Right now, S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley and U.S. Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-Spartanburg, S.C.) are in a difficult spot. Like many American politicians, Haley and Duncan were obligated to pen a social media homily in praise of Nelson Mandela. To have failed to do so would have resulted in a round of Twitter-verse finger pointing from political operatives from the opposition party. Hell, it might have even earned them a spot on whatever end-of-show shit list that liberal cable TV talking heads favor these days. And so they had to praise Mandela. It’s what the “Like” herd demanded.

Much to their surprise however, Haley and Duncan’s Facebook odes to the late great South African leader were met with vitriol from the vast majority of their commenters, many of whom harped on Mandela’s political adherence to the tenants of communism. 

Here’s a few choice nuggets from the Republican duo’s most rabid followers:

“Mandela was a terrorist, a murderer, and a racist. H*ll has a new resident tonight.”

“Mandela was a devout communist from the start. He was the head of the ANC, a Black Supremacist Group that commanded the death of all whites. He was a murderer that has been promoted as the face against Apartheid.”

“What the hell is with all the Nelson Mandela posts glorifying him.


“OK, so showing respect to Hitler, Mussolini, Mason, and Dahmer you would lose all creditability with me and it you are in office you should be removed. THAT IS THE SAME WITH THIS MURDER.”

“I like you Governor, but anyone who could brag on that Commie Terrorist would endorse Graham and McCain. Sometimes it’s just better not to say anything about dead radicals!”

“A 95 year old commy dies and everyone’s supprised , and expects me to morn with them? Nope.”

“It’s sad that you are such a sellout Governor. He was a communist and a terrorist I’m sure you think you’ll get some black votes but you won’t and now you lost some respect.”

“Shame on you Nikki — you know better. It would have been far better — and infinitely more honest – to have just remained silent than to spread this kind of total PC nonsense about a murderous leader who personally brought death and destruction to so many. You know? You could have just said “There are no words to describe the impact Nelson Mandela had not just on his country but on the world” and left it “undescribed”. Would have been MUCH more honest. Indeed, there are no words to describe the evil….”

“Governor Nikki, You are a beautiful lady and seem to be a genuinely sweet and caring person, which makes me happy that I voted for you and would again. I have to take exception to your praise for Mandela, though. He spent 30 years in prison for cutting up little babies in voodoo rituals. When he gets out of prison and arises to power, he openly allows white farmers to be robbed and their farms / homes to be taken over. What is the lesson here? If you are a criminal, you don’t go to jail, you go to congress?!? This man is no hero but sadly, he is the closest thing to a hero that some liberals and other deviates of society have got.”

The truth is, like many revolutionaries and politicians, Mandela was not above employing aggressive means to achieve his objectives, the end of apartheid. In his case, it involved bombing government targets, but not citizens. And while Mandela founded a militant group known as the Spear of the Nation, which was later responsible for numerous fatalities, he was in prison at the time of the attacks and is not considered responsible for the actions of the group.

But even if Mandela had been behind these deaths in some manner — however unlikely — this would makes him no different than pretty much every American president since FDR, all of whom were willing to take the lives of innocent men, women, and children in order to advance the nation’s foreign policy objectives. When it comes down to it, politics is murder, and every politician who rises to the highest office in the land is a villain. And sometimes, we need them to be. 

But that’s not really what these commenters are saying. They refuse to look at our own leaders — and their ends-justify-the-means legacy of brutality — or at the possibility that Mandela’s supporters had to adopt similarly ruthless tactics to end the abomination that was apartheid. Nope. The right-wing rabid-teers on Haley and Duncan’s Facebook pages are not concerned with nuance and the harsh politics of necessity. What really bothers them the most about Nelson Mandela is he was a black man who didn’t know his place.

Now, you may not believe that’s what they’re saying, and if that’s the case, I feel for you. You’re probably the kind of guy who likes to boast that he has “a lot of black friends,” which in actuality are just his coworkers who suffer his casual off-the-cuff bigotry. You’re the kind of gal who routinely says, “I’m not racist, but…”  before saying something profoundly ignorant and offensive. You’re the asshat who believes that Democrats are the true hatemongers and their plantation system of government handouts is far more destructive to the black community than the lash, the lynchings, and the lies that GOP Lost Causers tell their constituents in order to scare votes their way. 

The truth is, the Rabid Right has a long tradition of labeling black leaders — particularly those who fight for true equality — as communists. After all, if there’s one thing that civil righters and red heads both champion, it’s upsetting the status quo, of stripping away power from the oppressors and the corrupt, and giving power to the formerly powerless. The Right did it with Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, and today they do it with Barack Obama.

For these men and women, the problem isn’t the economic system known as communism. Many of the staunchest defenders of Real America and Real American Values are beneficiaries of the government’s largesse. No, what they fear is equality.

And for them, the day when all Americans are finally equal, the day when America’s sins are finally forgiven, the day when all forms of institutional racism have been destroyed —  that will not be a day of celebration. It will be a day of abject terror. It will be the end of the world. Because when that day comes and what little prejudicial power they have left is taken from them, they’ll realize once and for all that they’re no better than a fucking kaffir. And that, my friends, chills them to the bone.

Stay cool. Support City Paper.

City Paper has been bringing the best news, food, arts, music and event coverage to the Holy City since 1997. Support our continued efforts to highlight the best of Charleston with a one-time donation or become a member of the City Paper Club.