Unacceptable insults to my intelligence

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I really do get fed up with the letters and emails that arrive accusing me of being prejudiced against some individual or another because of the colour of their skin. To me, the whole idea of discrimination and a prejudicial attitude for these reasons alone, are not only ludicrous and childish in the extreme, but are also unacceptable insults to my intelligence.

I have never, and I repeat never, scribed a derogatory statement citing reasons of skin hue. If you really want to delve into this issue of colour prejudice I suggest you read a couple of Obama’s books and drop him a line or two!

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Many years ago, during the dark days of South Africa’s apartheid era, I was offered a tour of the country with sixties songstress Sandy Shaw. We were told we would be playing in ‘whites only’ theatres and our fees would be ‘extremely generous’.

At this time the British government had heavily sanctioned the country and the Musicians Union and actors Equity decreed that any artist who appeared there would be blacklisted and ostensibly never work in the UK again.

Considering this extremely unfair on both black and white members of that community (neither therefore having the opportunity to experience any British entertainment whatsoever) we set out to find a way of resolving the situation.


Helped considerably by the SA promoter, who was a keen, if somewhat low key supporter of the ant apartheid movement, the tour did in fact go ahead – despite the very real threat that both Sandy and I were risking a sudden end to our then, reasonably successful careers.

We were both prepared to take this gamble however and, after considerable effort, managed to get an assurance from the South African government that both black and white would be admitted to the theatres (Although unfortunately they were segregated in the seating plans). We would also be allowed to play at least two ‘black’ theatres, one in Soweto and one in East London, which we eventually did. They were both wonderful experiences I, and I’m sure Sandy, will never forget!

During this time of considerable unrest I was invited to a number of illegal (and high risk) ‘mixed race’ clubs where we were lavished with wonderful hospitality and heaped with praise for the inroads we had managed to achieve. I personally went off into the bush for a day (a somewhat risky business to say the least!) and sat around a campfire in the jungle discussing the apartheid problem with the elders of a number of tribes.


All in all the tour was a wonderful success and opened the doors for many more British acts and shows which followed in our wake. So you see, far from being colour prejudiced, I in fact was opposing and doing something about the apartheid regime long before some of my present day accusers were probably born. So give us a break huh? You know it makes sense.

Keep the faith.

Love Leapy   leapylee.co.uk.

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