MUHAMMAD: Mandela, Obama Presidential Sons of Africa

Askia Muhammad | 12/11/2013, 3 p.m.
Both presidents are Sons of Africa, and the first Black presidents of their respective countries. In that regard they have ...
Askia Muhammad

Former South African President Nelson Mandela is now with his ancestors.

During Mandela’s internationally celebrated term in office, President Barack Hussein Obama was a little known state senator in Illinois. “One is born. One dies. The land increases.” So says an African proverb.

Both presidents are Sons of Africa, and the first Black presidents of their respective countries. In that regard they have some things in common.

South Africa was once called the “Union of South Africa – U.S.A.” Chagrined over the similarity of their names’ abbreviations at the time when Jim Crow racial segregation in this country was compared with South Africa’s own brutal apartheid form of racial oppression, the U.S. of A. prevailed upon the U. of S.A. to change its name; hence the “Republic of South African” was born.

Both Mandela and Obama are Nobel Peace Prize recipients. There are footnotes attached to each man’s prize. In 1993, President Mandela shared his award with former apartheid ruler F.W. de Klerk, who hardly deserved any such honor. President Obama was awarded his prize in 2009 barely eight months after his first inauguration and, many insist, before he had earned such a distinguished award. Obama’s subsequent first four years in office confirm that view.

President Obama and former President Mandela are both reviled by many in the old, treasonous Confederate States of America. Throughout the United States, and especially in the deep South, Obama even while yet serving, is the most disrespected president in American history, more death threats, and frequent, openly contemptuous slander is hurled at this man while he’s still the occupant of the White House than ever before. Well now, the sheriff of Pickens County, S.C. has vowed to defy President Obama’s order that U.S. flags be lowered to half staff in honor of President Mandela.

“I am one of the countless millions who drew inspiration from Nelson Mandela’s life,” Obama said at the White House shortly after Mandela’s death was announced. “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. 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.”

“One is born. One dies. The land increases.” We can plainly see that proverb is most certainly true.

And now, with the worst two months of his political career behind him and the Affordable Care Act beginning to realize that its potential is larger than the online computer registration process, President Obama has stepped off into (for him) uncharted, deep waters, addressing the specter of economic inequality, head on.

“I believe this is the defining challenge of our time: Making sure our economy works for every working American,” Obama said in Southeast Washington, the day before Mandela’s demise. “It’s why I ran for president. It was at the center of last year’s campaign. It drives everything I do in this office. And I know I’ve raised this issue before, and some will ask why I raise the issue again right now. I do it because the outcomes of the debates we’re having right now – whether it’s health care, or the budget, or reforming our housing and financial systems – all these things will have real, practical implications for every American.

“And I am convinced that the decisions we make on these issues over the next few years will determine whether or not our children will grow up in an America where opportunity is real,” Obama said.

It’s almost like how Stella got her “groove” back, the Obama of old emerging, like some kind of international “community organizer,” trying to wage peace in Syria, destroying that country’s chemical weapons instead of simply destroying the country, like he did in Libya.

President Obama is also – along with the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany – trying to win a deal with Iran to limit that country’s ability to produce nuclear weapons and in return, to end the economic sanctions which have crippled that society for a generation.

It is said that of all the nations on The Continent, Africans in America most resemble the Africans in South Africa. Perhaps in his final three years in office President Obama will become more “Mandela-like” and finally earn the Nobel Peace Prize he was awarded prematurely. Perhaps.