As covered by marty mars, Councillor Bruce Wilson from the fine city of Palmerston North decided to crack “a joke” about sterilising Maaori women smokers so they wouldn’t be able to smoke in front of their kids.
Every single statement since then from him has been a bingo square: it was a joke, I wouldn’t have said it if I knew media were present, I’m sorry if you were offended, I should have thought harder.
Like marty says,
We let these people off too lightly – and trying to get out of it by using the ‘joke’ defence is as bad as using the ‘should have thought harder’ defence – they are not a defence they are just useless excuses.
The thing is, stories like this consistently get the “oh, oops” treatment, especially when it’s privileged white dudes accidentally letting us all know that they’re authoritarian racist (or misogynist) fucks.
This is bullshit.
There is no level of “hard thinking” involved in the idea that it’s not okay to:
That’s not something anyone in the 21st century should believe is some kind of grey area requiring intensive meditation. It’s an automatic Godwin-exemption because it’s something the Nazis actually did.
Councillor Bruce Wilson shouldn’t just resign because he’s racist. He should resign because he’s not competent to open his mouth and speak to other human beings.
If he can’t understand “I shouldn’t joke about forced sterilisation of Maaori” then how the fuck do you expect him to help run a city? What other basic concepts of human behaviour have to be explained to him? “Councillor, we can’t superglue all the doors shut on the buses to stop people getting on and off at traffic lights because then no one can get on the bus at all”? “Councillor, you shouldn’t advocate castrating people who put non-recyclables in the recycling bins”? “Councillor, shoes go on your feet“?
And a small thought to mull over: what does it say about someone who, when “frustrated” by the lack of impact of anti-smoking policies, will go to “sterilise women” before “ban tobacco”?