Tim Dower: Is white privilege just causing further division?

Author
Tim Dower,
Publish Date
Fri, 23 Jul 2021, 8:46AM
(Photo / NZ Herald)
(Photo / NZ Herald)

Tim Dower: Is white privilege just causing further division?

Author
Tim Dower,
Publish Date
Fri, 23 Jul 2021, 8:46AM

There is an old maxim that goes back to pre-Christian times, divide and rule.

Julius Caesar modified it to divide and conquer.

Fast forward a couple of thousand years, and to this current discussion about White Privilege, which is very significant in a country like New Zealand.

According to emails released under the Official Information Act, the Education Ministry has spent $700,000 dollars teaching civil servants about it.

People who go on the course are apparently told that recognising white privilege acknowledges New Zealand's colonial history.

And it probes the impact of white privilege on society, both in the past and today.

Now, at AUT, previously the University of Technology, these days they have a Diversity Professor.

Edwina Pio says white privilege is alive and it needs to be addressed with rational compassion, whatever that means.

Is it just me?

Am I coming from a position of white privilege to suggest that when you tell someone they've had a bad deal often enough, they'll begin to believe it.

Or is there real truth in this concept?

Is white privilege something we've swept under the carpet for decades?

Either way, I don't think I've ever sensed the factionalising of our society to the extent I do today.

And I don't like it.

I don't like that there seems an effort to pit New Zealanders against one another.

To divide us, in order to rule us.

Worst of all, I think it's working and that prompts the questions, what for, and what next?

And one more; is it too late to stop this in-fighting, or have we already been conquered?