ANALYSIS: In hindsight, Sir Peter Leitch probably wishes he’d smiled and waved as he passed Lara Wharepapa Bridger and her family at the Waiheke Island vineyard but New Zealand is better off because he opened his mouth.
When the Mad Butcher made comments to Bridger about Waiheke being “a white man’s island” he sparked a race row.
After a few days of going backward and forward, the sensible majority can now agree stupid things were said - stupid, racist things.
The day after Bridger posted a public video about what happened, Leitch’s publicist Michelle Boag (also the former National Party president)took a spade and dug herself into the hole Leitch had started to scratch out for himself.
Meanwhile, Kiwis debated whether Leitch’s comments were racist or just a joke. (more…)
Last week the Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy wrote an open letterto all New Zealanders. She wants to hear your views on racism in New Zealand. The letter is part of the Human Rights Commission’s first nationwide anti-racism campaign.
Dame Susan says theThat’s Uscampaign, which asks Kiwis to share their own stories about “racism, intolerance and hatred” in New Zealand, is about “the kind of people we want to be”, and “the kind of country we want our kids growing up in”.
If you would like to reply to Dame Susan’s letter to you, her email address is SusanD@hrc.co.nz– or feedback can be provided through the special websitewww.thatsus.co.nz.
The Human Rights Commission has justified the campaign on the basis that New Zealand is an extremely diverse society, and since diverse societies elsewhere have become more racially intolerant, they expect it to occur here too. With around 400 formal complaints about racism received every year, the Commission wants public feedback: “if we’re going to better understand racism then we need to know what it is” – which in itself seems extraordinary!
In particular, they highlight “casual” or “quiet” racial intolerance – the type that they say occurs in everyday life and often goes unreported. As an example they cite the case of a woman registering students at a university, who “smiles at every other student but the brown ones”.
Clearly this campaign is an exercise in redefining racism to become substantially wider than what most rational people would assume it to be. It is a further example of the arrant nonsense emanating from the Race Relations Commissioner and the Human Rights Commission. (more…)
This is the speech I delivered almost in its entirety in my capacity as special commentator, along with Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy, at Monday night’s semi-final in the intra-university Next Generation Debates series at Auckland University. I say “almost in its entirety” because a gaggle of Muslims became very vocal near the end of my speech and demanded, successfully, I be stopped at once for having gone over my allocated time. The point at which I was shut down is noted in the text below.
What a member of Young New Zealand First called “magnificent pandemonium” followed, with epithets flying back and forth, Dame Susan waiving her right of rebuttal and storming off from the table we were both sharing. (more…)
On 1 September 2016 the Human Rights Commission hosted the Diversity forum at Te Papa, Wellington. The forum explored many avenues within cultural diversity addressing the following questions:
·What challenges do we see in our everyday lives?
·What kind of future do we want for Aotearoa?
·What can we do now to safeguard the future?
The forum featured a range of diverse and inspiring speakers who addressed the above questions. The keynote speaker Deng Adut held the breath of the audience as he told his heartfelt story proving that humanity can always triumph over inhumanity. Deng Adut said that racism is a disease and needed to be eradicated and that people needed to be empowered to rise to this occasion. (more…)
OPINION: Today we start a campaign that’s about us. In fact, we’re calling it That’s Us because it’s about the kind of people we want to be, as well as the kind of country we want our kids growing up in. That’s Us is our first nationwide, anti-racism campaign that asks Kiwis to start sharing our own stories about racism, intolerance and hatred: but to also share our hopes for the future. (more…)
I spent a lot of last week with New Zealanders who are former refugees, migrants and followers of the Islamic faith. It was a week like no other.
After a gunman opened fire in a crowded gay nightclub in Orlando murdering more than 50 people, Muslim Kiwi leaders moved quickly, issuing a joint statement with my colleague, Human Rights Commissioner and LGBTI rights advocate Richard Tankersley. Together they condemned hatred, homophobia and intolerance.
They did so because even though no one really knew the gunman’s motivations, some people - like NZ First leader Winston Peters and US President hopeful Donald Trump - want us to think that we need to fear refugees, migrants and followers of the Islamic faith. They want us to believe that people coming to live here are more likely to break our laws, even though this is not borne out by the statistics. These hysterical claims are more about drama and less about data.
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