Racism Alive In New Zealand
Bernadette Soares is an impressive woman. She is a mother, wife, business entrepreneur, motivational speaker, author, counsellor, a party nominee for the New Conservative Party and a woman affected by New Zealand racism.
At first glance, Bernadette has it all. However, things weren’t always easy for the 51-year-old woman from Mumbai India. She emigrated to New Zealand in 1989 when she was 21 and since, she has experienced covert racism; a form of racial discrimination that is subtle in nature and disguised in the fabric of society.
In the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement, we’re becoming more astutely aware of racism, and unfortunately, this is something that Bernadette has had to put up with her entire life.
One incident in particular shook Bernadette. Late last year, Bernadette was attacked by a woman during the school pick up period. Bernadette’s home is near a school and a couple had parked over her driveway. Bernadette politely asked the couple if they would mind moving their car so she could get out. She was met with a hostile response and racial slurs. Alone and not sure what to do, Bernadette tried reasoning with the woman, who began punching Bernadette on her head. The head injuries meant that she faced delayed concussion for a month, allowing her to go to work only part time.
The event is shocking, but even more shocking is the 8-10 onlookers who said and did nothing. Bernadette rang the police, but because she had no bleeding, the operator reported it as minor injuries, the incident wasn’t deemed urgent enough for a visit. The police came by 3-4 months later.
Though there was inaction from the police, Bernadette doesn’t feel any bitterness towards them, or the couple. Instead, she wants a change.
So, we ask you – how would you feel?