J BROOKS SPECTOR SOUTH AFRICA 14 JUNE 2013 01:21
In 1976, I was a young American diplomat who had been assigned to Johannesburg the year before, following an assignment in Southeast Asia. Trying to understand Johannesburg, and South Africa, meant trying to come to grips with the country’s myriad of racially defined laws – as well as all the other things not actually enshrined in law but deeply woven into the fabric of this society. All of this became like a series of slaps across the face, even though America’s own experiences with racial segregation were still relatively fresh in the Washington, DC area and could have been a partial roadmap. By J BROOKS SPECTOR.