Author: has written 205 posts for this blog.

tigtog blogs a lot elsewhere, but here on Feministe she mostly does the tech support and feeds the giraffe. tigtog tweets in irregular flurries @vivsmythe.
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65 Responses

  1. TimmyTwinkles
    TimmyTwinkles December 6, 2013 at 11:31 am |

    The world will not see his like again.

  2. Kate
    Kate December 6, 2013 at 1:56 pm |

    Ta-Nehisi Coates has a take-down of the Wall Street Journal’s racist “tribute”.
    [borked link fixed by mods]

    1. TimmyTwinkles
      TimmyTwinkles December 6, 2013 at 2:51 pm |

      Could you link to it?

    2. Miranda
      Miranda December 6, 2013 at 4:24 pm |

      It still isn’t working for me…?

      But thanks for the head’s up, Coates is consistently great.

    3. anna_k
      anna_k December 6, 2013 at 9:03 pm |

      Yes, I’m so glad someone pointed out that “unusual for leaders in Africa to step down” type of line – have seen it in so many of the “tributes”. That and the articles shoehorning in references to de Klerk as the courageous/brave white man who jointly brought peace to SA with Mandela have made me so cross.

      1. EG
        EG December 6, 2013 at 9:24 pm |

        RIGHT? De Klerk was the head of an apartheid government that held Mandela prisoner for 27 years! He was not a great man!

        1. anna_k
          anna_k December 8, 2013 at 3:56 am |

          Precisely. In my opinion, it comes from a deeply misguided (and obviously racist) place of wanting an “equal” story to tell – such that, even in one of the most obvious stories of black people, and one specific black person, fighting against an evil instituted solely by white people, the media is striving for a “the whites were not that bad, see, they had good guys too!!!” narrative. Ugh.

          I’m reminded of a talk I was at a few weeks ago, given by Justice Albie Sachs, entitled “50 Years with Mandela”.

          Justice Sachs is obviously a hugely inspirational man who has given so much, devoted so much, and sacrificed so much, in service of fighting against apartheid and bringing about a free and equal democracy in SA.

          Yet he chose to begin his talk with an anecdote about how, when he first joined the movement, he had to stop, listen and learn from his black comrades about the importance of the beginning of the defiance of unjust laws campaign being a “black campaign, a black struggle”. How his own passion and obviously right-thinking views had to be, were *necessarily* subsidiary to the fact that their protests were primarily by and for the people who were actually being oppressed. How he had to correct his instinctive “I want to take part too” response and really learn from and respect the perspective of his colleagues on the path of their movement.

          Hearing such a courageous and rightfully-praised man begin the telling of his own tale with such humility was extremely moving. Surely one of the people most entitled (not that I think anyone is, but he has more cause than most) to talk about himself, the good counter-cultural white man on the side of right, yet he chose to tell that story at the start.

          A telling contrast to the way de Klerk (and his *many* supporters) presents himself, that’s for sure.

        2. EG
          EG December 8, 2013 at 9:18 am |

          Beautifully said, both you and Justice Sachs. Thank you for telling that story.

        3. Donna L
          Donna L December 8, 2013 at 12:06 pm |

          Thanks for that. I remember reading about it when Albie Sachs was blown up by the South African security forces in the 1980’s, and lost an arm and an eye. The anti-apartheid efforts of people like Sachs and Joe Slovo were necessarily and rightly subsidiary, but, nonetheless, parochial as it may sound, made me proud to be, at least in part, a Litvak. (Of course, that’s true of every Jew in South Africa I’ve ever heard of, regardless of their politics.)

  3. Chataya
    Chataya December 6, 2013 at 1:58 pm |

    I started crying during the NPR retrospective yesterday afternoon, which is kind of odd because I’m a) a white American and b) only studied him later in life in history classes (I was 6 when he was elected).

    The head of my alma mater’s history department was actually in South Africa when Mandela was elected. She often told of how electric the atmosphere was around his candidacy and election. I wonder if I could get in touch with her.

  4. Hugh
    Hugh December 6, 2013 at 5:02 pm |

    I remember watching the first multiracial South African elections live in social studies class when I was 14.

    Anyway, here’s a good piece by Musa Okwonga, a Black British poet:

    http://www.okwonga.com/?p=869

  5. EG
    EG December 6, 2013 at 5:51 pm |

    specifically with regard to his involvement in revolutionary violence before his long imprisonment

    Apartheid is violence. Brutal, racist, sadistic violence. There is nothing wrong with using violence to fight it. If violence is not appropriate when fighting apartheid, when is it appropriate? Are these objectors committed to complete pacifism, even in matters of self-defense?

    Arrant nonsense. Mandela had nothing to apologize for, and nothing to make up for. He was a great man, and a true radical.

    Vijay Prashad’s piece on Mandela’s politics, and attempts to sanitize him.

    Further, when you hear US and UK politicians wax eloquent about his legacy, remember that the Thatcher and Reagan governments supported the South African government and regarded Mandela as a terrorist, that the CIA played a significant role in imprisoning him, that in the 1980s, young Tories wore buttons saying “Hang Nelson Mandela,” that he loathed American imperialism and refused to kowtow to American notions of “good guys” and “bad guys.”

    He knew what it mean to be the American list of “bad guys,” and he knew how easy it was for someone fighting for black freedom and the end of poverty to wind up there.

    He was brave, principled, and so smart. My mother took me and my sister to see his procession through NYC in 1990. For a moment, we were in the presence of greatness.

    1. anna_k
      anna_k December 6, 2013 at 9:07 pm |

      Apartheid is violence. Brutal, racist, sadistic violence. There is nothing wrong with using violence to fight it. If violence is not appropriate when fighting apartheid, when is it appropriate?

      Yes, this, this times a million! The two sides of the same coin/”why don’t you ever talk about the terrible things the ANC did” trolls have really crawled out of the woodwork for this one.

      That piece by Vijay Prashad is really good.

    2. Bagelsan
      Bagelsan December 10, 2013 at 2:39 am |

      Yes, violent responses are always awesome and never go wrong, nor are there ever non-violent alternatives.

      1. macavitykitsune
        macavitykitsune December 10, 2013 at 2:42 am |

        Such wisdom

        much wit

        wow

      2. SophiaBlue
        SophiaBlue December 10, 2013 at 4:05 am |

        What does this have to do with what EG said?

        1. Bagelsan
          Bagelsan December 10, 2013 at 4:59 pm |

          …The part where she said there’s nothing wrong with violence? That bit?

        2. EG
          EG December 10, 2013 at 7:36 pm |

          So, you are a complete pacifist, then, even in cases of self-defense, I can only assume.

      3. EG
        EG December 10, 2013 at 9:01 am |

        And the nonsensical non-sequitur of the day award goes to…Bagelsan!

        Congratulations, Bagelsan! I can only imagine the long hours of thought you put in to attain this level of trenchant and very relevant commentary.

        1. Bagelsan
          Bagelsan December 10, 2013 at 5:20 pm |

          If we’re going to make this thread about my IQ, rather than about Mandela or violence, perhaps we should take it to spillover?

      4. Fat Steve
        Fat Steve December 10, 2013 at 3:15 pm |

        Yes, violent responses are always awesome and never go wrong, nor are there ever non-violent alternatives.

        Everything EG said was totally accurate but the one word you picked up on. Ok, take out the term ‘nothing wrong’ and change it to ‘justifiable’ and can you honestly tell me you have that great an issue with what she said.

        EG can correct me if I’m wrong but I think she was using the term colloquially. Nelson Mandela never said there was ‘nothing’ wrong with violence. One of the things that hugely impressed me about The Long Walk To Freedom is how he did speak with candor about his negative appraisal of the tactics of some of his compatriots and his regrets at the things that unfortunately went wrong.

        1. EG
          EG December 10, 2013 at 3:30 pm |

          “There is nothing wrong with X” has a very different meaning than “nothing can go wrong with X,” so much so, that it never occurred to me that this was the source of Bagelsan’s absurd comment, as I was paying her the compliment of assuming she had basic reading comprehension skills.

          The implicit meaning of “wrong” being invoked in “there is nothing wrong with X” is “morally wrong.” If Bagelsan is so obtuse that she genuinely didn’t know that, she shouldn’t be commenting here at a site that assumes a basic level of English literacy in its participants.

          But I suspect she does know that, which is why I think she’s just being a pain in the ass instead of contributing anything substantive to a thread about one of the most important figures in worldwide black freedom struggles of the past century. No doubt she has reasons of her own

        2. Fat Steve
          Fat Steve December 10, 2013 at 4:08 pm |

          “There is nothing wrong with X” has a very different meaning than “nothing can go wrong with X,” so much so, that it never occurred to me that this was the source of Bagelsan’s absurd comment, as I was paying her the compliment of assuming she had basic reading comprehension skills.

          Again, she can correct me, but that’s what I assumed she meant by ‘never can go wrong.’

        3. Bagelsan
          Bagelsan December 10, 2013 at 5:06 pm |

          [Moderator note to Bagelsan and EG (alphabetical order): discussion between the two of you is becoming highly personalised and unacceptably hostile. To facilitate you both taking a break from engaging with each other, you are both being placed into the premoderation filter for the next week.]

    3. ldouglas
      ldouglas December 10, 2013 at 4:47 pm |

      Mandela had nothing to apologize for, and nothing to make up for.

      I have a hard time with this. Mandela signed off on planting bombs that killed children, several times. I don’t care what your theory of self-defense is, it can’t extend to killing four-year-olds. That’s murder.

      So yeah, I think Mandela did a lot of good, but I can’t agree that none of his anti-apartheid actions were morally questionable.

      1. Esti
        Esti December 10, 2013 at 6:48 pm |

        Do you also criticize the Allies for fighting the Nazis because some German children were killed during the war? Because that’s the equivalent (on a larger scale) of what the ANC and similar groups were doing in fighting the South African regime–which killed many, many, MANY more people than did any actions that Mandela sanctioned.

        When I read statements but yours, I can’t help but wonder why only *some* deaths seem to matter in these discussions. Is it good to kill children? No, of course not. And yet, the government of South Africa was killing black children with alarming, tragic regularity, and the few violent actions that Mandela approved were an attempt to stop that violence against the black and colored populations in the country following a long history of peaceful opposition actions getting absolutely nowhere. I honestly fail to see why you think that was wrong.

        1. ldouglas
          ldouglas December 10, 2013 at 7:32 pm |

          When I read statements but yours, I can’t help but wonder why only *some* deaths seem to matter in these discussions.

          I have no idea where you got that idea from.

          Because that’s the equivalent (on a larger scale) of what the ANC and similar groups were doing in fighting the South African regime–which killed many, many, MANY more people than did any actions that Mandela sanctioned.

          The fact that someone else did something immoral doesn’t actually mean it’s not immoral when you do it.

          For me, I don’t take issue with this specific comment saying that Mandela had nothing to apologise and make up for: it comes as a response to the predictable “Mandela was a terrorist ergo not worth listening to, lawless black savage etc” attacks that followed his death.

          Right, I get that and I agree.

          That said, I draw a firm moral line at killing children. I can kinda-stomach some of those arguments when it comes to adults who, though civilians, were perpetuating apartheid, but when it comes to planting bombs in movie theaters and shopping malls full of children I don’t have much sympathy for the supposed ends-justifying-the-means.

          And frankly, I challenge anyone to draw a line from the mall bombings to the end of apartheid. I don’t see much evidence it helped.

          Nelson Mandela did a lot of good. He also did some things I think were morally bankrupt. He was a brilliant revolutionary leader, and a mediocre public administrator. There’s no contradiction inherent in saying all these things. People are complex.

        2. anna_k
          anna_k December 10, 2013 at 7:34 pm |

          Ah, I didn’t realise someone had already commented, otherwise I would not have left a much more rambly version of what you have said very well :)

        3. EG
          EG December 10, 2013 at 7:40 pm |

          Seconding every single thing Esti has written. That is exactly my point. Why are black people expected to sit back and watch their children die and respond only with non-violence? Why should they engage in violence only if there is absolutely no chance of anybody who doesn’t deserve suffering to do so? Why are the black victims of apartheid held to such a high standard?

        4. anna_k
          anna_k December 10, 2013 at 7:54 pm |

          Nelson Mandela did a lot of good. He also did some things I think were morally bankrupt. He was a brilliant revolutionary leader, and a mediocre public administrator. There’s no contradiction inherent in saying all these things. People are complex.

          Okay, so I’m not going to get into a long children-killing, yea or nay, type-discussion but I take it from the above you also see why EG might have put it that way, since the people attacking Mandela are not doing so on the basis that people are complex, but on the racist basis that black people are simple, and violent, and capable only of “reverse-racist” violence and not of inspirational leadership.

          Also, you are reasoning after the fact on what deaths are and aren’t acceptable – how were they meant to know without acting which actions would and wouldn’t end apartheid? And, again, when the other side is already killing all your children on purpose, where is the bright moral line prohibiting your actions in stopping that killing?

          Finally: I *really* don’t like calling him a mediocre public administrator – not here, not right now. The apartheid struggle meant those involved, white and black, faced challenges being in power after decades of fighting against power. Mediocre public adminstrator is…well, why make it specific to him? And say it like it’s an innate quality he had, rather than something that was pretty much inevitable after his first go as non-mediocre lawyer and political activist was ruthlessly stopped with 27 years of inaction hidden away from the world. I’m sorry, but my mind is boggling a little at that particular one.

          I’m going to stop at that, because I know I feel very strongly about these things and there’s not going to be much more civil discourse on my side if we continue down the lines of a very simplistic debate. Sorry, I’m out.

        5. anna_k
          anna_k December 10, 2013 at 8:00 pm |

          Okay, one last thing: the public administrator thing? That (regardless of your intent) is playing into the trope, common in his obituaries, of “see black man do or fail to do things we know black man inherently can’t do” (cf. in Mandela stepping down from power, Ta-Nehisi Coates’ blog post on the same). And that’s why I do not like it.

          Right. Really done this time.

        6. Esti
          Esti December 10, 2013 at 8:51 pm |

          @EG

          Why are black people expected to sit back and watch their children die and respond only with non-violence? Why should they engage in violence only if there is absolutely no chance of anybody who doesn’t deserve suffering to do so? Why are the black victims of apartheid held to such a high standard?

          This is a much better, more coherent version of my extremely exasperated comment. This times a billion.

        7. ldouglas
          ldouglas December 10, 2013 at 9:57 pm |

          Why are black people expected to sit back and watch their children die and respond only with non-violence?

          I expect everyone to refrain from murdering children, if it makes you feel any better.

          since the people attacking Mandela are not doing so on the basis that people are complex, but on the racist basis that black people are simple, and violent, and capable only of “reverse-racist” violence and not of inspirational leadership.

          Yes, I think we all agree there.

          Finally: I *really* don’t like calling him a mediocre public administrator – not here, not right now. The apartheid struggle meant those involved, white and black, faced challenges being in power after decades of fighting against power.

          Of course. He also made a series of bad economic choices that hurt his country, while instituting a number of very smart programs at the same time. Thus, not terrible, not great; mediocre. His work as a pubic administrator was unremarkable, while his work as a revolutionary was profoundly remarkable.

          You know what, if you want to reserve this as a Mandela-hagiography space only, fine, I’ll back out, but this insistence that literally everything he did was perfect and exceptional and isn’t open to criticism is… well, irritating, at the very least.

          Okay, one last thing: the public administrator thing? That (regardless of your intent) is playing into the trope, common in his obituaries, of “see black man do or fail to do things we know black man inherently can’t do”

          Are people confusing the term ‘mediocre’ for ‘bad?’ It means ‘of middling quality; not exceptional.’

        8. ldouglas
          ldouglas December 10, 2013 at 9:59 pm |

          Why are black people expected to sit back and watch their children die and respond only with non-violence?

          Also, I can’t tell if you didn’t read my post, or if you’re just misrepresenting what I said, but I very explicitly mentioned I wasn’t criticizing all violence, but specifically violence which intentionally kills children who are too young to participate in, much less chose sides in, a struggle.

        9. anna_k
          anna_k December 11, 2013 at 8:12 pm |

          I am chiming in one last time to point again to Ta-Nehisi Coates, on blisteringly good form even for his always-excellent prose, comprehensively destroying this entire spurious, nonsensical line of attack:

          http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2013/12/mandela-and-the-question-of-violence/282255/

      2. anna_k
        anna_k December 10, 2013 at 6:56 pm |

        I agree that killing four-year-olds shouldn’t be part of anyone’s theory of self-defence. No question of moral defence of that specific action.

        In the following, I’m not trying to speak for EG at all, just my own thoughts.

        For me, I don’t take issue with this specific comment saying that Mandela had nothing to apologise and make up for: it comes as a response to the predictable “Mandela was a terrorist ergo not worth listening to, lawless black savage etc” attacks that followed his death.

        Attacks by people who are not looking to hold complexities together in their heads (great freedom fighter; eloquent lawyer; inspirational in reconciliation and leadership; violent revolutionary once non-violent revolution failed) and analyse the whole in good faith, but to simplistically discredit a black man for the same actions that they praise in many white figures throughout history (the rightness of that is a whole different story, of course).

        Thus, I read it as a defence/pushback of the means he used, rather than blanket approval of the results of said means.

        Going further, and using your own example (without condoning it – I can’t say this enough!). Mandela signed off on planting bombs that unintentionally killed children in a nation that was constantly, deliberately, intentionally, signing off on a system that killed countless black four-year-olds, both specifically and by percentages of their lives (childbirth, infant mortality, nutrition, poverty, education, housing, resettlement, health, and so on, and so on).

        Neither of those things is “right”; but I’m not sure what I’d have done differently in his shoes.

        Again, I’m not trying to speak to EG’s own intent, which obviously doesn’t obviate contrary readings in any case.

        I think your point is valid, but I wanted to push back on it a bit with a slightly different reading, and I hope no one thinks I think killing children is A-OK, and am very sorry if anyone reads it that way! That’s all.

      3. Miranda
        Miranda December 10, 2013 at 8:55 pm |

        While I think there’s a legitimate debate to be made about the ethical implications of violent resistance against a regime that is itself oppressive and violent, a lot of people seem to be saying that right here, right now, at this moment this is not the place to have that debate, and I agree.

        People’s intentions may be quite noble in wanting to have this debate right now, but structurally it does seem to play into a lot of structural problems, including racism. That’s what I find so infuriating about the Right’s “pearl-clutching” in bringing this up. It’s a legitimate and difficult topic (I mean in general, not specifically re: Mandela), but it’s not a topic for right now..

        1. pheenobarbidoll
          pheenobarbidoll December 10, 2013 at 10:55 pm |

          I think the non poc people need to weed their own yards instead of insisting black people acknowledge poc weeding to be done. For fucking once.

      4. Fat Steve
        Fat Steve December 10, 2013 at 9:52 pm |

        I have a hard time with this. Mandela signed off on planting bombs that killed children, several times. I don’t care what your theory of self-defense is, it can’t extend to killing four-year-olds. That’s murder.

        Can you name a recent American President who hasn’t done that?

        1. ldouglas
          ldouglas December 10, 2013 at 10:00 pm |

          Can you name a recent American President who hasn’t done that?

          No. What’s your point?

        2. Fat Steve
          Fat Steve December 11, 2013 at 10:00 am |

          No. What’s your point?

          I don’t even know anymore.

  6. Donna L
    Donna L December 6, 2013 at 6:07 pm |

    Also, it’s a bit hypocritical to condemn him for allying himself with Marxists and Soviets as part of the fight to end apartheid. Hmm, let’s see, wasn’t there this guy who was one of our allies in World War II who was kind of unsavory in that way? And then there’s George Washington getting help from pre-revolutionary France.

    1. EG
      EG December 6, 2013 at 7:38 pm |

      Also, if Marxists and Soviets were willing to support him in the fight to end apartheid, and capitalists weren’t, that just demonstrates the extent to which the capitalists were morally bankrupt. It doesn’t make Mandela look bad; it makes the capitalists who refused to help him look bad and the Marxists/Soviets look good.

      1. TimmyTwinkles
        TimmyTwinkles December 6, 2013 at 9:14 pm |

        Amen, marxism/communism not inherently bad or evil

        [Moderator Note: this comment turned out to be stoushbait, and resulted in a derail. Take any further replies to this subthread to Spillover.]

        1. PrettyAmiable
          PrettyAmiable December 10, 2013 at 2:00 pm |

          Seriously? This one act is sufficient to negate all the harm done by Communists? And that’s obviously what you meant to convey, because when you hear a story about a Nazi who helped someone escape death, you’d never say, “Amen, Nazis aren’t inherently evil.”

          A special “fuck you” from me to you. My father was kicked out of our formerly Communist country for standing up to their tyranny. I only know members of my immediate family (all of which are extremely emotionally damaged, because the exile was a meaningful contributor to my father’s alcoholism which led him to be abusive and depressed, and the rest of us were too young or docile to process why he would take it out on us).

          But yeah. I mean, I guess they were stand up guys if they couldn’t physically lay hands on you or imprison you or starve you or emotionally damage you.

          I am sorry for contributing to this derail, and I’ll bow out now (for one thing, I’m not interested in making this about (mostly) white people), but what the honest-to-god fuck. How ridiculously ignorant.

        2. TimmyTwinkles
          TimmyTwinkles December 10, 2013 at 2:15 pm |

          And a fuck you right back, since I was referring to the theory and not to any specific government. And i stand by what i said regarding the THEORY. Comprehend more.

        3. PrettyAmiable
          PrettyAmiable December 10, 2013 at 2:45 pm |

          Oh, so you just meant to massively derail with a comment that was completely irrelevant to the thread. It was the theory that Mandela allied with, not the people who practiced it, right?

        4. TimmyTwinkles
          TimmyTwinkles December 10, 2013 at 2:48 pm |

          My one-sentence offhand reply to EG was a massive derail? You need to take a breath.

        5. TimmyTwinkles
          TimmyTwinkles December 10, 2013 at 2:58 pm |

          I understand how fun righteous indignation can be, but you might try asking me what i meant before you leap onto your high horse and lecture me on your family history. That said, probably we should take this to spillover (if there’s anything to take) since this is definitely hit massive derailment status if it hadn’t already.

        6. Miranda
          Miranda December 10, 2013 at 3:01 pm |

          I don’t want to exacerbate the “validity of Mandela allying with the Soviets” derail, but TimmyTwinkles, come on, dude. Your comment was made in the context of a discussion on the Soviets, and you phrased it in a way that managed to make a statement on seemingly each permutation of Communism/Marxism. PrettyAmiable’s family suffered a great deal under an unspecified Communist regime. Zie’s reaction seems reasonable, given zie’s background. If my family were destroyed by a tyrannical government, I would take unkindly to your comment as well.

        7. PrettyAmiable
          PrettyAmiable December 10, 2013 at 3:01 pm |

          Excuse me? Back off. This wasn’t a discussion about the theory; it was a discussion about specific oppressors who used the very theory you’re defending to oppress large populations (just not in the particular context of South Africa). But it’s not inherently evil!

          Giving me a tone argument because I was offended by it is bullshit. Check your privilege.

        8. TimmyTwinkles
          TimmyTwinkles December 10, 2013 at 3:17 pm |

          Miranda, your point is generally well-taken. But “fuck you” is a reasonable reaction? I don’t think it’s making a tone argument to get one’s back up to being addressed that way. And guess what? I don’t happen to think Soviet Russia was inherently evil at the time of its founding. I think the USSR did a whole of totally evil things, but to my mind equating Nazi ideology to communist ideology is bullshit and intellectually/historically vacuous.

        9. TimmyTwinkles
          TimmyTwinkles December 10, 2013 at 3:20 pm |

          Sorry, the second half of the above comment was to PrettyAmiable.

        10. Fat Steve
          Fat Steve December 10, 2013 at 3:29 pm |

          Miranda, your point is generally well-taken. But “fuck you” is a reasonable reaction? I don’t think it’s making a tone argument to get one’s back up to being addressed that way. And guess what? I don’t happen to think Soviet Russia was inherently evil at the time of its founding. I think the USSR did a whole of totally evil things, but to my mind equating Nazi ideology to communist ideology is bullshit and intellectually/historically vacuous.

          Soviet Russia under Stalin and Nazi Germany were in fact both fascist dictatorships, despite both of them having ‘socialist’ in the title. Many of the so-called socialist countries (such as North Korea) are fascist dictatorships. Now, I may not agree that things/people are inherently good or evil overall I would’t say that specifically applies to communism. And if so many communist countries can fall victim to fascist dictatorships, like the one PrettyAmiable describes, surely that is an inherent flaw in the system,

        11. PrettyAmiable
          PrettyAmiable December 10, 2013 at 3:39 pm |

          So weird that I didn’t respond more positively to someone who said something deeply offensive and ignorant.

          I don’t think it’s making a tone argument to get one’s back up to being addressed that way.

          This is not what a tone argument is. Dismissing my points because you don’t like that I (rightfully) told you to go fuck yourself (“You need to take a breath”) is a tone argument. Google.

        12. PrettyAmiable
          PrettyAmiable December 10, 2013 at 3:57 pm |

          I think the USSR did a whole of totally evil things, but to my mind equating Nazi ideology to communist ideology is bullshit and intellectually/historically vacuous.

          Also, what the holy hell did you learn in your history class about the USSR?.

  7. (BFing) Sarah
    (BFing) Sarah December 6, 2013 at 7:11 pm |

    I don’t know a single African, black or white, that didn’t have respect and love for Madiba. He will be missed!

  8. debbie
    debbie December 8, 2013 at 6:20 pm |

    One of my earliest childhood memories was watching his walk to freedom with my parents, who were involved in anti-apartheid work in Canada. I’m feeling his loss pretty hard.

  9. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune December 10, 2013 at 2:43 am |

    Thanks for the links, everyone! I don’t have anything to contribute, but I’m reading and listening.

  10. BroadBlogs
    BroadBlogs December 13, 2013 at 12:17 am |

    Thanks for bringing up the straw man argument that he wasn’t “perfect” due to earlier involvement in revolutionary violence. It’s an important point.

    Also interesting that the same right-wingers who call him a terrorist have no problem with economic terrorism (the Ted Cruz attempt to blow up the economy) which actually could have ended in some deaths from lack of health care and starvation — and which they continue to promote, even if via non-economic terrorist routes, e.g., cutting food stamps and healthcare for kids. (btw, Cruz may have been bluffing, but his followers weren’t.)

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