Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Waitangi Day is the annual picking of a sore

Whilst Peter Cresswell makes much of my point for me, I want to add a couple of others.

It's easy to criticise those who embrace the notion of Maori ethno-nationalism (that being a nationalism based not on a shared history of a common political body, but based on an ancestral heritage), who engage in patronising monologues about "partnership" and "engagement" and "dialogue", when anyone who disagrees with them is simply branded as racist and ignored.

It's also easy to criticise those conservatives who are dismissive of anything Maori that makes them feel uncomfortable, who disapprove of the use of the Maori language, of Maori immersion schools (because they are Maori, not because they are state funded) or those who consent to using Maori customs on their own property or in their own business relationships, or indeed those who worship Maori supernatural beliefs.  For after all, if people want to embrace a culture and a language in their personal lives and openly express it, that is their choice.

However, what's largely ignored is that most people in New Zealand do not see Waitangi Day as a day to celebrate anything, except for a day off work.  So many see it as a day when they will be reminded by people who are themselves elites, on well above average salaries, frequently paid for by taxpayers, claiming there isn't "justice".  They will be reminded of the desire of these elites to take more of their money, through the state, to enrich a new generation of trough feeders.  They will have noticed that a generation of settlements are not seen as enough by the loud and angry, a group who have been influential in teaching a new generation of young Maori to share their view of entitlement, and belief in the legitimacy if not the wisdom of using violence to achieve their aims.  It isn't helped by a Race Relations Commissioner who is sympathetic to the view of those seeking to use the state as a way of extracting more money from everyone else.

Most people see it as rent seeking, by those who have not personally suffered any specific loss, and more importantly, being paid for by those who did not create the loss.

It is a sore around individual identity vs collective identity, and the role of the state in overriding the former with the latter.  It is one Don Brash clumsily attempted to raise in the 2005 election (Kiwi/Iwi posters were scratching the conservative "dismissive of Maori" viewpoint, rather than confronting the strongly held belief that there is a small Maori elite gaining rents from the state).   It is one that needs confronting, but wont be, as long as the Maori Party (which is patronised by such an elite) is necessary for a majority government.   Evading the debate or labelling all those wishing to engage in it as racists, is not going to make it go away.   Indeed, that very evasion is the source of vast clouds of irresponsibility that are allowed to wash over those who abuse their children, neglect their children and engage in a frenzy of mutual destruction of themselves and their whanau.

My second point is simpler, and easier to confront.

Titewhai Harawira is a thug.  She brutalised the mentally ill, and she is treated as deserving respect because of her age.  If she were a man of non-Maori descent, he would be treated by her sycophants and apologists for what he would be - a thug.

The mere fact this woman, who attacked Maori who were vulnerable, is granted a shred of respect, is disgraceful.  No one, Maori or otherwise, should give her a public platform and given the atrocious statistics for Maori on Maori crime, she should be ostracised, for she is part of the problem.  A woman who normalised and institutionalised violence, and has never offered contrition for it.  

John Key should ignore her, should refuse to engage with her, and she should be told why.  It's not her politics or that of her vile racist rent-seeking son (for there are many of that ilk), it's what she did.

Those who express concern over racism always say they want people judged for their deeds.  It's time to do just that.  Titewhai Harawira is a violent criminal offender, let's treat her as such.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Where are the anti-bullying sockpuppets?