[Takes a deep breath]
This is one of those topics that is really hard to write about – because so many migrants wanting to come here just do not want to believe that a place full of such warm and friendly people can also play host to some of the most awful racism you are likely to see. We were told by a friend back in the UK, and like most people – chose to think they were overreacting.
I decided in the end to write this post because racism is in the news this week after some highly unpleasant comments were made in an email by a sitting MP – Hone Harawira – of the Maori party. A (kiwi) friend made a comment to the effect that this was funny. Now it has to be said that reading comments on news sites suggests that most people in New Zealand are appalled at these comments – and this included many, many Maori who are ashamed that someone this ignorant claims to speak for them. But it also shows that there are plenty of people in New Zealand who think racism is acceptable. One comment I saw says, “Racism is in the eye of the beholder”.
OK then. Nice to know. I’m assuming that this also applies to the injustices Hone believes were done to his people? Possibly they are supposed to just get over it and stop stealing land back? I don’t think so. You see this is often a comment I have heard and seen by otherwise sensible people. They don’t think their comments are racist – so they aren’t. If you are offended – then there’s something wrong with you and you need to get a life.
The daftest thing about these particular comments from Hone Harawira – is that you cannot tell someone if Maori (or not) by the colour of their skin. There is no longer any such things as a “pure” Maori, so this racial hatred really is quite pathetic. What are people supposed to do – chop their arms off if it’s the “white bit”???
And its not just some low-life MP who feels whites are scum. Asian, Mexican, Black friends – get just as much hatred poured on them by white and Maori New Zealanders alike. From “F Off you Asian bastards” to appalling abuse from healthcare “professionals” given to a Mexican friend (who lets face it must have married her Kiwi Husband just to get out of the third world nightmare that was Mexico to come and fleece off the wonderful first world NZ healthcare system where she has been treated worse than a dog.) To Black teachers from the UK who have been hounded out of their jobs because they are not the “nice white brits” that the school expected. (You can’t see someone’s skin colour when you hire from abroad – apparently it came as a shock to the school that people from Birmingham are not all white.)
You may end up hearing racist comments the way people talk about the weather. So many times when we have talked about our Immigration Problems we get comments about why are pacific islanders are let in? – they are all lazy, fat and stupid. Or comments about how Maori all fleece the benefits system, so why is such a fuss being made about letting in the “good” people? (That would be us).
Seriously – sometimes I can’t help but wonder why people in New Zealand hate so many other people based on prejudice, skin colour and ignorance. Generally speaking if you are white – you are actually immune from most of it. You will probably at some point face the stupid phrase “Your lot did (insert historical injustice of choice that had bugger all to do with “your lot” but hey – why let the truth get in the way of a good grudge). Except that you have to watch seeming sensible people spout crap about non-whites. But occasionally the shoe is on the other foot – and we get to see quite clearly what our friends of other colours have to go through almost all the time in this “friendly”country.
I think it’s worth noting that he did not use taxpayers money to fund his trip to paris (well know bastion of white culture), what he did wrong was to bunk off work and take a sightseeing trip while he was supposed to be representing “his people” in brussels.