Will Obama Model Mandela and Free the Over-Criminalized and change Mandatory Sentencing Laws?

Posted on


7591578902

In seeing the humanity of his oppressors, he displayed rare moral discernment.

The death of Nelson Mandela should prompt us all to reflect on the extraordinary and enduring power of his life. Mandela forgave his oppressors and forged a legacy for himself through overcoming hatred. His stigma’s [Felon] a terrorist. It is my hope that President Obama will make the remaining years in office a pledge to change the culture of America being a nation locked-Up and it’s people disenfranchised and living in a different Apartheid.

I pray and maintain a posture humility so my difference will make a difference in pursuit of changing the hiring practices of disenfranchised individuals and the bias practices being used to disqualify felon’s for housing and other social economics. It will not hurt President Obama to not compromise, but to implement change for a group of human being as Nelson Mandela has done with his life and trials as a leader of a nation that has been through what America is now embracing by way of disguise and descriptive practices.

18_three-lessons-mandela

In seeing the humanity of his oppressors, he displayed rare moral discernment.

The tour guide had explained the humiliations and deprivations of Mandela’s long imprisonment, but what seemed beyond explaining is the strength of character that enabled a man to endure such things for so long and then to emerge as a national leader possessed of optimism, generosity of spirit, and a commitment to reconciliation rather than revenge. How is this possible?

When Nazi survivor Elie Wiesel spoke to the first year students in Syracuse University’s College of Arts and Sciences, he emphasized that hatred is as poisonous when one faces one’s tormentors as at any other time. Like Mandela, Wiesel suffered unfathomable personal losses that could easily have crushed his spirit or bred a blazing vindictiveness. Yet each of these men became a force for the power of love, tolerance, respect for difference — for the joy of human potential even in the face of dreadful human realities.

Here is some of what I learned about how Mandela did it: On Robben Island, just outside Table Bay at Cape Town, South Africa, there’s a lime quarry. In the brilliant sun, its white walls glare with painful brightness. Mandela, and the other prisoners forced to work long hours there, were not allowed dark glasses. The fine lime dust from their back-breaking work pervaded their clothes, invaded their lungs, and irritated their squinting eyes. Some of them, like Mandela, were educated men who knew that even as their bodies labored and suffered, their minds were free and strong. But many other prisoners were uneducated — even illiterate. So the quarry became a place of teaching and learning.

Writing in the dust with sticks, the educated prisoners brought a reverence for the power of knowledge to those who had never had the opportunity to develop their minds. Even prisoners who were criminals, rather than political prisoners, came to understand that grinding poverty, discrimination, ignorance, and lack of opportunity — the wellsprings of crime — were best addressed by empowering their own minds. Some of them became students, too.

This happened before the watchful eyes of prison guards, many of whom were untutored louts. Yet, louts though they were, they saw something valuable that attracted them more than it threatened them. So they also became students, and Mandela and the others taught them out of respect for their humanity and their interest in learning. Those guards experienced affirmations both of mind and of heart — in sharing their knowledge, the educated prisoners displayed a generosity of spirit that prompted both admiration and growing respect from the guards.

For Mandela this was an early stage of the movement toward reconciliation. We marvel at the tenacity and endurance of Ernest Shackleton, whose failed Antarctic exploration in 1914 threatened the lives of his 21 stranded crewmen. Shackleton persevered for 14 months, in the end saving all against very long odds. How much more ought we marvel at Mandela, who persevered for more than 18 years, saving his entire nation!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s