Posts Tagged ‘Desmond Tutu’

Desmond Tutu, human rights champion par excellence, is no more

December 29, 2021

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, who was post-apartheid South Africa’s moral compass and the driver of its troubled reconciliation process, has died. He was 90 years old.

He is the laureate of at least 10 human rights awards: For the complete list, see:

https://www.trueheroesfilms.org/thedigest/laureates/3E4065ED-420D-D94E-ECB1-4A2C91FE3BE6

Andrew Donaldson in News24 of 26 December 2021 published an interesting obituary: A tireless social activist and human rights defender, Tutu not only coined the term “Rainbow Nation” to describe the country’s ethnic diversity but, after the first democratic elections in 1994, went on to become its conscience, using his international profile in campaigns against HIV/Aids, tuberculosis, poverty, racism, xenophobia, sexism, homophobia and transphobia, among others…

His was a powerful, forthright voice, one that irked both the Nationalist government and its successor, the African National Congress and its allies. He was, an activist noted, “given to expressing his opinion in ways that are guaranteed to be outside the realm of comfortable politics”. As Tutu himself put it, in 2007, “I wish I could shut up, but I can’t, and I won’t.“..

Both at home and abroad, Tutu’s opposition to apartheid, which he often likened to Nazism, was vigorous and unequivocal. The Nationalists twice revoked his passport, and he was briefly jailed in 1980 after a protest march. Many felt that his increasing international reputation and his advocacy of non-violence had spared Tutu from more harsh treatment by the government…

He was a born orator and, according to the journalist Simon Hattenstone, “a natural performer [with] his hands and eyes flying all over the place, his voice impassioned and resonant; a tiny ball of love.”

Tutu would often play down such adulation. “I was,” he once said of his reputation, “this man with the big nose and the easy name who personalised the South African situation.”…

Following the Soweto riots in 1976, Tutu became an increasingly vocal supporter of economic sanctions and a vigorous opponent of US president Ronald Reagan’s “constructive engagement” with the Nationalist government.

In 1978, he was appointed general secretary of the SACC, a position he used to further rally support, both local and international, against apartheid. He was just as harsh in his criticism of the violent tactics later used by some anti-apartheid activists, and was unequivocal in his opposition to terrorism and communism.

Tutu’s finest hour came when he chaired the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which was set up to bear witness to, record and in some cases grant amnesty to the perpetrators of apartheid-relation human rights violations, as well as rule on reparation and the rehabilitation of victims…

See also: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2013/07/30/desmond-tutu-chooses-hell-over-homophobic-heaven/

He is survived by his wife, four children, seven grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Desmond Tutu was responsible for countless notable quotes throughout his life as an activist and elder. TimesLive (Ernest Mabuza) of 26 December 2021 in “In his own words: Desmond Tutu’s unwavering stance on human rights” published 12 of his best:

https://www.news24.com/news24/Obituaries/obituary-desmond-tutu-tenacious-charismatic-and-a-thorn-in-the-national-party-and-ancs-side-20211226

https://www.timeslive.co.za/news/south-africa/2021-12-26-in-his-own-words-desmond-tutus-unwavering-stance-on-human-rights/

ICC should continue its work in Africa, says Tutu in N.Y.Times

October 14, 2013

While 130 NGOs in Africa and elsewhere call in a joint letter to the African Union not to abandon the International Criminal Court, Bishop Desmond Tutu publishes in the New York Times of 10 October an excellent piece explaining why it is a terrible mistake. Here is it is in full:

 

CAPE TOWN — MEMBERS of the African Union will meet in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, today to discuss recent calls by some African leaders to withdraw from the International Criminal Court. These calls must be resisted. The continent has suffered the consequences of unaccountable governance for too long to disown the protections offered by the I.C.C. Read the rest of this entry »

HRDs in the school culture can end bullying

August 12, 2013

Kerry Kennedy writes in an opinion in the WashingtonPost of 12 August about how her organisation was called by the superintendent of Bucyrus City Schools to address the issue of bullying in the school. The Speak Truth To Power [STTP], human rights education curriculum offered by the Robert F. Kennedy Center is taught in schools around the world — from Phnom Penh, Cambodia, to Pisa, Italy, from Stockholm to Chicago. Read the rest of this entry »

Desmond Tutu Chooses Hell Over Homophobic Heaven

July 30, 2013

Back from a long holiday absence I will resume today my blog on Human Rights Defenders and do with a quote from one the most outstanding HRDs, Bishop Tutu, who bettered the new Pope’s more conciliatory tone on gay rights: Speaking at the United Nations launch of its “Free & Equal” campaign to promote fair treatment of LGBT persons on 26 July in South Africa, former archbishop and South African anti-apartheid activist Desmond Tutu declared that the issue was so close to his heart that : “I would refuse to go to a homophobic heaven. No, I would say sorry, I mean I would much rather go to the other place.” He added, “I would not worship a God who is homophobic and that is how deeply I feel about this.” Tutu went on to compare his advocacy for LGBT persons to his fight against apartheid, saying, “I am as passionate about this campaign as I ever was about apartheid. For me, it is at the same level.” A video recording of Tutus partial remarks can be viewed on YouTube. The United Nations “Free & Equal” campaign is a year-long effort led by the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, OHCHR, to focus “on the need for both legal reforms and public education to counter homophobia and transphobia.”

via Former Archbishop Desmond Tutu Says He Would Choose Hell Over Homophobic Heaven.

 

http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/FreeAndEqualCampaign.aspx