Nelson Mandelaby Representative Yvette D. Clarke
Posted on 2013-12-12
CLARKE of New York. I thank Congressman Fattah for leading us in
this Special Order in commemoration of ``Madiba.''
I stand today to honor the memory of President Nelson Mandela of
South Africa, a world leader of the highest order: an icon. His
commitment to justice, equality, and the right to human dignity that
must be afforded each individual person accorded him a moral authority
that just could not be denied.
Nelson Mandela, affectionately known as Madiba, understood that the policy of apartheid was pure evil--a violation of our shared commitment to human rights and to the dignity of each individual.
Trained as an attorney, he became an activist. And for his activism, he was imprisoned in the very year that I was born, confined to a cell on Robben Island.
Through activism, he affirmed the ability of women and men to achieve freedom from the harshest forms of racial oppression and created a movement that inspired people worldwide. I, myself, as a young person was inspired by his example on the campus of Oberlin College, where, like many campuses across this Nation, we led a divestment movement.
I was within the enormous crowd of people in Brooklyn who cheered President Mandela upon his release from Robben Island. I remember the electricity in the air. Who could forget the experience of cheering a man who had come to our shores, arrived in the very district that I represent today, and who transformed his Nation and the whole world, in saying the words: Free Nelson Mandela.
Mr. Speaker, I was honored and humbled to be a part of the congressional delegation that attended his memorial earlier this week and to pay my respects and that of my constituents in the Ninth Congressional District.
Nelson Mandela will remain forever an inspiration to those who believe in justice and equality and the promise of a better future for all of God's children.
Today, Madiba is truly free. We all mourn in tribute to a hero to men and women everywhere.