07.08.2010 15 °C
Well, there goes our local pizza joint, they lost our business… how can people be so incredibly awful? Read on:
The Hell's Pizza outlet on Auckland's Quay Street faces a furious blockade and picket this Friday evening, as the anti racist group Socialist Aotearoa launches a boycott campaign in response to the chain's racist advertising, when they claimed that "at least our brownie won't eat your pet dog".
Socialist Aotearoa protest organiser Tania Lim says-
Speaking as a person of colour, I believe that such advertisements legitimises the negative stereotypes of people of colour, be we brown, yellow, or black. I'm protesting because I am opposed to companies like Hell's Pizza exploiting racism for the purposes of profit. Our message to Hell Pizza management and their smart arsed middle class "ironically racist" advertising idiots is this-
Insult Pacific peoples of Aotearoa at your peril. Expect flashmob protests at your outlets. Prepare to lose a lot of customers who don't agree with your racist insults, "ironic" or otherwise.
And don't tell us to "lighten up". You've already insulted our skin colour once.
Ouch! Like the rest of the world, sadly, racism is alive and well in New Zealand. In the paper recently they reported that there is brouhaha b/c a Maori MP said he didn’t want his kids to date Pakehas. Last month a distinguished Sikh, who was being awarded a special medal for good works, was not allowed into the club were the ceremony was being held – because they said he was wearing a HAT and he would not take it off. I have heard comments about Maoris and Pacific Islanders that sound racist, exhibiting ‘blaming the victim’ type mentality. Typically, the major complaints I have heard are targeted toward people who game the system and take advantage of welfare benefits. OK. Also, like many parts of the world, racism here is a sensitive subject with a long complicated colonial history of hegemony and exploitation. There are deep painful wounds from over a century of war over land which now continues in the court systems instead of battlefields.
However, it appears that the vast majority of Kiwis represent the more modern sentiment that NZ culture is based upon equality, that individuals can keep their national identities, take pride in their ancestry, and feel a sense of belonging. There is tremendous diversity in NZ, all sorts of people from all over the world, who are here to make better lives for themselves. Naturally, intermarriage facilitates a more peaceful way to live in the world and thus accept those who are different. Let’s all hope and pray that sentiment prevails.