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African-New Zealanders Speak out Against Racism
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African-New Zealanders Speak out Against Racism

By Tough Love | toughloveletters.wordpress.com

Radio NewZealand today aired an article about African youth in New Zealand and the way they feel they are being treated by police.

This story picks up on a recent report by Camille Nakhid- a social scientist at Auckland University- which claims that young Africans are the victims of racism and are unfairly targeted by police officers. New Zealand Police have rejected the "unsubstantiated claims", and a closer look at the survey shows that of the 13,000 Africans in New Zealand, only 84 individuals participated in what was an online survey.

During today's radio piece we heard from African rapper 'Psyhco Youssef' who claims to have been unfairly singled out by police in Auckland because of the colour of his skin and the fact that he "dresses dodgy". Later in the article a group of older young Africans gave a different view where they described how police in New Zealand are not respected because of the fact that in Africa or the Middle East people think twice before committing a crime for fear of being shot or having their hands cut off. "I come to New Zealand....you put a little bracelet on my feet, you ask me to stay home, and that's prison, are you serious?... I can play playstation all day?"

This is where I have a little trouble understanding what they are complaining about.

The story concludes with those same Africans saying that as time goes on these problems won't be an issue, as cultures over time will integrate and learn each others customs. Contrary to this opinion however, Camille Nakhid of the above mentioned survey- who is also chairwoman of Auckland Council's ethnic people's advisory panel - has been advocating for special African interests in New Zealand for some years now. In 2013 Karl du Fresne wrote an opinion piece in the Dominion Post newspaper about New Zealand's democracy becoming compromised by ethnic interests. In this article Du Fresne mentioned a Radio New Zealand interview where "She (Camille Nakhid) talked about the need for ethnic minorities to have "separate but equal" representation with Maori in Auckland – in other words, compounding what is already an abuse of democracy. And she didn't really answer (Jim) Mora's question about how ethnic representation could be arranged when Auckland has an estimated 200 ethnic groups. A minor technicality, no doubt".

The basic rationale is that each race has their own way of doing things that the others cannot understand - we get this with Maori all the time - and so essentially they need their own separate system within the larger one. Is each of the 200 ethnic groups in Auckland going to lobby for separate representation in council. Integration? Where? The issue is not whether African youth are or are not treated poorly by police. The issue is that identity groups by nature lobby for their own interests - which the existing infrastructure have to accomodate - and will criticise the existing establishment until they get there own way.

How is this sustainable?

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