NEW YORK – American Civil Liberties Union Executive Director Anthony D. Romero had this reaction to the death of Nelson Mandela:
The ACLU mourns the death of Nelson Mandela, the revered international symbol of freedom who meant so much to people across the world, and who inspired us to be our best selves. Mandela fought against class and racial inequality, political corruption and the devastation of AIDS. He fought for everything we Americans hold dear. "We have waited too long for our freedom," he famously said. And his actions matched his words as he endured 27 years in prison for what he believed—that we are all equal regardless of our class or the color of our skin. Although it seems unthinkable to imagine a world without Nelson Mandela, we must. Our dedication to protecting freedoms for everyone—no matter what their race, gender, religion or whom they choose to love–is the precious legacy he has passed on to us.