Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela Is Dead

Passes away at 95 following health battle


South Africa The Good News /

Nelson Mandela, who struggled with illness for several months, has died at age 95, CNN reports:

Nelson Mandela, the revered statesman who emerged from prison after 27 years to lead South Africa out of decades of apartheid, has died, South African President Jacob Zuma announced late Thursday.

Mandela was 95.

"He is now resting. He is now at peace," Zuma said. "Our nation has lost its greatest son. Our people have lost a father."

"What made Nelson Mandela great was precisely what made him human," the president said in his late-night address. "We saw in him what we seek in ourselves."

Mandela will have a state funeral. Zuma ordered all flags in the nation to be flown at half-staff from Friday through that funeral.

President Barack Obama will reportedly make a statement at 5:20 p.m. Eastern time. (Update: Obama's comments can be read or watched here.)

Mandela was most recently referenced here at Reason just this morning, as Nick Gillespie highlighted a New York Times story about the International Criminal Court, wondering if it would have charged Nelson Mandela with crimes during the struggle to recover from apartheid had it been around.

In 2010, Jesse Walker explored whether the armed struggle or peaceful civil disobedience played a larger role in ending apartheid.

From the Reason Archives: In Reason magazine's 35th anniversary, we named him one of our 35 Heroes of Freedom.

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  1. I loved his performance in “Shawshank Redemption” best.

    1. That was so too soon I loled. I’m still laughing.

    2. At least him and God will have something in common.

  2. Setting the over-under for Mandela pieces at 12.5

    Place your bets.

    1. Hopefully they can stick in a poll or two. (Different spelling, that’s what she said.)

  3. SEIU’s pissed; he’s gonna get all the ink.

    1. In 20 years, this will be known as Food Service Worker’s Day, and a story that Mandela died for their cause.

      1. They’re sleazy enough, I figure they’ll make some announcement to ride his coattails.

    1. You shouldn’t be.

  4. So, honest question, did Mandela ever actually call out Mbeki or Zuma on their blatant corruption or was he a TEAM player? I assume the former…

    1. According to Wiki, pretty much team. He found it proper to denounce Bush’s Iraq war, but somehow Obo was not called on his wars.

        1. Interesting. No mention on Wiki.

      1. Check the racist crimes of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

    2. *Meant latter.

    3. IIRC, he did not stop the cops from throwing his wife under the jail for her antics while he was in jail.

      As President, he stood before a civil court to answer charges too, just like regular people.

  5. One Settler, One Bullet!

    1. Fuck Mendela. Good Riddance.

      1. Why?

        1. Because he supported a form of human oppression more insidious than apartheid, to the point he was willing to kill innocent people and destroy property for it.

  6. Waiting for Obama to announce what an important influence Mandela was for him and how Mandela inspired him and the joy he felt at the defeat of aparthei….

    Or has he already said it? I assume that the teleprompter was pre-loaded with a suitably narcissistic spiel.

    1. He’ll just say that could’ve been him, or his son, or some other stupid narcissistic shit. Oh, and he’ll use it as an excuse to ban guns too, because FYTW.

  7. OT – I need some help. Recently, a commenter here posted a link to a wonderful animation showing how the temperature monitoring stations in colder regions have been excluded from the global average with increasing frequency over the years. I would dearly love to throw that in the face of a Facebook friend with whom I am currently arguing. Does anyone have any idea where I might find it?

    1. I didn’t see it, but it very likely can be found by searching

      1. That dead fruit didn’t fall too far from the self-hating tree, did it?

        Biehl’s family supported the release of the killers, and her father shook the murderers’ hands, stating:

        “The most important vehicle of reconciliation is open and honest dialogue … we are here to reconcile a human life which was taken without an opportunity for dialogue. When we are finished with this process we must move forward with linked arms.”

        1. That last bit was supposed to be a quote from SIV’s link. I could never conceive something so abominably stupid as the Biehl family’s reaction.

          1. That’s why I posted it.

        2. Look, you can stone a white woman to death all you want, but let’s at least talk about it first. Mkay?

        3. Surprised he didn’t offer to let them fuck his wife. The man is depraved. He deserves nothing.

    1. Amy Biehl High School in Albuquerque, New Mexico

      I did not know that. Amy Biehl was our rival middle school.

      1. What was their football team? The Fighting Self-Flagellants?

        1. Football? That sociopathic hyperthyroidal bloodsport? Not at Amy Biehl, shitlord.

          1. Hey! Stop othering him shitlord!

      2. Manzano rules!

        … “MHS ’71” Hobbit

  8. “We saw in him what we seek in ourselves.”

    Nice to know that the president cared so little that he just went with boilerplate.

  9. His government pardoned the farm murderers which such routine ease that I could only think of Mendela as the genocidal monster that he is.

    1. He had great teachers on how to be a racist.

      1. And he learned so well, you’d have thought he pioneered the field.

      2. Tu quoque?

        Oh no, is Alice PB?

        1. Nay. Alice is stupider than even Palin’s Butthole ever thought about being.

  10. So is it going to hagiographies or is Reason going to be a bit more (ugh!) nuanced about Mandela?

    1. The man just died and had a lot of greatness as well as human flaws. I think we can honor the good things for the moment.

      1. Agreed. If nothing else he was instrumental in the overthrow of an enormously repressive regime.

      2. The anniversary of Pinochet’s death is coming up in 5 days – maybe we could combine them into one big celebration of greatness, as well as human flaws.

  11. Has anyone seen George Zimmerman?

    1. benji wins the internet. Congrats, you win a solid gold statue of Keanu Reeves.

    1. I’ll take two.

  12. Is it entirely insensitive of me to be bewildered as to why this is the featured story over at

    1. Something, something, soccer; all the third world loves soccer and they love Mandela, so Soccer Mandela FTW!

    2. Somthing to do with that MAAATTTTT DAAAAAAMON rugby movie, Invictus? That’s pretty much the only sports angle I can think of.

      1. Ah! That was about the rugby. I didn’t see it.

    3. In the current cricket match b/w New Zealand & the West Indies, they observed a minute’s silence. So, go figure.

    4. Sports journalists are desperate to prove that they have deep thoughts and aren’t second class journalists. . See Peter King for the best example.

      1. Bingo.

      2. I second that.

  13. Orania,_Northern_Cape

    I’d rather live in Compton, but there you are. Something about humans and tribes and having kids…

  14. A big liberal.

  15. Mandela is highly overrated by his fan club (and by liberals in general), but I will give him credit for not going down the path of the murderers and thugs in other African countries and at least trying to preserve unity and some recourse for the white community in S Africa to live peaceably with their neighbors. Such is regrettably uncommon in world. Indeed, judging by recent S African politics it seems like S Africa may yet visit the type of violence on its white community that has been so common in other African countries — the ANC has certainly not endeavored to preserve the economic criterion necessary for prosperity.

    1. Washington is overrated by his fan club. He was a ruthless killer of humans, but talk about hagiography. Live in a world with some great men, or live in a world with none. That almost all of them are liberals is your problem.

      1. Better to live in a world with no great men than in one where the “great men” are terrorists and murderers — and yes, I am quite aware that most of the Great Men are to be found among progressives, including such luminaries as Mao and Stalin. How on Earth you would consider that a problem for my “side” of the political debate is beyond me.

        1. Liberals vastly outnumber conservatives in the greatness category.

          Very few achieve greatness by clinging to the past.

          1. Very few achieve ‘greatness’ status without a pile of bodies regardless.

          2. Palin’s Buttplug|12.5.13 @ 6:54PM|#
            “Liberals vastly outnumber conservatives in the greatness category.”

            Idiocy revisted; undefined terms, assertions absent evidence.

            1. John Locke to Jefferson, Madison, Lincoln, Mark Twain, and FDR – breaking with traditional authority is the trademark of liberalism.

              Your Whig Party will be dust in the future.

              1. Palin’s Buttplug|12.5.13 @ 7:12PM|#
                “John Locke to Jefferson, Madison, Lincoln, Mark Twain, and FDR – breaking with traditional authority is the trademark of liberalism.

                Picking cherries and re-defining words! Right up your lyin’ alley!

              2. Locke, Jefferson, Madison, and Twain were classical liberals – now known as libertarians. Modern liberalism wants nothing to do with them and would denounce them as Teathuglicans. FDR was authoritarian scum.

                1. C’mon man! What’s more liberal than throwing innocent japs and dagoes into prison camps?

                2. The idea that any of the first 5 names in that list bear any resemblance to FDR is hilarious.

                3. Libertarianism is fringe political cult serving as the philosophical underpinning of rampant plutocracy. It does not belong in the same library as the great thinkers and doers, let alone the same sentence.

                4. That’s being mean to authoritarian scum!

              3. this is by far the funniest thing I have ever seen on the internet.

                1. this is by far the funniest thing I have ever seen on the internet.

                  What? You didn’t realize how similar John Locke and FDR’s economic beliefs were?

                  They’re practically twins!

                  1. Also amusing is how he characterizes FDR and the rest as “breaking with traditional authority”. A son of privilege climbing the greasy political ladder all the way to the top, favoring the segregationist South to get there — what a rebel!

                    For that matter, while I’m sympathetic to their views I’m not sure how Madison and Jefferson can be characterized as “breaking with traditional authority” (or Locke, for that matter).

                  2. I’ve always suspected that this thing was a sock puppet, now I know that to be false. Noone on this board could possibly be that creative. Palin’s Buttplug would be the Mona Lisa of sock puppets.

              4. You are posers who stole the word “liberal” and gave it the Orwell treatment. A bootlicking, collectivist-statist, sexually amorphous, degenerate nihilist is *not* the kind of liberal who came out of the Age of Reason or who founded these United States.

                It is statism and collectivism that are played-out, antiquated, and reactionary–and the whole civilized world knows it. But too bad that the civilized world has shrunk so far from sight.

          3. “The right is truly progressive, whereas there is no real advance in utopianism which almost always demands?as in the Internationale?to ‘make a clean sweep’ of the past, du pass? faisons table rase: dyelayem gladkuyu dosku iz proshlago! If we return to point zero, we are again at the bottom of the ladder, we have to start from scratch again. Bernard of Chartres said that generations were ‘like dwarfs seated on the shoulders of giants, thereby capable of seeing more things that their forebears and in a greater distance.’ As a matter of fact, almost all utopias, though ‘futuristic’ in temperament, have always preached a return to an assumed Golden Age, glowing in the most attractive colors of a falsely romanticized version. The true rightist is not a man who wants to go back to this or that institution for the sake of a return; he wants first to find out what is eternally true, eternally valid, and then either to restore or reinstall it, regardless of whether it seems obsolete, whether it is ancient, contemporary, or even without precedent, brand new ‘ultramodern.’ Old truths can be rediscovered, entirely new ones found. The Man of the Right does not have a time-bound, but a sovereign mind.”

            ? Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn, Leftism, From de Sade and Marx to Hitler and Marcuse (1974)

        2. Autocrats are by definition not progressives.

          The point is winning matters.

          1. “Autocrats, are, by my arbitrary definition unsupported by history or the definition of progressive, not progressives.”

          2. Tony|12.5.13 @ 7:03PM|#
            ‘Autocrats are by definition progressives.’

            Fixed, liar.
            FDR, LBJ, Obo in the US, Castro, Chavez, Lil Kim currently, Lenin, Mao, Stalin in the 20th Century.
            Conservatives every one.

            1. You jest, but I have honest to God heard progressives claim that Stalin, Castro, et al were conservatives.

              1. *Sob!*
                REAL communism just hasn’t been TRIED!

            2. FDR and LBJ were autocrats? Did they seize power rather than being elected? Or are you an idiot who mistakes policies you don’t like for tyranny? Well you’re a libertarian, so of course you are.

              Liberalism is about freedom for individuals (not just slogans about such).

              1. Apparently, being elected makes you not an autocrat. So I’m guessing Hitler was a liberal?

              2. Executive Order 9066. That is all.

              3. Collectivism is about freedom for individuals! You heard it here first!

          3. “Autocrats are by definition not progressives.”
            Nor Scotsmen. Jesus H. Christ on a pogo stick you’re stupid.

        3. You missed the Trouser’s argument and are rebutting another of your fancy.

      2. Tony|12.5.13 @ 6:37PM|#
        “Washington is overrated by his fan club…”

        Par for idiocy; tu quoque.

      3. Tony|12.5.13 @ 6:37PM|#

        Washington is overrated by his fan club. He was a ruthless killer of humans

        You’re said a lot of stupid things over the years, Tony, but this has got to be in your top ten, you ignorant asshole.

      4. Tony is that you?

    2. Mandela is highly overrated by his fan club (and by liberals in general), but I will give him credit for not going down the path of the murderers and thugs in other African countries

      He, and the state, didn’t need to, the black populace is doing it for him. He can sit back, let violent murderous mobs accost, rob, rape, and murder whites, loot white owned farms after murdering the owners and then sit back, have a show trial and then let the guys out after a few months to murder again.

      Look up the Truth and Reconciliation process in South Africa.

      Whites don’t live in heavily guarded neighborhoods in houses made of bullet-resistant materials and have panic rooms surrounded by 10 foot vehicle-resistant walls topped by broken glass and iron spikes for nothing. The security team at the “neighborhood” where one of my friends lives in Northern Cape is very heavily armed and uses physical security somewhat akin to an American embassy. The quick reaction force that responds to emergency calls is armed with automatic rifles, grenades, and GPMGs.

      Mandela is lauded for shit he quite literally doesn’t deserve credit for. The transition didn’t turn into a government orchestrated bloodbath because whites were very heavily armed and made up nearly the entirety of the SADF. The Tripartite also needed whites to stay so their wealth could be expropriated. Mandela was smart enough to see that you can’t slaughter the golden goose.

      1. I get what you’re saying, but there’s a lot worse he could have done with the power given to him. Hell, just compare and contrast him and Mugabe. What’s happening right now sucks, but it could be so much worse.

        FWIW, I don’t think the ANC would have been nearly as moderate (or willing to listen to Mandela regarding racial unity) had it established a government with Soviet support, funds, and military equipment.

  16. “In this week’s issue of Radish, the Carlyle Club tries to fathom the motives of an ethno-nationalist terrorist and political mass-murderer. And when we’re done talking about Nelson Mandela, we’ll discuss Anders Breivik.”…..ks-norway/

  17. RIP Nelson M.

    You’re inspirational quote “Ha-ha!” has given me succor in times of weakness.

  18. President Obama to lead the nation in a solemn, candle-lit rendition of “Kill the Boer”.

    1. 85% of the population had no rights, but one dead white person obviously trumps all that.

      1. Yup. Murdering innocents (“one dead white” my ass) magically becomes okay as long as you can point to something shitty being done to you by another party altogether.

        If only someone would stick a burning tire around your neck, you fucking waste.

        1. We can count bodies and divide them by race, or we can attempt to appreciate Mandela’s approach of reconciliation. Which is good because either way I win.

          1. Either way, you are a giant dipshit. It’s a wonder you manage to draw breath, you monumental retard.

          2. You’ve won because more of the “wrong” kinds of people have died than those of the right.

            Tony, ladies and gentlemen.

          3. I can continue to point out that two genocidally racist wrongs don’t make a right, or I can demonstrate how your typical idiot logic would permit Pakistanis to rip you from your house and immolate you in the street because Barack Obama is obsessed with blowing up children.

            Either way, you’re going to continue to pound your head against the wall and make an ass of yourself contesting arguments that nobody’s making.

        2. Tony…with Winnie Mandella’s burning tire around his neck.

          Just one dead white man, right? No need to mourn, in light of all the people who lacked basic rights.

          Is that the way it works?

          1. Don’t forget though, liberalism is about individual rights.

      2. “but one dead white person “

        Oh, and Tony? How do you feel about all those black people who were necklaced because they were accused, witchunt-style, of collaborating with whites?

    1. Gawd, what a fucking self-centered twit our POTUS is.

      Hell, I bet he wrote that quote about himself, and grudgingly put a line through his own name and included Mandela’s.

      Here’s more about how this is all really about obama:

      “My very first political action, the first thing I ever did that involved an issue or a policy or politics, was a protest against apartheid. I studied his words and his writings. The day that he was released from prison gave me a sense of what human beings can do when they’re guided by their hopes and not by their fears,” he continued. “And like so many around the globe, I cannot fully imagine my own life without the example that Nelson Mandela set, and so long as I live I will do what I can to learn from him.”

      Keep saying “I”, asshole. Fuck.

    2. Well that in a nutshell tells you everything you need to know about this administration.

      1. It’s hilarious. What’s so great about this is that it’s like every move they make is completely tone deaf. Anything that could make Barack Obama look like a narcissist will be done by this administration.

        1. Obama will have a statue on the national mall and Rand Paul will be a footnote in a history of the weird.

          The most powerful person in the world a narcissist? Geeze, I dunno. How could you even measure that?

          1. Tony, I will regret this but what has he done to deserve a Chia pet in his image let alone a statue?

          2. “Obama will have a statue on the national mall and Rand Paul”

            And decent people will take a piss on it. And if you happen to be standing their, your dick in your hand…

            1. ….then you get fucked up the ass in homage to Dear Leader’s treatment of the American people (and select foreigners)?

          3. Obama will have a statue on the national mall

            Nothing marks great leadership like lots and lots of statues.

      2. Clinton may have been our first Black President but Obama still made history as our first woman president.

        1. I thought that was Earl Warren.

  19. When Mandela was released from prison he came to New York City and was given a parade. At the time I wrote a letter to the editor of our local paper wondering if this was the first time that an acknowledged Marxist was given a ticker-tape parade*. I wonder how many caught the reference.

    One less dead Commie. No tears shed here.

    … Hobbit

    *Note for the kiddies in the audience: “Ticker tape” is a symbol of Wall Street, ground zero of the capitalist world.

    1. We have Christmas parades for a Marxist all the time.

      Technically not ticker tape though – as you point out.

      1. True, we celebrate the prophet Mazdak’s birth and life every Christmas.

        Oh wait, wrong religious reformer.

        1. The hell you say?! Don’t talk shit about Ahura Mazda’s prophet, blasphemer. Repent and embrace Ohrmazd or dwell forever in the fiery, smelly depths of Dush-hukht!

  20. My favorite Mandela memory is that hilarious bit Howard Stern and Billy West did before Howard sold out to the politically correct Hollywood set.

    1. Yeah, Stern really mellowed out. His PC shtick is annoying but he unleashes on lesser people though. Real tough guy.

      But he’s still a wicked good interviewer.

  21. Am I a bad person that I don’t give a shit that he’s dead?

    1. I bet you’ll give a shit after Reason posts their 15th fawning article about him.

      1. Nelson Mandela was no Lou Reed.

        1. I thought I someone else, someone good

          Lou Reed, A Perfect Day.


            and from book of Psalms “You’re gawn ta reap just wut yu soo.”

        2. Let’s see if you still have that attitude after 14 more Lou Reed articles, tough guy.

          1. Lou Reed deserved all the tributes and obits but for different reasons.
            Welch made him out to be like a commie-fightin’ cross between Maggie Thatcher and Ronnie RayGun.

  22. Definitely a complicated and (whatever your personal opinion of him was) a fascinating historical figure. I think most people on both sides, including a lot of people in this thread, don’t have near enough nuance in their view of him. A guy who did and supported many bad things, but also fought for and accomplished many good things. Definitely think he was a better revolutionary than political leader (in more ways than one). I echo a lot of what Immaculate Trouser said above. A lot of bad shit has happened in South Africa, to this day, and it could have been worse. I’m well aware of the black on white violence today (and anti-apartheid attacks that killed civilians), and the poor economic performance. Although I certainly don’t think such things are justified, it doesn’t surprise me given the historical context. As much as we bitch about the US government (rightly so), the apartheid SA government treated non-whites 1000x worse than the USG treats its citizens, or than the British Empire treated colonial Americans. The bottom line is that Mandela was neither an angel nor a demon. Sadly, I think he’s only going to be remembered as one or the other.

    1. Yeah, and it doesn’t help when some of the disparaging articles/arguments I’m seeing against him are laced with racist insinuations. Here’s a choice bit:

      Apartheid was a more benign system than what replaced it, and that the average South African was immeasurably better off under the hated white rule than they are under the alternative that black rule has since created.

      That is quite an achievement, Mr. Mandela; Happy Birthday.

      As an addition, if Nelson Mandela was treated so badly, why is he now 90 years of age? In a black governed country in Africa, he would have died within months if he had not been hanged the time.

      1. Being against Mandela certainly doesn’t make one racist, and as I said above, I certainly think there are legitimate criticisms of him, but a very significant percentage of his vocal critics are definitely racist.

  23. The Democratic Party facing a potential shift in the black vote, goes back in time to bring back a Southern Democrat Senator from the 1860’s. They give him a quick lesson in Political Correctness and he drafts a speech on how to win back the black vote. As an arena fills with every Democratic Senator, Congressman, Governor, and all the way down to Mayor, the Southern Gentleman takes to the podium and begins his speech… “Ladies and Gentlemen, fine and proud Democrats. I’ll have you know that in my time our Democrat majority state legislatures made it their top priority to ensure that our African-American constituents had plenty of food, free housing, AND NOT A DAMN ONE OF THEM WAS EVER UNEMPLOYED!”

  24. Really, the person who should probably be given the most credit in the story of South Africa is F.W. deKlerk. After all, he was the guy who ended apartheid and freed Mr. Mandela. Of course, aging conservative white guys don’t make great protagonists for those sorts of stories.

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