In the 1960s, as a protest against the horrendous apartheid regime in South Africa, shoppers in the UK were asked not to buy produce from South Africa. This is a stry told to me by my late mother, who was born in South Africa but was completely disgusted with the prejudice against ‘black’ and other ‘non-white’ people in the country of her birth.
My mother was in a fruit store in a north London suburb. She saw a fellow customer take some oranges to the sales counter. The customer asked the shop keeper:
“Are these oranges from South Africa?”
“Definitely not, Ma’am.”
“Oh, that’s good. I’ll take them.”
Overhearing this conversation, my mother asked the lady who had just bought the oranges:
“What’s wrong with oranges from South Africa?”
The lady replied:
“You’re not supposed to buy them because they might have been touched by coloured people.”
My mother could not believe what she had heard.
This anecdote just goes to show how a simple message can be totally misinterpreted.