Is This a Real Quote by Nelson Mandela?
3 min read
A quote attributed to Mandela, former president of South Africa, said: "Fools divide themselves by race, color, gender, or religion."
Fake quotes from former South African President Nelson Mandela are a dime a dozen on the internet. In September 2020, a quote on racial divisions began to make the rounds in the wake of protests over police brutality against Black people in the U.S.

This quote was attributed to Mandela:

"Our world is not divided by race, color, gender, or religion. Our world is divided into wise people and fools. And fools divide themselves by race, color, gender, or religion."

Snopes readers asked us if Mandela did indeed say these words. We learned that he did not. The internet had taken someone else's words and attributed them to Mandela.

In order to determine this, we reached out to the Nelson Mandela Foundation, founded by Mandela in 1999, and which hosts archives featuring his speeches and letters. The foundation is considered a definitive resource on the life of the man who led the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa.

Razia Saleh, director of the research and archives department at the foundation, confirmed to us that this was not a Mandela quote, as she could…
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