On Dec. 26, the first day of Kwanzaa**, the news reported that South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu had passed (1931-2021).
My heart sank.
Not only had Anglican Archbishop Tutu been a human rights activist, he was a genuinely kind person who cared about the welfare of others:
“A Man Of All Seasons.” Archbishop Tutu devoted decades of his life fighting against South Africa’s apartheid system, a system of segregation that discriminated against Black Africans socially, politically and economically. The system came to an end in the 1990s.
President Barack Obama referred to Archbishop Tutu as a “moral compass”. Archbishop Tutu received America’s Congressional Medal of Freedom in 2009. He also received the Nobel Peace Prize and many other honors for his human rights activities. In spite of the fact that apartheid was instituted and practiced by white South Africans, Archbishop Tutu never encouraged hatred of whites. This made me think about the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. *** (1929-1968), who said in his “I Have A Dream” speech at the March on Washington on Aug. 28, 1963:
“…The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. They have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone…”
We can only hope that more and more humans will appreciate and care for others regardless of ethnic differences.
**The principle for the first day of Kwanzaa is “Umoja” (unity).
***Martin Luther King Jr. Day is on Jan. 17, 2022