He seemed to embody the best of what it is to be human, at a granular level. The small generosities, the willingness to listen, the empathy, lightening the mood with … let’s face it, some pretty silly jokes.
We were among the few white people in the congregation and, as we shook hands with Tutu on the steps upon leaving, he made a joke. Something like: “So, it really is a white Christmas.”
Evoking the Irving Berlin song ’’White Christmas,” famously crooned by Bing Crosby, in tense, dusty Soweto was quintessential Tutu. He couldn’t resist a pun about race in an inflamed country suffering the agonies of apartheid, the system of white minority domination that was extinguished in 1994.
(Actually, every once in a very long while, it has snowed in Johannesburg, but certainly not at Christmas time, which falls in the Southern Hemisphere’s summer).
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