Greg Clydesdale’s report that labelled Pacific Islanders a ‘drain on the economy’ has been rubbished as a lazy, intellectually dishonest piece of work by fellow academics.
The report concludes that Pacific Islanders make no net contribution to the economy but the substance of the report does not justify that conclusion in the slightest. Moreover, it ignores the other effects of immigration and, as we pointed out last week, appears totally ignorant of class and history.
Race Relations Conciliator Joris de Bres (a man who impresses with his intellect, sense of practicality, and dry wit – traits which I would say were typically Dutch if that weren’t racial stereotyping) has chosen to undertake a report on Clydesdale’s paper and the media coverage around it. This has upset some who seem to think the Race Relations Conciliator has no business commenting on race relations issues that arise in the public discourse. It is his job to do just that.
Let’s just be clear, no-one is disputing Clydesdale’s right to be a lazy bigot or to say lazy, bigoted things, nor the right of anyone to cover that report in a sensationalist manner. However, when producing an academic work that work can be critiqued according to academic standards. And when that work is jumped on in the media and bandied about as some higher truth that Pacific Islanders are worse than other New Zealanders it is hardly surprising if it gets criticised in the media (mainstream or blogosphere) too.
Just as Clydesdale has a right to call Pacific Islanders lazy without justification, we have the right to call Clydesdale a lazy bigot, with every justification.