Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Hone Harawira not totally lost

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Yawn yawn “Don Brash is racist” says Hone Harawira. You’d think he’d know what racist means, since he is in a party which is all about race. You see Hone misses the point. Brash wasn’t saying Maori are not a distinct culture, he was simply questioning how one can talk about a separate justice system for a people that are not that separate – and let’s face it, the concept of being Maori – according to Hone Harawira – is subjective. It is psychological.
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Harawira is delusional if he thinks Brash want Maori to disappear – he simply doesn’t care whether or not you are Maori. He doesn’t have a strong sense of ethnic identity – unlike Harawira who lives and breathes a collective identity.
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You see Harawira is proud to be Maori – because for him he believes there is no choice – even though, in fact, there is. He is proud of being aligned to a collective group but more importantly he hit it on the nose with this comment that Maori identity:
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is as much a recognition that being Maori is partly blood, but it’s also a love for a culture, a language, and a way of life”.
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Indeed, that could be so. In fact that is all that ethnicity is. There is nothing inherently wrong will people choosing that – and I doubt Don Brash would think so either. The bottom line is, most New Zealanders, including supporters of Don Brash don't care what race you are, are not racist, are not Maori bashers and are happy to see Maori succeed individually, in business or in any walk of life - on their own merits. They just don’t expect the state to give Maori individual legal privileges because of it, or special quota positions at university and they are damned if they think the state should give someone who has a love of Maori culture, language and way of life money for their business, education, healthcare, car or whatever - taken from their pocket.
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That's the point - let Maori do as they please with their own bodies and property. Let private individuals give donations or privileges to Maori, Chinese, Italians, lesbians, the unemployed, farmers, sock fetishists or pavlova makers, or deny it from them. However, the state should be blind to this - completely. That is what Brash is saying - take race out of the equation. The state should neither discriminate against OR for.
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Unfortunately Harawira doesn’t want to engage on that level. He's with those who don't think Maori can be racist. He doesn’t want to defend special laws for Maori or funding, because he knows it is difficult to defend – he’d rather call Brash racist and a Maori basher because it is easy. Easy to call someone names and dismiss their arguments, isn’t it?

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