Brilliant comment by El Jones:

Note how the first thing everyone says about Nelson Mandela, and the condition by which he is allowed to be a hero, is “he forgave white people.” Black people are not only expected, but required to ignore and erase centuries of our own oppression to be worthy of praise. Meanwhile, John McCain can say “I hate gooks and I will always hate them” and people say, “well of course he does, he was jailed and tortured.” Imagine if Mandela, jailed and tortured, said “I’ll always hate crackers.” The headline of his damn obituary would be “white hating radical with controversial views dies.” Ain’t no black person hated their captors ever been alllowed that, never mind be praised as a hero for it. 

El Jones is the Nancy’s Chair in Women’s Studies at Mt St Vincent University in Halifax. She’s a poet, a writer and a social activist.  

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