Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Insights from a crappy Tuesday Part 2/2

As for my awesome pettiness...
When did caring about racism become petty? What about equal rights for all people regardless of their colour, creed, sexuality, beliefs or appearance?
Ok that was not functional, or appropriate.

Again, petty is an opinion based judgement.
My Grandmother happily assumes that anyone Pacific island or Maori in the Hawkes Bay must be unemployed, and wouldn’t question that statement on national television.
My parents aren’t too concerned when people make comments about Asian drivers.
Both of these make me cringe and yet I have my own inappropriate judgements – I assume that if a white man has an Afrikaans accent he will be both sexist and racist.
This is both incorrect and totally inappropriate for us to talk about these views in a professional or large public forum.
Is it petty for someone to criticise us if we do?

Once you have these ingrained beliefs, with no factual basis what you do with them is important.
Would it cause me to discriminate?
Would I hire a South African?
Marry one?
Vote one into a parliamentary position?
Pay one less than I would a New Zealander?
Assume a judgement of guilty if I was on a jury?
Would I use my beliefs as an excuse to hurt, or harm someone emotionally or physically?

The importance of what our prominent figures are saying comes in here.
Because people are abusing and marginalising every day, and if someone is being devalued due to their sex, race, income, sexuality or appearance I do not want that behaviour being backed up by the mainstream media.

I am getting involved in this because it DOES involve me. I take great pride in living in a country with free speech, equal rights, and the first place in the western world to give women the vote.
These are things that we have earned due to people speaking up when it was hard to. Going against the grain and believing in a better reality.
Expecting more than what we already have is the path to better things.

Think about why you have or haven’t bothered to take a stand on something recently and think again about the accusations I’ve had levelled at me the last few days.
“Too PC”, “soft”, am “being petty”, getting involved in something that doesn’t affect me, letting “negativity win by getting involved in the arguments, and have got too much time on my hands.

These are the same accusations that were put to those people who got involved in the Civil rights movement in the USA.

And that was a cause worth fighting for.

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