Kiwis urged to shun casual racism

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Clemenger BBDO|Touchcast has launched a new NZ Human Rights Commission campaign urging Kiwis to question casual support for racism.

New Zealander of the Year Taika Waititi leads the campaign, and many prominent Kiwis have already climbed on board – including sportspeople, business people and entertainers.

Clemenger||Touchcast conceived the campaign and worked with OMD, Curious Film and Match Photographers who all gave time and support to bring the campaign to life.

“While many aren’t exposed to it, racism is a problem in New Zealand,” said Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy. “And it’s growing. We’ve seen a rise in racist attacks.

“But racism starts casually and quietly, so that has become the focus of this campaign.”

“While many of us wouldn’t tolerate extreme racism, we’re happy to let the smaller, ‘harmless’ stuff slide.”

“No one likes to think of themselves as racist. And while many of us wouldn’t tolerate extreme racism, we’re happy to let the smaller, ‘harmless’ stuff slide. But it’s this acceptance that helps racism to normalise and grow.

“It’s time for individuals, schools, companies and industries in New Zealand to step back and ask themselves how much they are prepared to give to racism.”

The campaign calls on people to starve racism of the encouragement it needs to grow by giving it nothing: “Give no fuel. Give no power. Give no money. Give no airtime. Give no laughs. Give no likes.”

Says Devoy: “Racism starts small, but so too does hope. We’d love many more people and many more parts of our society to take this challenge on board.

“Advertising sets the tone of what is generally accepted in culture. It shapes our national psyche and is hugely influential, so the advertising industry as a whole has an important role to play in the success of this cultural shift.”

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