It did not matter that the campaign had taken all the steps necessary to prevent the attack, because John Podesta imitated what Hillary Clinton did, not what she said. The talk said, “Secure your email”; the walk said, "Personal convenience is more important." The walk almost always wins. That's how culture works.
To convene a meeting at Amazon you must prepare a short written document explaining the issues to be discussed and your position on them. When the meeting begins everyone silently reads the document. Then the discussion starts, with everyone up to speed on a shared set of background information.
So Greene came up with a shocking rule: Partnerships should be 49/51, with VMware getting the 49. Did she just tell her team to lose? That definitely begs the question “Why?"
Greene said, “I had to give our business development people permission to be good to the partners, because one-sided partnerships would not work.”
That's where the government came up with things like the pencil test. If you were applying to be white, the pencil went into your hair. If it fell out, you were white. If it stayed in, you were colored. You were what the government said you were. Sometimes that came down to a lone clerk eyeballing your face and making a snap decision. Depending on how high your cheekbones were or how broad your nose was, he could tick whatever box made sense to him, thereby deciding where you could live, whom you could marry, what jobs and rights and privileges you were allowed.
Interviews will give you facts and information, but facts and information weren't really what I was after. What I wanted was a relationship, and an interview is not a relationship. Relationships are built in the silences. You spend time with people, you observe them and interact with them, and you come to know them—and that is what apartheid stole from us: time. You can't make up for that with an interview, but I had to figure that out for myself.
I never let the memory of something painful prevent me from trying something new. If you think too much about the ass-kicking your mom gave you, or the ass-kicking that life gave you, you'll stop pushing the boundaries and breaking the rules. It's better to take it, spend some time crying, then wake up the next day and move on. You'll have a few bruises and they'll remind you of what happened and that's okay. But after a while the bruises fade, and they fade for a reason—because now it's time to get up to some shit again.
But the highest rung of what's possible is far beyond the world you can see. My mother showed me what was possible. The thing that always amazed me about her life was that no one showed her. No one chose her. She did it on her own. She found her way through sheer force of will.
My books were my prized possessions. I had a bookshelf where I put them, and I was so proud of it. I loved my books and kept them in pristine condition. I read them over and over, but I did not bend the pages or the spines. I treasured every single one. As I grew older I started buying my own books. I loved fantasy, loved to get lost in worlds that didn't exist. I remember there was some book about white boys who solved mysteries or some shit. I had no time for that. Give me Roald Dahl.
My mother used to tell me, “I chose to have you because I wanted something to love and something that would love me unconditionally in return.” I was a product of her search for belonging. She never felt like she belonged anywhere. She didn't belong to her mother, didn't belong to her father, didn't belong with her siblings. She grew up with nothing and wanted something to call her own.