“The Most Reverend Desmond Mpilu Tutu of South Africa was born in a time and place where color of the skin condemns a whole people into a life of oppression, servitude, and violence. As a man of God, he served his fellowmen to the utmost of his abilities and many times dared fate and history to try and extinguish his life and his light.
Though donning the frock of the church, he was a warrior who stood in the middle of a war without fear. He and his fellow warrior Nelson Mandela stood with their people and faced the most violent and fearsome forces of their time — men who had the power and were willing to kill other men because of their skin color.
Though he did his heaviest and most dangerous work in South Africa, his actions were felt all over the world, especially in those dark corners where people struggled under the yoke of tyranny. Be it in Africa, Latin America, Asia, or the Philippines which have also been under a cruel and corrupt dictatorship, this gentle and soft-spoken man emboldened all oppressed peoples to rise and revolt, not only against impunity and iron rule, he also called on the people to struggle and not lose their humanity.
For though he was always sounding the call for battle, the battle was not against the oppressors, but against the act of oppression.
When tyranny began to fall in many nations, when dictators were being led to the gallows, Reverend Desmond Tutu called for love and forgiveness — against the former oppressors!
For him the battle was not about the color of the skin, it was about whether all of us living — oppressors and oppressed — can still find the real color of our hearts.
Reverend Father Tutu, thank you for saving us from a black and white view if the world, thank you for showing us that God may have given us different skin colors, but he also gave us all golden hearts.
Your golden heart and shining deeds will remain in our memory as we continue the fight against darkness, as we continue the fight armed with radical love.
Thank you, dear Father Desmond Tutu.”