Raghu Ballal: Mandela’s example

Posted on December 6, 2013 

The well-deserved tributes to Nelson Mandela by world leaders are heart-warming. But the hypocrisy of some of our leaders is blatantly obvious!

One of our congressmen, Howard Coble, did not vote for a bipartisan bill demanding the apartheid government of South Africa to release Mandela from imprisonment in 1986. Then-Congressman Dick Cheney did not vote for it, either. President Reagan vetoed this bipartisan bill, although Congress overrode his veto. Cheney even voted against the override!

Mandela’s character and leadership should be an ideal format for our state’s leaders to follow, especially Gov. Pat McCrory in his management of the urgent issues put forward by the state’s disenfranchised residents during the Moral Monday demonstrations. Are the laws that have been signed by the governor – in restricting voter participation, undoing the Racial Justice Act, denying the poor and infirm the much needed health care – any different from the laws prevalent under the apartheid regime in South Africa?

Raghu Ballal

Chapel Hill

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