Desmond Tutu: HRAC's Person of the Year

During the Carter Administration, due to the inexplicable appearance of the luck that befalls one once in a while, I was appointed to be country director of the Peace Corps in Lesotho. I say lucky, because it remains perhaps the best job I ever had. The day I landed in Africa was the day of Steve Biko's funeral. For four and a half years, a guiding notion for volunteers was to promise little but deliver lots. It was a strange eddy current in American policy. 

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Important Transitions: Aung San Suu Kyi, Nelson Mandela, and Hopes for Democracy

When a popular democratic leader takes over the reins of government from a previously despotic government, they are transformed from the sacred to the profane. Icons don't govern, people do. They do so as politicians, and both people and politicians are necessarily messy. South Africa's Nelson Mandela escaped much of this by virtue of his singular story, eschewal of political life after only one term, and by attempts to avoid the excesses of politics in favor of moral leadership.

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Believing in Mandela, Believing in His Circle, Believing in Human Rights

A great luck befell me years ago when I got to have some time to meet Nelson Mandela in person. We ended up in the same bathroom and a camera crew asking both of us to stay in the bathroom till the shoot was over. I asked him what he would have done if there had been no apartheid. He answered simply: a boxer.

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