The past few days have been filled with sorrow, the loss of one of the worlds most inspirational and transformational leaders. In some respect he even felt like a Papa figure (word for granddad in the Caribbean), he is an elder that has done so much for me, for us, for the world. I remember being in school and singing “free Nelson Mandela.” I remember things that changed because of him. I remember visiting Cape Town and district 6 where people “Blacks” and “St Helenians” were instantly removed. I fall into both of these groups. So the thought of many of the hypocrites now stepping forward was sickening, when in fact they were on the wrong side of change. Then I remembered when I visited Robben island and stood in his cell, and let’s not forget the many others that were wrongly imprisoned there. I stood there with a sense of perspective. Nelson Mandela had an insightful perspective on change, perhaps because of the long time he had to endure the same view and people. He knew how to change people who were his opponents, to bring people behind him who would have originally strung him up. “We are one people with one destiny” he eliminated division, just look at what he did by using Rugby to bring together the people in the 1995 world cup.
On Friday on my sister shared the Guardian’s article on the hypocritical standpoint of the Tories. Today Sunday I received a petition from change.org (below) to petition against David Cameron’s attendance of the funeral. Whilst I agree, it is right that we do not let people re-write history. What would alienation achieve? He said "Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies." We should learn from him. What would Nelson Mandela do? He would look and see how we can engage and involve these people (hypocrites included) as they stand up to be on the right side of history now. We need to think how to challenge those that were hypocrites, to carry Nelson Mandela’s legacy on with today’s challenges. There is still a lot more for humanity to do. The impact of change will be more powerful with them; then against them.
The petition should read David Cameron:
- How to address racism, which still exists, people are still judged for the colour of their skin.
- How to reduce the gap between rich and poor, which in today’s economy has been polarised by policies that give the elite access to education.
- How to shape social policies that eliminate classism. There are people relying on food banks and children in a western economy living below the poverty line. 1 in 6 children in the UK live below the poverty line according to the DWP 2013. Classism is a worsening division.
David Cameron embrace the inspiration that is Mandela:
- "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world."
- "I hate race discrimination most intensely and in all its manifestations. I have fought it all during my life; I fight it now, and will do so until the end of my days."
change.org calling for a petition to ban David Cameron from the funeral need to swallow any grief, anger, righteousness and hurt.
Ultimately what would Mandela do "Lead from the back — and let others believe they are in front."