Former South African President Nelson Mandela has died at age 95. As a historic corrective, here are excerpts from “The Che Guevara of Of Africa,” a chapter in my book, Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America from Post-Apartheid South Africa, devoted to correcting the myths about the man:
The Che Guevara Of Africa
…To some extent, Mandela’s legend has been nourished—even created—by sentimental Westerners. The measure of the man whom Oprah Winfrey and supermodel Naomi Campbell have taken to calling “Madiba”—Mandela’s African honorific; Winfrey and Campbell’s African affectation—has been determined by the soggy sentimentality of our MTV-coated culture. “Madiba’s” TV smile has won out over his political philosophy, founded as it is on energetic income redistribution in the neo-Marxist tradition, on “land reform” in the same tradition, and on ethnic animosity toward the Afrikaner.