2/08/2009

Freedom, Democracy and the Future

I recently wrote about Cry Freedom and the struggle for Freedom in South Africa in Outsider Views. Our world continues to be in a precarious state. We continue to see a world where power seems to preempt everything else. As I said in that column:

Freedom, Democracy and equal opportunity is a right that all of god’s children must enjoy. Governments are there as a facilitator. When Governments fail, the people must rise up to change the system for the better. The remarkable transformation of South Africa into the rainbow nation it is today is a testament to that fact. South Africa continues to have profound challenges. The wide gap between the rich and the poor is a disappointment. Crime continues to be rampant. The Whites continue to be threatened. But, at least South Africa has understood that Democracy is the way forward for all. The opposition seems to be finally finding its own voice after over a decade of domination by the African National Congress. As I watched Cry Freedom, Lord Attenborough’s Film on Steve Biko, I reflected upon the struggle for Freedom in South Africa. Cry Freedom showed the evil and the good that was possible. The humanity of one man, Donald Woods, helped to expose the hypocracy that was apartheid to the world Mugabe should have at one remembered the principles of non violence, brotherly love that helped shaped the modern liberation movement in Southern Africa. I wonder if he remembered the very struggle in South Africa and all the sacrifices. I wonder if he understood that the Whites of Zimbabwe were as much "Sons of Africa" before he launched his policy of neo-apartheid on the Whites. What is so sad is someone like Steven Biko continued to have so much love as he gave his life. To this day, I continued to be amazed at how Nelson Mandela emerged from twenty seven years with no bitterness and understood how to bring the country together. Despite all the difficulties, the heirs to Mandela, Tambo, Gwen Mbeki and all the other fallen ones have continued. Mugabe was part of that generation and that legacy. I wonder if he remembered the struggle. Mugabe inherited a country in reasonable shape, despite the war that had gone on for so long. If he would have sustained the success story, that would have been his legacy. Now, he is a just a tin-pot desparate dictator that is hanging on because he thinks he is divine and untouchable. I have called him a butcher and will continue to do so because of what he has done. The notion of service and sacrifice for the greater good is something that must be accepted. Mugabe and his cabale of cronies seem not to have understood it. That's why we have a legacy of King-Presidents, failed states, and misery prevalent throughout a beautiful continent that deserves more. Whether Mugabe remembered the struggle and what may have been will probably never be known. As an outsider who cares and aches at the continued suffering of the people, I wonder if he truly realizes what he has done. Although I wish I understood the words in its entirety, I believe I understand enough to realize that this theme yearns for freedom for all Africans from tyranny, oppression and despair. I am sure he remembers at one time why he struggled as he did. He should take the very words of this song to heart and maybe finally step back and retire:
Cry Freedom:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7QUGWhxD8cw
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There are those who say that non-Africans do not understand Africa. The butcher is among them whenever I have heard him speak. I would remind the butcher and many others like him that the essential principles of human deceny dictates that all humans have certain rights to live freely, to feed themselves and their families and not be in so much desparation that they have to leave their homes. Children should not be robbed of their innocence. Mugabe must have remembered what the apartheid regime did in Soweto in 1976. At least the apartheid regime leaders understood that at some stage they had to give up power. That's why F.W. De Klerk and even P.W. Botha must be commended for the courage they showed. Mugabe is simply a coward. SADC seems to have pushed everyone into this shot-gun marriage. At this stage, I continue to be very pessimistic. Maybe Mugabe will wake and emerge from this messianic complex and allow the Government to actually do its' job to stop Zimbabwe's decline. Time will only tell....."

There is hope.
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