I wish my friends knew that as the majority they have more power to shift the negative stereotypes and racism against Māori than I do. I watched a video recently that really illustrates this point well. A lady has a sister-in-law who’s white and she is black. They go to a supermarket and the clerk talks happily to her sister as she buys her groceries. She herself, as a black woman, is given major cold shoulder treatment in comparison and made to jump through a lot of hoops to get her groceries. Her ten year old daughter notices instantly and begins crying, obviously upset. Then her sister steps in and calls the clerk on her racially-based differentiation of treatment. Being white, her sister uses her influence to raise the standard and creates a wider impact than perhaps she would have as a black woman standing up for herself. It’s the same here. As the majority you have the most power to change the status quo and to help improve attitudes and the standard of treatment towards Māori, which in some places, believe it or not, is still really, really bad. While I may have the ability to say I’m Pākehā without anyone batting an eye, I’m not going to. My childhood and adolescence are marked with countless words conveying the same message—your culture and language are dying—which is why I will never say I am Pākehā first. I am Pākehā, but I am Māori first because it is through this lens I have experienced the world.
Study Classics this summer! CLAS 212/312 Antony and Cleopatra
A close study, through history, literature and art, of the lives and careers of Mark Antony and Cleopatra, with special attention given to their legacy both in the immediate aftermath of the age of Augustus and also in modern literature and art (including film and television). One hundred percent internal assessment. Taught by Professor Jeff Tatum 1–3pm, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 14 November–23 December 2016