10 March 2006

More FM and the right to be racist

Racism is a mindless irrational attitude. It has no place in the philosophy of a civilised, thinking person. Racism of all kinds, from the obvious cases of Apartheid and the KKK, to the more controversial racism of coated in sugary terms like "affirmative action", or when Atareta Poananga called New Zealanders of British descent, the riff raff, flotsam and jetsam of British society. Judging people's minds or character purely on the basis of skin colour, ethnic background or indeed, any other inherited characteristics - is wrong. It should never be done, it IS done for ancient biological reasons (fear of outsiders in the stone age was often legitimate, as they were probably out to conquer you) - but in civilised society it belongs in the past.
Government should never be racist - it should act colourblind in all it does. However, it cannot and should not get in the way of private citizens being racist - because that is about personal freedom. People are racist regularly, regardless of what you think - but criminalising them for what is essentially a thought, is wrong. The appropriate response is to use your own freedom in response - if a shopkeeper is racist to you, take your business elsewhere, tell others why you are, organise a boycott. If a landlord is racist, do the same. Parents will, in some cases, raise children to be racist - but intervening in that would be a dangerous precedent. Is it appropriate for the state to intervene against parents raising children who are communists, atheists, Muslims, libertarians, homophobic, homosexual advocates? Quite simply no. As long as parents do not abuse their children, then whatever philosophy is taught cannot be regulated by the state.
This is the point Libertarianz Deputy Leader Julian Pistorius raised when interviewed by a reporter for More FM on Thursday. Julian has blogged about it in full here - and was misquoted, which More FM subsequently apologised about on air. Not PC has also commented on it.
Racism is vile - the state should not ever practice it - and individuals should personally abhor it. However, it should be fought through free speech and freedom to act - not through force, whether personal or through the state. That is why the Human Rights Act should be repealed.

1 comment:

Rick said...

As I've said though, it's a nice little media coup in favour of The Libertarianz Party of New Zealand!