In high school in 1973 in Oklahoma, I was asked to go to the Model UN to represent another country. I asked to represent SA. Why, I don’t know. I could have learned more by representing a new country I’m sure. The organisers said ‘Sure.’
I think it was in Norman at OU but pinch of salt: Fifty years ago next year! ( Ah, it was, I see. )
We had fun and I did learn a lot. But I have embarrassing recollections of passionately defending 1973 SA when the motion against us was tabled – all the Nats points came bubbling up. Parallel development, Separate but equal, blah blah. Sheeeesh!! The old wanting to win was fierce in my young days. I must have sounded like blerrie Pik Botha!! I think we lost and were defeated. I hope they declared apartheid a crime against humanity – or did that only come later? ( Oh, soon after: November 1973 I see. )
It was very formal and procedural. I remember younger kids called ‘pages’ running up and down the hall passing notes between delegates. One addressed to me said: Good speech. Are you Australian?
They’re still going. Hopefully strong. Being Oklahoma, I bet they catch a fair amount of flak.
So easy to get caught up in the hype. Especially if you’re not affected by it. We were sheltered from the harm this was causing to our black brethren, and by the time we were leaving school we had simply accepted it as the status quo. Lived the happy life. Got the free school books, the university and college bursaries, the best paying jobs., the cars, the houses…
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Yep. Embarrassing. Was it the Jesuits said: Give ’em to me while they’re young . . (we’ll brainwash them, was the implication)?