Sunday, May 2, 2010

Race relations: two women's optimism

I'm going to leave this topic alone for a while after this. But I wanted to post one more time on it and link to transcripts of talks by two brilliant women - one Maori, one Pakeha - both blunt, provocative, and cautiously optimistic.

Each talks about the ongoing problems inherent in this country's race relations, and then proposes the beginnings of a way forward.

Professor Ani Mikaere gave this lecture in 2004.

Dr Avril Bell gave this talk in 2007.

I found both transcripts hugely helpful to read all the way through - both for the work on the Puke Ariki War exhibition, and for my own personal reasons.

I don't quite know where to go with all this stuff now, but one of the main messages of the exhibition is intended to be 'keep listening, thinking, talking and debating'. That, at least, can be done.


Cally said...

I try not to think about race relations. I know so little and am scared to find out more. I know pakeha have done so much harm. I know that in most senses I don't belong here. But I know that this is the only place in the world that feels right to me. I know that although I have no maori blood at all, I have a maori brother in law, maori cousins (first cousins even), and maori grandchildren. If I have no right to be here, what happens to those relationships? If I have no place here, where do I have a place? There is nowhere else I can go, and even if I could, I couldn't live without this place which is part of my soul. The sins of the fathers are visited on the sons unto the 7th generation - I'm an atheist, but this resonates true to me, and it breaks my heart. Dare I read the articles you recommend? Do they offer me any hope or consolation?

Johanna Knox said...

Hi Cally - Actually you came to my mind when I started writing this because I remember you talking about how you felt about these issues some time ago. Me, I would say - yes - read the articles! But maybe scroll to the end and read backwards so you read the hopeful bits first!

And you will see too that you are further along in the journey than most of us ...

Madz said...

You are more a part of this country, and more Maori than you realise. You say that you brother in law, some first cousins and grandchildren are Maori. I take it these family members are close to you? Do you feel like family when you associate with each other. In that case you are Maori. You may not be Maori by Pakeha standards of genetics and bloodlines, but through Whakapapa which includes marriage you are also Maori Cally.
Nau mai Cally. He tangata whenua hoki koe.

Na Marino

Carl said...

Thank you for this entry. You may also be interested in this multicultural magazine!!.