Why I am not full of CRAP. / I am 50% African and 50% Caucasian. / At age two Caucasian doctors saved my life when I was poisoned. / At age five German nuns gave me sanctuary, safety and security at Sacred Heart Home, Bushtick, Rhodesia, even though I was the direct descendant of an Englishman, and the English had bombed German civilians to smithereens at Dresden just a few years before. / I received a fantastic education at Embakwe Coloured School, Plumtree, from Irish Nuns, even though it was the most under resourced school in then Rhodesia, with the nearby African Schools of Empandeni and Tekwane being better resourced.
I was mentored at an early age by my Ndebele Gogo and an African sangoma/spiritualist, Fuyane, who gave me values that have been with me for life. / I was trained by British army officers and instilled with the precious attributes of discipline and dependability. / I was appointed as the first Judicial Officer in this region by Prime Minister, Ian Smith, after his arch racist Minister of Justice Lardner Burke declined to do so. / My son was saved by an African ZANLA guerrilla doctor in Chiredzi in 1961./
I was elevated to the High Court Bench of Zimbabwe, as a Judge, in 1987, by an African Prime Minster, Robert Gabriel Mugabe. / My other son was saved by a Caucasian surgeon in Botswana in 1966. / My family was welcomed and loved by all in Botswana in 1992 and we spent 5 very happy years there. / I was welcomed and loved by all in Namibia and spent 5 very happy years there. In Namibia I was told by a King: "Be good to a stranger, because remember that you too were once a stranger". /
My life was saved by a team made up of Coloured, African and Caucasian medical staff at Pretoria East Hospital in 2007. / I have been abused by Caucasians; I have been abused by Africans; I have been abused by an Indian. / I have experienced racist/tribalistic tendencies on the part of members of all groupings in this region and even on my part. / I have experienced unfair treatment at the very highest level in South Africa by both African and Caucasian State officials. / I have experienced incredible welcome, acceptance, love and affection by the Carte Blanche team made up of all ethnic groups at their Johannesburg Studio during the Oscar Pistorius Trial of the Century … and since then I have been stopped by hundreds of people, of all ethnic groups in this region, who have only been effusive, gracious and generous in expressing their regard for me. /
So I see people as human … not as colours. Black and white are colours. I love the richness of diversity in nature, including the incredible diversity of humans. I do not put humans in boxes because of their race, ethnicity and because of what their forbearers might have done or not done. All my life I have insisted on no more than that I have the same opportunity to realize my potential as a human being as others.
My skin tone is a matter of natural diversity … not a source of grievance or entitlement .... and it certainly was never an excuse for failure on my part. So I reject crude race based affirmative action as extremely insulting. I accept the person in front to me as an equal human until he or she does something to change that perception. / Note: CRAP is an acronym for C hronic R acism A and P rejudice. / Retired Justice Chris Greenland
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