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NZ web series tackles racism in education
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NZ web series tackles racism in education

By Tough Love | toughloveletters.wordpress.com

I, Too, Am Auckland is a student initiative dedicated to the collaboration of Pacific Islander and Maori students & the wider University of Auckland community. This series of Youtube videos focuses on racism in education and how it affects ethnic minorities.

In this particular video entitled Decolonising Education, school childern are used to address how Maori and Pacific Islanders are discriminated against in the education system, and how colonisation and systemic racism are to blame for their poor health and lifestyles.

Another video in the series, entitled Brown People Get Everything They Want, uses the same children to discuss how Maori get benefits not extended to other New Zealanders, because of the huge deficits they experience in all areas of society, that were supposedly caused by colonisers stealing their land.

There are also many videos that interview Maori and Pacific Islanders about the day-to-day racism they experience, with a lot of them describing the discrimination as subtle. A superficial glance over these videos reveals peoples who are offended by others assuming that they will perform a certian way, because statistically the majority of their group display those characterisitcs.

The comments sections on the I, Too, Am Auckland videos show a mix of support and distain for the content. There are a noticable amount of comments from minorities who clearly find the videos insulting.

"This is infuriating. Lets talk down to and infanticize an entire group of people and hold them to an entirely different standard. That's not racist....... I'm Maori and i don't drink or smoke because i have relatives that have addiction problems, and i'm sure i also have that addiction gene. This is simply the soft bigotry of low expectations. Treat people as individuals hold them to the same standards, and don't excuse behavior because they belong to a different group of people".

The allegations laid against European New Zealanders in the I, Too Am Auckland campaign are perhaps best summed up by one Samoan commenter:

"When Tongans and Samoans agrue racially, it's seen like a sibling rivalry, but as soon as a non-brown person steps in the picture, they're suddenly racist. i mean, Pacific Islanders and Maori are no better at stopping discrimination. There is an elitist stigma embedded in their cultures....what i'm saying is before you try change the world, start with your back yard first".

TL

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