“Excellence is the best deterrent to racism or sexism”. Rose and Albert from “One Night The
Moon” and Paikea and Koro from “Whale Rider” all exhibit excellence in their situations of
being targets or even perpetrators of racism or sexism. Excellence is the quality of being
outstanding or extremely good. In this scenario the meaning can be translated to being excellent
at over coming racism and sexism. Racism was depicted in “One Night The Moon” by the Ryan
family initially refusing the help of a “black tracker” to search for their daughter resulting in dire
consequences. Racism is prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a
different race based on the belief that one's own race is superior. Sexism is prejudice
stereotyping, or discrimination, typically against women. Sexism is displayed in “Whale Rider”
by Koro when he prohibits Paikea from practicing the tradition of being chief as she is female.
Excellence can be shown in many different ways including not retaliating to actions of others,
learning from your mistakes and acting as a good role model for society.
Excellence through not retaliating to prejudice actions or words from society is one of the best
ways to deter racism and sexism. Paikea and Albert where both victims of sexism and racism.
Paikea was born into a family with ingrained sexist traditional beliefs. The tradition of the first
born male being the chief was challenged by Paikea’s determination to be equal and fill the role
as chief. “Since then, in every generation of my family, the first born son has carried his name
and become the leader of our tribe... until now.” Paikea’s excellence was evident in her not
giving in or retaliating to tradition but standing up and proving herself as a worthy leader. “My
name is Paikea Apirana, and I come from a long line of chiefs stretching all the way back to the
whale rider. I'm not a prophet, but I know that our people will keep going forward, all together,
with all of our strength.” Excellence through not retaliating to racism was shown by Albert in
“One Night The Moon”. Albert was a victim to prejudice actions due to the colour of his skin.
Despite Albert being the best tracker the Ryan family would not allow him on their property to
search for their young daughter because of their racist attitudes. “Black is never white I drove all
kindness from my door. I’m not letting some darky lead the search. No blacks on my land”-Jim
Ryan. Despite the Ryan’s disgusting treatment towards Albert he showed excellence when he
still agreed to help search for their daughter when Rose finally reached out to him for assistance
after all white trackers had given up. “You may walk with black or white and all the colours in
between”-Albert. Both Paikea and Albert displayed excellence in their experiences of sexism or
racism by rising above their labels.