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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 36, Number 25. 3rd October 1973

Feeling at Home

Feeling at Home

Dear Sir,

In reply to Mr Browns' and Mr A. Rimbauds accusation of the 'blacks' and 'Asian' students, I must ask them what they have done to make us 'at home' or put us 'at ease' instead of being hostile and ignorant!

Having lived here for almost four years, I have found out in my own experience that there are far too many New Zealanders like them who have no real appreciation of the validity of a culture other than their own (nor even the capacity to appreciate it) and I have a certain amount of sympathy for pricks like Mr Brown and Mr A. Rimbaud.

The effect of their wild accusations will no doubt only weld us into greater cohesiveness. At present there seems to be no real understanding between the NZ and overseas students. Any contact therefore is superficial but it is the worst form of pride and degrading paternalism which leads one cultural group to despise another because of 'cultural' and other differences and they should hang their heads in shame.

If people like Brown and Rimbaud have the ignorance to make such accusations, they therefore must be unconsciously discriminating against us in that they see us, but have not met us. They must remember that mankind must learn to be equal without being identical.

Certain humility is needed where centuries of exploitation and humllation, from the slave trade to apartheid, have sewn suspicion and resentment. Indeed to see the world in terms of clearly defined "racial" groups about which one can validly generalise is no more a basis for understanding than to see it in terms of mutually exclusive ideologies.

R. Dutt