047 7 July 2017
We are all here to live every situation you can imagine, good or bad; right or wrong; positive or negative. Why? So we can learn from the experience as part of the adventure of life. Murray Kibblewhite
CASE STUDY – HOW TO DEAL WITH RACISM
My Chinese lady friend suffers from bouts of depression. Often they are caused by her becoming upset by racial slurs and comments made to her and her Chinese friends. I was surprised by the depth of her feelings and the number and types of racial prejudices.
Last night we spoke by phone twice about her friend who has Angilicized his Chinese name but still was not considered for a job interview, even though he was well experienced. So I searched Google and found three articles which I sent to her.
The first article said“The Human Rights Commission in New Zealand figures showed most racial allegations stemmed from situations in the workplace (866), the public sector (795), or the provision of goods and services (553).The commission assisted 775 complainants, took no action on 247, and resolved 157 complaints although the outcome of 1725 cases were unknown.Of those who disclosed their ethnicities, Asians laid the most complaints (601), followed by Caucasians (580), Maori (398), and Middle Eastern and Pacific people (fewer than 100 each).”
The second article “Spoonley described the country’s racism as being in three levels; casual racism where people dismiss others and make jokes; racism targeted at recent migrants, a “recent dynamic”; and the third “ugly” racism on social media.However, he said discussions around racism needed to stay in the open.
“Everybody has a stake in this, and we should all say what we think … but give it respect.
“We need leaders to provide some direction and some substance to the debate … because as soon as it goes online the debate gets very ugly, very quickly.”
The third article is from an interview of a Chinese business woman. “Yang said she had come to accept racist comments as a reality of being a New Zealand-born Chinese.
“I have been stopped abruptly in supermarkets in Gisborne – some people having never interacted or spoken to an Asian person before,” she said.
“I’ve been screamed at by carloads of people on more than three occasions in Hamilton … I have been stopped in car parks on my way to the public toilets by groups of boys to jeer at me.
“Heck, it happened to me right outside my house the other week at the traffic lights through my car window where a guy looked at me dead set in the eye and yelled ‘nihaochingchong’.”
Yang said it was “awkward” growing up in a country where, as a child, she was constantly shown that because of her skin colour, she was not worthy to be here and would never truly be considered a New Zealander.
“You live a split identity, neither here nor there,” she said.
“But as you grow out of that childlike state of wanting to ‘belong’, your identity and your roots forge deeper still.”
The last sentence was, in my opinion was the most important comment made. She was now indifferent toand looked down on the person making the racist comments as she had a different learning to the one being experienced by the racist protagonist.
My Chinese lady friend needs to learn to let others say what they life as they are entitled to say what they like. But she has to learn to remain aloof and separate from their comments as she is learning to be independent autonomous with self-control so she does not attract such remarks in the future.
All life’s experiences are opportunities to learn. The challenge is to decide, what are the real lessons to be learnt?