We think we are racist – but what do we mean?

Seventy-six per cent of responses gathered by TV3’s The Vote last Wednesday night agreed with the proposition that New Zealand was a racist country.

But views are divided however on whether the problem is a lack of tolerance across the board or white institutional racism against people of colour.

At a Conference on Racism convened by Auckland Council’s Ethnic Peoples Advisory Panel at AUT University on Saturday, many of the audience members, hailing from countries all over the world, spoke about the institutional racism they had faced in New Zealand – from being pulled over by police for no reason, to sitting down on public transport next to white people who immediately vacated their seats, to being racially profiled for searches at the airport while whites were left alone.

Panel chairperson Dr Camille Nakhid, who is also acting chair of the advisory board of the Pacific Media Centre, was just one of the many speakers who pointed out that combatting racist attitudes meant talking about white privilege and white supremacy.

The panel had “met with a considerable amount of opposition” to its plan to hold a conference on racism, Nakhid said.



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News category: New Zealand.

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