “Genius” by R. Kelly | JKL
Dec. 3 2013
"The nation was in shock. This does not happen in our country," said Thora Arnorsdottir, news editor at RUV, the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service.
She was referring to a 59-year old man who was shot by police on Monday. The man, who started shooting at police when they entered his building, had a history of mental illness.
It’s the first time someone has been killed by armed police in Iceland since it became an independent republic in 1944. Police don’t even carry weapons, usually. Violent crime in Iceland is almost non-existent.
"The nation does not want its police force to carry weapons because it’s dangerous, it’s threatening," Arnorsdottir says. "It’s a part of the culture. Guns are used to go hunting as a sport, but you never see a gun."
In fact, Iceland isn’t anti-gun. In terms of per-capita gun ownership, Iceland ranks 15th in the world. Still, this incident was so rare that neighbors of the man shot were comparing the shooting to a scene from an American film.
The Icelandic police department said officers involved will go through grief counseling. And the police department has already apologized to the family of the man who died — though not necessarily because they did anything wrong.
"I think it’s respectful," Arnorsdottir says, “because no one wants to take another person’s life. “
There are still a number of questions to be answered, including why police didn’t first try to negotiate with man before entering his building.
"A part of the great thing of living in this country is that you can enter parliament and the only thing they ask you to do is to turn off your cellphone, so you don’t disturb the parliamentarians while they’re talking. We do not have armed guards following our prime minister or president. That’s a part of the great thing of living in a peaceful society. We do not want to change that. "
For the record, American police departments are encouraged to go to grief counseling after a similar incident; however, it is only encouraged and suggested, rarely mandated.