Seems we’re talking . . . but not listening

LETTER

Hot topics like sex — race — religion and money will always generate media attention and reaction from the public, for or against a particular world view. Sometimes these responses are driven by misinformation, insecurity, anger and fear of changing the status quo that threatens the privileged position of those who benefit most from the existing system.

In the past few weeks comments around the twin demons of prejudice and racism have again reared their ugly heads in The Herald. Back in March of this year there were similar rumblings in the community on the same theme.

As well, results and comments for The Heralds’ online survey of whether a forum to recognise and discuss the contentious issue of conflict and land alienation in the district on ra maumahara — Remembering the Gisborne Land Wars (August 9, Gisborne Herald) — followed by another Herald web poll survey on September 1 alluding to conversations around race issues made public by an elected representative, we are surely lacking in moral character and strength of conviction.

We have got so used to talking at or past each other — so much so, that no one is listening.

If the silent majority (you and I) continue to remain silent then we will continue to live — in a place that is supposed to be paradise — in a divided community, with all of its underlying social tensions and difficulties.

This is not the legacy I want to leave behind for my tamariki/mokopuna.

We cannot change the thinking many locals have towards race and culture, but we can change the way we respond to it by holding fast to an inclusive idealism that confronts entrenched cynicism.

To do this we need a moral and ethical road-map — which can only happen if people of goodwill and strong moral character come together and lead the way.

For the sake of the wellness of present and future generations, we must do something. Now!

“Evil prospers when people of goodwill remain silent.”

Wally Te Ua

Hot topics like sex — race — religion and money will always generate media attention and reaction from the public, for or against a particular world view. Sometimes these responses are driven by misinformation, insecurity, anger and fear of changing the status quo that threatens the privileged position of those who benefit most from the existing system.

In the past few weeks comments around the twin demons of prejudice and racism have again reared their ugly heads in The Herald. Back in March of this year there were similar rumblings in the community on the same theme.

As well, results and comments for The Heralds’ online survey of whether a forum to recognise and discuss the contentious issue of conflict and land alienation in the district on ra maumahara — Remembering the Gisborne Land Wars (August 9, Gisborne Herald) — followed by another Herald web poll survey on September 1 alluding to conversations around race issues made public by an elected representative, we are surely lacking in moral character and strength of conviction.

We have got so used to talking at or past each other — so much so, that no one is listening.

If the silent majority (you and I) continue to remain silent then we will continue to live — in a place that is supposed to be paradise — in a divided community, with all of its underlying social tensions and difficulties.

This is not the legacy I want to leave behind for my tamariki/mokopuna.

We cannot change the thinking many locals have towards race and culture, but we can change the way we respond to it by holding fast to an inclusive idealism that confronts entrenched cynicism.

To do this we need a moral and ethical road-map — which can only happen if people of goodwill and strong moral character come together and lead the way.

For the sake of the wellness of present and future generations, we must do something. Now!

“Evil prospers when people of goodwill remain silent.”

Wally Te Ua

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Lara - 13 days ago
I agree Wally. I was shocked and disappointed by the latest Gisborne Herald survey poll. Many respondents felt that disgraceful comment, almost certainly made by a councillor, was a storm in a teacup. Racism is not a minor issue. Not a storm in a teacup. Racism is holding us back from being our best selves. It is pervasive.

Poll

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    ​Do you think Gladstone Road Bridge should have its concrete parapet walls converted to steel railings on one or both of its sides as part of the upgrade and widening under way?

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