Described as "South Africa's moral conscience" Desmond Tutu is a man of faith and action. He is among the ranks of Nobel Peace Prize winners, a friend of Nelson Mandela and the Dalai Lama, and in terms of the advocation and practice of peaceful protest, he is of Ghandi-caliber.
Considering the recent interest in Africa following the viral explosion of Kony 2012, it seems timely to consider one of the most positive forces to emerge from the continent in the course of it's history.
As a an Archbishop he has fought against homophobia and endorsed openly gay members of the clergy, providing they follow the traditional vows of celibacy. Despite being nearly 80 years old he remains outspoken about world issues. He has been accused of anti-semitism due to his condemnination of Israel's treatment of Palestinians and Israel's military and other connections with apartheid-era South Africa. Of Zionism he has pointed out it has "very many parallels with racism", on the grounds that it "excludes people on ethnic or other grounds over which they have no control".
On 28 April 2011, Tutu published a strongly worded article about Arizona Senate Bill 1070, which criminalises undocumented immigration in the US State of Arizona, and requires Arizona police to request immigration documentation of any person suspected of committing a crime, a clause which would require immigrants to carry documentation on their person at all times.
He stated that he was "saddened today at the prospect of a young Hispanic immigrant in Arizona going to the grocery store and forgetting to bring her passport and immigration documents with her. I cannot be dispassionate about the fact that the very act of her being in the grocery store will soon be a crime in the state she lives in. Or that should a policeman hear her accent and form a “reasonable suspicion” that she is an illegal immigrant, she can – and will – be taken into custody until someone sorts it out, while her children are at home waiting for their dinner." He urged the State of Arizona to create a new model to deal with the pitfalls of illegal immigration, one that "is based on a deep respect for the essential human rights Americans themselves have grown up enjoying." (Credit toWikipedia)
Considering the pervasive confusion about the Joseph Kony story and Invisible Children, why not go viral about a man who represents a legacy of hope? For every young person who was simultaneously shocked, frustrated and inspired by Kony 2012, they might do well to take some time to read, listen and learn a few tricks from one of the best.
For bonus points, Tutu has even spoken out regarding the exploitation of Canada's tar sands. Few have said it better:
Desmond Tutu Begs Canada to Abandon Tar Sands (via Gas 2.0)