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TCTI: Too Crazy To Ignore

Dave Ross

Remembering Nelson Mandela

In this May 10, 1994, file photo, Nelson Mandela dances at a celebration concert in Pretoria, South Africa, following his inauguration as the country's first black president. South Africa's president says, Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013, that Mandela has died. He was 95. (AP Photo/John Parkin, File)

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"One of the things I clearly remember as a young college anti-apartheid activist was sitting in Cape Town on the mountain and looking over at Robben Island where (Nelson) Mandela was imprisoned for almost 30 years and wondering if he would ever be released," says Robert Taylor.

Taylor grew up in Cape Town. He became an anti-apartheid activist as a young man - to the point that his apartment was raided in 1980, and he left for the United States - on the advice of Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Taylor became an Episcopal Priest and is now President of the Desmond Tutu Peace Foundation in New York, which is all about non-violent change.

But the reason Mandela was locked up was his decision to turn to violence after 69 unarmed black protestors were killed by South African police.

Said Mandela, "There are many people who feel that it is useless for us to continue talking peace and non-violence against a government whose reply is only savage attacks."

And so he organized bombings of government installations.

So as a peace activist, does Robert Taylor, in fact, believe there are times when violence can be justified?

"I'm not suggesting that there are times when violence is OK, but I think an important distinction is that the limited violent action is always designed to make sure that human lives were never targeted," said Taylor. "And that's a distinction that I think is sorely missing in the many skirmishes and wars in the world today."

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Dave Ross on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM

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Dave Ross on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM

  • Dave Ross on KIRO Radio 97.3 FMTune in to KIRO Radio weekdays at 5am for Dave Ross on Seattle's Morning News.

About the Author

Dave Ross hosts the Morning News on KIRO Radio weekdays from 5-9 a.m. Dave has won the national Edward R. Murrow Award for writing five times since he started at KIRO Radio in 1978.


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