South Dunedin

Is a very diverse place. Definitely the most diverse of Dunedin's suburbs and probably (without checking stats.govt.nz) up there with the most diverse suburbs in New Zealand. Some though may still conceive it as a white working class area from the 1970s that it possibly never was anyway. I have some personal experience of this perception so I know that it can be true even here in Dunedin.

But I walk or cycle through South Dunedin every day. I know some of the locals. I socialise locally maybe once or twice a week, whether that's down in the middle class entertainment precinct of St Clair or the more working class pubs or cafes scattered around the suburb. I cycle past the Muslim school to get to the Edgar Centre for sports. I walk across Bathgate Park to get home if I'm not cycling down Hillside Road past the Hillside Workshops almost every day. I am in the retail area of South Dunedin once or twice a week with its Lebanese, Chinese, Indian, European and Māori retailers (and maybe an occasional propagandistic/evangelical religious and/or political outfit). A party I went to recently, a birthday party, was attended by a pretty diverse bunch, although I guess truth be told mostly working class, which if you spent anytime with anywhere really, you would realize this diversity to be the norm. So although I wasn't born here (sometimes important in this city) I know the place pretty well.

I have never seen any poster along these lines in South Dunedin;

And I went to some effort a few weeks ago to find some. But all I found were anti-racist posters from the International Socialists. So Rangi and Uriohau, sorry but I call bull dust on this one.

Undoubtedly the above conversation was prompted by the Christchurch Mosque (alleged*) murderer Brendon (or Brenton) Tarrant. But he spent little time in Dunedin (he's from NSW) and I've not heard anyone say that they knew of him. Probably the only time that he spent in South Dunedin was at the Gym opposite the local Muslim school mentioned above. But regardless of what prompted the above conversation, it's still erroneous. And because South Dunedin is also one of the poorest suburbs in New Zealand, and well known as such, it's probably a little classist as well.

#politics #racism #southdunedin #wokereality

* presumption of innocence is still current, for now anyway, so until he's been found guilty (or innocent) the correct wording includes 'alleged'.

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