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Local and National Reaction to Nelson Mandela’s Death

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Nelson Mandela died on Dec. 5, 2013 (Credit: CNN)

Nelson Mandela, the revered statesman who emerged from prison after 27 years to lead South Africa out of decades of apartheid, has died, South African President Jacob Zuma announced late Thursday.

Mandela was 95.

Politicians, national organizations, Hollywood and people across the world are also reacting to his death on social media.

U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) released the following statement Thursday evening: “Nelson Mandela’s humanity and selflessness will continue to inspire countless individuals for generations to come. In his remarkable life, he helped dissolve apartheid in South Africa, and promoted racial equality across the globe. I consider myself very lucky to have heard him speak when he addressed a joint session of Congress in 1994. I offer my prayers to his family and am saddened by his passing. I’m reassured, however, that Mandela’s place among our world’s most significant figures remains as strong as the virtues he lived by: peace, justice, and most importantly, love.”

Rep. Jim Renacci (OH-16) also released a statement on Mandela’s passing: “I am saddened to learn of the passing of President Mandela. The world has lost a true champion for peace, equality, and freedom. A man who led by example, his legacy will live on through his many contributions and all of those whose lives were touched by his inspiring leadership. I send my deepest sympathies to the Mandela family and the people of South Africa.”

Congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge (OH-11) released the following statement regarding the passing of Nelson Mandela: “Today we mourn the loss of Nelson Mandela, a great and compassionate leader who left the world better than he found it. Although he was imprisoned for 27 years for his non-violent efforts to end apartheid in South Africa, Mr. Mandela never stopped fighting against the blatantly discriminatory and dehumanizing policies of the South African government. In 1994, Mandela took office as South Africa’s first democratically elected President. He promoted peace and forgiveness, led with pragmatic wisdom and raised the aspirations of people everywhere. Mr. Mandela devoted his life to ending oppression in South Africa which not only brought justice in his homeland, but motivated people in the United States and around the world to stand up for human rights. Let us never forget the achievements of this remarkable and heroic leader. There is no better way to honor his legacy than to seek an end to injustice and inequality wherever it is found. Mr. Mandela was a member of the Xhosa tribe which has a saying, “Ithemba liyaphilisa” – “Hope causes one to live.” I thank Mr. Mandela for being the courageous force for good who brought hope and a better life to millions of people throughout the world. I offer my deepest condolences to Mr. Mandela’s family and the people of South Africa.”

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is also speaking about Mandela’s passing. They released the following statement: “Nelson Mandela was an inspiration to the millions of people who yearn for freedom across the world. With great personal sacrifice, he fought Apartheid and state-sanctioned racism. His principled approach, his willingness to reach out to former enemies, led to the introduction of multi-party democracy and real change in South Africa. Indeed, South Africa’s post-apartheid constitution was the first in the world to outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation. His legacy is hope; hope that people can achieve peace and freedom in a world with more than its fair share of conflict.” Rea Carey, Executive Director, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.

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