DETROIT — South African Bishop Desmond Tutu urged a stronger U.S. stance against the South African government Wednesday and said the day may come when violence is seen as justified in dealing with that country's racial system.
Appearing on the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s 57th birthday, the Anglican bishop of Johannesburg insisted that he is "not in the same league" as the slain civil rights leader, but noted that he and King, who each received the Nobel Peace Prize, shared similar ideals based on Christian principles.
Contrasting the U.S. civil rights movement with his own anti-apartheid campaign, Tutu said King was "seeking to claim rights guaranteed under the Constitution." The bishop said his is "a campaign for basic human rights (since) our constitution specifically excludes us."
After a news conference at Detroit Metropolitan Airport, Tutu addressed more than 1,000 people who attended an ecumenical prayer service at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul.