I have been called white trash by a blogger whom nobody reads but, apart from him, everyone who meets me thinks I am from a non-white ethnic group. When I was at high school in the Bay of Plenty my two closest girlfriends had white skin. My two closest male friends had brown skin. I had olive skin and thought nothing of it, because in the Bay of Plenty growing up there was no racism that I was aware of. We all just saw each other as people.
I didn’t become really aware of skin colour until the school holidays before I started university. I bumped into to my friend Tama at Ohope beach. I made some comment about my Lebanese heritage and he stared at me in surprise. “I thought you were Maori,” he said. Until he made that comment I had assumed that I was just like everyone else. I didn’t think of my friends in terms of skin colour or race.
Instead of discussing skin colour, race and racism, and whether or not it is possible to be racist towards a person with white skin, I have put together a series of images. I hope that these images will get you thinking. I may not like all the different cultures in the world because they may value different things to me, but skin colour means nothing to me. We are all human and if you cut us we bleed. It isn’t our skin colour that divides us, it is our beliefs. Being labelled because of skin colour makes no sense at all.