BLM Comes to South Africa

If you follow events in South Africa, you’ll know that the country has been spiraling down for several years now, with rampant corruption, economic decay, rising crime, frequent blackouts from a decrepit electricity grid, and so forth. The New York Times is out with a long feature that explains why the next generation of South Africans has found a scapegoat for their problems: Nelson Mandella.

In South Africa, Nelson Mandela is everywhere. The country’s currency bears his smiling face, at least 32 streets are named for him and nearly two dozen statues in his image watch over a country in flux. . .

But 10 years after his death, attitudes have changed. The party Mr. Mandela led after his release from prison, the African National Congress, is in serious danger of losing its outright majority for the first time since he became president in 1994 in the first free election after the fall of apartheid. Corruption, ineptitude and elitism have tarnished the A.N.C.

Mr. Mandela’s image — which the A.N.C. has plastered across the country — has for some shifted from that of hero to scapegoat.

The Times story meanders along for quite a while, doing its best to obfuscate the real heart of the matter when it comes to Mandela’s declining reputation. The story vindicates what might be called Chomsky’s Razor, that is, an example of one of the few sensible things Noam Chomsky ever said, which is that if you really want to know what’s going on, read the New York Times backwards. Start at the end of the story and read up.

And so, after a long story with anecdotes about general unhappiness with the state of things in South Africa and growing disdain for yet another Mandela statute or monument, the fourth paragraph from the very end reads:

“He [Mandela] didn’t revolt against white people,” Mr. Vawda said. “I would have taken revenge.”

There you have it. How long until they get with the BLM program and start tearing down Mandela statues? Nicole Hannah-Jones, call your office.

Chaser—remember all the talk of record heat in the U.S. and Europe last week? Well, it’s winter in South Africa, and guess what?

Snow fell in Johannesburg this week for the first time in more than a decade, causing a flurry of activity among residents eager to see the rare winter wonderland.

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