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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 36, Number 17. July 18th, 1973

Expectations to Conform

Expectations to Conform

"Much of the racial discrimination that occurs in New Zealand" Sir Guy says on page six of his report, "is racism stemming from the insensitivity of the dominant culture, which expects minority groups to conform to its way of life." Later Sir Guy says terms like "white racism" are a mistake when applied to New Zealand. He does not think institutions in New Zealand discriminate "purposely against citizens on the ground of their race or colour" But taking his first statement about the dominant culture which "expects" the rest to conform, it can be asked on what is such an expectation based? Surely on an implicit assumption that the dominant white way is the right way for everybody.

More than that, the dominant culture does more than "expect conformity" — it punishes nonconformity, penalises those who are different and by reasons of the standards it has the power to set, governs major areas of social activity.