Sunday 28 May 2023

The Persistence Of Racism: Is the Anti-Racist Cause Winning or Losing?

With Open Arms: Is it at all reasonable to suppose that a colonial society in which whites traditionally occupied all the upper rungs of the ethnic hierarchy, and where the colonised were relegated to the bottom of the socio-economic ladder, will respond positively to a concerted indigenous push from below, or, to an extraordinary influx of non-white immigrants? Subject any settler state to these sorts of pressures, and something is going to break.

THE RACISM experienced by Australian writer Louisa Lim raises questions about the persistence of racism in Aotearoa-New Zealand. An invited speaker at the Auckland Writers’ Festival, Lim had to endure an anti-Asian rant when she visited a local noodle bar. When challenged by Lim, the person spewing the racist abuse redirected it at her. Lim shared this distressing experience with her festival audience, many of whom later expressed their anger and embarrassment at the emotional pain she had been forced to endure.

Incidents of this sort are difficult to categorise. Obviously, they are expressions of racism, but to what extent do they represent ingrained prejudices widely shared across the New Zealand population?

The stereotypical Kiwi racist is white, old and male. People like to talk about that embarrassing uncle that every family possesses, the one who feels no shame in vouchsafing racist opinions to his horrified kith and kin. Younger New Zealanders, we are confidently reassured, are much more relaxed about ethnic diversity. The unspoken assumption being that racism – along with the racists who spout it – will eventually die out. A more tolerant and welcoming Aotearoa is on the way. All we have to do is wait.

That is a comforting idea – but is it true?

To answer that question, it is necessary to ask another: What causes racism?

For racism to flourish, two things are necessary: 1) exploitation on the basis of ethnicity must be profitable; and 2) there must be a well-established ethnic hierarchy which explains and justifies that exploitation. Racism is incidental to the imposition of exploitation, but also to resisting it, because to overcome their exploitation those at the bottom of the ethnic hierarchy cannot avoid challenging and infuriating those above them. Racism flourishes because the exploiter has no choice but to kick down, and the exploited has no choice but to kick up.

Nothing intensifies racism more dramatically than the exploiters discovering racism is no longer profitable. At that point, the utility of the existing ethnic hierarchy is fundamentally compromised. It isn’t just a matter of those on the bottom getting out from under, it’s the disruptive impact their upward social mobility has on those positioned above them. The prospect of having to treat as equals persons whose condition of permanent subordination has constituted a defining element of one’s personal and civil identity is unlikely to be well received.

Those nearest the top of the hierarchy will experience the liberation of subordinate ethnicities with considerably more equanimity than those occupying the rungs immediately above them. The phenomenon of white, working-class racism is readily understood when one realises that the super-exploited, receiving less of everything that matters in the capitalist system – money, status, respect – are toiling away just one rung below. Equality feels good – but only when you’re moving up the ladder.

Is it at all reasonable to suppose that a colonial society in which whites traditionally occupied all the upper rungs of the ethnic hierarchy, and where the colonised were relegated to the bottom of the socio-economic ladder, will respond positively to a concerted indigenous push from below, or, to an extraordinary influx of non-white immigrants? Moreover, if both challenges are being presented to the white majority simultaneously – making it difficult for them to order the rapidly changing ethnic hierarchy with any degree of confidence – what then? Subject any settler state to these sorts of pressures, and something is going to break.

Crucial to the integrity of New Zealand’s social infrastructure is the strength of its defining social narratives. If the pressures being brought to bear on New Zealand society are primarily ethnic in nature, then, at the heart of the story we tell ourselves about ourselves must be an abiding aversion to racism.

New Zealanders must be encouraged to regard racial prejudice as the worst of all sins. No accusation should be more hurtful to the ordinary New Zealander than the charge of racism. To that end, overt racism must always be condemned publicly – and in the strongest possible terms. It should be widely understood that a proven charge of racism is a career-killer. The desired outcome? A population willing to do just about anything to avoid the accusation – “Racist!”

That this outcome has largely been achieved is remarkable. Those responsible for instilling and policing Kiwi “anti-racism” should take a bow. The fear of being called a racist has kept most of the population dutifully silent as Māori nationalism has acquired a seemingly unstoppable momentum, and as the structure of the New Zealand population has been radically re-shaped by decades of mass immigration.

Certainly, the embarrassing old uncles continue to shock their friends, families and neighbours, but the political and cultural evolution of New Zealand has not been deranged by politicians vigorously condemned as racists (Winston Peters, Don Brash) taking control of the state – as happened elsewhere.

Most New Zealanders simply do not appreciate how close their country came to full-scale ethnic confrontation in 2005. The narrowness of the Don Brash-led National Party’s electoral defeat suggested strongly that the forces behind Kiwi anti-racism were nowhere near as powerful as its promoters had hoped. Labour’s victory obviated ideological introspection, however, and allowed the drive towards Māori sovereignty and multiculturalism to continue and gather strength.

National’s 2008 election victory did very little to hinder the anti-racist cause. Daunted, perhaps, by thoughts of what might have happened had Brash won, his successor, John Key, wooed and won the Māori Party as a supporter of his government. Key was also seized by the importance of New Zealand’s growing economic relationship with China. Key’s National Government encouraged the growth of multiculturalism every bit as assiduously as it enabled Māori nationalism. Accordingly, the anti-racist message, now amplified by large sections of the political class, academia and the news media, underwent a significant increase in volume.

The election of Jacinda Ardern’s Labour-led Government encouraged the anti-racist message to be broadcast even louder. The questions posed by its extraordinary salience, however, were difficult to answer. Were the increasingly jarring manifestations of Māori nationalist and multicultural assertiveness evidence of New Zealand society’s growing acceptance of diversity, or, proof of its opposite? Was ethnic tolerance expanding, or contracting?

The mass demonstrations of solidarity with the Muslim community following the 2019 Christchurch Mosque Massacres strongly suggest that tolerance is growing. The unabashed racism visible on social media, however, hints that, deep down, not much had changed since Brash’s near-victory in 2005.

That the promotion of the anti-racist message is now accompanied by openly expressed concerns regarding the dangers of “hate speech” and unregulated freedom of expression, testifies to the fragility of the anti-racist consensus. The political and cultural elites, to whom the prosecution of the anti-racist cause has been entrusted, are becoming increasingly defensive. Is it any longer sensible to be tolerant of intolerance?

The experience of Louisa Lim makes us wonder. Has racism really been driven into the furthest reaches of rural and provincial New Zealand? Are its promoters, safely corralled among the over-65s, really dying off? Or does it lurk, still, in the shadows of White New Zealand’s gothic psyche? Huge and silent, does it wait for a political leader to do what Don Brash came so close to doing eighteen years ago – give it a voice, and set it free?

Were the racists Lim encountered in that down-town Auckland noodle-bar over sixty-five – or under thirty?

This essay was originally posted on The Daily Blog of Friday, 26 May 2023.


  1. "Racist" doesn't mean what you seem to think it means, Chris. "Racist," as it is used in contemporary political discourse, is just a synonym for "White." This is where the formula that "all White people are intrinsically racist" comes in and gives the game away.

    It has nothing to do with prejudice. It's an attribute that (allegedly, but without evidence) all Europeans are born with. Therefore, if we want to eliminate racism, it follows that we must eliminate White people, because racism is a characteristic of White people, and nobody else (allegedly). Used in this way, "racism" isn't a universally applicable concept – it is a tool for the disenfranchisement and disempowerment of European-derived people. Any such person would be mad to support anti-racist causes, because they are anti-themselves (they just don't know it, in the majority of cases).

    Look in the mirror Chris, and tell me what you see – is that something you really want to see eliminated?

    If we are talking "racism" as "antagonism based on genetic makeup" then go to Asia, India or Africa – there you will find some of the most prejudiced people you can imagine, but that is not considered a problem, for the reasons I have explained.

  2. So Maori ethnonationalism isn't racist?

    1. "So Maori ethnonationalism isn't racist?"

      It's fascism. You-know-who would have instantly recognised it.

      When ethno-nationalism is used
      as a stalking horse to bring about separatism in governance and other societal arrangements, the result is racist. And undemocratic, of course.

  3. If my memory serves me correctly Don Brash's comments that caused so much trouble were to the effect of arguing against treating people differently according to their race, not that race should determine treatment. Please quote the statement ('s) he made that denigrated one race c/f another. He has an Asian wife I believe.
    I think this is the problem. if racist sentiment is on the increase it is because of the perception that races are being treated differently by legislation , not because any significant slice of NZ society wants anything but equality .
    D J S

  4. 'The stereotypical Kiwi racist is white, old and male.' Firstly, this requires an adoption of the concept only white people can be racist. The second is a rather biased idea that young people are all accepting of all and most older males are not, which I consider rather insulting.

  5. Anaximander may have mistaken critical reflection as one form of action.Maybe he meant to say that about the same idea that the truth is often different from our perception of reality rather than our experiences which involve action rather than thought.
    If I have offended anyone for any particular reason then you have my heartfelt apology.

  6. Hello Chris, this is not what happened.

    You write:

    "An invited speaker at the Auckland Writers’ Festival, Lim had to endure an anti-Asian rant when she visited a local noodle bar. When challenged by Lim, the person spewing the racist abuse redirected it at her."

    Lim claims that she heard two men (race unspecified) discussing the festival she was speaking at. We don't really know what was said, because no one has sought to actually investigate what happened, including who the men were or what they said.

    What we know is that Lim verbally assaulted two men about comments - part of a private conversation - she claims to have overheard. The men, of unusually undefined race, I might add, never engaged her.

    What really went on? What we do know is that other Asian patrons of the restaurant told her to leave for yelling and acting crazy, not the two men she claimed to be eavesdropping on.

    Even a sympathetic report by a colleague, one which the media report may have been based on, tells a different story. one which hardly seems credible.

    I ask you to read that account and ask yourself whether it really happened. Two men walk into a restaurant and begin speaking in racist terms about the festival where Lim happens to be speaking about racism. Yes, that's right, two people who are said to have travelled to Auckland to go to a lefty writers festival at a Chinese restaurant, and they just happen to bump into her...

    Note, Louisa Lim has a British accent. She doesn't look Chinese or Asian. She looks not unlike your average Kiwi from the North Island, actually, with a bit of Maori in her. ..

    Sounds like she was acting like a crazy person and was told so by a whole room full of patrons before being asked to leave.

    Stop enabling Bolshevik division and lies.

  7. I've got doubts about the validity Lim's claim of a racist encounter in Auckland, certainly anyone obsessed at mouthing off at Asians in Auckland is going to be very busy. Mind you, what now qualifies as racism even includes asking someone where they're from; it's a pretty low bar.

    Perhaps racism is way more pervasive than any of us (GS excepted) could possibly imagine.
    Social justice parody activist, Titania McGrath, has done some great cataloguing main stream media articles on racism. Golf, Bedrooms, Jesus, Chess, Mahatma Gandhi, Cartoon characters, Milk, Roads, Classical music, Horse racing, Trying not to be racist, Being nice and so on; all racist AF.

  8. That is a comforting idea – but is it true?

    To answer that question, it is necessary to ask another: What causes racism?

    But before that we have to agree on what racism actually is?
    Rather than Marx I would look to evolutionary psychology where you find this thing called the alliance hypothesis.

    A (failed) attempt to falsify the alliance hypothesis of racial categorization: Racial categorization is not reduced when crossed with a nonalliance category
    I can’t believe you still think like that Chris.

  9. Maori are tangata whenua the people of the land and therefore have a moral right and precedence in Aotearoa.That right has largely been ignored by the Pakeha.Progressively and partly by force of arms but much more by legal, financial and legal chicanery have sought to dispose the Maori of their birthright to the land and the arguments between Pakeha and Maori goes right back to the beginnings of european settlement.Many Pakeha today sympathise with the view of history now being taught in our schools for the first time properly that Maori have had imposed upon them a law, a culture, a religion, a system of values an education and a language alien to their own.

  10. Before one wonders about what causes racism, there needs to be a clear definition as to what exactly racism is. The extremes are easy to define, but there is a massive gray area. It isn't helped by it being the goto word for people like the Maori Party on almost any issue. As a consequence, the word nowadays has no meaning.
    This isn't helped by the Government refusing to define it. That is according to an organisation that OIAed Government ministers about their departments' definitions. All of them came back with variations on no agreed definition of racism. Well, that's just great. We are supposed to have anti-racism policies, but no-one knows what racism is. Sounds much like pornography.

  11. Also what ethnicity were the racists?

  12. Were the racists Lim encountered in that down-town Auckland noodle-bar over sixty-five – or under thirty?
    Well the anti-racists sure have their voice (that's the issue):

    Paul Spoonley at launch of He How'sYourFather: "there are... and ideologies that are deeply, deeply toxic"
    Winston Peters says (something about) two Asian journalists: "I'm disgusted!; I'm disgusted!"
    Mai Chen: "NZ's future is ethnic; it's indigenous"
    The boy Bishop and Sharp Jack Tame talk for about 20 minutes on Q&A on how National breaking the MDR accord. Jack brings up the Elephant in the Room , whatever it was it wasn't immigration. Spoonley says that some things "should not be politicised" - we don't get to ask what exactly (as you don't when some things "should not be politicised").

    At the end of the day there is "an elite consensus" [Sam Roggeveen - Lowy Institute] that "the immigration program" [George Megalogenis] shall continue unabated and shall not be subject to debate - unless Paul Spoonley and the people who have "friends with more boats than the NZ Navy" [John Key] are in control of the debate.

    What this means is:

    "NZ's future is ethnic; it's indigenous" or "white supremacy". The former is assumed to be an enlightened model for the rest of the world, although the talk of baizuo by Chinese netzins suggests they view this as a perversion (. The latter disgusts our better half who are definitely not connected to those low creatures they surpassed in those high school years, way back.

    The numbers of Chinese and Indians transferring their wealth and the downside is not to be commented on because a. it flows through the universities as export education and b. enriches the Bob Jone's and c. everyone is us, anyway - (scientific racism and all that) and d. density is the best way to combat global warming ("the problem isn't sunlight in Wellington, it is houses on an uninsulated slab" - JA Genter).

    There is also (d) the hairy socialist who marches in support of Hezbollah and with Indians "no more exploitation!this is a migrant nation". He calls Pauline Hanson "filthy".

    I met a young bus driver with two degrees who burst forth indigently that the world's poor should be able to travel wherever they want. I wondered if he considered he would be driving a bus for long but last I heard he filled the bus with Adblue (urea and water) instead of diesel. Did he think life rubbing shoulders with the world's poor would be one big eternal party of Gangs of New York?

    People who express the wrong views are the other and should be punched by a student dressed in a ninja outfit. Our moral focus should be guided by the NZ Anti-Racist Scribe and Pharisee of the academy with a tacit wink from Bob Jones the billionaire who spends "half his time overseas" and" finds people are the same everywhere" ("they are us").

  13. See this black teenager Mizzy he films himself doing outrageous things;
    Goes up to a women asks if she wants to die.
    Goes into a random house (woman with children) terrifies her.
    Gets into the back of a car "this is my uber".
    Leap frogs a fundamentalist Jew.

    His morality is within a framework described by the anti-racist.
    He gets a 350 Pound fine and tells Piers Morgan "not my fault the UK laws are weak".
    Experts tell Facebook that there is no meaningful difference between white nationalism and white supremacism (Facebook should tell the "experts" that academics need define their terms so we know what they are talking about). In this case white Britain is the architecture on which the nation is founded. Under multiculturalism it is the other

    George Megalogenis to the Fabians:

    That is the end-game (perhaps).

  14. There is a very good comment that Peter Cresswell reposted which sums up my views on this matter.
    "My view has always been ... that if you need to know the colour (or demographic trait in general) of the speaker before you know if you are offended or not, then the hate is coming from you – not from the speaker. What you hate is not what was said but the person saying it."
    There are a lot of things said by non-whites & non-males (like Marama Davidson) that would have the witch-hunters out in force if the colours were reversed. But they get a free pass. Facts no longer matter. It is the victimhood pyramid and post-modernism that holds sway.
    There is a lot of less than subtle racism out there - the old fashioned "a belief that race is a fundamental determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race" but it is not an exclusive or even predominant whites thing. Racism is disgusting and should be stamped out, but it won't be. Not under the present society and the way the elites want us to go.

  15. I'm happy to be proven wrong but the following is the brief synopsis of the Lim incident as initially reported in the media

    "It was as they entered the restaurant that Lim heard one of the men saying loudly: “A good Asian is a contradiction in terms.”

    “I just thought that’s so unacceptable,” said Lim. “So I said, very politely, ‘You know what you just said is really offensive.’”

    Further elaboration the following day from someone involved was that they were discussing the food as in "Asian food", one being less enamoured than the other. I saw this on another blog which then lead to a lengthy discussion on the merits of Asian food, ie Thai, Indian, Chinese, Vietnamese and so on as opposed to Mediterranean etc.

    Now that may not be the case but I recently had someone not invloved in a discussion of mine misunderstand something said and choosing to be offended, then interjecting. At that time I also told her to eff off rather than engae in a pointless discussion.

  16. "The fact that I really love my family members, and then my community around them, in some sense, is also why I am not so positively predisposed to anything I see outside of that which I think might disrupt it. We need some sympathy for that proclivity, and we need to understand what we do about it now in the modern world, where it is doing more harm than good, because maybe we do not need to be parochial in that sense, like we were in the past. Perhaps we cannot afford to be because we are so technologically powerful now that the tendency to demonize the out-group member will destroy all of us if we do not figure out how to get it under control. The reason I wrote “Maps of Meaning,” essentially, was to figure out how you get that under control as an individual. That took me deep into religious work and religious morality, I would say.

    I think the answer to the question of that problem is that we have to become better people. We have to become more conscious. We have to become more conscious of our ethical obligations. We have to become more conscious of the nature of good and evil, to put it bluntly. We have to bear the ethical responsibility that our powerful technology demands."

    Jordan Peterson 29th May

  17. “When you're accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression."

    If you want to see racism, go look at the MSN website every time something comes up about Maori. They even use the contraction Mri instead of writing the full word because "if they wrote Mari they'd be censored." I watched someone ask them about it, and that was their reply. Funny though, anyone who is not making racist statements about Maori can use the word without much of a problem from what I've seen.

    It's worth dipping your toe into to get a sense of things, but it's such a cesspit you wouldn't want to do more than cursory look. They don't even bother putting a 'reasonable' face on it these days – it's just straight in. Apparently in spite of being at the bottom of all societies metrics, Maoriare the privileged ones.

    I haven't been to a pub for a number of years now, but it used to come out when people have had a few drinks, particularly if they assumed that as you will white you shared their point of view. I doubt if much is changed.

    I've always said that New Zealanders have a real mean streak about people they think are beneath them. Not just Maori but also "dole bludgers", single mums and the like. Whenever they see them getting "something for nothing" out it comes.

  18. We're doing remarkably well. It doesn't matter here really.

    I spose from the Right needing immigrants to maintain the economy falsely and the Left having ideals.

    You get it right about every idiot Pakeha being anti-Maori. But it doesn't matter, it's the Fascist ideas reaching them via the new media from plutocratic America. I just don't think they have a resistance, seeing my born-again sibs going over from astonishment at Trump's election to full-on craziness. Anyone with no ideas (most), free from the stresses of active life, can be led on to adult fairy tales that serve the powerful.

    But we agree on strong social-democratic govt to prevent those vile cancers at base. Despite the difficulty, despite the necessity.

  19. When in doubt, impose your own definitions and prejudice. Many of the contributors to this blog are undoubtedly blinkered on the subject of "race", but I feel I should repeat things I have shared for years. I expect that those who do not adhere to this never will.

    Race is a social construct. It is about the disproven medical scientific view that there is such a thing called race, and especially that skin colour is a defining signature of race, or other disgusting physical attributes often used in anti-Semitism. It is now universally accepted outside prejudice, that there is no genetic connection between those minor psychical traits and behavior or character. Culture may shape someone, shared ethnicity may bind, but race as a genetic definer does not exist.

    Racism is about the belief in race. This is also related to ethnocentrism, where one cultural base is considered superior to another. If we look at the origin of western belief in race in the reconquista of the Iberian peninsular, the trans-Atlantic slave trade and the colonization era, we see the most striking affects in Namibia and Nazi Germany. It is disturbing to see some pseudo-science trying to reargue eugenics again.

    When we look at the history of the belief in race, it is obvious that it evolved within a power structure in which one group that was empowered claimed superiority over another which was less empowered. The very concept of race is used to affirm power situations. No understanding of racism should be discussed without looking at the power dynamics. This included power within intersectional factors such as class or gender.

    This brings us to the question in the NZ contexts, can Maori be racist towards Pakeha. It is difficult to see the power situation in which Maori developed a sense of "race" outside the colonial relationship with Pakeha. It is better to suggest that some Maori may have developed a racial view in reaction to the imposition of racism. This does not mean that those that identify as Maori may not show racism when in a power dynamic, but in a societal sense, Pakeha wield the power.

    The second point is the difference between "race" and inherited Treaty rights or customary practice. This is based on someone's rights as a descendant of those whose representative signed the Treaty or as a descendant of people that held the infrastructure of the country before colonial law. Obviously, a Tahitian has shared genetic heritage with NZ Maori but holds no rights in NZ. For those that still advocate "race" this becomes a paradox. They argue "race based" policies, but are personally aware that provision for Maori is not based on "race". There is an awareness that provision is based on the descent from the signatories of the Treaty (and the rights recognized there in), the international, British and NZ understanding of customary rights and indigenous rights (again derived from descent) and that there are historical structures that have created deficits in social, economic and cultural standing. This is about service delivery and recognition that there are cultural and ethically based networks existing that may reach the target group better, or that autonomy in some areas get better results.

    Yet, "race" continues as a dog whistle against those that have been disempowered. It is a shame that there remains those so insecure with their standing in society they exploit a concept which has been used to repress is now being used to extend repression of progress. I find it sad that people that have benefited from a largely monocultural colonial construct are now dispirit to claim victimhood.

  20. Gosh, there is Jordan Peterson almost making a sort of sense. As opposed to when asked "Do you believe in God?" He answered – "That depends on what you mean by 'do', what you mean by 'you', what you mean by 'believe', what you mean by 'in', and what you mean by 'God'." And that I think, was before he went completely doolally tap.

  21. Chris: "Labour’s victory obviated ideological introspection, however, and allowed the drive towards Māori sovereignty and multiculturalism [?] to continue and gather strength."

    And where is that drive going? Who's in the drivers seat?

    "Who would have thought that the party of Micky Savage and Peter Fraser would eventually collapse into one willing to assist the Maori aristocracy to cream off money intended for the disadvantaged, lending it to themselves with no strings attached, and appointing their mates and relatives to boards, councils and trusts? Not appointed by those responsible to the wider public, but “placed” by the new Maori aristocracy. Ordinary folk are now starting to confront the reality that Labour no longer stands for them. Rather, “their” party is in the grip of those who are already privileged."

  22. If the prick Churchill could provide 'strong social-democratic' govt then any one, cornered, with conscience and understanding, can. Perhaps, preferably, that sort of Rightie, if such exists anymore (if it does, it's here).

    GS, 'our NZer sympathy for others is only matched by our suspicion of others'. Hence ... the dickhead in 1984 (not Lange, the other guy, Lange was a loiterer in the wrong area). The Ozzies had it better with their inherent resistance to authority.

    David George, Jordan Peterson is a laughing stock for the rational. And, a friend of the rich rulers.

  23. Thanks sumsuch, I've no doubt some people say that about JP and for all sorts of reasons. Mostly not good ones.
    The man is not afraid to rustle a few feathers but, as he says, "When you speak the truth, whatever happens is the best possible thing that could have happened."

  24. "The racism experienced by Australian writer Louisa Lim...."

    Setting aside what racism actually constitutes, I'm sceptical about this story. Having family living in the Auckland CBD, I know quite well that area to which she refers. The noodle bars there are almost exclusively patronised by Asians, students in particular.

    In the accounts that I've read, she doesn't comment on the ethnicity of the men involved. That in itself is interesting: if they were white, I'd have expected her to say so.

    I note the countervailing accounts upthread of what actually happened. In truth, they sound more plausible. It's easy to overhear parts of conversations and misunderstand what's being said. It sounds as if that was what she did.

    With regard to "racism", what people think and say isn't racism. It's a reflection of groupishness, a characteristic of the human species. We tend to prefer living, working and socialising with people who look like us, speak the same language, share culture and mores. There's nothing wrong with this: attempting to stamp it out is a fool's errand. What we do is of moment, though: in NZ, we have laws against acting on prejudice towards others.

    Racism is what governments do, by way of legal and societal arrangements which discriminate, either positively or negatively, in respect of distinct groups in a polity. The Maori electoral system, along with by-Maori for-Maori services, are instances of racism.

    I note that she talked about being offended. But that isn't a test for racism. We can all be offended by what others say in front of, or to, us. So what? We can choose to ignore such comments: my late mother encouraged us to do that.

    We have a family member who is Asian, though not Chinese. Said family member has encountered negative comments and gestures, almost exclusively from people who look Maori. It comes as no surprise to me.

  25. DG, Sowell and Peterson not saying anything about Trump's coup against what amounts to democracy in the plutocracy of America says it all about them.

  26. David, the day Jordan Peterson speaks the truth ... words fail me. He started his career by lying about the Canadian law which he said would force people to use particular pronouns, or face prosecution. Although to be honest you once admitted that you do favour forced speech so I'm not quite sure why you admire him so much.
    All this in spite of the fact that many lawyers had given opinions that it would do no such thing, and that no one has ever been prosecuted for not using people's preferred pronouns. He went downhill from there.

  27. D'Esterre suggests - " for-Maori services, are instances of racism."

    More dog whistle. I wonder if the same is thought about service delivery within the Navajo Nation Government? This is of course an semi-autonomous state within a state. It provides benefits and services for the Navajo people in conjunction with the over-arching United States government and Arizona state. There was recognition as to on-going rights and responsibility for the Navajo people had never been extinguished and that service delivery can be provided and targeted through indigenous developed structured. The only conceptional difference with Maori is that nationally and within Iwi or hapu rohe there not exclusive land control (but an unextinguished interest) is overlap with NZ Governmental or sub-Governmental service delivery.

    I would have thought that the deconstruction of service delivery would show the rights of Maori hapu to direct this was never extinguished. This is not based on the discredited view of "race", but on-going inherited rights that are being now recognized and reestablished. Anyone following the Covid19 vaccination campaigns would note that "by-Maori for-Maori services" are shown to be more effective and efficient. To not do this, or not to involve other defined community groups in delivery to their communities, would be to ensure less effective and efficient and not meet need based on debunked social pseudo-science.

    Just to note: Anyone suggesting "reverse racism" has already conceded that racism is directional and within a power relationship.

  28. To: The Barron.

    The recognition of Native American "nations" (albeit under the watchful eyes of state and federal authorities) in the USA was only practicable because the American colonisers herded indigenous American tribes onto "reservations".

    This did not happen in New Zealand. The quasi-official isolation of Maori in their rural fastnesses did not survive the insatiable demand for unskilled labour in the post-war era. The mass migration of Maori to the cities, where the overwhelming majority of indigenous New Zealanders still live, makes the Navaho "solution" impossible (without an horrendous fight).

    And even today, if precious resources are located beneath Native American nations, then their autonomy is very rapidly exposed as more apparent than real.

    1. Giving privilege to the spatial relationship boundaries and numbers within is a Eurocentric view of nationhood. Indigenous rights are the preexisting governance and interests. These are not extinguished, but ongoing.

      The Navajo have a high degree of self-determination within a drawn boundary, but also maintain interest in sacred sites, environmental issues and the welfare of members throughout traditional space.

      It seems strange to recognize the rights and efficiency of service delivery only when a drawn geographic map creates a majority, but ignore the rights and efficiency where the indigenous are in shared space. There is nothing about having neighbors that extinguished rights or does not make measures of autonomy in service delivery less effective and efficient.

  29. To: The Barron.

    In the words of the American poet, Robert Frost:

    "Strong walls make good neighbours."

  30. Where have I heard those sentiments before? Oh, that's right -

    "They are casting their problems at society. And, you know, there's no such thing as society. There are individual men and women and there are families. And no government can do anything except through people, and people must look after themselves first. It is our duty to look after ourselves and then, also, to look after our neighbours." – Margaret Thatcher in an interview in Women's Own in 1987

  31. To: The Barron.

    I'm pretty sure Frost was talking about something quite different from Mrs Thatcher's ruminations upon the responsibilities of the individual and the state.

    As in, relationships are made both easier and stronger when people know precisely where the boundaries between them lie.

    1. Of course this deems invisible those between the boundaries. One of the biggest foci of Anthropology is the realization that boundaries are unclear and artificial. People are often within the boundaries.

      We need a greater understanding of liminality and intersectionality. Building walls is so Khruahchev / Trump

  32. Racism only resides in Godzone ... generalizing and by and large ... in the fevered twisted minds of demented unstable madmen... never women note ... or at least publically.

    We may therefore dismiss ... and in passing condemn ... the Lim abuser as an an aberrant oddity. Nothing more and scarcely noteworthy.

    That's NZ ... of today ehh? and large ... of course!