John Sides provides historical context:
In 1982, whites were nearly unanimous in expressing some degree of pride as South Africans (98%), but barely half of blacks (57%) did so. This gap is a stark reminder of how deeply the effects of apartheid were felt. It was not just a question of opposing a white-led government. Among blacks, there was a profound alienation from the state itself.
But the release of Mandela from prison in February 1990 and the early signs of apartheid’s end — such as negotiations between the white-led government and the African National Congress that spring and summer — appeared to close this gap. In the 1990 survey, which was fielded in October and November, 93% of whites and 90% of blacks expressed pride.
Mandela’s legacy may be even more visible in how little white and black South Africans’ patriotism has changed since then. Although his leadership —…
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