Katie and I went on a date last night to the dollar theater. It was fun to be able to leave Olivia with friends and enjoy the night together. We saw "Invictus" and I thought it was really good. I actually heard the story before on an episode of This American Life. It's all about how Nelson Mandela helped unite the whites and blacks after apartheid.
I thought This American Life did a good job at explaining how Mandela and his actions helped the people. The movie did a pretty good job, too. Basically, Mandela was able to help people see that something that symbolizes fear, hatred, and oppression can change meaning over time.
It's kind of like the confederate flag. To a lot of people, the confederate flag is a symbol of the south and slavery. In order for the flag's offensive connotation to be diffused, a contributor to This American Life (I think it was Jack Hitt) said that southern blacks should adopt the confederate flag themselves. It's kind of weird imagining an African American wearing the confederate flag on a t-shirt, isn't it? By adopting the symbol of your former enemy, you change it's entire meaning. However, if you just ban the symbol, it's meaning becomes even more potent and extremists will use it even more.