American Rhetoric: Movie Speech
President Mandela Addresses the South African Sports Committee
Brothers, sisters, comrades:
I am here because I believe you have made a decision with insufficient information and foresight.
I am aware of your earlier vote. I am aware that it was unanimous. Nonetheless, I believe we should restore the Springboks: restore their name, their emblem, and their colors -- immediately.
Let me tell you why.
On Robben Island, in Pollsmoor Prison, all of my jailers were Afrikaners. For 27 years, I studied them. I learned their language, read their books, their poetry. I had to know my enemy before I could prevail against him.
And we did prevail, did we not? All of us here -- we prevailed.
Our enemy is no longer the Afrikaner. They are our fellow South Africans, our partners in democracy. And they treasure Springbok rugby. If we take that away, we lose them. We prove that we are what they feared we would be.
We have to be better than that.
We have to surprise them with compassion, with restraint, and generosity.
I know -- all of the things they denied us. But this is no time to celebrate petty revenge. This is the time to build our nation using every single brick available to us – even if that brick comes wrapped in green and gold.
You elected me your leader. Let me lead you now.
Who is with me on this? Who is with me?