Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who died Sunday morning in Cape Town at age 90, was a man of strong faith and conviction, but also of words.
He did not hesitate to use humour and anger to express his values and outrage.
Here are some of his most famous quotes:
– “Be nice to whites, they need you to rediscover their humanity.” (New York Times, October 19, 1984)
– “For goodness sake, will they hear, will white people hear what we are trying to say? Please, all we are asking you to do is to recognize that we are humans, too. When you scratch us, we bleed. When you tickle us, we laugh.” (Statement urging sanctions against South Africa, 1985)
– “Your President is the pits as far as blacks are concerned. He sits there like the great, big white chief of old can tell us black people that we don’t know what is good for us. The white man knows.” (Interview with US press, reacting to Ronald Reagan’s vetoing of economic sanctions apartheid government, 1986)
– “At home in South Africa I have sometimes said in big meetings where you have black and white together: ‘Raise your hands!’ Then I’ve said, ‘Move your hands,’ and I’ve said, ‘Look at your hands — different colours representing different people. You are the rainbow people of God’.” (His book “The Rainbow People of God”, 1994)
– “I would not worship a God who is homophobic and that is how deeply I feel about this. 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. I am as passionate about this campaign as I ever was about apartheid.” (Speech at a UN’s gay rights campaign, 2013).