What we can learn from the #BlackLivesMatter Movement

On the 25 May 2020, George Floyd became another victim to the inherent institutionalised racism in the United States. The horrific brutality that unfolded in Minneapolis that day, as well as the murder of Ahmaud Arbery out jogging in February, has re-ignited the global conversation towards the need to stand up against racism, discrimination and white privilege.

This change needs to be realised right now — and it must be realised that it is not just an issue for USA. Discrimination and hate crimes are prevalent issues in New Zealand too.

There are examples of racism and discrimination that are easily found in New Zealand. JustSpeak reported that police are almost twice as likely to send a first-time Māori offender to court, than a Pākehā, and seven times more likely to charge a Māori person with a crime, even when that person has no police or corrections record either. Julia Whaipooti revealed that right now, Māori wahine are largely forced to stay with abusive partners because of a fear of enduring police and institutionalised racism.

In March last year we witnessed the horrors of the Christchurch mosque shootings. The Armed Response Trial, which was started as an initiative to control gun violence in NZ after the mosque shooting, had a disproportionate impact on Māori. Nearly half of those apprehended were Māori, with Pasifika making up another 11%. This was exacerbated by the fact that from October 2019 to January 2020, firearms offences made up less than 3% of incidents attended by armed police. Of nearly 500 people apprehended, more than half didn’t have a weapon, and just 14% carried a gun. Racism and discrimination is a Kiwi problem. It isn’t new and it’s growing: 1 in 3 complaints to the Human Rights Commission are about racial discrimination.

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND – JUNE 01: Protestors march down Queen Street on June 01, 2020 in Auckland, New Zealand. The rally was organised in solidarity with protests across the United States following the killing of an unarmed black man George Floyd at the hands of a police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Prejudice and intolerance on the grounds of race begins small, in quiet places, in our everyday lives. When it becomes normalised it can turn into overt racism and extremism. 

With so much of our information today coming through social media platforms, we need a mature discussion about the internet and social media companies — especially when they disseminate hate through our platforms.

Our Prime Minister even expressed: “We cannot simply sit back and accept that these platforms just exist and that what is said on them is not the responsibility of the place where they are published. They are the publisher. Not just the postman.”

But it’s not just laws and politics that need to change. New Zealanders need to step up. We need to speak up on social media and in real life addressing white privilege. We need to be educated and we need to listen. One aspect of white privilege in Aotearoa is white defensiveness in response to discussions of racism. This mean an anxiety, closing-down, and insecurity among white people and white-dominated institutions when the issue of racism is raised.

The fact a lot of racism and discrimination can be almost invisible to white people means that we often shy from getting involved – but this is an example of where we need to educate ourselves on white privilege.

We need to be actively anti-racist: educate yourself by reading up on texts that focus on racial injustice, white supremacy, and the struggles of being a POC in New Zealand. Follow and support organisations working on racial equity and justice, such as That’s Us, a New Zealand anti-racism campaign bringing instances of racial intolerance in New Zealand to light. Listen to podcasts like The Diversity Gap to generate cultural change.

Most importantly, speak up. As Ijeoma Olua said, “the beauty of anti-racism is that you don’t have to pretend to be free of racism to be anti-racist. Anti-racism is the commitment to fight racism wherever you find it, including in yourself. And it’s the only way forward.”

Critical Thinking Questions:

  1. What is an example of racism/white privilege in America you can think of?
  2. What is an example of racism/white privilege you can think of in New Zealand?
  3. Is it up to the government to tackle these issues or does it start with people in the community? Is it a combination of both? Discuss.

Practical Thinking Questions:

  1. Read a book, listen to a podcast or watch a movie/show that aims to educate people on the privilege or discrimination your race faces.
  2. Compare the racism today with the racism faced in a moment in history such as the American Civil War, or the Apartheid in South Africa. How much has changed?
  3. How do you believe we should tackle racism in New Zealand?
Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
46 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
xbox1234
xbox1234
10 months ago

#BlACKLIVESMATTER

Jayden
Jayden
10 months ago

Black people don’t deserve this.

lelani
lelani
10 months ago

Black lives do matter!!
 

luke
luke
10 months ago

#BLACKLIVESMATTER!
 

Ben
Ben
10 months ago

#blacklivesmatter

ngaire
ngaire
10 months ago

#blacklivesmatter

Last edited 10 months ago by ngaire
Sophie
Sophie
10 months ago

they shouldn’t treat people like this

Elena
Elena
10 months ago

BLACK LIVES MATTER

Boothy
Boothy
10 months ago

#BLACKLIVESMATTER

Nevaeh
Nevaeh
10 months ago

bro black lives in NZ get everything, black lives in America dont get anything! So to America black lives matter!

Snoop Dog
Snoop Dog
10 months ago

#blacklivesmatter

BLACK LIFES MATTER
BLACK LIFES MATTER
10 months ago

#BLACKLIVESMATTER!!!

saul
saul
10 months ago

BLACK LIVES MATTER

Lucas
Lucas
10 months ago

Black people don’t need to be hert.
and they don’t need to die

Last edited 10 months ago by Lucas
Izzy
Izzy
10 months ago

#BlackLivesMatter Support Black Lives

dude??????????????????????????????????????????????
dude??????????????????????????????????????????????
10 months ago

black lifes matters

YO GEE
YO GEE
10 months ago

Aotearoa Supports all black people and btw that police officer should go to jail!!

Denogao2468
Denogao2468
10 months ago

#BLACKLIVESMATTER
 

Last edited 10 months ago by Denogao2468
a guy
a guy
10 months ago

americans are soooo racist and they don’t even care
#BLACKLIVESMATTER.

BELL BELL
BELL BELL
10 months ago

Black people can’t be treated like this 🙁

its mawh Ella
its mawh Ella
10 months ago

#BLACKLIVESMATTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

jayden barnard
jayden barnard
10 months ago

#BLACKLIVESMATTER!!!!!!
 

blacklivesmatter
blacklivesmatter
10 months ago

I am white but i stand for black people and i always have #Blacklivesdomatter!

Bob
Bob
10 months ago

 
black people are just like us but different skin colour so what’s all the fuss?

Flipper
Flipper
10 months ago

Yeah they do mater

yeet
yeet
10 months ago

#BLACKLIVESMATTER
 

Mr_Duck
Mr_Duck
10 months ago

Black Lives Matter, Everyone’s Lives Matter.

mitens
mitens
10 months ago

#BlACKLIVESMATTER

Talia
Talia
10 months ago

#BlackLivesMatter no one should be treated like this, we all make mistakes but we should be able to notice them and make improvements.

Livvy!!!
Livvy!!!
10 months ago

#BLACKLIVESMATTER DOnt treat people like this WHO IS WITH ME!!!!

U big idhg
U big idhg
10 months ago

I am on the black peoples sides and it is the united states presidents fault having racist thoughts.

Cooper
Cooper
10 months ago

#BlackLivesMatter why do people have to be racist i hate it so much

Aarav
Aarav
10 months ago

black lives matter and we care for THEM!!!

james
james
10 months ago

#BLACKLIVESMATTER

steven
steven
10 months ago

#black lives mathher

Charlie.T
Charlie.T
10 months ago

Why just why

Melody R
Melody R
10 months ago

black lives matter. Aotearoa was actually owned by black people probably! BLACKLIVESMATTER#

joshua
joshua
10 months ago

#BlackLivesMatter 

Dylan
Dylan
10 months ago

#BlackLivesMatter 

marshall
marshall
10 months ago

black lives matter
 
 

jenayde
jenayde
10 months ago

£BLACKLIVESMATTER !!!!

cool person
cool person
8 months ago

BLACKLIVESMATTER!!

Last edited 8 months ago by cool person
jamica
jamica
8 months ago

#BLACKLIVESMATTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sammy
Sammy
8 months ago

Their life do matter!!

Abby
Abby
7 months ago

#BLACKLIVESMATTER

amromeo1
amromeo1
6 months ago

people never learn when will things change

CHECK OUT THESE ARTICLES

CHECK OUT THESE ARTICLES

46
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x