Niagara Gazette — Maybe the majority of South Africans did partially get it right, but only in that after the iconic and idyllic Mandela left office, they elected a government that seemingly share their apparent goals and values of racial strife, but falls far short of reaching for their success, safety and future prosperity. This was indicated by the crowd during the memorial service where they gave the latest South African President Jacob Zuma some roaring rounds of booing, but will likely reelect a government that will give him a second term.
Ironically, those same black-majority South Africans that jeered Zuma, also cheered the ‘iconic’ black President Barack Obama. They seemingly failed to understand that minority African-Americans in Obama’s own United States of America (our USA) continue to face similar sets of problems that black South Africans face: poverty, crime and poor educational systems — though certainly not to the degree that south Africans face them.
Though our nation’s “ideal” of equality, success, safety and future prosperity is vested in our idyllic Constitution, the ideals of that constitution are seemingly being slowly eroded by a series of iconic presidents, both on the left and right; and to the point that I sometimes worry about America’s future. This worry is due to our predilection for wanting great icons rather than our continuous pursuit of great and sustainable ideals and ideas.
Will the cross-equator USAs one day find themselves in a position of relative equality, where South Africans will move into the direction of Americans, and Americans move into the direction of South Africans, and neither be as successful as either could be?
I hope not, and I hope for the success of both USAs, as does McLaverty. But if significant numbers of the people of both countries continue to simply be satisfied with the existence of great men and women as icons, and fail to embrace the ideas and ideals that such people like Mandela, or even Martin Luther King, held dear, then I worry about the world in which such nations will find themselves.
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