In my rush to write about the fake interpreter yesterday, I failed to express my gratitude for a great man. He truly was a symbol to the world that oppression will not last.
I think of Nelson Mandela as more than a name, as more than a South African. I’ve been to South Africa and saw Robbin Island from the coast. I read his account and saw him as an imperfect man with big dreams stuck in a tiny cell. He made social change step-by-step with no fancy connections and no trust fund. He’s not some YouTube sensation that became popular because enough he got a lot of views. He’s not a celebrity that helps orphans with a small percentage of his income. For most of his life he was a nobody, a criminal. He spent a lifetime making a difference in the smallest of ways. I doubt he ever thought millions of people would watch his memorial when he sat, stuck in his 8X7 ft prison cell.
So, thank you Mr. Mandela. Thank you for showing the world that oppression is limited, that evil has an expiration date. And, yes, thank you for even letting your memorial be the source of social change for Deaf worldwide.
This is a beautiful poem by a Deaf South African in South African Sign Language: