What this Pakistani taxi driver faced is worth publicising.
Not to show the passenger up as a stupid racist and an obnoxious bigot. That is obvious. But for other reasons.
People band together for various
reasons - the colour of their skin, the language they speak or the
accent they speak it with, the clothes they wear, what they eat or the customs or
religion they practice. Anyone who looks or behaves different, especially if they are in the minority, finds it difficult to blend in. To that extent racism exists everywhere and within many of us.
Unfortunately, some folks show their prejudice and suspicion of the hateful "others" in the manner of this passenger. That's when the law keeps everyone safe. Let's be honest. We face racist slurs in India and Pakistan too - with depressing regularity. At the same time we know that not everyone in these countries is prejudiced. It is the same over here, in New Zealand.
Have a look at the comments after the Youtube video. About forty percent are for and sixty against the passenger's racist words.
What's commendable is the way the Pakistani driver keeps his cool however hard the passenger tries to get a rise out of him. What worries me is that anyone with a racist attitude, if he is fitter than the passenger in this taxi, could easily let fly his fists along with his racist slurs.
What I'd like New Zealand to discuss is - what do we do to prevent injury to a driver? Putting up the video camera in all taxis is a good idea. But more needs to be done to keep a taxi driver - in fact both, the driver and passenger - safe from the few rotten eggs that are around.
The official tone taken is that of censure to the passenger. I hope this passenger doesn't get away with a mere rap on his knuckles. He says he is sorry - that he was drunk - probably to escape punishment. Perhaps it would be fitting for him to do some community work within the community he despises so much and pay the driver for a day's worth of business apart from whatever else the NZ courts want to fine him.
Here's the video.