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Thursday, December 5, 2013

Reaction to death of Nelson Mandela

The following are statements from various groups and individuals on the death of Nelson Mandela.





The statement are all shared unedited here.

THE PRESIDENT
 
At his trial in 1964, Nelson Mandela closed his statement from the dock saying, “I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination.  I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities.  It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve.  But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”
And Nelson Mandela lived for that ideal, and he made it real.  He achieved more than could be expected of any man.  Today, he has gone home.  And we have lost one of the most influential, courageous, and profoundly good human beings that any of us will share time with on this Earth.  He no longer belongs to us -- he belongs to the ages.
Through his fierce dignity and unbending will to sacrifice his own freedom for the freedom of others, Madiba transformed South Africa -- and moved all of us.  His journey from a prisoner to a President embodied the promise that human beings -- and countries -- can change for the better.  His commitment to transfer power and reconcile with those who jailed him set an example that all humanity should aspire to, whether in the lives of nations or our own personal lives.  And the fact that he did it all with grace and good humor, and an ability to acknowledge his own imperfections, only makes the man that much more remarkable.  As he once said, “I am not a saint, unless you think of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying.”
I am one of the countless millions who drew inspiration from Nelson Mandela's life.  My very first political action, the first thing I ever did that involved an issue or a policy or politics, was a protest against apartheid.  I studied his words and his writings.  The day that he was released from prison gave me a sense of what human beings can do when they’re guided by their hopes and not by their fears.  And like so many around the globe, I cannot fully imagine my own life without the example that Nelson Mandela set, and so long as I live I will do what I can to learn from him.
To Graça Machel and his family, Michelle and I extend our deepest sympathy and gratitude for sharing this extraordinary man with us.  His life’s work meant long days away from those who loved him the most.  And I only hope that the time spent with him these last few weeks brought peace and comfort to his family.
To the people of South Africa, we draw strength from the example of renewal, and reconciliation, and resilience that you made real.  A free South Africa at peace with itself -- that’s an example to the world, and that’s Madiba’s legacy to the nation he loved.
We will not likely see the likes of Nelson Mandela again.  So it falls to us as best we can to forward the example that he set:  to make decisions guided not by hate, but by love; to never discount the difference that one person can make; to strive for a future that is worthy of his sacrifice.
For now, let us pause and give thanks for the fact that Nelson Mandela lived -- a man who took history in his hands, and bent the arc of the moral universe toward justice.  May God Bless his memory and keep him in peace.

Paul Simon on Nelson Mandela's passing:

"Mandela was one of the great leaders and teachers of the twentieth century.  He conceived a model for mortal enemies to overcome their hatred and find a way through compassion to rebuild a nation based on truth, justice and the power of forgiveness. His passing should reignite a worldwide effort for peace."

David Ives, executive director of the Albert Schweitzer Institute at Quinnipiac University, issued this statement following the death of Nelson Mandela:
 

“Nelsen Mandela’s death marks the passing of one of the greatest figures in world history,” Ives said. “His long battle against apartheid in South Africa included 27 years in an island prison and culminated in becoming the first freely elected president of South Africa. What was most remarkable to me was that he was able to forgive and work with the people who imprisoned him, thus creating a new and inclusive South Africa. As such, he was and always will be a great moral example in terms of how to treat and work with your former enemies and make peace.” 

Governor Dannel P. Malloy released the following statement on Thursday evening regarding the death of Nelson Mandela:
“Nelson Mandela’s ‘long walk to freedom’ changed our world for the better. The cause of his life became the world’s cause, and in 1987, the State of Connecticut joined him by banning state investments in companies that did business in South Africa in support of his mission of ending racial segregation policies.
“His reverent passion for justice will continue to inspire generations of citizens to improve social, political, racial, and humanitarian conditions around the world. While the news of his passing is cause for sorrow, we should be forever grateful for his incomparable contribution to the cause for equality.”



Statement from National Gay and Lesbian Task Force death of Nelson Mandela

"Nelson Mandela was an inspiration to the millions of people who yearn for freedom across the world. With great personal sacrifice, he fought Apartheid and state-sanctioned racism. His principled approach, his willingness to reach out to former enemies, led to the introduction of multi-party democracy and real change in South Africa. Indeed, South Africa's post-apartheid constitution was the first in the world to outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation. His legacy is hope; hope that people can achieve peace and freedom in a world with more than its fair share of conflict." Rea Carey, Executive Director, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. 

 

To learn more about the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force,visit and follow on Twitter: @TheTaskForce.

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