I believe New Zealand has a bigger problem than we think. Migrants are being discriminated against far too much. 6% of respondents in a survey (an estimated 187,000 New Zealanders) believed racial discrimination was the reason for them being treated unfairly or unfavourably. The most common way people are being discriminated against is by their skin colour, race, ethnicity or nationality. This is because of prejudice.
Prejudice is a thought or statement you have about people before you get to know them. Prejudice is “pre-judging” people. It is a label. For example you could think that someone is weird because of the way they look, their race, the way they talk,walk or the things that they wear. Most people don't realise they are being prejudice. We interviewed a girl who said when she first went to school she was asked “Is there a bomb in your lunchbox?”
That made her feel unwelcome and felt like she didn't belong.
Later on, when she worked at a cafe she was asked “Where do you come from?”
She answered “ I come from Iran.”
The customers turned and didn't talk to her again. These mean comments are influenced by social media, tv shows, movies, books, and friends and family. Our family and friends can peer pressure us to believe in the things we should not believe in.
But our actions now can make a big effect on our future generations. We can not help others thoughts but we can help the effect it has on the people. If we don't, we will have even more isolation, and insecurity. I am sure you don't want to make people feel sad.
There are many ways you can make immigrants feel welcome though. When you see someone looking lonely you can go up to them and say “hello!” with a smile on your face, sit down next to them, and start a conversation with them. Take time to talk to them. What you're doing is being nice. Make sure if they are new to your country or area make them feel welcome by inviting them over or invite them to a party. This will surely make them feel welcome, safe and secure.
Things that make them feel isolated and insecure are pointing at them, whispering, saying mean comments and staring at them. There are many more, for example, when a new student starts in your class she is from Iran, you simply go up to her and say “What kind of clothes are those, they are weird” and letting everyone laugh and stare at her she puts her hands to her face and runs off. This is called prejudice, and it is not nice at all. It will make her feel alienated and unwelcome .
Tips and advice:
Make sure you're communicating with immigrants and if they speak another language, take time to learn their language. You can connect with them and build a friendship. If you see someone being prejudice to another, go up to them and say that is not funny and then sit next to them and smile! You can even help them learn your language, but start with the simple words like “hello!” Or “how are you?” This will also, make them feel like they belong and like they have someone there for them.
Albert Einstein once said, “People do not destroy the world because what they do, people destroy the world by what they watch and not do anything about.” Even the smallest things, like smiling, can have a big impact on someone's life. It will not only make them feel happy but you too! Make the most of life and do it how it's supposed to be done. Will you be the one who will make a change?