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The 25 best quotes of Desmond Tutu, the anti-Apartheid leader

The 25 best quotes of Desmond Tutu, the anti-Apartheid leader

June 17, 2024

Desmond Tutu (born in South Africa in 1931) is one of the most admired clerics and pacifist activists who fought against apartheid in his country.

Because of their incessant struggle for the rights of black citizens in an extremely unequal and racist society such as South Africa at the beginning and middle of the 20th century, the work of Desmond Tutu had an international relevance and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 .

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Famous Quotes and Quotes by Desmond Tutu

To honor this South African religious, we have set out to collect the best phrases of Desmond Tutu . These are famous quotes that remind us of the value of peace and fraternity.


We start with this selection of thoughts from the South African leader.

1. I imagine God crying to see that his church allows itself to waste time condemning homosexuals, while half the world goes hungry and AIDS devastates.

A reflection on the hypocrisy that some sections of the Church show.

2. We treat them as outcasts and push them out of our communities. They make us doubt that they are also Sons of God and this is close to blasphemy. We blame them for being what they are.

A phrase to reflect on hatred and discrimination.

3. Be kind to whites, who need to rediscover their humanity.

A famous quote by Desmond Tutu where he urges to be kind even to the oppressors of the nation.


4. Whenever the economic system goes wrong, racism arises.

Some political factions take advantage of bad economic times to point out immigrants. Something that Europe and the United States have also experienced.

5. Repairing injustices without creating justice always ends up making reality worse.

An eye for an eye does not solve the ills of society. A valuable quote from Desmond Tutu.

6. God, we know that you are in charge but ... Could not you make yourself a little more obvious?

A prayer addressed to God, which seems to be somewhat absent in many moments.

7. I am not interested in collecting the crumbs of compassion that fall from the table of someone who considers himself my master. I want the full menu of rights.

A brilliant metaphor that speaks of justice and dignity.

8. Politicians should never banish the word because things change and peace is made with enemies and not with friends.

Another phrase of peace that many world leaders should read.


9. Resentment and anger are bad for blood pressure and for digestion.

Bad sensations that only bring about certain psychosomatic problems.

10. My humanity is linked to yours, because we can only be human together.

Equality between humans guarantees the harmony and well-being of the population.

11. Retaliation against terrorism does not bring peace. There is a suicide bomber, a reprisal and then a counter-retaliation. And it just goes on and on.

The law of retaliation that can never end in a state of peace, since it only generates hatred and more hatred.

12. Forgiveness is an absolute necessity for the continuation of human existence.

How can we forgive the one who hurt us? Desmond Tutu proposes doing it to be able to live in peace.

13. What the hell is wrong with the churches? How is it possible to fight against racism and not against homophobia? Sexual orientation is not chosen. Blacks do not choose to be black; homosexuals, either.

An advance in his time, Tutu analyzes the problem of the gay community.

14. A father who leads his son to be a racist, harms the child, harms the community where they live, harms our hopes for a better world. A father who teaches his son that there is only one sexual orientation and that anything else is evil, denies our humanity and hers as well.

The pernicious effect of racism is absolutely uncontrollable.

15. We fought against Apartheid in South Africa, with the support of people from all over the world, by the people who were blamed for being black and forced to suffer for something they could not do anything about. It is the same with sexual orientation. It's a gift.

Another phrase that challenges the persecution of homosexual people.

16. If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.

One of his most famous phrases about injustice.

17. My father used to say: Do not raise your voice ... improve your argument.

A phrase about intelligence and how to improve speech to convince others.

18. In the land of my birth I can not vote, while an eighteen-year-old can vote. And because? Because he or she possesses that wonderful biological attribute.

It refers to that young man is white. A painful test of the racism of his native country.

19We live in a universe that is characterized by diversity.

And yet, we insist on rejecting and repelling the one who is different from us.

20. Exclusion is not the way forward in our shared journey towards freedom and justice.

Another phrase that appeals to humanity and reconciliation.

21. The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.

A paradox of modern life.

22. As human beings we have the most extraordinary capacity for evil. We can commit some of the most horrendous atrocities.

The twentieth century was a time that found that this phrase by Desmond Tutu is totally true.

23. Niger is not an island isolated from despair. It is within a sea of ​​problems across Africa - particularly the 'forgotten emergencies' in poor countries or regions with little strategic or material appeal.

About the Central African country.

24. In the case of South Africa, many of those who were part of death squads would have been respectable members of the white community, people who went to church on Sundays, every Sunday.

Another phrase about racism and those who perpetrated it.

25. In many ways, when you are a Nobel Peace Prize winner, you have an obligation to humanity, to society.

Tutu, in a vision that demonstrates his leadership and his constant struggle for peace.


7th Annual Desmond Tutu International Peace Lecture by Adv. Gounden (June 2024).


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