Senator Parker Reflects on the Passing of Nelson Mandela

“On Thursday, December 5, 2013, South African President Jacob Zuma announced the passing of South African anti-apartheid icon and former President, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. He was 95 at the time of his death and had battled a recurring lung infection in the past few months.

Mandela, affectionately known as ‘Madiba’ by his countrymen and worldwide became a politician and philanthropist, despite a 27-year unjust imprisonment for fighting against the racist apartheid system in South Africa. When he was released Nelson Mandela did not seek vengeance, instead he pioneered the idea that achieving truth and reconciliation was more important than revenge.

Through his example, Nelson Mandela taught us that when we live our principles, adversity only makes us stronger. His life’s work not only changed the course of South Africa and its citizens, but it greatly impacted American popular culture, activism, and politics.

Even in his death, Nelson Mandela will remain an inspiration to us all and to future generations. From his receipt of the Nobel Prize for Peace, to the American Presidential Medal of Freedom, and all of the other more than 250 international leadership awards he has won in his life, Mandela has taught us that acting in a moral, decent and caring manner is not merely an adjunct to leadership, but the core of effective leadership.

Our prayers are with his entire family and the world that mourns the passing of a true legend.”


About Senator Kevin Parker

Senator Kevin S. Parker is intimately familiar with the needs of his ethnically diverse Brooklyn community that consists of 318,000 constituents in Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood, Ditmas Park, Kensington, Windsor Terrace, and Park Slope. He is the Ranking Member of the Senate Energy and Telecommunications Committee and the Committee on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, Assistant Democratic Leader for Intergovernmental Affairs, and Chair of the Democratic Task Force on New Americans.