The Human Rights Commission’s That’s Us anti-racism campaign has reached almost 2 million people (1.9 million) and engaged with more than 600,000 people since its launch on the 1st September 2016. That’s Us is New Zealand’s first nationwide, anti-racism campaign with its first stage focused on sharing the stories of everyday Kiwis.
Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy announced the figures when she launched Race Relations Day this morning.
“This is good news. It tells us that Kiwis care deeply about race relations and it shows in other ways, this year we have an unprecedented number of Race Relations Day events taking place throughout March,” said Dame Susan.
“But the reality is that racism is something many Kiwis face every day. Incidents happen here in New Zealand, in Auckland, in Huntly, in Lower Hutt, in Christchurch and they happen to everyday people.”
“We urge Kiwis to remember three words: Support, Record and Report: Support the person being abused or attacked. Record the incident if you can. And report the incident to authorities,” said Dame Susan.
“It’s time to stand up for each other. Don’t be a bystander. Let victims of racial abuse know they are not alone.”
The Commission launched a video on its Facebook page that shows victims and witnesses what they can do when they see racial abuse taking place.
Dame Susan was disappointed but not surprised by news that a racist, hateful organisation was mobilising on campus at Auckland University.
“We can’t afford to stand by silently but instead we must let extremists know their hatred and prejudice is neither welcome in our country and nor does it reflect our people. That is not us.”
“This year we have a very simple theme for Race Relations Day. That’s Us: What do we stand for? What do we stand against? And it means exactly what it says. We are urging New Zealanders to stand up for each other. We are urging New Zealanders to make a stand against racism and prejudice,” said Dame Susan.
“Racist abuse and campaigns aren’t just things that happen overseas. They happen right here in New Zealand, on our streets, our buses and on our university campuses.”
Today is Race Relations Day, across the world the 21st of March marks the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and commemorates the 1960 Sharpeville Massacre when 69 black South African citizens – including 10 children – were shot to death by their own Police for protesting against racist apartheid laws. A series of events in provincial and urban communities to celebrate Race Relations Day are being held throughout the month of March.
Dame Susan launched Race Relations Day in Auckland at a press conference attended by ethnic media outlets spanning television networks, radio stations and several newspapers and online sites.