Short Pants and No Socks

"As Ahmed Kathrada led President Obama and his family recently through the prison on Robben Island where Mr. Kathrada had spent much of his life, he explained how the rules of apartheid had granted him, because of his Indian ancestry, long pants and socks. One of his fellow inmates, Nelson Mandela, as a black man, received short pants and no socks." (Front page)

Nelson Mandela, c1937.

Mabry, Marcus. "Where Mandela Kept Hope, Guide Tells Their Shared Saga." New York Times Saturday, July 6, 2013.

What an intro: nothing like clothing to demonstrate, in an accessible and universal manner, the injustices of apartheid. Both meaningful (because we make it so) and completely trivial--how do oppressors make the difference between short pants and long pants so significant?