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Lethal Weapon Meets Orwell in South Africa

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"South Africa's failure is really a microcosm of the world's failures in the post-Cold War era," the writer says, delivering what he feels is the piece de resistance. "And just as the apartheid struggle always resonated in this country because of its similarities with Jim Crow and the civil rights era, there's also something familiar about blacks enduring some of their worst losses, paradoxically, when a black man is the country's chief policymaker.

 

"This is a remarkable story," the producer declares, shaking his head. "But I think we're going to have to take a pass."

 

"Why?" the writer asks, dejectedly.

 

"No one in a million years," he says, enunciating each word like an English tutor, "would ever believe it."

 

 

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Jon Jeter is a former Washington Post's bureau chief for Southern Africa and South America and a former producer for This American Life. He is also the author of Flat Broke in the Free Market: How Globalization Fleeced Working People. He lives in (more...)
 
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