“One of the criticisms I’ve faced over the years is that I’m not aggressive enough or assertive enough, or maybe somehow, because I’m empathetic, it means I’m weak. I totally rebel against that. I refuse to believe that you cannot be both compassionate and strong.” Jacinda Ardern
“This is not us” is the phrase many of us have used after the shock of the Christchurch Mosque massacres which claimed the lives of 50 Muslim worshippers. It may come as a surprise to Kiwis, but that sentiment is being challenged on a leading US website, Buzzfeed.
Australian Buzzfeed reporter Hannah Ryan, found examples of Muslims who had been discriminated against or were the victims of hate speech – and actions.
Television cameras and interviewers were present on Christchurch’s last vigil for the 50 Muslims who’d been slain a week before. A young Muslim woman said the “Free-speech people” had a lot to answer for.
She used the expression ‘free-speech’ people once more in the interview, clearly in the belief that the law allowing free speech was partly to blame for the massacre. Or did she? Was she referring to the hateful, divisive and unregulated racists ensconced on social media?
The last time I played rugby was when I was a (relatively) springy 34-year-old.
I’d moved from south Wales to take up a new job on the English north east coast 45 kilometres or so from the town where I was born. The good news: We found a house in a small, pleasant and ancient market town of some seven thousand people. The not so good: we knew very few people apart from a handful of new colleagues.
How, I asked myself, could I make friends? The local Clubs didn’t appeal and that left sports clubs; why not try rugby again?