I went to Grinnell College in Iowa. It is a small liberal-arts college (I'd say that it is also a liberal arts college, but the school isn't really arts focused,) and these days it seems the administration there spends probably half its time crowing about how progressive they are.

That is probably why the school rarely mentions one of its most important alumni: the late John Garang. John Garang is know to his people as the father of South Sudan. He was a revolutionary fighter, leading an army into battle against the Sudanese government. In the end, he won, and South Sudan was born. Sadly, he died before independence was fully established; but on that first day of independence, the people of South Sudan unveiled a massive statue of Garang in their capitol. He's their founding father.

I'm sure Grinnell doesn't like to extol the virtues of a military hero--not kumbaya-ish enough for them--so, I've only seen one article about him in the alumni magazine, and that was long before South Sudan came into being. I am on Facebook with a 20-something fellow alum, and she had never even heard of him--and she was at Grinnell when he was still alive and winning his people's independence, and she was there when he died in 2005.

I see the same thing happening after Nelson Mandela's death; though, instead of ignoring the militant revolutionary, they are simply scrubbing that part of his life out of existence. He wasn't a man of peace, he was a fighter who had thousands of grenades with him at the time of his arrest. He wasn't going around putting daisies in rifle barrels; he was blowing things up. He had tried non-violence and decided it didn't work and couldn't work against Pretoria. He then turned to bombs and blood. He wasn't leading peaceful marches (when he tried that, the government shot at the crown and killed dozens) or penning editorials, or giving speeches; he was a fighter. That's what I admire most about him. He saw an intolerable situation and decided it was worth fighting against--with blood if necessary.

But the modern left; and, therefore, the modern media; is violence-adverse. They can't image actually celebrating a militant hero as a militant hero. That part of his life is scrubbed away. He is just another neutered black man, only acceptable when he's been made a milquetoast.

He wasn't Gandhi. He was Mandela. Honor the man for who he actually was, not a distorted, cleansed, mythologized facsimile of him.