"IF YOU LIVE LONG ENOUGH, THE VENERABILITY FACTOR SETS IN ; YOU GET ACCUSED OF THINGS YOU NEVER DID AND PRAISED FOR VIRTUES YOU NEVER HAD.' Radical Journalist I.F Stone.
The deification of Nelson Mandela has begun. In death, conservatives will praise him as a statesman. When he was living, he was often seen as a untamed radical, a terrorist, a dangerous man by conservatives.
One thing about conservatives. They try hard at spinning left wingers as one of their own.
Take MLK for example. His niece , Alveda King, has tried to tie him to the anti-choice forces. Never mind that his widow said he was pro-choice. Forget the fact that in 1966, MLK received a prize from Planned Parenthood. You won't find Alveda King quoting his acceptance speech placing family planning as an essential of economic justice.
The number of conservatives who have praised MLK are legion. They seem to have forgiven his statement and views on capitalism. MLK was a critic of capitalism and economic exploitation .
MLK, in his opposition to Vietnam, drew a lot of heat. He was a constant critic of the conservative god of war, the nation's militarism. Conservatives somehow overlook this.
Conservatives like to spin that MLK, through his father was a Republican. But not a modern Republican. True, MLK, Sr. was a registered repo of the Lincoln sort. Context. Many African Americans in the South were Republicans since Republicans were the champions of Reconstruction. Repos from 1870s to the 1930s often appointed blacks to fed jobs.
Democrats in that period were the party of segregation. In the 1930s, starting with Franklin Roosevilt, the two parties flipped ideologies.
Duke Divinity professor Timothy B. Tyson called the treatment of MLK's persona and politics as turning MLK into " an innoculous black Santa Claus."
As for Mandela, the praises of Mandela are pouring from the nation's conservatives and established press. Yet how many of the conservative stalwards who praise Mandela in death support his anti-Zionist, pro -Palestinian views during his life ?
"We know all too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians." Nelson Mandela, 1997.
In a long letter to pro-Zionist, neo-con, Thomas Friedman (March 8,2001), Mandela layed out his opposition to Israeli policies towards the Palestinian. He even accused the Israelis of apartheid similiar to South Africa.
However , do not expect these views to be aired in the Establishment media.
In 2008, the right wing scream machine brought community/labor activist Saul Alinsky back from the dead. Alinsky, who died in 1972, considered humor a potent political organizing weapon. He would probably be amused by his unwitting deification by the right wing.
The scream machine tied then canidate Barack Obama to Alinsky. They painted Alinsky, known for his books Rules for Radicals and Reveille for Radicals as works of an evil left wing genius.
In Rules for Radicals, Alinsky layed out basic organizing principles he had used and observed in a lifetime of community and labor campaigns. In reality, Alinsky did not invent these "rules". People have been using these tactics since the political machine was invented. Alinsky catalogued "rules " much in the same way Machiavelli did in the Prince.
Intrestingly, T-Party activists were given copies of Rules for Radicals for their own use in organizing. Perennial canidate and conservative hatchet man, Newt Gingrich, gave Alinsky's rules a major boost and endorsement. The Newt recommended reading Alinsky and implementing his tactics for conservative causes.
Religious conservatives condemned Alinsky for his playful dedication of a book to Lucifer aka Satan. Alinsky, an agnostic secular Jew, was using the story of Lucifer's rebellion against God as a metaphor and symbol. Lucifer won his own kingdom. That is the point of the dedication. It is doubtful Alinsky was a closet Satanist.
However, it would be unfair to just criticise the right for disturbing the peace of the dead. Liberal Guilt, Inc, groups will be dropping praises for Mandela in your email box. They will also be asking for a donation.
WWJS. What would Jesus Say to all this deification of the dead ?