Nelson Mandela, one woman’s words, and the whole world’s dignity

by Ken Feltman

An elderly black woman stood for hours in the hot sun and the long line, moving slowly, waiting to vote. A white man approached with a camera and crew. He was from a station that still supported apartheid. Spotting the old women, obviously uncomfortable in the oppressive heat, he thrust a microphone into her face and demanded to know what she would gain by sweating for hours in the blazing sun.

She answered in a sure voice: “My dignity.”

She and all the others who waited through the intimidation and heat of that day were standing not just for their dignity, but for ours, too.

The long line snaking toward a polling station in Soweto in 1994

About Radnor Reports

Ken Feltman is past-president of the International Association of Political Consultants and the American League of Lobbyists. He is retired chairman of Radnor Inc., an international political consulting and government relations firm in Washington, D.C. Know as a coalition builder, he has participated in election campaigns and legislative efforts in the United States and several other countries.
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