A candidate for the Whau Local Board of Auckland Council has received some rather unwanted publicity.
His name is John Subritsky and he is is a Community and Residents candidate.
C&R is widely regarded as being a front for the National Party and tends to support right wing policies.
From Ripu Bhatia at Stuff:
A man running in the local body elections has been exposed using racial slurs on Facebook.
Central Auckland resident John Subritzky, who is standing for the Whau Local Board on the Communities & Residents ticket, used a demeaning term in a post two years ago.
“A bit thin skinned. P…. should try being Christians and harden up to some mocking,“ he said.
The comment was made in response to an article about a man who was sentenced to death in Pakistan for allegedly committing blasphemy.
He also accused migrants of being involved in fraud, failing to assimilate and undermining local culture. Again from Stuff:
A second post saw Subritzky attack minority groups in response to a case of housing fraud in Australia.
“This is a common pattern – you and I pay for the migrants lifestyle, their benefits, their kids, their accommodation,” he said.
“All while they don’t assimilate but rather undermine the culture they chose to join.”
Subritsky works at Promise Keepers which as part of its mission extols
“[r]eaching beyond any racial and denominational barriers to demonstrate the power of biblical unity”. He may want to reflect on this.
Subritsky claims that he did not know at the time that his comments were hurtful. It seems that under the glare of public exposure he has had a road to Damascus conversion and now realises that what he said was wrong.
Fair enough. We should always allow people to redeem themselves and change.
But wait it gets worse.
An unnamed C&R spokesperson was quoted as saying this:
John has highlighted some important issues relating to freedom of speech and protecting taxpayers from fraud and we don’t agree that the comments are intentionally racist.
The comments were made well over two years ago and the fact they have been dredged up now suggests political mud-slinging.”
Where does one start? Describing a self own on social media as political mud-slinging is rather strange. Especially given that there is no sign of any involvement by any of his opponents/
The really said thing is that the Whau area is a melting pot of diverse cultures and that is really cool. The profile of the New Lynn electorate which includes much of the Whau area shows that 51% are of Polynesian, Asian or Middle Eastern/Latin American/African ethnicity. And 43% were born overseas.
You just have to walk around New Lynn or go to Avondale Market on a Sunday to realise and celebrate the diversity. And how well everyone gets on.
I hope and trust the good people of the Whau area do not vote for Subritzky and his C&R team. Elected leaders should be working on fostering respect for all cultures and ethnic groups, not spreading hate and division.