|R.I.P. Mr. Nelson Mandela|
It damaged the humanity of Americans even more than the imbecilic Civil War which was fought over slavery.
During or shortly after WWII the U.S. lost some of its humanity, that is, its caring about its own.
Shortly after that war there was The Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 which mature nations embraced.
But, as Dredd Blog noted in the first post of this series, "The US did not ratify the social and economic rights sections, including Article 25's right to health", even though the general government dogma promulgated was to the effect that the war was fought for "the freedom and good" of humanity (ObamaCare: Good Foreign Policy).
General Eisenhower saw the holes in those propaganda spiels, so he publicly commented on the growing warmonger ideology that was in the process of drowning our humanity:
Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone.(Why Is The Government Conditioning Us To Austerity? - 2). President Eisenhower's sentiments had not been destroyed by war, neither had the general humanity of the human family of nations:
It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.
This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the clouds of war, it is humanity hanging on a cross of iron.
Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,(Preamble, UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS). Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for almost 30 years in Apartheid oriented South Africa for advocating for equality, but like President Eisenhower, it did not extinguish his humanity:
Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people,
Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law,
Whereas it is essential to promote the development of friendly relations between nations,
Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,
Whereas Member States have pledged themselves to achieve, in co-operation with the United Nations, the promotion of universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms,
Whereas a common understanding of these rights and freedoms is of the greatest importance for the full realization of this pledge,
Now, Therefore THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY proclaims THIS UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction.
At a time when the United States is engaged in an archaic debate over whether to even try and provide universal access to health care, most other countries well understand the absurdity of conditioning access to basic human needs—including access to healthcare, housing and education—on the ability to pay.(Nelson Mandela’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights). The United States is now on the road to regaining more of its humanity, following civil rights improvement for minorities, and other humane actions.
That understanding was championed by Nelson Mandela, whose life and legacy is being honored this week by President Obama, members of Congress and leaders from around the world. Fittingly, the memorials for Mandela will coincide with this week’s sixty-fifth anniversary of the adoption (on December 10, 1948) by the United Nations General Assembly of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights—a document that the former South African president revered as a touchstone for nation building and governing.
Mandela, a lawyer by training and a student of constitutions, steered South Africa toward a broad understanding of human rights. When his country adopted its Constitution in 1996, he announced that “the new constitution obliges us to strive to improve the quality of life of the people. In this sense, our national consensus recognizes that there is nothing else that can justify the existence of government but to redress the centuries of unspeakable privations, by striving to eliminate poverty, illiteracy, homelessness and disease. It obliges us, too, to promote the development of independent civil society structures.”
This is trillions of dollars worth of State Department Ambassadorial work (where our interface with other nations takes place), that is to say, when other nations see us doing humane things which they have already accomplished, they know without us saying anything, that we are changing to a better direction and to a better place.
Our actions in a humane direction speak louder than words.
Let's keep up the good work.
The next post in this series is here, the previous post in this series is here.