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

Due to his ceaseless fight for the rights of black citizens in an extremely unequal and racist society like the South African one of the beginning and middle of the 20th century, the work of Desmond Tutu had an international relevance and he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 .

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Phrases and famous quotes from Desmond Tutu

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

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

1. I imagine God weeping as His church allows itself to waste time condemning homosexuals, while half the world goes hungry and AIDS rages.

A reflection on the hypocrisy shown by some levels of the Church.

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

A sentence to reflect on hate and discrimination.

3. Be kind to white people, who need to rediscover their humanity.

A famous quote from Desmond Tutu where he urges kindness even to the nation’s oppressors.

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

Some political factions take advantage of bad times in the economy to point the finger at 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 society’s ills. A valuable phrase from Desmond Tutu.

6. God, we know you’re in charge but… Couldn’t you make yourself a little more obvious?

A prayer addressed to God, who seems to be somewhat absent at many times.

7. I’m not interested in picking up 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 peace sentence that many world leaders should read.

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

Bad feelings that only bring with them 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’s a suicide bomber, a retaliation and then a counter-retaliation. And it just goes on and on.

The law of the talion 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 to do so in order to live in peace.

13. What the hell is wrong with the churches? How is it possible to fight racism and not homophobia? Sexual orientation is not a choice. Black people don’t choose to be black; gay people don’t choose to be black.

Ahead of his time, Tutu looks at the problem of the gay community.

14. A father who leads his child 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 child that there is only one sexual orientation and that anything else is evil denies our humanity and his as well.

The pernicious effect of racism is absolutely uncontrollable.

15. We fought against apartheid in South Africa, with the support of people all over the world, for people who were blamed for being black and forced to suffer for something they could do nothing about. It’s the same with sexual orientation. It is a gift.

Another sentence 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 lines about injustice.

17. My father used to say: Don’t raise your voice… improve your argument.

A sentence about intelligence and how to improve one’s speech to convince others.

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

You mean that young man is white. Painful proof of the racism of his home country.

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

And yet we are bent on dismissing 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 horrific atrocities.

The 20th century was a time when this phrase of Desmond Tutu’s proved to be totally true.

23. Niger is not an island isolated from despair. It lies within a sea of problems across Africa – particularly ‘forgotten emergencies’ in poor countries or regions with little strategic or material attraction.

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, the people who went to church on Sundays, every Sunday.

Another sentence 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 constant struggle for peace.