Sunday, December 08, 2013
Statement From NAACP On Nelson Mandela
How do we find the words to describe a man whose life leaves us speechless?
By talking of his legacy as humanity's greatest champion for civil and human rights? A man who, in the face of unfathomable violence and oppression, served as a peaceful crusader for freedom and justice.
Or by remembering our shared common goal—working to eliminate racism and racial and ethnic disparities in our two countries? His long fight and indomitable spirit inspired our solidarity abroad and fueled the energy for a continued fight here at home for civil rights. His life was the embodiment of both action and forgiveness.
We cannot put words to our sorrow. We can only join his family, his nation, and people the world over in mourning the passing of the great Nelson Mandela.
The NAACP and Nelson Mandela's African National Congress (ANC) will be forever linked in the universal fight for freedom—at the 1993 NAACP National Convention in Indianapolis, Mr. Mandela addressed those in attendance and raised the point that the ANC movement was inspired by the civil rights fights of the NAACP.
We stood in solidarity with Nelson Mandela that day. His words will forever echo in our hearts, in our minds, and in the collective mission of our movement: "For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others."
Thank you, Madiba, for your sacrifice, fight, spirit and life's work. We will seek to live our own lives by the example you set every day in your own.