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article imageOp-Ed: Canadian Conservative MP Anders refuses to honor Nelson Mandela

By Marcus Hondro     Dec 8, 2013 in World
There are lousy politicians and then there is Rob Anders. To the Canadian Conservative MP it doesn't matter that Nelson Mandela is credited the world over with bringing down apartheid and ending a system that caused widespread suffering among blacks.
When the late South African leader, recognized as a humanitarian and winner of the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize, died last week at 95 he was praised the world over. But not by Anders, who refused to attend the Canadian House of Commons when a host of tributes to Mandela were read.
Nelson Mandela: freedom fighter
Mandela led his people peacefully in the early '60s, but finally saw no other option to free blacks than to resort to sabotage against the government. To others, it was advancing of the cause of freedom but to Anders it was something less noble. Mandela spent 27 years in prison, refusing to bow to the dictates of apartheid and giving up all those good years as a result, but Anders sees nothing noble in his sacrifice.
Indeed, Mr. Anders has gone on record calling Mr. Mandela a terrorist who is not worthy of his respect. He was the only Canadian MP who voted against the former-South African president becoming an honorary citizen of Canada (the bill passed) in 2001. The fact that his party's leader, Prime Minister Stephen Harper, praised Nelson Mandela in the House last week is of no consequence to Anders. He has an axe to grind.
Rob Anders: fact-checking needed
Instead of criticizing the problems of South Africa now — the legacy of apartheid continues to haunt the country — and criticizing a man who believed in peace but saw his people so humiliated and violated that he was forced to turn to fighting back, it is thought that Mr. Anders might instead do some fact-finding.
Read the history of South African, apartheid and Mr. Mandela. Better still, go there, ask the people who suffered, who saw their children in destitution, unable to achieve a life they deserved because of a system that refused to acknowledge their humanity. Ask those who saw family, friends and neighbours speak out — and then disappear forever.
Mr. Anders is not likely to do that, ever. He has a prejudice and he doesn't want to see it altered. He's happy in his ignorance. There are lousy politicians and then there is Rob Anders. Thankfully, however, there are good politicians, too.
Thankfully there was a Nelson Mandela.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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