Social Worker Mike Langlois Analyze World Leaders Selfie

World Leader Selfie at Nelson Mandela Memorial
World Leader Selfie at Nelson Mandela Memorial

On December 11th at Nelson Mandela’s Memorial service, President Obama, UK Prime Minister David Cameron, and Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt created quite a stir with what appears to be a selfie of the three world leaders. One of the most thoughtful analyses I found on the world leaders selfie was conducted by Mike Langlois, LICSW.

Many critics of President Obama lashed out on social media expressing their outrage at the appearance of him taking a selfie with other world leaders. Many news outlets reported that the world leaders appeared upbeat at what should be an otherwise somber mood for a funeral. However, the actual funeral for the beloved world leader, Nelson Mandela, wasn’t actually held until days later on December 14th.

Chris Taylor of Mashable wrote about selfie-gate with a detailed analysis of why context matters.

First of all, this wasn’t strictly a funeral; certainly not the solemn dressed-in-black occasion we often associate with the term. It was a four-hour stadium-sized memorial celebrating the life and works of the beloved Madiba, a riot of colorful dancing and singing. Think New Orleans meets the World Cup. Read More

For me when I look at the photo, my response is how cool is it for our world leaders to like each other enough to take a selfie. In my opinion, the photo evokes thoughts of allies and not enemies who may go to war against each other. I believe the photo is a dream realized for the life’s work of Nelson Mandela. If one must judge this photo, shouldn’t the standard be whether Nelson Mandela would approve?

As a teacher of online technologies, video gaming and psychotherapy, Mike Langlois believes that our reaction to the President Obama selfie may actually say more about us than what it says about him. View Mike Langlois assessment below, and tell me do you agree?


Social Justice Seeker Nelson Mandela Dies at Age 95

Nelson Mandela

On December 5, 2013, former South African President and social justice seeker, Nelson Mandela passed away at age 95. As a result of his political activism, Nelson Mandela endured several arrests and eventually served 27 years in prison for treason and governmental sabotage because of his opposition to apartheid.

During his trial in 1958, Nelson Mandela married social worker, Winnie Madikizela, and the union produced two daughters before they divorced in 1996. At his final trial, while facing the death penalty, he eloquently stated to the court, “I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal that I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”

After being imprisoned for nearly three decades, Nelson Mandela become South Africa’s first black President in the government’s first democratic election where both blacks and whites were allowed to vote. In his acceptance speech, Nelson Mandela stated, “The time for the healing of the wounds has come. The moment to bridge the chasms that divide us has come,”.

According to BBC News,

Mr Zuma said Mr Mandela – who is known affectionately by his clan name, Madiba – had died shortly before 21:00 local time (19:00 GMT). He said he would receive a full state funeral, and flags would be flown at half-mast.

Crowds have gathered outside the house where Mr Mandela died, some flying South African flags and wearing the shirts of the governing African National Congress, which Mr Mandela once led.

The Nobel Peace Prize laureate was one of the world’s most revered statesmen after preaching reconciliation despite being imprisoned for 27 years.

He had rarely been seen in public since officially retiring in 2004. He made his last public appearance in 2010, at the football World Cup in South Africa.  Read Full Article

The  Nelson Mandela Foundation was created in 1995 as a vehicle to continue his legacy and work as a social justice seeker for human rights and the fight against oppression. The foundation is a coalition of networks and partnerships working collectively towards social justice. In his retirement video below, Nelson Mandela outlines the mission and vision for the launch of his charity.

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