Since the verdict from the Trayvon Martin Case recently came about there has been many questions of race and injustice. I truly understand the angry of the verdict and the importance of fighting for social justice is very must needed right now. The person who I know had fight his whole life about social injustice was Nelson Mandela. It remind me what he had to go through during apartheid then unifying a country and becoming president. A true overcomer! I had an opportunity to go to Capetown, South Africa for the International Diabetes Conference and I did have a chance to go to Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was held imprisoned for over 20 years. Getting to the island is very scary. This island was surrounded by ferrous waters that there was no way anyone can escape from the it. You had to take a boat to the island where there was so many choppy waters, sharks and sting rays around you.
The conditions during that time when Mr. Mandela was there at Robben Island were terrible for the mixed race, Asians and especially blacks. There was also apartheid happening on Robben Island that the division of the races even down to the rations of foods that was given to inmates. Below is a written diet plan that was given based on race. Bantus means Blacks and Coloured means Mixed Races and Asiaties means Indians. This was terrible and incredibly wrong!
I also had a chance to walk into Mr. Mandela’s small cell where he sometimes had to stay in there for days. No mattress only a blanket and not to mention no bathroom. Then I had the chance to go to the rock quarry where there was a place where the inmates had to cut limestone even though the limestone was not even used. The hot sun was bearing down on us and had such a glare that I had a terrible time seeing anything. Imagine working out there for 24 hours a days 7 days per week with the hot sun on you and you can not see. Now I know why Mr. Mandela was blind and he can not tolerate the light in his eyes.
Even though Robben Island is no longer a functioning jail, it is a teaching museum where everyone and the future will remember about apartheid and to make sure it will never be repeated. It was great to see that our guides where former inmates of the prison and friends with Mr. Mandela. It was also incredible to see not only what Mr. Mandela went through but also see and hear what the tour guides gone through.
Seeing the progression of Mandela from being a inmate to president of a country that was racial divided is truly amazing. When we see the social injustices that are happening we need to protest against it and speak out what is wrong and make an effort to correct it. Life is too short and we need to fight for what is right like Mr. Mandela and for Trayvon Martin memory. Pray for Mr. Mandela for his health and his family. Pray for Trayvon Martin and his family also.