John M. Becker

Obama: Mandela's Legacy Reminds Us Change is Possible

Filed By John M. Becker | December 10, 2013 9:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Quote of the Day
Tags: Barack Obama, eulogy, funeral, Nelson Mandela

"[In] America, and in South Africa, and in countries all around the globe, we cannot allow our progress to cloud the fact that our work is not yet done... Around the world today, men and women are still imprisoned for their political beliefs, and are still persecuted for what they look like, and how they worship, and who they love. That is happening today.

"And so we, too, must act on behalf of justice. We, too, must act on behalf of peace. There are too many people who happily embrace Madiba's legacy of racial reconciliation, but passionately resist even modest reforms that would challenge chronic poverty and growing inequality. There are too many leaders who claim solidarity with Madiba's struggle for freedom, but do not tolerate dissent from their own people. And there are too many of us on the sidelines, comfortable in complacency or cynicism when our voices must be heard.

"The questions we face today -- how to promote equality and justice; how to uphold freedom and human rights; how to end conflict and sectarian war -- these things do not have easy answers. But there were no easy answers in front of that child born in World War I. Nelson Mandela reminds us that it always seems impossible until it is done."

-- From President Obama's eulogy for the late South African President Nelson Mandela, delivered this afternoon in Johannesburg.


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