Give Nothing to Racism

 In Blog, Elementary, Lessons and Ideas, Neil Andersen, Secondary

A campaign urging New Zealanders to give nothing to racism and refuse to spread intolerance has been launched by some of the country’s most well-known people. The campaign includes PSAs and invitations for Kiwis to tell their own stories.

Of particular interest is a video PSA featuring director and New Zealander of the year Taika Waititi, who is of Maori descent, ironically urging fellow Kiwis to contribute to racism to ensure its future.

The PSA provides a great opportunity to discuss racism, activism, irony and agency. Some useful discussion questions might include:

How does this PSA define racism? Are you comfortable with that definition? Why?

How effectively do you think this PSA will encourage people to consider their role in perpetuating racism and intolerance?

What is irony? How is this PSA ironic? How can we tell that the PSA is ironic? How does the irony help the PSA address issues of racism?

How might the irony increase the effectiveness of this PSA? How might it weaken its effectiveness?

Which Youtube videos/channels or TV shows would you screen this PSA ahead of?  Why?

How effectively do you think this PSA would influence people with racist beliefs and actions?

Would you post a link ( to this video on your social media accounts? Which ones? Why?

The spokesperson in this PSA is a member of New Zealand’s indigenous population. Why is that significant? How might the PSA’s meaning change if the spokesperson were a member of New Zealand’s majority Eurocentric population?

If this PSA were remade for exhibition in your country, who would be an appropriate and effective spokesperson? Why?

(These lesson ideas are adaptable to a secondary school classroom – ed.)

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