November 19, 2018
Black mark for Hawera Lions
A South Taranaki iwi leader says the decision by a Lions Club to parade in blackface shows what can happen when prejudice isn't challenged.
Debbie Ngarewa Packer from Ngati Ruanui says the Mountview Lions Club clearly wasn't thinking when it put together its Black and White Minstrels for the Hāwera parade.
She says the shifting justifications from the club before it finally issued an apology show how racist attitudes are entrenched in the region.
"These are people who live in south Taranaki which has been completely built on an economy based on confiscation, based around atrocities that happened at Parihaka. There wasn't any checking, neither from the organisers. It was double layers of all sorts of racism, and I have been asked, if it is naive is it really racist? I'm thinking yes!" she says.
Actions like the parade can undo years of goodwill the Lions have built up in the community.
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