tv [untitled] December 11, 2013 8:30am-9:01am PST
caused a civil war in south africa. president nelson mandela's gift to the world was his ability to forgive. he pointed us to the best part of our human spirit. when president mandela appeared in oakland he praised california for the progressive role in leadership it had given to his progressive efforts. nelson mandela, a man of courage that we all revere, who thought many miles away though, was such an enormous figure in our lives that we will not forget him. we will remember that he taught us and loved us. he is the stuff that legends are made from. may we embrace the spirit of
forgiveness and bring peace to this world we live in. thank you for the opportunity to be here today. [applause] >> some of you, you may recall the first opportunity black south africans had to vote, they voted nelson mandela in as the first black president of south africa. all over the world wherever there were south africans of any color, they were urged to cast a vote. this city hall was the voting booth for the first election in south africa that led to
nelson mandela being made president. voters from south africa helped elect nelson mandela. some people say people in san francisco vote enthuse anyway, maybe some of those people were not south africans. who knows. [laughter] >> following his election as president of south africa, he then dispatched all out of the country, our country, counseled generals to represent south africa and on occasion when we celebrate the life of nelson mandela, council general of south africa has journeyed to san francisco to participate. mr. council general --
[applause] >> thank you so much program director, former mayor brown, the current mayor of san francisco, ed lee. thank you so much for having extended an invitation for me on behalf of south africa to participate in this vote, the commemoration and the celebration and the honoring of the late president nelson mandela. former mayor brown, i couldn't agree with you more when you said in your opening remarks that nelson mandela would have loved to hear the young people who can sing. and i wish to extends my
appreciation to those angelic voices here. they sang it so well in the way he wanted. you will forgive me for impersonating him. i love to do that. when he visited these shores in 1990, soon after his release, this activists who hailed from south africa, he had assembled and they sang the national anthem of south africa. us as black people, we had our own national anthem, and then wanted south africa to reconcile as a nation, he pleaded for the conclusion for the national anthem of white
minority regime anthem that stemmed from south africa. so this where to send singularly africa, at the end of the event nelson mandela said, i had you singing the national anthem, but you didn't sing it right. as i was moving from the hotel room where i been stayed overnight and coming this way, i saw another poster, university of san francisco with the words change the world from here. i immediately thought that with your contributions, the movement was very strong from here and by so doing you
changed our own world in south africa. it was from this area that the came very strong and with the you name it that forced, you agitated for the release not only of the former president and the late nelson mandela, but for all the political prisoners in south africa and from there, south africa, with your help to liberate, then we had this man, nelson mandela, whose life changed the world.
you recognized the nelson mandela man dell, july 18, i happened to have traveled to south africa. at /probg proclamation i handed it over with the request that each be relaid to mrs. michelle. and i can assure you, because nelson mandela -- though he could not speak in his last days, but he could see, he could read and he knows that the city of san francisco honored him by recognizing the nelson mandela international tape, recognizing his 67 years of contribution and of community service to the people.
sends angels in any person's lifetime to walk and work in our midst and i think that nelson mandela was one of those angels. the all mighty god blessed us with so many angels in the previous century. amongst them, other than nelson mandela, that would be the later doctor martin luther king, and mother theresa. there is still hope that in the 21st century we will also have some other angels that would have a great impact in the lives, particularly of the poor people and the dispossessed people, and with those words,
let me just say that the people and the government of south africa that i represent on the west coast, we feel deeply honored and also humbled by the outpouring of so much honor for our late president. nelson mandela is made a comment on thursday on hearing that our great madiba has passed on. she said heros never die. and it made me to remember that nelson mandela, at some point, he would try to metaphysical views. he was one interviewed by someone who asked about life here after and he said oh, i do
believe in that. and then he said, "i can tell you that when my maker calls me, the best thing that i will do would be to go and look for the nearest branch of the african national congress." i can simply say that madiba is still alive. he is not dead. in closing, let me share with you, because madiba had a great sense of humor what was his last trip. at that time i was stationed in london so from time to time he loved london, as much as he loved san francisco, the bay area and los angeles, which is the reason why six months after his release from prison, he came back to thank all of you.
and so he came from the hotel. we do not know because it was a secret how and when we would escort madiba out, we would have used the back door of the hotel, but i can tell you that thousands of people had converged at that back entrance, but on our way to the leafs, at that time he was walking with difficulty so i was on his right and a member of the secret service was on his left so he had his arms around us, and then all of a sudden he stopped. he had noted another man, i would say must have been 62, 63 years old and then we stopped and then he asked -- because he loved to ask people who they
were. what is your name? and the man responded. he said, "what are you doing here?" and this man said no, i am working as a janitor here." and then he said, "then what? when you go into retirement you must sell the work to me so that i can come back and take your job." so at 90 years old, you can just imagine a 90-year-old replacing a younger person of 62. thank you so much. [applause] >> if any of you heard nelson mandela, you sounded just like nelson mandela. it was frightening.
notice the great portrait of nelson mandela behind me at the top of the staircase. i will be lobbying soon to replace that with a more current photograph. san francisco is indeed blessed and has been for many, many years. and then somebody comes along and enhances that even more. and only one time has somebody been four times a cabinet member, closest thing we will ever have to a president is the chief of protocol's secretary. charlotte is the chief of
protocol, george scultz is her secretary. so on her stairs, in this rotunda, charlotte will present to you her husband and secretary, george schultz. [applause] >> thank you charlotte for that brilliant introduction. we're here to mourn and celebrate the life of nelson mandela. i have on a dark suit and a bright tie to symbolize those sentiments. what did we make of his life? in reflection and thinking
about it, he was a man of action he fought continuously, effectively, and as his effects grew, his african national congress became more and more effective. i'm sure that he realized ininevitably he might be put in jail, and he was for 27 years. but rather than have his jail time put him away, it seemed to do exactly the opposite. as it said all the world, free nelson mandela. that was all of the world. finally he succeeded and he came out of jail still on the
moral high ground so he didn't come out bitter and dejected. he came out saying let us reconcile, let us solve problems. it was so dramatic and so, in a way, unexpected, but it was so mandela to stay on the moral high ground. as he was fighting others also, he thought about problem and said it's not enough to say things, you have to do things. what did we do? we thought a lot of the problem was because it was caught up in the dynamics of the cold war. the soviets had moved into southern africa.
they had their proxy cuban troops in angola and south africaen had troops in their neighbor where was installed. so we looked at this and scratched our heads and we said to the south africans, how come you and your neighbor while at cold war with cubans -- well, what if we get the cubans out of angola? you leave namibia? deal. they didn't think it was possible. however, as the cold war was subsiding and some brilliant diplomacy by my assistant secretary chester crocker, we made a deal and the cubans left. and so we went to the south
africans and said okay, your part of the deal, leave. and they did. so in the country next to south africa a par tie ended, a marker. then we thought over very carefully who we should send as our ambassador and i identified a very able person, a deeply experienced foreign service officer. he was the kind of person who had a presence, he came into a room, people noticed him -- louis black, he was a friend. so the south africans wanted to deal with the united states, they had to deal with a black man, but not just a black man, a black man who was
tremendously able person with stature, that you look up to. then i had a request for a meeting with oliver, /whofts the head of the amc, nelson mandela's organization. the anc was con troversial. it had its dealings with moscow. lots of antagonism towards them and the congress of the united states. the cia had a good working with relationship with the south african intelligence, but i thought i should meet with him because, you know, you begin to feel the cracks, and this is the organization that represents most of the people of south africa so we should
have a working relationship if we can. i checked it out with president reagan, he gave me the green /hraoeupgt light and i had the meeting. it was a good meeting, went on for an hour or so. we were both candid, i said some of our reservations, he said some of his things. we talked about some common things. he turned out to be a good guy, we had a good time together. next day a whole lot of senators and congressmen called for my resignation. it was a huge indignation. i'm sure fanned a little bit by the cia. i don't know that. president reagan said look, it was a good meeting, we had to have it. that shut them up. anyway, it was a marker.
now, it seems to me we have to say to ourselves how do we celebrate nelson mandela. we celebrate it by what we do. doing things, not saying things. doing things, that's his life. what he did. [applause] >> so if you looked around in this country, i could imagine he might say that we're on high ground here is equality of opportunity. that's what we say we believe in, and we do believe in it, but are we doing it? no, we're nowhere near it. some kids right through high school, college, they're doing great. other kids are high school dropouts. that's where inequality of
income begins -- the schools. sometimes you hear people say well, some kids have an unfortunate background, there's nothing you can do about it. totally not true. [applause] >> we have example after example in this country where you project the right kind of environment and these kids come and they do well, they graduate from high school, they look you in the eye and shake your hand and they go on to college and they do fine. it's not the kids. it's the system. we gotta fix the system. [applause] >> and i say this only to emphasize nelson mandela's vision, his message to us. get on the moral high ground, find things that need to be done, be a doer, take actions.
to me, that is the message of nelson mandela on how to live our lives and it's nelson mandela, i thank you. [applause] >> and in keeping with nelson mandela's, no one better exemplifies that for more than 50 years in the city of san francisco, the man who nelson mandela was really proud of and one of the people he wanted to meet when he was recently released from prison and came to california to say thank you.
the line looked like of people who were there for breakfast. today we will feed close to 3,000 people. [applause] >> and we will always feed people who are on the fringes of society because it is needed. we are going to stay right where the poor may be located. we're going to be there because we feel very strongly that we've been given a call, a call this came 27 years ago, but a cal that came and said look, you better watch out because i'm coming out with a new call, and the new call came from a
man that i call a profit, nelson mandela. [applause] >> he was a profit because he looked not only to the present, but the future. he was a profit because he could know -- he knew that he was on to something quite marvelous, something quite important, something that was different, something that would stick with people and mainly, that something had to do with poor people, just very poor people. those not only who were on the fringes of society, but those suffering severely. in america we could take care of that suffering if we really wanted to, but we don't have the mission it seems to me to take care. we've got to take care of suffering, human suffering.
[applause] >> the priority that we have is first and foremost, the poor, that's just it. everybody else, it's the poor. we're going to be there, we're going to always be there. and so it is critical that we understand that mr. mandela was a profit, but he was also a liberator. to be a liberator you have to liberate everybody, as well as yourself. and if you don't liberate everybody, as well as yourself, you're not a liberator. a liberator is one who says i will meet the challenge no matter what the circumstances, and when i do i'll take everybody with me, no matter what the circumstances. so a liberator liberates and frees people. liberator frees people. we have freedom today because we have had some liberators in our history and in our present
and that of course, says to me and to you that we've got an opportunity here. so georgia's right, you ask, you do, we talk too much. you're going to go to offices and stacks of paper on peoples' desks, and i wonder what in the world are they doing with all that paper on that desk. are you doing anything? are we doing anything? and sometimes we get so above ourselves that we think we've got it made. never do any of us have it made. if we make it, we make it together and that's where i want to lodge my thing today -- we make it together. i'm so glad i'm in the city of san francisco, because in this city things can happen. i mean, it's a city that has a
metropolis, a city that has knowing people, all sorts of people, and what we must do is that we continue to have diversity because that is the keystone to what we do. we must be diverse. we can't be just one kind of people, but all kind of people, and so it is critical for us to work together, to bring about a kind of response so we will all stand together and we will be able to see and hear some music that will say watch out, watch out, watch out, watch out, there's a call going out. there's a call going out. it started 27 years ago. and the call is still now, 27 years. and now the call is for you and me in the now, present, whatever we do we do it to make sure we enhance the lives of people, not take from the lives of people. it's now time for us to move and if we