No place for hate

LETTER

No child is born knowing how to hate, how to judge others by their age, colour, sexual preference, abilities, means, cultural and religious practices. It is we who teach our children to despise, to envy, to judge, to hate. We cloak our children in shrouds of prejudice, some subtly gossamer thin, some blatantly thick and coarse.

From telling jokes that take aim at a minority to commenting on how a particular gender or age group drive; from imposing our value base and cultural norms on others, to fearing difference and diversity. None of us is truly free of prejudice.

It was with shock but not disbelief that I followed the events unfolding in Christchurch yesterday afternoon.

I read a manifesto purportedly posted online by one of the alleged gunmen that was filled with white supremacist hatred.

The killings were not the actions of a madman or madmen. The killings were the deliberate, calculated actions of people for whom hatred and prejudice were normal and acceptable.

For that we must all accept some responsibility.

On many levels and in innumerable ways our society condones prejudice. We reinforce stereotypes, judge others, mock the weak and fear the unknown.

We must all do better. We must all challenge ourselves, our friends and whanau.

In a time in history when people are theoretically more educated and more connected than ever, we must embrace our differences and diversity and strive to eradicate racism, bigotry, homophobia.

There is no place in any society for hate and prejudice, and particularly not in my home, Aotearoa. There is however plenty of room for tolerance, education, understanding, patience and love.

Tony Robinson

No child is born knowing how to hate, how to judge others by their age, colour, sexual preference, abilities, means, cultural and religious practices. It is we who teach our children to despise, to envy, to judge, to hate. We cloak our children in shrouds of prejudice, some subtly gossamer thin, some blatantly thick and coarse.

From telling jokes that take aim at a minority to commenting on how a particular gender or age group drive; from imposing our value base and cultural norms on others, to fearing difference and diversity. None of us is truly free of prejudice.

It was with shock but not disbelief that I followed the events unfolding in Christchurch yesterday afternoon.

I read a manifesto purportedly posted online by one of the alleged gunmen that was filled with white supremacist hatred.

The killings were not the actions of a madman or madmen. The killings were the deliberate, calculated actions of people for whom hatred and prejudice were normal and acceptable.

For that we must all accept some responsibility.

On many levels and in innumerable ways our society condones prejudice. We reinforce stereotypes, judge others, mock the weak and fear the unknown.

We must all do better. We must all challenge ourselves, our friends and whanau.

In a time in history when people are theoretically more educated and more connected than ever, we must embrace our differences and diversity and strive to eradicate racism, bigotry, homophobia.

There is no place in any society for hate and prejudice, and particularly not in my home, Aotearoa. There is however plenty of room for tolerance, education, understanding, patience and love.

Tony Robinson

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Helen - 6 days ago
Well said Tony, and something I'm sure we are all feeling.