Transcript: Desmond Tutu — A God of Surprises | On Being:
Archbishop Tutu: I think, I
mean, that we have very gravely underestimated the damage that apartheid
inflicted on all of us. You know, the damage to our psyches, the damage
that has made — I mean, it shocked me. I went to Nigeria when I was
working for the World Council of Churches, and I was due to fly to Jos.
And so I go to Lagos airport and I get onto the plane and the two pilots
in the cockpit are both black. And whee, I just grew inches. You know,
it was fantastic because we had been told that blacks can't do this.
Ms. Tippett: Right.
Archbishop Tutu: And we have a
smooth takeoff and then we hit the mother and father of turbulence. I
mean, it was quite awful, scary. Do you know, I can't believe it but the
first thought that came to my mind was, "Hey, there's no white men in
that cockpit. Are those blacks going to be able to make it?" And of
course, they obviously made it — here I am. But the thing is, I had not
known that I was damaged to the extent of thinking that somehow actually
what those white people who had kept drumming into us in South Africa
about our being inferior, about our being incapable, it had lodged
somewhere in me.