Sunday, December 08, 2013

Liberal Mike Royko Pegged Nelson Mandela as a World-Class Hypocrite, Back in 1990

Re-posted by Nicholas Stix

Thanks for the heads-up to my Oak Park, Illinois writer friend, Jim Bowman, author of the new memoir, Company Man: My Jesuit Life, 1950-1968.

Since Royko was a liberal Democrat, he was only going to go so far in criticizing God. All the same, racist black affirmative action Trib hires unsuccessfully tried to get the greatest newspaperman in Chicago history fired around the same time as a “racist.”

Mandela Showing Gold-meddle Form
July 04, 1990|By Mike Royko.
Chicago Tribune

Not to be disrespectful to a world-class hero, but Nelson Mandela ought to make up his mind. Either he`s a meddler or he isn`t.

While he was in the United States, he wasn`t a meddler. He said so himself while appearing on a TV forum with Ted Koppel, our secretary of state for televison.

One of the other guests on the show said he was disappointed because Mandela had expressed admiration for Fidel Castro, Moammar Gadhafi and Yasser Arafat.

Naturally, the questioner`s disappointment was expressed with appropriate deference, since 99 percent of the news industry has anointed Mandela as a living legend.

So you just don`t ask a world-class hero: ``Hey, Nelson, we`re talking about terrorists and dictators. Can`t you find any chums who don`t go in for blowing people up, standing them in front of firing squads or tossing old tourists over the sides of boats?``

But Mandela coolly deflected the implied criticism. First he said: ``Our attitude is based solely on the fact that they fully support the anti-apartheid struggle. They do not support it only in rhetoric. They are placing resources at our disposal, for us to win the struggle.``

OK, we really can`t knock him for that. Over the years, this country has had some pretty creepy friends. Remember when Ronald Reagan and George Bush told us what a swell guy Ferdinand Marcos was? And when we propped up the Shah of Iran, who in turn stuffed his pockets and ran a police state? Or when, through the CIA, we did business with Col. Manuel Noriega and other tinhorn Latin-American thugs? Even now, we`re back on cordial terms with China. It`s sad about that young Chinese fellow who bravely stood in front of the tank. But business is business.

But then Mandela said: ``We have no time to be looking into the internal affairs of other countries. It is unreasonable for anybody to think that is our role.``

In other words, if Castro is a dictator, that`s none of Mandela`s business. If Gadhafi is a terrorist nut, that`s not his concern either. And if some members of Arafat`s PLO want to launch attacks on civilian beaches, Mandela has his own concerns.

So while he was in the United States, Mandela took the position that one shouldn`t meddle in the affairs of other nations.

But for some reason-probably out of respect for his heroic stature-nobody asked him an obvious question. At least it seems obvious to me.

``Mr. Mandela, if you have no time to be looking into the internal affairs of other countries, and it is unreasonable for anybody to think that is your role, why is the United States expected to be looking into the internal affairs of South Africa? What are we doing imposing sanctions and boycotts?

``Were you aware that in Chicago, the city treasurer took the bold step of removing a Coke machine from her office because Coke is sold in South Africa? And a Chicago alderwoman has demanded that the city refuse to do business with any business that does business with South Africa? Isn`t that meddling? I mean, with all due respect to Pepsi, there are many decent, liberal Americans who prefer Coke.``

I don`t know what Mandela would have said. Maybe that there is bad meddling and noble meddling, and what we`re doing is noble. But that confuses me. Can`t I oppose apartheid and still enjoy a Classic Coke. Or should I see a shrink about this conflict?

But, no, I will drink my Coke because it turns out that Mandela is not above meddling.

As soon as he got to Ireland, he forgot all about his rule of ``not looking into the internal affairs of other countries.`` He took it upon himself to tell England that it should start negotiating directly with the IRA, which has been known to set off bombs in department stores, pubs and other military encampments.

Well, maybe Margaret Thatcher should negotiate with the IRA, although I can understand why she might be reluctant, since they once tried to blow her up. But is it Mandela`s place to be meddling in the internal affairs of England and Ireland? If so, why doesn`t he tell Ghadafi and Arafat to negotiate with elderly American tourists before tossing them over the sides of boats?

And now it comes out that Mandela intends to meddle in the internal affairs of the United States. Before leaving here, he told some American Indians that he would return to ``exchange views as to what I can do to help them in their struggle.``

He wasn`t specific about which struggle. To allow them to leave their reservations? This isn`t South Africa. They can come and go as they choose. To run for public office? They can do that too. In fact, there is very little an Indian can`t do. They can do some things the rest of us can`t, such as open gambling joints on reservations.

Not that Native Americans didn`t get a raw deal. Treaties were broken, land was stolen and entire tribes were shoved halfway across the country. Why, my office sits on a piece of real estate that was probably purchased for a $2 derby and a bottle of cheap hootch.

But what does Mandela intend to do, hunker down, smoke a long pipe, put on war paint and go looking for General Custer`s descendants?

No disrespect intended, Mr. Mandela, but when it comes to the subject of meddling, you`re starting to speak with forked tongue.

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