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Nelson mandela - a freedom fighter or terrorist

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Nelson Mandela - The Fight For Freedom

Imagine living in your own country where drinking from the wrong water fountain could get you into jail. These are the types of dangers that a black South African, or also known as the ‘coloured’ person, could get into. The ‘coloured’ and the ‘non-coloured’ were forced to ride on separate trains, go to separate schools, and were even forced to sit on different benches. In 1913, 7.3% of the South African land is was given to the blacks, who take took up 80% of the whole population. The period of time when rules were set like this was called the Apartheid. This all started when the British took over the Dutch in 1806,who then took over South Africa. South Africa was under the rule of the British. The British were the government at that time, and took away the rights from the blacks. Like himself, Nelson Mandela stood up for the blacks, and is the reason why South Africa holds it’s independence till today. Even though many may object that Nelson Mandela is a terrorist because he killed many lives of the whites - Nelson Mandela is a freedom fighter because the government used violence against the blacks first, he wanted to make the black and white freedom equal, and because he still fought for freedom for everyone even when he was in jail.

Firstly, after many of Nelson Mandela’s peaceful protests, the government used violence against the blacks first. “... I, and some colleagues, came to the conclusion that as violence in this country was inevitable, it would be unrealistic and wrong for African leaders to continue preaching peace and nonviolence at a time when the Government met our peaceful demands with force.” This was a quote by Nelson Mandela in 1961, at the Rivonia trial. Likewise, yes it is true that both the government and Nelson Mandela used violence against one another but to call Nelson Mandela a terrorist is wrong. As said in the quote, violence was only used because they had no other choice. What other choice did they have that would work? The government reacted with terror against the blacks first, after they tried to show their point through peaceful protests. In other words, nothing else against the government would work. This shows that if the whites never used violence against Mandela first, they would of never used violence either. Therefore, Nelson Mandela is a freedom fighter.

Secondly, Nelson Mandela wanted and believed in equal white and black freedoms. “I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve.” This quote by Nelson Mandela in 1964 shows how he didn’t want to completely get rid of the whites, he just wanted them to be equal and to live in peace. He believed in harmony, and as long as the whites and blacks could get along, he would be happy. Most terrorists today believe in domination, brainwashing everyone to think what they think, do what they do. But this isn’t the case for Nelson Mandela. "We enter into a covenant that we shall build a society in which all South Africans, both black and white, will be able to walk tall, without and fear in their hearts, assured of their inalienable right to human dignity – a rainbow nation at peace with itself and the world." This quote also shows how he just wanted equality between the whites and blacks. Yes, although many whites and blacks were killed along the way, he fought for the freedom of the blacks, but also the whites - to be equal. This is one of the reasons why I think he is a freedom fighter.

Lastly, even when Nelson Mandela was put into jail for 27 years, his fight for freedom didn’t end. This shows how committed he was to making South Africa an equal nation. Even in his prison cell, he helped South Africa with the injustice between the Apartheid. “I was called a terrorist yesterday, but when I came out of jail, many people embraced me, including my enemies, and that is what I normally tell other people who say those who are struggling for liberation in their country are terrorists. I tell them that I was also a terrorist yesterday, but, today, I am admired by the very people who said I was one.” This quote was said by Nelson Mandela in 2000 on Larry King live. This quote shows that even though several lives were lost along the way and he may of have seemed like a terrorist, in the end, he did it for the whites, the blacks, and he did it for South Africa. This is why I think Nelson Mandela is a freedom fighter.

In conclusion, Nelson Mandela is not a terrorist because he fought for the whole of South Africa even when he was in prison, he believed in equality between the blacks and the whites, and the only reason violence was used was because he had no other choice. Today, the 8.9% of whites that take up the population of South Africa live in peace. Thanks to Nelson Mandela, South Africa is now an independent country. “Today, thanks to the self-sacrifice of Nelson Mandela, apartheid has been outlawed. Everyone in South Africa now has an equal opportunity at home and at work to live comfortable, productive lives. Nelson Mandela is one of the world's true freedom fighters, and his life and personal triumphs will be remembered long after the world has forgotten the evils of Apartheid.” This was said by a black South African when asked about who his hero was. In 1994, Nelson Mandela was elected for president. Would South Africa be what it is today if it wasn’t for him?

Sources not from primary sources / timelines:

"Nelson Mandela Quotes." Nelson Mandela Quotes. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Apr. 2013.

"White South African." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 22 Apr. 2013. Web. 25 Apr. 2013.

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