Do you know that March 21 is Race Relations Day? This is a day to reflect on our journey as a culturally diverse nation.
Each year 21 March is observed around the globe as the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. The date recalls the tragic loss of life at Sharpeville in South Africa in 1960, and is dedicated by the United Nations to the achievement of the goals of the Convention for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. New Zealand signed the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination on 25 October 1966 and ratified it on 22 November 1972.
Over 200 ethnic groups are currently residing in Auckland. Almost 20% of them are Asians, around 15% are from the Pacific. Unfortunately, Asians continued to be viewed as the group most discriminated against, and have been rising since 2008 (74% to 77%). The Christchurch Report-It website continued to received complaints from international students about racial harassment. And in 2010, more than 500 complaints and enquiries made to the Human Rights Commission were about racial discrimination. (see annual review of Race Relations in 2010)
Perhaps it is time for New Zealanders and Aucklanders to reflect on racial discrimination today on the Race Relations Day. Why are we continuely discriminating those who look, speak or act differently? Are they really stealing Kiwis’ job because no Kiwis are actually able to do those work in the first place? Are they really taking all the resources from Kiwis when they are not able to receive any benefits or even student loan in the first two years of arrival.
Reflect, review and embrace cultural diversity.