Mandela honored, mourned across L.I.
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“The world is grieving the loss of more than just a leader,” State Assemblywoman Michaelle Solages told the Herald. “We are grieving the loss of an inspiration. Nelson Mandela inspired not only his country, but the world to challenge oppression, fight injustice and make the dream of equality for all a reality. Although in this moment we mourn Mandela’s death, we must try to find comfort in the memory of [his] life and continue to be inspired by his legacy.”
County Legislator Carrie Solages said Mandela’s policies and virtues ought to be carried out today.
““Nelson Mandela was an inspiration to the world,” he said. “His tenacity to end apartheid and bring unity to his country is a legacy that we should desire to continue. He has taught us to focus on working together to achieve our goals instead of focusing on our differences.”
Kevan Abrahams, the Democratic minority leader of the Nassau County Legislature, called Mandela an “icon to not just the people of South Africa but to this world.”
“You could pretty much look at [Mandela’s] life as a testament of perseverance and leadership and being able to build bridges,” Abrahams said. “And I think from that standpoint he’s always been somebody that I personally thought of and recognized as a tremendous leader and as a strong role model, and I think most people believe that to be the case too.”
Dorothy Goosby, who brought a successful federal civil rights lawsuit to change the Town of Hempstead’s districting system and then became the first African-American to win election to the Town Board, said Mandela’s push for inclusive democracy inspired her to pursue a life of politics in America.
“I don’t know anyone who withstood all of the agony and the pain that [Mandela] went through, but yet he came out victorious,” Goosby said. “It did not make him an evil man, it made him want to unite people and make people grow.”
Zahid Syed, chairman of the Nassau County Commission on Human Rights, said Mandela “gave a lesson to everyone that tolerance is the most important thing.”
“Not to fight back with people and just with your kindness and humbleness you can make those people friends,” Syed summarized. He ranked Mandela in moral stature among Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr.