Always A Second Class Citizen
September 17 2018
Dear Xenophobes & Lakes Weekly, In response to Lakes Weekly’s publishing of the comment by MR GREENY, “We could do with another million Chinese here in Queenstown, and another half million Indian taxi drivers...”, and speaking of the Chinese and Indians as if they are vermin, I find myself compelled to share my first impression of the Lakes District nearly one year ago.
To give you context, I will say I am of Asian descent but raised in the western world, and English is my first language. Arrowtown was my first stop as I was heading south. As I entered a shop, an employee made a beeline for me and sternly said, “No photos please.” And used the back of his hand to knock the phone I was holding, as I needed to keep time because I didn’t have my watch on me. I replied, “I’m not.” “No photos... PLEASE,” he said. I walked out immediately and wondered what just happened and if I was inappropriate somehow for deserving that treatment.
And of course, as I made my way through Arrowtown, I found the Chinese settlement, and read of all the racism that occurred nearly 150 years ago, and disappointedly thought, looks like they didn’t come very far.
I know racism has been discussed in many a whinge, but maybe we need to ask ourselves why the topic keeps coming up. And why does Lakes Weekly allow the publishing of comments that direct hate towards different races although they clearly say, to “avoid negative reference...to individuals” when writing your comments or whinges.
Do yourselves and others a favor and do some self reflection, please. And maybe go have a history lesson at the Chinese settlement.
Response from LWB
Dear “UnWanted“ Asian, you bring up fair points and we want to assure you LWB doesn’t condone racism of any kind. That said, we encourage freedom of expression on our whinge page, so long as it encourages debate and highlights issues for discussion. The feedback from contributors doesn’t relect that of our publication.