We Need To Use Nelson Mandela's Example To Reflect On Our Own Problems

We Need To Use Nelson Mandela's Example To Reflect On Our Own Problems

It is easy to break down and destroy. The heroes are those who make peace and build.

Nelson Mandela’s birthday, July 18th, is also recognized as Nelson Mandela International Day. Although each year, the day is celebrated with Google displaying Mandela inspired artwork and a couple news segments showing flashbacks of Mandela’s achievement, this year, I think we need to go a little deeper.

For those that are somehow unfamiliar with him, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was an anti-apartheid activist, philanthropist, and the first black president of South Africa. As a young activist, Mandela preached about using nonviolence as the key method in fighting the system. These efforts resulted in him being awarded a Nobel Peace Prize. Because of this, he was often called the “Gandhi” of South Africa. But unlike Gandhi, who only believed in nonviolence and truth, Mandela realized that violence may just be necessary when there is no other way to fight a bigger evil. However, that is not the issue here. Unfortunately, despite the many efforts of Nelson Mandela and activists akin to him, we still have a long way to go to achieve racial equality.

Apartheid may have ended in South Africa, and segregation ended in the United States, but that is on paper only. With polarity increasing in political ideals globally, the area that has seen the most racial segregation are academic institutions. A recent study found that South African universities are still segregated and the black population is demanding better education and classroom conditions.

Before calling out and condemning another nation for their unfair treatment of an entire race, we must look into our own backyard first: while Americans like to boast about the US being a leader in freedom and human rights, how much freedom do we have if our school districts are only now being forced to desegregate? Yes, as recently as May of last year, a school district in Mississippi was ordered to end segregation in the school since the district had not done anything despite various efforts over the past FIFTEEN YEARS.

These American children were robbed of the chance to learn side by side their white peers and receive the same quality education because they were born with more melanin in their skin. This is exactly what Nelson Mandela devoted his entire life to keep from happening.

Nelson Mandela said, “It is easy to break down and destroy. The heroes are those who make peace and build.” We cannot honor Mandela and talk about his work while simultaneously electing people in power who contradict everything he stood for. In fact, there is no bigger insult.

We don’t need inspiring artworks or half an hour primetime coverage going over Nelson Mandela’s life. Those are thoughtful, but empty acts that lack change. What we do need is to ask ourselves why we are still facing issues that so many politicians and activists spent decades trying to fix. And although the easy answer is that we face these issues because bigots love to maintain a system that benefits them by denying that these issues even exist, we need to find a way to change the status quo by reaching out to the humanity of those who consider equality a repugnant notion. We need to show opponents of equality that if they truly want this nation to succeed then they should be okay with getting a slightly lesser amount of pie; what we have right now is a group of people refusing to believe that racism and racial inequalities exist in the first place, all while perpetuating a segregated society.

Although I am heartbroken that these are problems that still plague the world and our nation, I am hopeful that a change in possible. If it took Nelson Mandela over 50 years of struggle to rid South Africa of apartheid, then certainly it is possible to improve race relations in this country, even if it's one small step at a time.

Cover Image Credit: The Financial Times

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As A Female Christian Millennial, I Fully Support Alabama's Abortion Ban Because I Know God Would, Too

A life always has worth, no matter the circumstances.


Alabama's state legislature passed a bill on May 14, 2019 that makes it illegal for abortions to be performed past six weeks of pregnancy. Doctors who are caught violating the law could be sentenced up to 99 years in prison. The bill is the strictest anti-abortion bill to date this year as states try to pass laws to challenge to Roe v. Wade in the Supreme Court.

While the law does allow an exception to women whose lives are at risks, it does not allow for abortions in the event of rape or incest. I support Alabama's new law, and I applaud them for their efforts to protect the rights of unborn children.

As a Christian, I believe that life is a precious gift from God and should be treated with care.

The sixth commandment is, "Thou shalt not kill," and Jesus said the second greatest rule was to love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:39-40). I believe this applies to every person born and unborn. But, even from a secular perspective, there are reasons that support an unborn child's right to life. Let's break down two of the most important components of the bill: abortion itself and the case of rape and incest.

A big argument in the debate is whether a baby is alive before it is born or only after it is born.

I believe can be explained and answered with simple medical science. In the medical profession, a person is pronounced dead when there is no more activity in the brain, known as brain-dead.

At that point, they consider there to be no more life in the body.

The opposite of death is life, so if you have electrical signals still coursing through your brain, then you are alive. A fetus begins to have electrical activity in its brain at six weeks. Most women do not find out they are pregnant until around that time, so by the time they decide to have an abortion, the baby, by all medical accounts, is alive.

Another indicator of whether a person is dead or dying is their pulse.

The pulse is how many times a person's heart beats per minute. If a person does not have a pulse, they will more than likely die if their heart cannot be resuscitated because no oxygen is getting to their brain.

Medical personnel does everything they can to start a person's heart back because they know that the heart is key to life.

A baby's heart begins to beat at five weeks old, again before the mother knows she is pregnant and can choose to have an abortion. Since the United States' justice system upholds that killing a person is wrong, then shouldn't killing a baby, who is alive, be wrong too? I think this is plenty of proof that aborting a baby is killing a living person and is therefore wrong.

Rape and incest are two horrible acts that should be punished. It is never the victim's or conceived a child's fault in the situation.

Given the reasons above for why abortion is wrong, I also believe, while both crimes are horrendous, that abortion is still not the answer to this problem. I do understand, however, that women, because of the traumatic experience or other reasons, may not be able to care for the child.

As such, I am an advocate for adoption.

There are many couples out there who cannot have children on their own who would love to adopt. In order, for this to be a viable option, though, Congress needs to make amendments to adoption laws.

Adoption is outrageously expensive, much more costly than an abortion, and is a long and tedious process.

Though the laws are in place so that not just anybody can adopt a child, the government still could stand to relax laws a little. Another option could be to offer aid to those who wish to adopt specifically to cover adoption expenses or to only those who meet certain requirements. If we want to protect unborn children, we must give women and families more viable options.

I know that my views are not popular, but God did not call us to be popular, He called us to be His disciples.

I will not compromise my convictions because I am in the minority. I support the women who have to face this dilemma, and I pray that they and our government officials make the right decisions and aid these women and families in need of help.

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We're All Thinking It, I'm Saying It: Too Many People Are Running For President

I'm all for options, but man, do we really need 24? I mean, I can barely pick a flavor of ice cream at Baskin Robbins let alone a potential President.


There are, currently, 23 Democrats running for President. On the Republican side, there's, of course, Trump, but only one other candidate, former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld. Democrats have a whole range of people running, from senators to congressmen, a former vice-president, and even a spiritual advisor. We can now say that there are DOZENS of people running for President in 2020.

Joe Biden has been leading the pack for quite some time now. He was even leading polls before he announced his campaign. Although he is the frontrunner, there really is no big favorite to win the nomination. Biden has been hovering around the mid-30s in most polls, with Bernie Sanders coming in second. Other minor candidates in the hunt are Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, and Kamala Harris.

After the surprising defeat of Hillary Clinton in 2016, Democrats have become electrified and have a mission to take back the White House after winning back the House of Representatives in 2018. There are so many people running in 2020, it seems that it will be hard to focus on who is saying what and why someone believes in something, but in the end, there can only be one candidate. This is the most diverse group of candidates ever, several women are running, people of color, the first out gay candidate, and several more.

There could be a problem when it comes to debate time. I mean, the first debate is next month. Having around 20-plus people on stage at the same time, debating each other kinda sounds like a nightmare. How can someone get their point across in the right amount of time when someone else is going to cut them off? Debates are usually around an hour and a half. So, if you divide it up, each candidate would get just under five minutes to speak. That would be in a perfect world of course.

Democrats seriously believe that they can beat Trump in 2020. They say they have learned from the mistakes of 2016, and have the guts and the momentum to storm back into the White House. By July of next year, there will be only one candidate left. Will they be able to reconcile the divide during the primaries? We will see. It will surely be a fun election cycle, so make sure to have your popcorn ready and your ballot at hand to pick your favorite candidate, no matter what party you lean towards.

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