Letter From the Editor
And with that it’s our final issue of the year. I am a sucker for introspection. Give me a new year and I'll give you twenty completely unattainable resolutions. But this year, it seems a bit strange to view a year as something so individualised. To view the year as if it should be your marker of successes and pitfalls.
I remember walking into 2020 with the same big eyes that probably most of us shared. A new decade where we can wipe clean our slate of poor decisions, cringe outfit choices and questionable phases (cue 2010 scene phase).
But 2020 has brought to light so many issues that we can’t simply ignore anymore. We can’t wipe the slate, because the slate is a representation of all the accumulative weaknesses our foundations hold. The world we live in is tainted by so many systemic issues. There is inequity in our healthcare system, racism in almost every facet of society and minorities are being disproportionately affected. To wipe a slate clean is a complete dismissal of how we can do better and how we can be kept accountable.
Many of these issues brought to the forefront this year have been exacerbated by COVID-19. And these issues aren't restricted to 2020. They will continue to bypass the punctuation of December 31st and impact some more than others. What has been divulged this year, will continue to impact 2021 and every following year. We cannot rely on time to alleviate pain, to dilute circumstances or resolve unaddressed issues.
2020 has made me question how we can all do more. And for some reason I had this expectation that I could come up with something a lil fresh and spicy. Spoiler alert...I haven’t. All I can say (which isn’t revolutionary nor spicy) is vote. In the first leaders debate, we saw both National and Labour not even touch on Māori issues or Te Tiriti o Waitangi. There is so much left that isn’t addressed. We need empathy right now, we need to elect leaders who care.
I recognise that often I sit in a position of privilege. I come from an upper middle class family, I’m employed and I’m tertiary educated. Despite being a woman of colour, I am also Asian and frequently coloured by the model minority myth. And while the model minority myth is incredibly controversial, misguided and harmful, it has worked in my favour in many instances. Employers and teachers from the initial impression often stereotype me to be organised, hardworking and attentive, often giving me opportunities under assumption rather than actual evidence. Other women of colour don’t receive the same recognition. I do not live in fear that the health care system will fail me, or that the police will accuse/question me when there is no substantive evidence.
I admit that I have not been the best ally at times for other minorities. I have spoken when I should have listened, and I have taken the seat when I should have instead pulled up another. While voting is the best thing we can do to better represent marginalised groups, there are also things we can do on the daily.
Look To Amplify Rather Than Overshadow.
Strive To Use More Inclusive Language.
Working at Debate this year has been an absolute privilege. I have heard people's most vulnerable stories, and I’ve been given the invaluable opportunity of helping to craft the most beautiful narratives. The final issue for Debate is unthemed; enjoy the stories within. I wish you all the best for the remainder of the year. I’m signing off for 2020 and I can’t wait to see what stories we create in the new year.
Ngā mihi nui,