|Illustration credit to Ruby Alice Rose|
The bodies of those shot in their mosques by a white supremacist on Friday are still not back with their loved ones and the nation is reeling. The man who took 50 people’s lives with such hatred is in custody but the holes his violence left will last lifetimes and has shone a spotlight onto the darker places in our country.
I have heard over and over, that these things don’t happen in NZ. But it has. And the question remains, How do we respond? How do we shape change? How do we stamp out racism and intolerance and fully embrace the whole wonderful spectrum of human life? What can we do so this never ever happens again?
I leave you with the voices I have appreciated in these last awful days:
Susan Devoy’s opinion piece. Susan recently served a five-year term as Race Relation Commissioner.
Chloe Swarbrick, a NZ Green Party MP posted this from her friend. I agree with Chloe, we need to listen more to voices like Mukseet’s.
Waleed Aly in Australia on the Christchurch shootings and the greater picture of intolerance and hate crimes globally. Brave and heartfelt words.
This image. This image is everywhere at the moment and with good reason. I am proud to have this woman as our Prime Minister. She has responded with compassion and skill in all the ways you would hope the leader of a nation would. Her live-streamed and recorded press conferences are the place to get the facts – and to marvel at her. Try RNZ. Changes to our gun laws are already in progress. (A friend just pointed out that in the background of this image you can see James Shaw, the Green party co-leader with his black eye – he had been accosted on the way to Parliament.)
The faces and stories of those who died. We don’t have an official list yet but their photos and stories are emerging. Remember them. Give no airtime to the man who committed such evil acts, ignore his vitriolic manifesto and the media he left behind, drink in the beauty of the good people he killed instead.
And lastly, I leave you with Nathan Wallis – on how to support kids through times of trauma, and specifically around the shootings in Christchurch on Friday.
These are dark times and I am reminded of something Martin Luther King said,
“Darkness cannot drive our darkness, only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that”
I am holding onto those words and the hope from the amazing energy of the School strike to protest Climate Change on Friday.
Did you hear what ‘first man’ Clarke Gayford tweeted on the night before the protest, in response to some schools saying they would punish the kids for striking? “Get bloody stuck in today kids. Wear any punishment like badge of honour”. Nice one Clarke.