Monday, January 22, 2018
Editorials

Editorial: Mandela's gift to the world

Nelson Mandela's enduring gift to his country was not only creating a path toward racial reconciliation in South Africa, but living long enough to help manage the transition. Though still a work in progress, South Africa's move toward an integrated society serves as a model on the continent and elsewhere for what leaders can do when they choose to become freedom fighters for the entirety of mankind.

Mandela, who died Thursday at 95, will be remembered as the father of modern South Africa and an inspirational leader far beyond his country. Imprisoned by the white regime for 27 years for leading opposition to the official policy of racial segregation, Mandela wrote a new chapter for both his country and himself, leading the nation to its first multiracial election in 1994 and taking office as that country's first black and democratically elected president.

His courage, conscience and dedication to peaceful change might be seen as quaint in the modern era, given the anxiety over global terror and the spike in religious extremism. But his extraordinary journey was as hard as any in the world today. The pain, sacrifice and humiliations he suffered for such a long period could have taken South Africa into an entirely different direction. But feeling the brunt of subjugation firsthand convinced Mandela, as he said in his inaugural, that racial oppression by any side could happen "never, never and never again."

The strength of character he showed in reaching out to his tormenters was one thing. Another was his ability to hold the nation together during a spasm of change in the 1990s and put South Africa on a new course. He and Frederik de Klerk, the white president who preceded him, shared a sense of trust, respect and pragmatism that ultimately acted as a moral force to bring a peaceful end to apartheid.

Mandela's sense of forgiveness continues to be an inspiration worldwide. Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair recounted this week how Mandela served as a role model in peace talks over Northern Ireland. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry invoked Mandela's spirit in calling on the Israelis and Palestinians to make the hard choices necessary for a lasting peace deal. Mandela may be gone, but he remains a towering figure in South Africa and across the globe, and his message of reconciliation is a legacy that will live long after next week's tributes and funeral.

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Editorial: Look hard into Tampa Bay and Pinellas CareerSource CEO, and get to the bottom of the numbers and the money

Editorial: Look hard into Tampa Bay and Pinellas CareerSource CEO, and get to the bottom of the numbers and the money

Something is seriously amiss at Tampa Bay’s two CareerSource agencies, which receive millions in federal and state money to match unemployed workers with local employers. First, the agencies appear to be taking credit — and money — for job placements...
Updated: 3 hours ago

A Chicago Tribune editorial: Shut down this shutdown habit

"Shutting down the government of the United States of America should never ever be a bargaining chip for any issue. Period. It should be to governing as chemical warfare is to real warfare. It should be banned."— Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., addressing ...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Editorial: Beware of social media targeting kids

Editorial: Beware of social media targeting kids

Ignoring all available evidence that screen time and social media exposure can be harmful to kids, Facebook recently unveiled a new messaging app targeting children under 13. It’s yet another battlefront for parents who have to constantly combat the ...
Published: 01/21/18
Editorial: Too soon for Tampa Bay to settle for buses over light rail

Editorial: Too soon for Tampa Bay to settle for buses over light rail

The good news on the transportation front is that Tampa Bay’s government and business leaders are working together like never before to connect the region’s largest cities, attractions and employment centers with a more robust mass transit system. Th...
Published: 01/20/18
Editorial: Saying ‘thank you’ helps Tampa police build needed trust

Editorial: Saying ‘thank you’ helps Tampa police build needed trust

The smiles, applause and at least one hug belied the grim impetus for a gathering last week at a neighborhood center in Tampa — the Seminole Heights killings.The Tampa Police Department held a ceremony to thank those who helped in the investigation t...
Published: 01/19/18
Updated: 01/21/18
Editorial: Criminal charges should finally wake up FSU fraternities to hazing’s dangers

Editorial: Criminal charges should finally wake up FSU fraternities to hazing’s dangers

The death last fall of a 20-year-old Florida State University fraternity pledge revealed pervasive dangerous behavior within the school’s Greek system. Andrew Coffey, a Pi Kappa Phi pledge, died from alcohol poisoning after an off-campus party, and a...
Published: 01/19/18

Editorial: Confronting racial distrust in St. Petersburg, one conversation at a time

The St. Petersburg Police Department’s heavy presence in Midtown on Martin Luther King Jr. Day and the community animosity it stirred have raised a familiar, troubling question: Can St. Petersburg’s racial divisions ever be reconciled?That big ideal ...
Published: 01/19/18
William March: Tampa Bay Democrats line up for state legislative races

William March: Tampa Bay Democrats line up for state legislative races

A surge of Democrats seeking local legislative offices and hoping for a "blue wave" in the 2018 election continued last week, led by Bob Buesing filing to run again versus state Sen. Dana Young, R-Tampa.In addition:• Heather Kenyon Stahl of Tampa has...
Published: 01/19/18

Editorial: State’s warning shot should get attention of Hillsborough schools

The state Board of Education hopefully sent the message this week with its warning shot about the slow pace of the turnaround at Hillsborough County’s low-performing schools.The board criticized the school system for failing to replace administrators...
Published: 01/18/18
Updated: 01/19/18
Editorial: More talk, answers needed on future of USF St. Petersburg

Editorial: More talk, answers needed on future of USF St. Petersburg

The Florida Legislature’s abrupt move to strip the University of South Florida St. Petersburg of its hard-earned separate accreditation and transform it back into a satellite of the major research university lacks detail and an appreciation for histo...
Published: 01/18/18