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Hamilton woman praised for calling out racial stereotyping

Human Rights Commission thanks Hamilton woman for calling out racial stereotyping

Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy has thanked a young Hamilton woman for going public after being subjected to racial stereotyping by supermarket workers in her home town.

“Sadly what happened to Rikki Cooper isn’t new but it highlights something that’s faced every day by everyday people,” says Dame Susan.

“After being hounded and humiliated, Rikki was brave enough to go to the media and put the spotlight on what racial stereotyping looks, sounds and feels like.”

“Racial stereotyping has no place in our country’s future and it’s everyday people who need to make it part of our history.”

Dame Susan urges organisations and companies like Countdown to do the right thing, train their staff and make sure this never happens again. She congratulated the company for doing the right thing, apologising and investigating this incident. However ultimately treating people with respect comes down to people said Dame Susan.

“But it comes down to individuals. People must ask themselves: am I just doing my job or am I targeting these people just because I have prejudices about them?,” said Dame Susan.

“This is a challenge for every New Zealander to think on. Our country’s excellent human rights record means nothing if New Zealanders are still targeted simply because of their ethnicity.”

“Those people who have the courage to call out racial stereotyping when they experience it or see it are helping to make our country a better place to live in.”


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