Cornel West: We Are Witnessing the 'Santa Claus-ification' of Nelson Mandela Cornel West "I think no doubt we are. I mean, Nelson Mandela's a spiritual giant, moral titan, and political revolutionary. We are witnessing the Santa Claus-ification of Nelson Mandela. We turned the revolutionary into an old man, a huggable old man with toys in a bag, smile on his face, no threat to anybody, domesticated, tamed, and no longer really full of the fire. But we know at 95, brother Nelson Mandela was still full of fire. He had that militant tenderness and subversive sweetness and radical gentleness tied to refusing to be fearful or intimidated in the face of a vicious white supremacist apartheid regime."