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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Maori problem: Our Pakeha

Pakeha racism, prejudice and wilful misunderstanding of Maori is totally pervasive - in every sphere, even ones where Pakeha control has been tempered with a political expediency to be seen to be supportive of Maori. For example, yesterday - from the Labour-Union/Left Standard this charming piece:Your typical Pakeha whinge prose: patronising and chastising - it is essentially racist. This is what passes for discourse on a left-wing blog - and it is no better than the Rhodesianesque working class conservatism of Chris Trotter, or the plutocratic Tory conservatism of the NZ Herald for that matter. The comments are credulous.

This is how Pakeha project negativity about Maori - and thus raise their own racial self-esteem. Pakeha don't say these things to help Maori - they say these things to remind other Pakeha what the place of Maori should be. Every immigrant to NZ is indoctrinated through the pervasive Pakeha-dominated media to think of Maori as a problem.

In these texts the contrast is set between a society of inherently defective heathen native cannibals who have proven themselves impervious to the beneficent wisdom of the society of white Christendom which NZ was destined to have. The inferior position of Maori is relentlessly enforced through the saturation coverage and repetition of dubious anecdotes, deliberately misinterpreted information or quotes through the mass media - and in most spheres of public discourse. This letter is a classic example:

"Child murder or protecting gangs?"
—The tawdry headline with a ridiculous forced/false choice.

"Forget about seabed and foreshore.
Forget about rights to plants and animals.
And for godssake forget about building consents for confiscated gang headquarters!"
—Forget about property rights, that is a Pakeha concern that Maori shouldn't have...

"It’s about time some people got their priorities straight."
—"Some people" - and the hateful innuendo begins.

"New Zealand as a whole has to take a serious look at its atrocious and dishonourable rate of child abuse and child murder. We are so familiar with such stories in our news bulletins that we have become insensitive and unresponsive to this entrenched trait in our national character.

Perhaps the beer companies should run ads that truly reflect our national “bloke” character of ogling some T & A and being a larrikin stealing beer or being all unshaven, understated and unflappable.

Imagine instead the good kiwi bloke being the one who rages against a child, bangs its head against a wall, breaks its bones, or neglects it to die in its own filth."
—It's all "we" and "our" at the moment, and then it suddenly changes:

"There should be nothing more pressing on the Maori Party’s agenda than the shameful statistics casting ugly shadow on Maori. Even as a “supportive, remorseful, recompensing, bleeding-heart liberal” it is hard to take the efforts of Maori advocates seriously when they are so silent."
—Maori have an ugly shadow. Cast not by Maori, but by him. Pakeha don't - it's not "we" anymore it has become "they". It is asserted that Maori advocates are silent. They aren't silent and nor are they inactive on child abuse, but that is rarely covered in the media and so he doesn't know - and nor will he care to find out either because his letter makes it quite clear he has done no research into this. He would rather go on instinctive prejudice rather than any facts. Because Maori advocates are not successfully getting their messages across in a hostile Pakeha-dominated media he suggests they are not serious. Shall we add the racism of the Pakeha-dominated media as also a failing of Maori?

"History is what it is. There is only so much that can be achieved by seeking amends – that you can blame on colonialism."
—Classic Pakeha racism 101. It's all in the past!? Colonialism is the current situation here, not something in the past. The fact we don't have compulsory Te Reo in schools and Maori must conduct almost every communication in English in order to survive - is colonialism in action. His attitude is colonialism in action.

"At some point you have to put down the taiaha and take responsibility and leadership. Leadership is not judged by how many times you have planted your arse on a paepae, or how well you can korero or how well you understand the tikanga."
—Classic Pakeha racism 102. And so disgustingly patronising. "Put down the taiaha" = Maori are violent and live in the past. "take responsibility and leadership. Leadership is not judged by how many times you have planted your arse on a paepae, or how well you can korero or how well you understand the tikanga" = Maori culture is unimportant. Attending meetings and speaking well and understanding the rules are dismissed as leadership criteria for Maori.
Holding Maori to a standard higher than that which would be asked of Pakeha - or an impossible standard - is a classic technique of racist argumentation. In this text the Pakeha everyman "William Joyce" - perhaps a Labour member floating a new anti-Maori Party line that will appeal to provincial, conservative and presumably racist Pakeha working class voters - asks the Maori Party to achieve a series of "necessary" things without specifying what they are. Before his glib final sentence deriding community funding he mocks the party that represents authentic Maori interests and indicates the standard the Party should be held to:

not while another child lies dying of a brain injury.

And Peter Dunne, as Assoc. Health Minister, is going to be held to the same standard? Of course not, he's white, so he gets to be measured in how much tax he can save the already wealthy.

The problem this country faces is that many, many Pakeha are still ardently racist against Maori (amongst other non-white peoples) and will forever be hating. And if they can't find facts to fit they will just make it up or make do with racial slurs under the guise of a patronising concern for Maori. It doesn't matter whether what they say is true of not because the media and white society generally will accept, ingest and then relay that sort of Pakeha mythology on an uncontested basis. Maori cannot win in NZ.


At 18/8/10 11:58 am, Blogger dave said...

Great article, impassioned and reasoned. I would add that what is fuelling the survial of racism in Aotearoa, is its own continued colonisation by Australia et al. Nothing gets whitey more riled up than being turned into white Maori.
Great team on this blog.

At 18/8/10 12:17 pm, Blogger merleneshedlock said...

I did a few Nursing Papers this year. We did a morning class on The Treaty of Waitangi. The unspoken hostility in the air was an education for me? or a reminder that nothing was as it seemed? The tutors were just going through the motions to get The Treaty session done, tick all the little boxes.Upon saying that, i get the feeling the only time New Zealanders are united as one is when our sports people are representing New Zealand in some major game. And when the haka is being performed by maori,pacific islander and pakeha, it is that moment i treasure forever, we can talk till we are "blue in the face", hopefully as a nation when push comes to shove, we are one heart, one love and one voice?

At 18/8/10 12:25 pm, Anonymous Sam Wilkinson said...

How ignorant can you be? To think there is no link between the "seabed and foreshore" and "rights to plants and animals" and the wellbeing of Maori whanau and hapu is something that someone with obviously no understanding of Maori culture would say

At 18/8/10 12:32 pm, Anonymous MacDoctor said...

Playing the victim card, Tim? Maori can't win? What utter nonsense! The child abuse rate amongst Maori is three times that of Pakeha. This is not a myth, it is a statistical reality. No-one is suggesting this is because the Maori people hate their kids or are intrinsically violent (at least, not in the article you are citing). No-one is discounting the importance of Maori culture. What is clear, however, is that there is something seriously amiss in some areas of Maori society, and it is obvious that this needs Maori solutions, not imposed pakeha ones.

Blaming Pakeha for this situation is just a cop-out. Extending the victim myth will only see this problem continue. You would be far better off acknowledging the problem and attempting to fix it. You can expect plenty of pakeha support - just don't expect pakeha solutions. And don't expect pakeha to remain silent while Maori children die. If we did that we really would be racist.

At 18/8/10 1:29 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"History is what it is. There is only so much that can be achieved by seeking amends – that you can blame on colonialism."

Nice reasoning.
Lets leave the past in the past.

Release all prisoners now.
After all..
History is what it is
There is only so much that can be achieved by seeking amends - that you can blame on uuummmmm...youth? ( All prisoners committed their crimes in the past no?)

At 18/8/10 1:52 pm, Blogger Rangi said...

If the bloody maaaris didn't blah blah blah blah blah blah blah there's no such thing as maaaaaaris anyway bla bla bla

Heard it all before, will hear it all again

At 18/8/10 2:04 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why cant Maori just give the Pakeha back their Seabeds & foreshores.

At 18/8/10 2:24 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Heard it all before, will hear it all again"

Good then stop complaining and get use to it.

At 18/8/10 3:54 pm, Anonymous Sunshine Philosophy said...

Wrong Selwyn, tax payers in general are sick of getting ripped-off by having taxes chucked down the brown hole.
Extreme child abuse will always exist somewhere but it is a miniscule problem that has been blown out of all proportion so as to get more tax money for pointless troughers.
Sick of hearing about it.
Every last NZer I know who is of maori ancestry love and care for their kids to a fault, and I know a lot.
Change the name of your blog to Turdmeke, that would be most accurate.

At 18/8/10 6:46 pm, Anonymous Hori, not tory! said...

Thank goodness we finally have a minister with the guts to stand up for the most vunerable members of society - gang members.

I'm so glad that we have minster happy to throw his weight behind a little harmless rule bending for his constituants.

I wish all these fucking evil racist, capitalist pig pakehas, would just get with the programme and realise that this is just the Maori way, not everything is based on your twisted western world views you know!

Kia Kaha Pita!

At 18/8/10 9:36 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Then there's the genital mutilation of the male babies of our Jewish population here in NZ...

Maoris & Jews man...
Keeping the white man down with their disgusting child-hurty ways.

At 18/8/10 10:06 pm, Anonymous Lew said...

Kia ora Selwyn, more people need to fisk the prevailing 'common sense' stealth-racism like this.


At 19/8/10 10:40 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To be fair it was a guest post, not a post by a standard author. The Standard is pretty open with what they'll accept in a guest post. If you have a problem with it you should send this post in as a response and ask them to publish it.

At 19/8/10 9:14 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The child abuse rate amongst Maori is three times that of Pakeha.

Well outright paedophilia and child porn types of crimes seem to be a white middle class male pastime - in fact it seems to be the case right round the world.

Your sickest, vilest criminals - baby rapists, mutilators of women, corpse fuckers are white, and mostly from Christchurch and Dunedin - like Weatherston, the House of Horrors guy and many more - not to mention the sick goings on in the Bain household (regardless of who actually did the crime).

Why not a national symposium on why whites are so overrepresented as paedos?

And while whites will say that Maori should stop worrying about the seabed and foreshore until they sort their act out on other matters, no one says whites should sort their act out on being paedos and purveyors of child porn before they worry about keeping the seabed and foreshore for themselves.

White supremacy is a world wide problem - it is fucken everywhere and it plays out as spoken by Mr Selwyn here against Maori in New Zealand, the US support of Israeli atrocities against Palestinians, the Iraq and Afghanistan imperial adventures, the carping on about 'human rights' in China and Iran, 'blood diamonds' --massive media attention focuses soley on non-white misdeeds (and I'm not supporting non-white misdeeds - only the fact that non-white misdeeds are played up while white atrocities are downplayed), and of course the ignorance among whites of how the West got rich - through imperialism, and the savage exploitation and outright murder of untold millions of non-whites.

And whites all over the world think of themselves as the fucken greatest whether Americans, New Zealanders or Australians 'this is the greatest country in the world' or 'godzone' or 'the lucky country', or 'land of hope and glory'.

But the days of the West are numbered. Millons upon millions of non-whites hate the West and hope for its demise. Millions cheered the destruction of the twin towers.

For whitey, the 'Camp of the Saints' will surely become a reality, sooner rather than later.

Suck shit.

At 19/8/10 9:21 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And don't expect pakeha to remain silent while Maori children die. If we did that we really would be racist.

This is just classic. Whitey cares about the lives of non-whites more than these non-white savages themselves.

Like how whitey weeps for the poor Chinese people suffering under a Chinese government - only before they stuffed the same Chinese people with opium and pauperized their country.

Whiteys weeping over non-white babies killed by evil non-whites.

Just like how whites have to 'rescue' non-white damsels from the clutches of their evil sexist menfolk - of course to have for themselves. Like whitey support for Aung Sang Su Qi (probably because she let herself be fucked by a white man).

And we have whitey do-gooders lecturing Africans on female circumcision and blood diamonds or whatever the fuck.

Whites, especially Anglo-Saxon whites have this obnoxious self-righteousness about them - no can turn on crocodile tears better than whitey.

As if anyone could really really believe Pakeha care so much, and weep so much for Maori children more than Maori themselves. That is so astoundingly patronising and racist- even more so given the fact that MacDoctor is oblivious to his own racist attitude.

At 20/8/10 10:19 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh christ! go to Island Bay and you will find most privatised foreshore is own by pakeha from overseas who aren't even living here.

No one gets onto those beaches regarless of skin colour!

[anfor whatit's worth I am not Maori]


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