The 3 M’s – Mahatma, Martin, and Mandela
by Bishop Minerva Carcaño | January 20, 2014
“True peace is not merely the absence of tension; it is the presence of justice.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
This year as we give God thanks for the life and incredible and transformative justice witness of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., I have been remembering him through the lens of the life and witness of the Honorable Nelson Mandela. Mandela’s death leads us to an even deeper level of reflection on the state of life today as we remember Martin Luther King Jr.
One day I found myself on Robben Island off the coast of Cape Town, South Africa, the place where Nelson Mandela spent 18 of his 27 ½ years of incarceration for seeking true peace. That true peace that Martin Luther King Jr. would have described as not merely the absence of tension, but rather the presence of justice.
I was assigned to a tour bus led by a very interesting and articulate man of Indian descent who had been brought to South Africa by his parents at a young age and reared in South Africa. As a young man he had joined the forces committed to the liberation of Blacks in South Africa and even served as a secretary general of one of the liberation fronts. He began our tour by saying that regardless of what country in the world we came from, we were all related to Robben Island. We looked at each other with some surprise for we were a full bus with people from all over the world: Dutch, English, American, Latin American, Caribbean, German, Malaysian, and many others. But he was right. For each one of our countries he could find a connection to Robben Island.