What follows is a collage of sentences from the first one hundred negative responses to U.S. Senator Ted Cruz's official statement on the death of Nelson Mandela. The sentences, taken from the Senator's Facebook page, are unedited, though spelling mistakes were corrected.
I didn't know Bob Dylan was black. And knew what we thought or felt. I'm not offended that he said what he said, but I'm a wee bit miffed that he felt he had the right to speak for blacks, Serbs and Croats with such authority.
What my father told me was exactly what Mandela said when he got out of jail. He asked the South African people to rewrite their songs, to resist their first impulse. He said: Please do not to be defined by the prejudices of your enemies.
He spoke with warmth and sincerity and reached out for understanding and reconciliation. Yet, it was clear that when his core positions were in issue, he was steel encased in velvet.
Today we celebrate the life and legacy of Nelson Mandela. It is worth reflecting on his ability to transcend politics when speaking about contentious scientific issues. Nowhere was this more apparent than in the difficult politics surrounding HIV/AIDS at the turn of the millennium.
Though none of us could ever truly imagine the trials Nelson Mandela faced or the suffering he experienced, a number of filmmakers have used the power of cinema to present a window -- however narrow and skewed it might be -- into that struggle, or one like it.
Mandela acknowledged Canada played a more positive role than most other western countries in helping the African National Congress to topple the apartheid state. Prairie firebrand John Diefenbaker persuaded the Commonwealth to take a stand against apartheid. And all prime ministers after Dief rallied to Mandela's standard.
Nearly 20 years ago, then First Lady Hillary Clinton declared to the United Nations that "it is no longer acceptable to discuss women's rights as separate from human rights." A core component of women's rights is ensuring that all women have access to quality healthcare.
Nelson Mandela was a stranger to hate. He knew that the future demanded that he and his country move beyond the past. And he didn't want to be remembered as a saint -- he wanted to be remembered as man who made difficult decisions.
Waking up to a world without Nelson Mandela is not unimaginable. We have come perilously close to it over and over again. The idea of Nelson Mandela was strong. But the reality of Nelson Mandela had been on life support for a long time. Now only the idea remains.
After I restated my position of withdrawing my name again, it happened. Something happened that I could not believe; something happened that shocked me and others who sat near me.
It's the eve of the 1994 general election in South Africa -- first democratic election in the nation's 342 years. Nelson Mandela comes to the South African Broadcasting Corporation for an election rally. The black working classes abandon their jobs, flow in a mighty river through the dank corridors to the rally in the basement. No-one with that colour skin has ever before been invited to a South African national election rally, much less been asked for their vote. Mandela speaks slowly, saying words the people gathered here want and need to hear. The beast that is apartheid is dead, he tells the crowd.
If there were a poem to describe the thoughts of independent film producer and director Marc Levin on the 15th anniversary of his gritty film, "Slam" it would likely include the phrase "blown away."
We take comfort that Madiba has finally lain down to rest and is at peace. He was upright his whole life.
He is an inspiration for 21st century civil and human rights leaders the world over. He was a revolutionary who valiantly opposed immoral laws. He was also a transformative president who worked within the framework of government to achieve equality.
Mandela was neither a commander of great armies nor an emperor of vast lands. He could boast no scientific achievements or artistic gifts. Yet men, women and children from all over the world join hands to pay homage to this brave man who led his country to democracy.
This week, Former South African president Nelson Mandela died at the age of 95. Unlike so many bloggers and journalists, I didn't have a formative experience where Mandela changed the course of my life. He was mostly a far-off figure to me at a time when I was too young to fully appreciate the strength and dignity he maintained while making previously unthinkable strides for human rights. But I do remember this: being an undergrad reading about South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission and thinking, how could a man who had suffered so much injustice, and seen so much suffering, focus so squarely on forgiveness?