He was a pretty amazing and fortunate figure in how he helped fight apartheid in South Africa. In some regimes, organized religion is complicit with tyranny, regardless of a person’s color or ethnicity. However, he rightfully chose to speak out and this was a huge gamble. Uganda’s dictator Idi Amin executed Tutu’s fellow bishop Janna Luwum. People like PW Botha probably gave this some consideration as they weren’t above torturing. If they did, I’m pretty confident Tutu’s spirit would continue to fuel the movement to finally end South Africa’s unjust, immoral arrangement.
Tutu’s work didn’t end once Nelson Mandela became president, he continued to push the needle on the reborn state’s moral compass. I’m confident, not everyone in the ANC was a fan, given his role as a spiritual leader for a foreign religion. He powered through and the world is a better place thanks to his efforts.
A little aside. Back in the Eighties, my viewpoint was out of vogue with many Left/Liberal peers regarding South Africa. I was in complete agreement about how apartheid was immoral and the then regime couldn’t stand. However, I argued that the US and Europe should assist in helping South Africa make a peaceful transition while non-South African corporations wielded their influence too. An example of the latter, Coca Cola refused to have segregated restrooms. Trivial in America but over there, a start. My overall point was to prevent another Rhodesia-to-Zimbabwe situation. My fellow Leftists/Liberals were often turning a blind eye to the state north of South Africa. Sure, the horrible White minority government was overthrown yet Robert Mugabe’s dictatorship was the result and we all know 35 years later how that panned out. I am grateful deKlerk saw the writing on the wall, released Nelson Mandela and initiated the change. Too bad, it’s not going well as the ANC has shown its gross incompetence, which is often the fate with numerous revolutionary groups regardless of their makeup (even America’s Founders stumbled horribly). Revolution is easy. Governing effectively for all the people, it’s a bitch, especially when all you know for decades is fighting.
Thank you for your diligence, sacrifice and wise words sir. You fought to hard for the world, not just for the freedom of South Africa.