April 1, 2008

Name That Personage...

Hatched by Dafydd

Who am I?

I am the son of a privy counselor and slightly royal by blood, and I'm the first member of my family to attend school of any kind.

I attended a mission school with other members of the royal family. I eventually went to university, where my best friend was the heir to the throne of one of the tribes -- hence a great supporter of the reservations that dotted the country, widely seen as perpetuating the laws preventing members of my race from voting or participating in the larger government. Despite that friendship, I began protests against legal racism at college... and I was expelled for leading a boycott.

I fled my home town to avoid an arranged marriage and headed to the capital city. After graduating from university by mail, I attended law school. But when the National Party was elected, pressing for much more discriminatory Jim Crow-like laws, I joned the Defiance Campaign and the Congress of the People, where we adopted the Freedom Charter.

I opened a law firm with a close friend, and we provided free or nearly free legal help to oppressed blacks. Mohandes Ghandi was my great hero. But then, at age 38, I was arrested for treason. I was acquitted, along with 150 co-defendants.

At this point, I became deeply involved in the Communist movement, where my party began accepting significant funding from Moscow. I took up arms against my country. I sabotaged military and government facilities; and despite my earlier admiration for the founder of non-violence, I planned with my comrades to launch a guerilla war. I knew there would be casualties, but you can't make an omlet without breaking a few legs. I believed that the violence of my country's government made non-violent resistance useless.

I went underground for a year and a half, but I was arrested again at age 54. I was convicted of leading a strike and trying to leave the country without permission and sentenced to five years in prison. A year later, while still in prison, I was tried on new charges of sabotage and treason with a number of my co-conspirators in my party. I pled guilty to the former but denied the latter. At trial, I defended the use of violence after the Sharpesville Massacre. I closed my defense thus:

During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to the struggle of the... people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.

I was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison. I spent the next twenty-seven years behind bars, first at Robben Island, then Pollsmoor Prison. I was offered release after 21 years, but only if I renounced violence and revolution. I refused and remained at Pollsmoor.

Over the next decade, my country's racist white government was voted out, and a much less discriminatory government voted in. At age 71, I was at last unconditionally released from prison by the new president of my country. He and I jointly won the Nobel Peace Prize three years later. And the next year, at age 75, I was the first black man to be elected president of my country.

So...who am I?

Yes, you guessed right... according to the Pulitzer Prize winning feminist and author of the Color Purple, Alice Walker, I am Barack Obama!

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, April 1, 2008, at the time of 1:00 PM

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The following hissed in response by: Geoman

Har har har. April Fools...errr...right?

The above hissed in response by: Geoman [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 1, 2008 5:25 PM

The following hissed in response by: hunter

We are a people who are afraid of the weather but think we can somehow control it.
Why should we be surprised that people are so stupid as to confuse a priveleged American with a jailed African?

The above hissed in response by: hunter [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 1, 2008 7:54 PM

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