Wednesday, 2 June 2021

Govt's denials about 'white privilege' don't stack up


“The Government’s denials about ‘white privilege’ being taught in the classroom don’t stack up”, says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“Jacinda Ardern and other Ministers say teachers are being taught about ‘white privilege’, but that the idea won’t make its way into the classroom.

“That’s nonsense.

A student in Whangārei recently had to stand up in front of their classroom and say what they had done to acknowledge their white privilege.

“What are teachers supposed to say to a ‘white’ child who may have no money or food at home, be abused, face a learning challenge, or any other challenge? How is it that their colour makes them privileged regardless of their individual circumstances?

“A South African migrant recently told me, ‘I came here to get away from race-based policies, but the Government is trying to introduce them here in our schools.’

“Associate Education Minister Jan Tinetti says that programmes like Te Hurihanganui are needed because ‘systemic racism’ in the education system is keeping Māori at the bottom of the heap.

“The reality is that Māori do face worse social and economic outcomes across the board. Good public policy like charter schools, overhauling the delivery of mental health services, and requiring rehabilitation in prisons, has the potential to deliver better outcomes for Māori. Indoctrinating young kids in radical and divisive ideas will not.

“New Zealand children deserve a positive and inclusive education. No child should have to be apologetic about their creed or colour.

“We absolutely need to debate and discuss issues around race and inequality in this country. But covertly introducing ‘white privilege’ into the classroom is not the way to do it.

“New Zealand children deserve a positive and inclusive education.

“The Government needs to front up and tell New Zealanders why it is instead allowing such radical and divisive ideas to be taught to our kids.”