Jack Yan
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The Persuader

My personal blog, started in 2006.



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18.06.2017

Give nothing to racism

What an honour it was to appear as one of the first batch of people in the Human Rights’ Commission’s Give Nothing to Racism campaign. Taika Waititi, New Zealander of the Year (and a Lucire feature interviewee from way back) introduced the campaign with a hilarious video, and it was an honour to be considered alongside my old classmate Karl Urban, and other famous people such as Sonny Bill Williams, Sam Neill, Neil Finn, Lucy Lawless, and Hollie Smith. Somewhere along the line the Commission decided it would get some non-celebs like me.
   The idea is that racism propagates through each of us. Laughing along with a joke. Letting casual racism in social media comments carry on. Excusing racist behaviour. Or simply accepting it as “the way it is”. There’s no place for it in 2017, certainly not in this country, and for those who seek to indulge in it (I’m looking at certain people in politics and the media in particular), you’re simply covering up the fact you’ve very little of substance to offer. I #givenothingtoracism.

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Filed under: culture, media, New Zealand, politics, Wellington—Jack Yan @ 11.59

One Response to ‘Give nothing to racism’

  1. jaklumen says:

    Jack,

    You probably know by now that I’m a classical liberal, if not a modernist. I say that because while I feel that racism can continue, as modernist, opposed to postmodernism- I really do honestly feel that systemic racism does not exist as it once did, at least in the U.S. I think classism, in a broad socioeconomic sense, is a much more persistent problem.

    Granted, I do hedge a lot of what I say where indigenous peoples are concerned. I do see what our indigenous peoples face (personally, even, as I travel through the Yakama Nation reservation regularly), and I take it to be a fairly regular thing amongst nations that were colonized by the British; including the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand- rather, that indigenous peoples have been historically marginalized. This, I do care about. I do believe that such indigenous peoples have a right to reclaim culture, rights, and sovereignty, on their terms.

    I’m trying to recall your definition of racism, moreover. If I remember right, you’re about my age. I had been given to believe racism was about prejudice on skin color, and then on culture; but I listen to my eldest child use the term, and I find the younger generation is using “racism” much more broadly than before. If you would be so kind to refresh my memory? Again, though; I make my bias known; I really do prefer the modernist lens; and find the postmodernist one very chafing.

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