10 quotes from Obama's Mandela lecture

2018-07-17 17:20
Former US president Barack Obama and his step-grandmother Sarah Obama (Picture: AFP)

Former US president Barack Obama and his step-grandmother Sarah Obama (Picture: AFP)

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WATCH: Barack Obama delivers Mandela centenary address in Joburg

2018-07-17 14:00

Former US president Barack Obama is scheduled to deliver the annual Nelson Mandela lecture at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg where a crowd of about 9 000 people is expected.WATCH

1. "Let me start with a correction. I am a very good dancer."

2. "More and more peoples, having witnessed the horrors of totalitarians, the repeated mass slaughters of the 20th century began to embrace a new vision for the world, a new idea. One based on self-determination but also on the principles of democracy and rule of law and civil rights. And the inherent dignity of every single individual."

3. "...through his sacrifice and unwavering leadership, and perhaps most of all through his moral example, Mandela and the movement he led would come to signify something larger. He came to embody the universal aspirations of dispossessed people all around the world."

4. "During the last decades of the 20th century, the progressive democracy Nelson Mandela represented in many ways set the terms of the international debate."

5. "It is in part because of the failures of governments and powerful elites to squarely address the failures and shortcomings of this international order that we now see much of the world threatening to return to an older, a more dangerous, a more brutal way of doing business."

6. "We have to start by admitting that whatever laws may have existed on the books, whatever wonderful pronouncements existed in constitutions, whatever nice words were spoken these last decades at international conferences or in the halls of the United Nations, the previous structures of power and privilege and injustice and exploitation never completely went away."

7. "It is a plain fact that racial discrimination still exists both in the United Nations and in South Africa."

8. "The politics of resentment and fear and retrenchment began to appeal. And that kind of politics is now on the move."

9. "On Madiba's 100th birthday, we now stand at a crossroads. A moment in time at which two very different visions of humanity's future compete for the hearts and the minds of citizens around the world. Two different stories, two different narratives about who we are and who we should be."

10. "I believe in Nelson Mandela's vision. I believe in a vision shared by Gandhi and King and Abraham Lincoln. I believe in a vision of equality and justice and freedom and multi-racial democracy built on the premise that all people are created equal and they're endowed by our Creator certain inalienable rights. And I believe that a world governed by such principles is possible and that it can achieve more peace and more cooperation and pursuit of a common good."


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