Regarding Jennifer Kim’s Dec. 15 letter, “Can’t see Mandela as a ‘peace icon,” and Jim Makin’s Dec. 22 letter, “Mandela halted vengeful politics”: Nelson Mandela was a great admirer of Martin Luther King Jr. In his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech (Dec. 10, 1993, Oslo), he recalled at the very end that [Martin Luther King Jr.] spoke of the “beauty of genuine brotherhood and peace being more precious than diamonds or silver or gold. Let a new age dawn!”
It is so obvious that not only King but also Mandela had this dream. It can be said that Mandela’s dream overlapped that of King somewhat.
I know that many different views exist concerning Mandela’s achievements. Of course, he was not perfect. He was not God. However, I would like to hope that some of us are expected to inherit his dream of creating a “rainbow world,” since the coexistence of different races and cultures is the everlasting theme and challenge of humankind.
We should not forget that this reality will never be achieved without effort. All of us must be vigilant in not letting Mandela’s dream die with his death.
The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.