Christchurch Terror Attack: Brodie Kane: 'I am white and privileged ... It's time to make big changes'

Publish Date
Friday, 22 March 2019, 9:30AM


Hi, my name is Brodie Kane. I am white. And I am privileged.

And I am disappointed in myself that it's taken me the most horrific of unthinkable acts to give myself the biggest uppercut I've ever administered in my life.

I, like so many Cantabrians, like so many New Zealanders, have actually not been able to cope with nor comprehend the callous killing of 50 innocent people here in Christchurch - an unbelievably, downright ghastly attack on our Muslim community, who were in their most sacred, peaceful place.

Killed by someone I legitimately have no words to describe. And will give no more time from here on in.

But what I will give time to, what I must give time to, is what this awful event has done to change the way I am going to be as a human being.

I need to be clear, this is not some sort of "look at me, look what I am doing" piece, this is me being honest about how I want to do better. How I MUST do better.

I can no longer live the life I live. I can no longer wake up, as a privileged white woman, in my nice house with a comfortably financed mortgage, hop into my nice car, drive to my well-paid job where I have the privilege to speak on the radio for three hours about whatever I want to.

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I can no longer jump back into that nice car after work, put on my nice gym gear, hop off to one of the three gyms I belong to and work out.

Look I know that sounds dramatic, but what I'm actually trying to say to you, is that I can no longer go around living my life with my white privileged head shoved up my own backside. I need to be better. I must be better.

I am a person who believes that I am friendly and welcoming, and have always been very embracing of other cultures, race or religion.

I spent two years studying Middle Eastern Politics and learnt a fair bit about Islam when I was at university. So I am all of a sudden tapping into the things I learnt more than 10 years ago.

But here's the thing, what have I actually done to help my community be a better place?

What have I done to embrace the minority races and religions in my community? Not a damn thing.

I can wake up every day and cruise around in my white privilege life and somehow tell myself that because I will always say "Hi" in the dairy, or have a great yarn with the Uber driver that I am in some way an inclusive person? No. It's not enough.

If I in some way could take back the hurt and suffering of Friday I would.

But let me tell you this. The time has come for us all to give ourselves an uppercut. Because, in actual fact, we aren't some peace haven.

We, as a nation, now have an obligation to walk the talk.

Our outpouring of grief, sadness, love and support must now transform into action. It won't come overnight in some magical "we are all one" kind of epiphany.

As I watch my Muslim community respond to this tragedy with empathy, compassion, forgiveness and love – I know I have to be better, I must be better.

This article was first published on the NZ Herald and is republished here with permission.