By Anand Hira, RadioLIVE producer.
OPINION: Anyone who is not white can understand what Taika Waititi is saying.
My non-white friends, family and co-workers of various backgrounds can all tell stories of times they were judged from the moment they were seen.
I’ve been accused of stealing my own car three times.
In one trip through Auckland International Airport I was selected for a random search, six times. Meanwhile, the two white people travelling with me were not selected once.
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I’ve been told my accent is ‘barely noticeable’ despite being born in Auckland. I’ve been told to go back home to ‘where I come from’ more times than I can remember. I’ve been asked to ‘turn down’ how Indian I am if I want to succeed. I’ve been called a ‘terrorist’ because an Indian looks ‘close enough’ to some of the great villains in modern history.
Police, people on the street, customs, talkback callers, and TV personalities have all profiled me and people who look like me.
But that’s not the New Zealand that white Kiwis know. Heaven forbid they might need to consider how others feel.
And before anyone says ‘it’s political correctness gone mad’ here’s something to consider. Replace ‘PC’ with ‘compassion’ or ‘kindness’. That’s what it is to the rest of us.
But New Zealand won’t learn because it can’t be real. How can our piece of paradise have a flaw?
So the rest of us need to keep quiet so you can keep your racism.
Anand Hira is a producer for RadioLIVE.