As we reflect on recent tragedies in Christchurch, and Sri Lanka, we are compelled to look more closely at ourselves, individually and collectively and to acknowledge that we have allowed the rhetoric of intolerance, hatred and fear to exist among us.
Most New Zealanders and New Zealand organisations don’t tolerate overt racism. But small, seemingly harmless acts slip by. They’re easier to ignore or passively agree with. But every little bit feeds racism, and we’re taking a stand against it. The Give Nothing to Racism campaign calls out these little acts of racism. It tackles casual racism directly.
Racism is a problem in New Zealand.
It isn’t new and it’s growing: 1 in 3 complaints to the Human Rights Commission are about racial discrimination; most people who experience racism don’t complain; and we’re seeing an increase in overt racist attacks. People from some ethnic minorities tell us they’re scared and they’re particularly scared for their children.
When we encounter these little pieces of racism, because we’re human and we don’t like tension, we laugh it off, excuse it, diffuse it, pretend it isn’t what it is. And that covers it up. In doing this, we passively agree.
What if we simply didn’t?
What if we expose it, and let it carry the tension, the awkwardness, the consequences that it deserves?
What if we give nothing to racism?
Want to know more?
Head to the givenothing website to download their toolkit, and apply the campaign in a way that suits you best. The guidelines include assets (posters, logos, social media posts) you can use, key messages that enable you to foster productive conversation around the issue, and some advice on how to respond to racism when you, or those around you, encounter it.