And I worry about the kneejerk reactions of radicals to take the death of someone like Nelson Mandela and go, “Yeah, well, he didn’t topple capitalism while he was at it, so I don’t know what the big deal is.” Honestly, what is the psychic economy behind this immediate reaction to his death? I don’t get it. Here is what I do get, however. The next time my white radical friends are confused why our radical spaces are so often overwhelmingly white, or when they get defensive that their radicalism and/or causes are not racist, I am just going to send them a link to this post. If your immediate reaction to the death of a anti-white supremacy leader who was also opposed to capitalism (even if not in the ways or degree you wished) is to question their radical bona fides, then you are obviously engaged in a sort of epistemic blindness and violence. I am not saying we need to turn Mandela into some sort of radical saint, or that no criticism is allowed or warranted. I am saying this sort of kneejerk reaction to his death both have consequences, and is deeply troubling.
““An internet museum of shame for future radicals”:
On the radical anti-Mandela memes“