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Education, New Zealand, Teachers' Own Words

An NZ teacher asks, why am I so racist

Jamie Banks is half white. Or is he? What does it even mean?

Here, in a fabulously funny and thought-provoking speech, and through a reflection on his own personal journey, Jamie reflects on what it means to be white, half white, not white, and how our view of ourselves influences how we view others.

“…although I had been a victim of racism, I was racist myself”

Truly worth watching and thinking about.


If you want to speak to Jamie about his speech or teaching, he can be reached here.

Ka pai, Jamie – love your work.

~ Dianne

Jamie Banks is an author, actor, rapper, performance poet and teacher, who has been campaigning since 2008 to get Emotional Intelligence (and now also Financial and Business Literacy) formally introduced into the curriculum.

Professional page:

Emotional Intelligence in NZ Schools:

Business Literacy in Schools:

About Save Our Schools NZ

"One needs to be slow to form convictions, but once formed they must be defended against the heaviest odds." Gandhi


2 thoughts on “An NZ teacher asks, why am I so racist

  1. This was a very entertaining speech. I loved it…but I don’t consider myself racist for wondering what ethnicity people are. I find it fascinating to see the melting pot of people around us. Being licorice all sorts myself I am not offended when people ask “what nationality are you?” Probably nationality is the wrong word to use…”ethnic background” might be more appropriate. I am proud to tell time my heritage. I always start with “I am from New Zealand, my Mother is a Native New Zealander known as a Maori. We also have some Scottish and Irish ancestry. My father is Chinese and immigrated from China when he was a teenager. Don’t people usually ask because they are enthralled. For me I feel racism is not in asking about nationality but rather drawing inferences about what people are like because they are a certain ethnicity. I do use the term Pakeha…but again as a term of endearment not as a racist comment -I was always told that Pakeha was “non-Maori” not just “white” so Chinese, Indian, English – all Pakeha. It’s a teaching and learning opportunity. Loved his speech though. I live in the USA now, I talk different and I look different, I do things different- of course they’re going to ask where I’m from and I’m ok with that.


    Posted by Caro Keenan | July 8, 2017, 2:40 am


  1. Pingback: “White Boy Privilege”- a Slam Poem by Royce Mann | Save Our Schools NZ - July 14, 2016

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