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Dimpost says it all on Mutu

Written By: - Date published: 11:28 am, September 8th, 2011 - 156 comments
Categories: religion - Tags: ,

Special pleading watch


“Racism is definitely associated with power and using power to deprive another group,” she said.

“Maori are not in a position of power in this country and therefore cannot deprive Pakeha.”

I guess Mutu’s logic is that as a Maori she cannot be in a privileged position, because in general terms Maori are not privileged in our society. But Mutu isn’t just any random Maori – she’s a full Professor and Head of Department at our most prestigious university, a position of great institutional power. And she’s not just attacking Pakeha – she’s attacking immigrants, a textbook class of a dis-empowered and marginalised section of the community. If racism is using power against the powerless, she meets the criteria.

156 comments on “Dimpost says it all on Mutu ”

  1. clandestino 1

    How she’s getting away with this sort of thing I don’t know. She has hidden the real story of the recent survery though: that Maori as an ethnic group are more likely to be anti-immigration (which is commonly perceived as ‘racisim’ or at the least, ‘redneckism’).

    • Vicky32 1.1

      that Maori as an ethnic group are more likely to be anti-immigration (which is commonly perceived as ‘racisim’ or at the least, ‘redneckism’).

      Oh yes, I have noticed that over the years.. tthe louder among them  were most strongly opposed to the Tampa refugees at the time… although Bill Ralston edited his memory – claiming that the most adamantly anti person on his radio show (I listened in those days, it was the only station my early-version earphone radio would get!) was an old English woman – the woman herself was probably fuming when she heard him describe her that way!

    • just saying 1.2

      In reply to your request (way below where I can’t reply) for one example of institutional racism. This is a snippet from a final report for the department of Labour in 2010 about Maori experiences of health services and ACC. If you have any reason to believe things have improved for Maori in the year since it was written I’d be interested to hear it.

      “2.1 State of Māori Health
      Māori have the poorest health of any group in New Zealand. Māori do not access ACC entitlements as fully as other groups.2,3 This is hardly surprising, as there is extensive evidence in the literature that the health system disadvantages Māori at nearly every level.4,5,6,7
      Māori have a higher mortality rate than non-Māori as well as higher rates of illness. Māori infants die more frequently from SIDS and low birth weight than non-Māori children. Māori women have rates of breast, cervical, and lung cancer that are several times those of non-Māori women. Avoidable death rates are almost double for Māori than other New Zealanders, and Māori die, on average, 8-10 years earlier.
      These disparities in overall Māori health persist even when compounding factors such as poverty; education and location are eliminated, demonstrating that culture is an independent determinant of health status.
      Nor are these disparities solely the result of „personal choices‟ such as diet, smoking, or medication adherence; the health care system bears a significant responsibility for them as well. For example, Hill et al8 found that Māori New Zealanders with colon cancer were not only less likely to receive chemotherapy but also experienced lower quality care than non-Māori patients. Crengle noted that only 9.5% of Māori patients, who were newly diagnosed wtih respiratory disease received a prescription for an appropriate drug, compared to 77.8% of non-Māori in the same situation and concluded that “several findings raised questions about quality of care”.
      Diabetes and cardiovascular disease are more common in the Māori population, and so “higher rates of lipid and glucose blood test investigations would be expected in Māori. However rates of requesting lipid and glucose blood tests were lower for Māori.”9 In other words, although it would be reasonable for Māori to receive higher rates of tests and longer consultations because of their burden of disease, the reverse is actually true. This has nothing to do with patient behaviour or choice, but demonstrates how the health care system is not properly serving Māori.
      The quantitative research provided by DoL confirms differences between Māori and non-Māori with respect to ACC claim rates, claim duration and treatments, indicating that ACC follows the same pattern as the rest of the health care system in disadvantaging Māori.
      In summary, Māori are sicker for longer periods of their shorter lives, and yet they have less access to health services and receive lower quality of care when they do get it.

  2. queenstfarmer 2

    Exactly. All people like Mutu do is encourage other racists like the National Front, who also claim they are oppressed and underprivileged and therefore somehow entitled to their racism.

  3. Bored 3

    I am entirely POWERLESS to say anything by todays PC conventions because I am a white 50 plus male. That makes my opinions racist, misogynist, ageist, class biased and probably paternalistic. Mutu by comparison is the most valid person in the world….except she talks crap.

    What pisses me off is not what she says however, it is the tax I pay to keep her employed as an “academic”.

    • Vicky32 3.1

      I am entirely POWERLESS to say anything by todays PC conventions because I am a white 50 plus male. That makes my opinions racist, misogynist, ageist, class biased and probably paternalistic. Mutu by comparison is the most valid person in the world….except she talks crap.

      I am no better off than you are, as a white 50 plus woman… maybe this is relevant?
      (Sent me by a Facebook friend.)

  4. Policy Parrot 4

    Without trying to sound like an apologist, which I am certainly not, Mutu’s original claim that “some white immigrants to NZ had racist attitudes” does have some merit. Some of them arguably only lack a certain cultural sensitivity, that comes from living in a mono-centric society, but there are others, who in fact are racist.

    However, and I stress this point, it is not only [white] immigrants that have racist (or other unacceptable social) attitudes. Everyone, is a product of their own society, and that includes Maori.
    Reactionaries like Mutu use their soapboxes to impede progress towards cultural understanding and the protection of universal human values.

  5. alex 5

    Can’t this whole thing please go away? It was an academic shooting their mouth off, nothing more or less. Surely we all have much more important things to be thinking about?

    • grumpy 5.1

      No, Mutu is a hypocrite and hypocracy needs to be exposed at every opportunity

      • MrSmith 5.1.1

        Shouldn’t that read ‘hypocrisy needs exposing wherever middle aged white male hypocrites find it appropriate in election year.’

        • vto

          “middle aged white male”

          you’re just another one of those people who judges others on the basis of their race, age and gender.

          • MrSmith

            “you’re just another one of those people who judges others on the basis of their race, age and gender.”

            Not sure how you come to that conclusion VTO, but thanks for judging me!

            My remark was meant to be a cynical attempt at humor, sorry you didn’t get it.

  6. Without supporting research it would be entirely unprofessional for anyone (especially a trusted academic) to make statements like this as they would be merely expressing personal views dressed as academic fact. In an email Mutu states:

    “It is unfortunate that they [white immigrants who oppose racism against Māori] are in the minority – as the research in this area has shown”.

    To find out more on this subject I wrote to Margaret Mutu about her research on 5th September. Reply and comments here:

    • Carol 6.1

      Actually, Mike-M2NZ, Mutu’s definition is a pretty standard social science definition of racism (or sexism etc): i.e. it’s most often defined as prejudice plus power. And you pretty much confirm that with your preferred wikipedia definition: i.e.: that the consequence of racist beliefs is discrimination. (Although the social science definition goes that discrimination CAN be a consequence of prejudiced beliefs, and that it doesn’t become racism til it impacts on people’s lives). So what is discrimination but the ability to enforce prejudiced beliefs because of being in a position of power?… think discrimination in housing, education or employment.

      I agree, though, that the concept of power can be slippery, can depend on the context, and can change according to circumstances.

      I don’t have any strong views on Mutu herself. As an academic she does have a certain amount of power, but this could be at times compromised, or undermined by being Maori – look at the way the majority of commentators in the MSM and elsewhere, have jumped on her for her views, without fully understanding the background to such views…. I mean, after-all, there is no racism in New Zealand.

      Mutu may have overgeneralised, and she may have a highly privileged life – I don’t know a lot about her. But I have, for instance, been uneasy about the large numbers of well-off white South Africans, who benefited from apartheid, left SA once apartheid ended, and are living comfortably in well-off suburbs in NZ. Meanwhile, the majority of brown people in NZ continue to live in more meager circumstances.

      I would like to see more balanced and nuanced comments and analysis of Mutu’s views, rather than the large number of knee-jerk “wrong, wrong, wrong” kind of comments.

      • Thanks for responding Carol.

        I can’t agree about the ‘power’ issue. Depending on the context any person can be said to have power as in society being in a weak or minority position can actually give a person power when society backs that person in enforcing their views or needs on others. For example ‘political correctness’ has given minority groups a great deal of power in other societies – I’ve seen this first hand in the UK.

        Simply, racism is treating someone different on the basis of their ethnicity. It can be positive and it can be negative but it is still racism.

        Well off migrants
        Immigration is an issue where people often have strong views but lack good information.

        The system currently in place in New Zealand enforces that migrants must be highly qualified and skilled to be allowed to work in areas there are no New Zealanders available. This means that the average migrant’s wages (of a group made up only of highly skilled workers) will always be higher than the wages of a general group make up of skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled workers.  

        Having met many South Africans who abhorred apartheid (whether they inadvertently benefited from it or not) your comments suggest a racially based generalisation. 

        Mutu’s views
        Actually I think Mutu’s comments, which don’t relate to the report, are are side-show and are not important. What is important is the finding of this report.

        If Maori are worried about the effect of immigration, and the report suggests strongly that they are, this needs to be looked at to see if this fear is well grounded and if immigration is affecting/diluting/damaging Maori culture. Proper research rather than knee-jerk reactions and inflammatory statements we need to ensure that immigration is not damaging Maori culture without moving away from a merit based system.

        To repeat myself, I have met many thousands of migrants from the US, UK and South Africa and they universally showed an admiration for Maori culture. Something good and positive needs to come out of this report and research rather than having the issue overshadowed by a single person’s personal views which are not supported by research.

        Maori culture may be in danger and need protection. If this is the case it would be a shame to lose site of that in a shouting match about racism.


  7. uke 7

    Although I do not agree with Mutu’s absolutist logic, the Dimpost quotes also make distortions for rhetorical effect:

    Mutu isn’t just any random Maori – she’s a full Professor and Head of Department at our most prestigious university, a position of great institutional power.

    Maybe in the small pond of a small department in a NZ university (which I would say have relatively little influence on govt policy – witness National Standards), but this hardly comparable with the true power-mongers in NZ: politicians of the two main parties, senior civil servants, CEOs, super-rich individuals, influential pressure groups like Federated Farmers etc.

    she’s attacking immigrants, a textbook class of a dis-empowered and marginalised section of the community

    Except that the white immigrants she’s “attacking” are generally not “dis-empowered and marginalised” in the sense that refugees from Somalia or Kurdistan are, divided from mainstream society by language and lack of money. Most white immigrants, I imagine, are people well-off enough to shift from South Africa, America, or wherever, buy property here and maintain a high Western standard of living.

    If racism is using power against the powerless, she meets the criteria.

    Bollocks. Mutu has no “power” whatsoever over white immigrants as far as I can see.

    • Chris 7.1

      Does that mean her students can be racist towards her as she has power over them?

      • uke 7.1.1

        I’m sure any absolutist definition of racism will eventually lead to some kind of paradox… however, it is conceivable that a student’s “power” could outweigh Mutu’s, even as a full Professor, and have a racist motive.
        Academics can be vunerable to student grievance complaints. Not so long ago, Dr Paul Buchanan (Auckland University) was dismissed over complaints brought by a student from the United Arab Emirates. I believe there was a charge of racism or cultural insensitivity in there somewhere. Eventually, it was decided the complaints were unjustified and Buchanan was reinstated.

        • grumpy

          …and Mutu was one of the backers of racism charges against Buchanan (according to Buchanan). How’s that for hypocracy?


          • Bill

            Maybe he was. Maybe he wasn’t. But in that ‘right up himself’ and bitter little piece he doesn’t exactly lay out what actions were deemed racist; only offers an oblique, subjective generalisation.

          • uke

            I still don’t think you can say Mutu was in any position of power “over” Buchanan. Completely different departments, and inter-academic criticism is simply par for the course, as Buchanan himself points out (and proceeds to indulge in).

            • Crashcart

              Mutu is in a position of power due to her ability to directly influence her students. her position as a Professor gives her statements a weight of authority especially when she states that her conclusions are based on research. This ability to influence those around her most defanately puts her in a position of power. She may not have the ability to directly alter policy regarding the issue she is making statements upon, she can however instil her views upon those who trust her and her position.

              I am sure every day people of all ethnicities in this country lament immigrants coming into this country for varying reasons. Many are uninformed racists. The fact that Mutu’s statements have generated so much interest surely demonstrates the power she has.

              I think Mike has been very fair. He is not dismissing her out of hand. As he has said there may be a real issue here. If there is it needs to be investigated properly. The issue here is someone thinking she is above criticism due to her race.

              • lprent

                Not a particularly effective argument. People go to Uni to learn to think. If they are so weak-minded that a lecturer can influence them that much that they are unable to make up their own minds – then they are in the wrong place. May I suggest a good cult where the ability to think for themseves can be abrogated..

                • higherstandard

                  I wonder what would happen if one took a opposite view to Margaret – would she be more or less inclined to be objective in they way she marked/rated that student ?

                  From what I have seen of her opinions she appears to have a very narrow world view.

  8. Hammer 8

    Mutu may be suffering dimentia;
    she says her own UK born mother was only ever a guest in this country and she “took her home” [as heard on Radio Live].
    She also says she can’t be accused of racism because she is protected as an academic and not liable to complaints before the Race Relations Conciliator. 

    And the University backs her up.  Interesting stance. 

  9. Nick K 9

    The best response to all this came from Don Brash where he defended Mutu’s right to express her opinions, even if dubious, as long as she allows equally dissenting views in opposition – the Voltaire principle. That, of course, is correct.

  10. Vicky32 10

    I missed my chance to edit, so I’ll drop this is in here… This tactic has often been used against me as a Christian – “You Are Damaging Your Cause By Being Angry By now their feelings are probably deeply hurt and they’re very angry. Don’t forget they encounter this kind of discrimination in subtle ways every single day of their life, so they’re bound to be emotional about it, even resentful.
    You can take advantage of this weakness to emerge the victor! After all, everyone knows  the Marginalised™ have an obligation to conduct themselves with quiet dignity in the face of infuriating tribulation and if your quarry begins to get angry and “aggressive” then you have won! Why? Well, it’s very simple – just hold them as representative of their entire group! You could try saying something like “you realise you’re making all X look bad?”, or “well, congratulations for backing up the stereotype of X as being angry, irrational and oversensitive!” Maybe you can even say “well, I was about to say I was willing to listen to you, but then you got insulting so now I don’t have to!”

  11. A pretty dim post actually. Just because Mutu makes over-sweeping generalisations that actually have historic truth on her side, dimpost comes along with a more crude set of generalisations and lowers the level of debate which others accept with alacrity, except for uke.

    You cannot be a racist unless you impose your views by means of power. Thinking that other people, tribes or family members are different and inferior is not racism unless you can define the ‘other’ in such as way as to gain by it long term. Historically racism as we know it was invented by European colonisers to classify non-Euros as subhuman to justify ripping off their riches and impose white supremacist rule. The Catholic church had a huge upheaval before it recognised Native Americans as humans capable of ‘salvation’. It took a couple of centuries for black Africans to achieve this select status.

    When this colonial rule was overturned lots of white racists retreated to countries where they attitudes where not challenged. The British in India went ‘home’. NZ was already colonised by a majority of racists who while professing equal citizenship took away the land and self-rule. In the 20th century NZ copped a big flow of ‘kith and kin’ from Africa and Britain and here their attitudes were not usually challenged because they were accepted as normal. So there is some truth to what Mutu says. In many cases racists don’t recognise they are racists because racism has been ‘institutionalised’ and made respectable as ‘bicultural’ or ‘multicultural’ by the dominant ‘culture’. As RWC says lets haka as one people.

    On the other hand, reverse racism, or reciprocal racism is not really racism since it can’t be imposed. If it could be then Maori would be running the country and whites would be complaining about being at the bottom of the heap. So-called reverse racism is no more than the expression of historic grievance of the colonial past being reproduced today as Maori marginalised off their land in the underclass. White racists hide their racism by trying to claim that this reverse resentment is equally pervasive and potent as Euro racism. Historic amnesia.

    Some Maori gains have been made, especially by iwi middle class, but only by begging the state to redress past wrongs and playing by the rules of capitalism – that even Brash can agree with. Begging is hardly the action of racists. But if the begging begins to look like ‘special treatment’ then the racists come rushing out to cry ‘one law for all’.

    In the final analysis NZ remains a racist country and the evidence for that is the majority support for the NACT regime that continues to plunder NZ’s land and resources and deny any possibility of Maori emerging from marginalisation into economic self-sufficiency.

    • Bill 11.1

      Well said Dave!

    • Adele 11.2

      Excellent post Dave!

    • Sure – racism pretty much requires that your bog-standard ethnic bigotry can be translated into actual effects on other ethnic groups. In this case, Mutu’s ethnic bigotry isn’t really racism as Maori aren’t in a position to ban White immigration to New Zealand. So yeah, she’s not really a racist, just a plain old bigot.

    • higherstandard 11.5

      What a load of fucking dribble.

    • McFlock 11.6

      “You cannot be a racist unless you impose your views by means of power. Thinking that other people, tribes or family members are different and inferior is not racism unless you can define the ‘other’ in such as way as to gain by it long term.”
      Not so sure about that.
      Firstly, there is no long term gain to racists – any power differential just postpones the inevitable, and the effort required is frequently less productive than cooperative action.
      Secondly, does the moral worth of our beliefs come from the beliefs themselves or the ability to act on them? Solve that one and you’ll be the next Socrates 😉

    • Blighty 11.7

      The issue is that she said she can’t be a racist, not whether some immigrants are racist

    • marty mars 11.8

      Awesome comment dave

    • weizguy 11.9

      “You cannot be a racist unless you impose your views by means of power.”

      Big disagreement here. I’m living in the UK at the moment. Please explain to me how the EDL (which has no power) is not racist.

      I think you’re confusing racism with the ability to do something about the racism. A racist is simply a person with a prejudiced belief that one race is superior to others. There’s clearly an element of superiority in the quotes from Mutu. Her power to do something about it doesn’t change that.

      I don’t think trying to redefine racism helps us fight it.

      • Carol 11.9.1

        “racism” or any prejudice, is not a problem until people or groups have the power to put their views into practice. People can sit at home and expound on their prejudiced views to their friends. It’s only when they go out into the world and try to enforce their views on others that they become a problem.

        If you perceive that EDL has no power to do that, why bother fighting it? Just let them wither and die. There are also issues about how much white supremacists are supported, possibly indirectly, by the largely white-dominated power structure.

        • Chris

          ‘It’s only when they go out into the world and try to enforce their views on others that they become a problem.’

          Which is what she has tried to do.

          This is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. She is blatantly racist. Since when did having power have anything to do with it. Having power just makes the racism more effective

          ‘If you perceive that EDL has no power to do that, why bother fighting it? Just let them wither and die’

          Because you should always fight racism no matter what its form. For example do you really think a sports ban on apartheid south africa had that much effect, personally I don’t think so. However the fight against tours by South Africa coming here certainly had an effect.

          • Carol

            You are not comparing like with like there. What a muddled argument? The apartheid regime was very powerful and the policy of the government of the day. Of course the protesters were less powerful, at least initially – but the power of the collective will always go at least some way to countering the power of the ruling block.

            EDL does not have anywhere near the same power as Apartheid. As far as I am concerned the reason for protesting against such groups is that they may be accumulating some power in their locality.

            Which goes to support my initial point that power, and unequal power relations are a crucial consideration when it comes to identifying and challenging racism. I agree with that part of Mutu’s statements, while not agreeing with all she said. My initial response was with respect to the knee-jerk, total dismissal and denigration of everything Mutu said, and with the tendency by many to fail to understand the way unequal power relations operate with respect to racism.

            Yes, as I’ve said elsewhere, Mutu, has privilege and power as as senior academic. But in other contexts she could be undermined by racism. How many people would recognise her and her work status on the street, in a restaurant etc? To many she would probably be just another Maori woman.

            Power also depends on context and the issue at hand.

            And yes, I will express my disagreement on prejudiced views, even if they, in my consideration, fall short of empowered racism. But I would do it as a point of discussion, and not try to silence the prejudiced views, or use it to dismiss everything that person said.

      • Adele 11.9.2

        The definition of racism has not be redefined. The definition as provided by Margaret Mutu has been in existence for a very long time. Many communities at the dark end of white privilege / racism have been aware of the power differential attached to racism mai raanoo.

      • dave brown 11.9.3

        The EDL is trying to recover the relative privilege of British workers before migrant workers challenged them for more than just shit jobs. They think that by intimidating if not physically attacking migrant workers or their children they can preserve British jobs for British workers. This goes back a long way in history as British workers benefited from the exploitation of the colonies and backed their imperialist overlords in wars and invasions to subdue the colonies. Instead of joining forces with the oppressed colonial workers they lived off their misery and shared some of the benefits of colonial exploitation and its attendant racism. They want to preserve the wonderful heritage they are in the process of losing. Losing because the bosses will pay whoever is cheapest, and because migrant workers don’t take shit from white racists on the street. Witness the abysmal failure of EDL attempts to take over the streets in Britain. The moral is that history of racism is a long movie called capitalism and not one frame taken out of the movie to make the poster.

    • vto 11.10

      -1 x 3 of your main points.

      Historically constrained and selective.

      Racism and power all mixed and muddled.

      Reverse racism self-justification contortion.

    • Bored 11.11

      On the other hand, reverse racism, or reciprocal racism is not really racism since it can’t be imposed. Total bollocks. It is experienced emotionally and can be very hurtful. Its a sort of Old Testament eye for eye mentality.

      Imagine your son / daughter comes home with another race person (of any variety), deeply in love and committed to each other. One set of parents (either) reject one of the children on the base of race….thats hurtful and nasty. Regardless of who is “historically” offended. Get real.

      • vto 11.11.1

        Agreed. Here’s another example. Son or daughter at a law school with, say, 10 spaces saved specifically for one particular race. Son or daughter just misses out because is not the required race and is within 10 places of getting in at the bottom.

        Hurtful. Life changing. Frustration and anger creating.

        The exact symptoms sought to be corrected.

      • dave brown 11.11.2

        Again look at the history. Racism was Euro supremacy and intermarriage with non-Euro races challenged the basis of racism. Other systems like the Indian caste system is the same. Intermarriage challenges the basis of caste. There are two ways of dealing with this, one is to ‘pass’ by looking like the superior race, the other is to reject white supremacy and adopt a reverse supremacy eg black is beautiful. This gives rise to opposition to ‘passing’ and intermarriage as a means of resisting oppression. But as black intellectuals like Franz Fanon argued however this cultural assertion does not make you actually superior unless you are the majority and can overturn capitalism and take back the power and wealth. So the answer to racism is not to turn your back on it and attempt to stay aloof by not intermarrying etc, but to root out its causes which is the system of oppression and exploitation that created it and uses it still today. Meanwhile if people get hurt by refusals of marriage and other forms of cultural assertion, they they need to take a look at why its happening and not take it personally. A hard ask in this age of dumbed down smile and wave, but try it anyway.

        • Bored

          Dave, your arguments are highly structured towards a theory that has no empiricism to support it, you merely take a stance and justify it with logic that can only be proven if you set the starting point to make the conclusion certain. I have heard RWNJs justify everything with the warped logic of Friedmans self interest, and LWNJs use Marx’s relations to production to justify injurious outrages. That is the materialist dogmatic track you are going down.

          So for me you can stick your dogma up your jacksie, unlubricated with red hot chilly sauce. Cause me racist offense and you will get the emotion back, regardless of “historic” justification. Post that I will probably forgive you rather than carry the burden.

          • dave brown

            What was that about the ‘white man’s burden’? Making a huge moral drama about helping to civilise the black man. But that didnt include letting him marry the white man’s daughter. When the black man says I don’t want to marry into your civilisation who should feel aggrieved?

            • Bored

              Who the fuck mentioned “white mans burden”? Been reading Kippling followed by a little self flagellation to drive out the guilt Dave? The burden I referred to was hate / anger / negative emotions based upon past injustices / offense.

              You might want to let a little light in, consider the redemptive role of forgiveness, break the cycle rather than perpetuate it with spurious justification.

              • What light are you talking about? I’m trying to explain why some people may reject marriages with people they regard as racist or sharing in the benefits of racism. Your approach is to say get over it, its ancient history and anybody who thinks racism is still alive and kicking in Aotearoa in 2011 is making it up. To persist is just to hurt people.
                Or perhaps you think racism still exists but we can personally break the cycle because racism is perpetuated by people having racist attitudes etc. As I said before, that’s not enough given my definition of racism. Its not just a personal matter but a social fact that has to be changed by collective action. I don’t have any personal guilt about racism as I agree with Franz Fanon you wont get rid of racism until you get rid of capitalism. If you think this is a spurious justification that’s your opinion and your entitled to it.

                • Bored

                  You really dont get it do you Dave. I never said anything denying that racism was not alive and kicking here worldwide in 2011. So to get rid of it your prescription if I might paraphrase it is to:
                  * allow racist remarks against the dominant group (whoever they might be) by the non dominant group to be deemed acceptable.
                  * get rid of capitalism (which incidently I am in favour of) as capitalism alone is responsible for racism (total bullshit).

                  If you and Carol below got off your high moral crusading horses for a moment and read what I said you would notice that my position is that all racism by any group is beyond contempt and unnacceptable. Further to perpetuate an injustice based upon another historic injustice is a good way of generating things such as racism.

                  Forgiveness and understanding, self respect and pride will trump any solution you are offering. Becoming the Red Commissar leads to the gulag.

          • Carol

            Bored, there’s a lot of evidence to support some of what Dave Brown is saying. I did an MA essay on colonisation, sexuality, miscegenation, etc. Actually, there were sometimes contradictory attitudes to miscegenation, especially as powerful white men often saw black women as their property, to be used sexually and tossed aside. Local circumstances resulted in different ways of playing out this paradox. Given time (in my current left-hand only typing mode), I could find you plenty of peer reviewed supporting evidence.

            There’s a lot pf people calling people like Mutu, DB ignorant on this topic, who are totally unaware of the limitations of their own knowledge and understanding on the topic.

            Here’s an article that refers to miscegenation in Aussie as being seen both as a solution to racial difference and a threat to white supremacy.


            • Bored

              See above Carol. There are no excuses by anybody for racism, do it in my presence and I will call it out (politely with no use of coercion, followed by invitiation to be one of the rest of us: all the same).

              • Carol

                Bored, I agree with you on racism being alive. But I don’t think it is as evenly spread between black/brown and white – prejudices are spread pretty evenly around all groups, but racism mostly has a negative impact on black/brown people (power and socio-economic differences being a main factor) ….

                I just had a closer look at Mutu’s reported comments. I can see where she, and Maori prejudices against significant numbers of white immigrants are coming from. But her implied solution, to select only whites who are clearly non-racist is, apart from anything else, unworkable.

                Also, it seems to me that Mutu is focusing more on individual racism, as seen significantly amongst certain immigrant groups. I think the focus should be more on institutional racism. It looks like we are encouraging significant immigration of highly qualified people. This tends to favour the privileged white elite in countries like Sth Africa, UK etc. Meanwhile we have large numbers of brown, NZ-born people languishing in impoverished circumstances. I can see how this would build up resentment by Maori and Pacific kiwis. And often many amongst white privileged classes absorb some ‘racist’ attitudes without being actively or intentionally racist – bound to rub salt into the wound for many brown Kiwis.

                So, to me, the solution should be more on upskilling and educating brown kiwis, and ensuring they have good living circumstances, rather than the quick (capitalist-driven) importing of skilled and educated immigrants.

                • Bored

                  Thats more considered. My son a few years back had an informal birthday party I chanced upon. All shades sizes colours ethnicities of schoolmates, very representative of NZ youth today. Getting them schooled together is step one. Which brings me to skills as you suggest.

                  Theres a whole generation of under employed, unemployed unskilled (probably a quarter or more of sub25s), they all need upskilling together. When we exclude any group we create bad attitudes like racism from above and below. Its not working for brown NZ youth and that needs fixing. I have benefited from tax cuts I dont need, meanwhile this youth timebomb ticks away as the priveleged classes make offhand ill informed often racist comments. Seems to me priveleged NZ espouses universal access to upskilling as opposed too targeting that for Maori etc. That to me is the correct stance EXCEPT the buggers wont pay for it, they just want tax cuts.

                  The saddest example of social economic division you will see in NZ this year is the All Black team with a largely brown contingent trot out in front of a stadium full of well healed mainly white audience who can afford to get in to a high price event. The bros from South Auckland etc watch their people on TV. Thats exclusion.

                • just saying

                  Thank you Carol and Adele and Bill and Felix and others for articulating what I wouldn’t be able to, especially on the spot, without burbling a thousand too many mostly ineffective words.

                  This is something I feel strongly about, and when I hear pakeha claiming to be as vicitimised by racism as Maori (on the right they like to take it further and say today Pakeha are the real victims of racism) my blood just boils.

                  To Bored and VTO and others I’d just like to say that ethnic abuse on personal level hurts and it can be frightening. When I visit my home town it’s not uncommon to walk past groups of Maori and Polynesian youth spitting on the ground and jeering something like ‘honky bitch’. I’m not saying Pakeha can’t be hurt, harmed or intimidated by browner people who don’t like the colour of our skin.

                  But commonplace, banal, unquestioned, officially sanctioned, every-day and completely acceptable racism I saw meted out to my Maori childhood friends, by ‘nice’respectable white folks, when I was growing up and continue to see in new present day contexts including in this kind of ‘backlash’, kinda adds a bit of perspective to the picture. Pakeha may have a few snapshots, victims of racism have a lifetime of film and the camera is still rolling.

                  • just saying

                    Damn, what I meant to say above also, was that I urge Bored et al to read the links that Adele has provided above.

                    • Bored

                      Dear Just Saying…I read the links…and do not necessarily agree. Your comment when I hear pakeha claiming to be as vicitimised by racism as Maori (on the right they like to take it further and say today Pakeha are the real victims of racism) my blood just boils.

                      I wont back off challenging you and Dave etc, I hate racism toward anybody from anybody, that makes my blood boil. There is no justification.

                      If you were to ask me who the regular major victims in NZ are you might just get the answer you expect, Pasifikans and Maori. And that pisses me off on their behalf. And if they do it to somebody else that pisses me off as well.

                      Please don’t fall into the trap of categorization: my family has members and blood from all manner of ethnicities. If you go round lumping us into one group of racist “oppressors” we will quietly tell you to start again and state the real issue. You might find we are on the same page.

                  • clandestino

                    just saying, can you point to a specific example of the ‘commonplace, banal, official..etc’ racism you have seen?

                    • just saying

                      Hi Clandinesto.

                      I see you’re in the “Pakeha are the real victims of racism today” camp.

                      Did you read the links?

                    • clandestino

                      Hi just saying,

                      Yes I did (if they are Adele’s from below). And no I’m not in the camp you describe. New Zealand isn’t the United States, or Australia for that matter.

                      Yes we live in a democratic, capitalist society constructed in the European tradition. Pakeha (unfortunately for some, it seems) do make up a numerical majority in New Zealand society. There are a proportion of them who are racist bigots and that will be reflected in the decisions they make affecting others.

                      Now, this is where I differ from the view expressed by the good American professor. It appears he grew up in a society without any ethnic minority to speak of. I grew up in Wellington, perhaps not the most diverse city overall but certainly in my cohort there is a good mix of people from all over. Many NZers grow up in Auckland, a city with a great cosmopolitan aspect to it.

                      In all my experience with school, police (oops), friendships, government, you name it, I have not personally noticed an inbuilt tendency towards racism. Quite the opposite in fact, a huge majority doing their utmost to make people feel comfortable and accepted. Is this just a product of inner-city liberal Wellington? If so, then how is it that you see racism emanating from this very place?

                      I repeat my question: Can you point to a tangible example of institutional racism in 2011? I am open to changing my view.

                      But if you think pointing to class inequality is convincing, you’re wrong. It is class, not race, at the heart of the matter.

                    • just saying

                      Replying to ‘Bored’ above where unfortunately I am unable to reply.

                      Bored I’m not saying you or your family are racist. From what I’ve seen in this forum I don’t believe you are (any more than I am – we all internalise the messages of the societies we are raised and live in whether we like it or not – the difference is whether we challenge this discrimination in ourselves).

                      My comments were about whether Pakeha can claim to be victims of racism, and of course, as others have noted, this depends on the definition of racism being used.

        • Crashcart

          I think saying Euro’s invented racism is a bit rich. They exported it in spades however it has been present in many cultures as long as there are records. The Egyptians felt they were completely superior to all other races. They happily used this as justification to enslave those races. This was true and pure racism. It was a product of their time and culture. In Africa tribes kill each other on site just because of long ingrained racism toward each other that extends further back than European influence in the area. Look into the history of almost any culture and you will find instances of them dominating another culture due to a sense of superiority.

          • dave brown

            I said racism as we know it today meaning under capitalism. Its true that racism existed in earlier forms of class society. But these do not survive untouched by capitalism, and certainly not in NZ since colonisation. So if we are going to talk about racism as exists today in NZ lets not bother with ancient Egypt.

    • just saying 11.12

      Hell yes, Dave.
      Well said.

      A pathetic sight – pakeha whinging about being “victims” of racism, claiming mortification when Hone talked about white mofos, or in this case, because Mutu raises the issue of racist immigrants. My heart bleeds.

    • Eddie 11.13

      you say that a member of a non-dominant group can’t be racist, no matter how strongly discriminatory their attitudes or actions are against members of another ethnic group because they lack the power to impose those attitudes.

      1) I don’t think having the power to act on beliefs or not changes whether the beliefs themselves are racist

      2) On an individual level, members of non-dominant ethnic groups can and do impose their attitudes on members of dominant ethnic groups. Mutu, for example, is in a position with a lot of institutional power. If she wants, she could choose to not hire white immigrants to her department in accordance with their racist beliefs.

      Note, none of this denies that there’s not power differences between ethnic groups and institutional racism in New Zealand. I think we can acknowledge that and oppose it at the same time as opposing Mutu’s racism. The two aren’t incompatible.

      I think a lot of people who are fighting racism against Maori will naturally not want to admit that this individual Maori has been racist because it could be seen to weaken the case that there is institutional racism against Maori. I don’t think that’s the case. I think that turning a blind eye to racism by Mutu and tacitly endorsing her claims weakens the fight against institutional racism. It turns off reasonable people who know there are good people and jerks of all ethnicities. It looks like selective, even racist, blindness.

      • McFlock 11.13.1

        nicely said.

      • Puddleglum 11.13.2

        Hi Eddie,

        I don’t deny that any individual can be abusive and hurtful to any other individual. It’s as easy as falling off a log once you learn how. And I certainly don’t deny that ‘race’ – or its supposed markers – is a typical ‘discriminative stimulus’ for abusive responses.

        But run the abusive episodes a bit further. A Maori abused by a Pakeha runs that through their head (and through their conversations with peers) in a way that says ‘yeah, that’s what they all say about us – and they have the power. We’re all dirt. We can’t do anything about it.’. 

        A Pakeha abused by a Maori runs that abuse through their head (and through their conversations with peers) in a way that says …?

        Complete that sentence and you’ll see that there’s a difference even in the ‘upset’ caused by such abuse. I’d complete it something like “yeah, those Maori have a real chip on their shoulder. What’s wrong with them and why don’t they just get their act together rather than abuse me? Always wanting to blame someone else for their failings.”

        There’s a difference. We can put that difference aside in order to keep the ‘reasonable people’ onside, but that difference remains. It is not the same experience. 

        Call them both ‘racism’ if you like (if all we we’re doing is consulting dictionaries, then I guess we should). But they are very different phenomena in practice. The world whispers over different coloured shoulders in different ways.

        • Vicky32

          A Pakeha abused by a Maori runs that abuse through their head (and through their conversations with peers) in a way that says …?
          Complete that sentence and you’ll see that there’s a difference even in the ‘upset’ caused by such abuse. I’d complete it something like…

          “why is she dumping this on me? I don’t represent all Pakeha, and I am not the one who hurt her”.
          I guess it’s all down to one’s experience, hey? I am at the bottom of the heap, as an older unemployed woman, and it doesn’t make a blind bit of difference that I am white. I am under the actual literal control of many Maori and Island people who ‘manage’ my tenancy and my UB. So, what do you make of the power relations now? The fact that they might be under the control of white men who make the rules is irrelevant to me and doesn’t stop (some of) them making the most of squashing a ‘whitey’ as one of them called me, whenever they get the chance.

          • rosy

            My Pakeha daughter could not even get a house to rent if she took her Maori partner and Maori baby along to a viewing. She had to go alone and then had no problems with the selection of houses offered to her. This is an example of systemic racism against Maori, and yes there is a power relationship that defines it. It is at lease part of the reason Maori live in the worst areas – i.e. because the privileged exclude them from better areas.

            However your situation Vicky illustrates my major bugbear with academic and political resolutions about racism… the people who are required to make sacrifices to resolve inequitable situations based on culture/race are the people who have the least to give. Politicians, academics and managers (brown or white) do not have to give up any power and privilege to allow poorer Maori a fairer share of resources in their everyday lives. Politicians, academics and managers can buy their healthcare, buy their schools and buy their expensive suburbs and the facilities that go with them. They can even buy their cultural heritage, if they wish.

            The people being imposed upon to share diminishing resources more equitably with disadvantaged Maori are other disadvantaged groups. If power relationships change so disadvantaged Pakeha believe they are subject to unpleasant experiences because they are a minority, while people with the most options go about their privileged lifestyles in blissful ignorance it’s not going to improve racial/cultural divisions for most people at all. No wonder the poor who belong to different cultural groups have trouble empathising with each other. Look up people and see who are really pulling the strings!

            And with regard to this post – I also reckon Maragaret Mutu at the least expressed the sentiments of a racist even if she cannot be, by definition, racist (even though she herself may have privilege and power relative to the people she associates with in everyday life).

            • just saying

              I agree Rosy (except about Mutu being racist).

              In my hometown most people of all ethnicities are poor and oppressed. Services are inadequate, shopkeepers tend to treat any shopper they don’t know as a thief, people in positions of authority are usually contemptuous of the people they are supposed to serve. Most people are, almost literally, fighting over the crumbs, trying to survive.

              The ethnic diversity is amazing and fascinating to me, but I live somewhere else. It’s a challenge for the locals though, because homogeneity can facilitate understanding and solidarity between similar people In the tinderbox of poverty and overcrowding, diversity, in too many cases, has the opposite effect. And in this context, attempts to rectify discrimination against any one group, comes across as privileging them at all the other groups’ expense, and huge hostility can, and often does, result.

              These are not the people who should be required to make any sacrifices to rectify injustice, because they are themselves victims of severe economic injustice. But the appearance or reality of requiring them to, even in small ways, plays into the hands of the elites beautifully, because it turns the working class against itself, and while the focus of their anger is their neighbours, the wealthy sip their bolly to wash down their smoked salmon nibbles, and laugh.

            • RedLogix

              My Pakeha daughter could not even get a house to rent if she took her Maori partner and Maori baby along to a viewing. She had to go alone and then had no problems with the selection of houses offered to her. This is an example of systemic racism against Maori,

              Sorry but it’s more likely a case of landlords having slowly learnt the hard way that there is too high a probability that a Maori tenant will let them down.

              In ten years as a landlord, with some 24 different groups, we’ve had tenants of all races and cultures… we currently have one Asian, and one Pacifican with us. Sadly… and I mean sadly… both times we let to Maori we were ripped off big time. Whereas the rest have been pretty good with only minor problems.

              In both cases we bent over backwards to accommodate the issues (and some of them were eye-bleeding shit you would not believe if I repeated it here). I do get the reasons why… but at the end of the day we have to pay the mortgage to the bank and the rent has to be paid.

              Now I know that this isn’t a welcome thing to say. I’m going to get hit with the ‘r-word’ for saying it. But it’s a hard truth that our experience with Maori tenants has made us wary. How many more times do you want me to repeat the experiment… at our own expense?

              • your sample size is pretty small to draw the generalised conclusions you are so easily falling into – I suppose if you had one good Māori tenant your slur wouldn’t hold.

                • RedLogix


                  Yes my sample size is small. Anecdote is no substitute for proper statistics. But sadly it’s our sample and it’s the one we have to live with.

                  It works like this. Usually we have gotten the list of prospective tenants down to three or four, and we can only pick one. We go with the one whose turned up with the best references and ‘looks like’ the lowest risk. That is where experience with Maori has burned us twice and it’s not one we want to repeat too often. I sincerely wish this were not the case.

                  I’m short on time right now for more of a reply. Some other thread other than this now very cluttered one I’d welcome a better conversation with you. Believe it or not I do have considerable respect for your perspective; I don’t think you are so much wrong, as .. well it’s hard to put into words… at some point we have to stop beating each other up and get on with understanding and building on each other’s strong points.

                  • I’ll look forward to that red – I do think we can work through these issues and we must and discussion and connection are the ways to do it. Have a good one.

              • rosy

                I know what you’re saying…. but refusing to deal with someone because they belong to a particular race is racism. My daughter’s partner had a job, had no anti-social issues, no landlord would have had issues. There were no bleeding heart stories. He and his child (and my daughter by association) were denied housing because of race – not because of other issues. And having the power to deny innocent people because of others of the same ethnic group defines racism.

                Really, if you can’t fairly assess tenants you’re in the wrong business – and also breaking the law, I expect. It really gets to me that a child has to grow up knowing people judge them on things they have no control over. No wonder they rebel.

                • RedLogix

                  Really, if you can’t fairly assess tenants you’re in the wrong business –

                  How do you propose I do that?

                  You have to remember that we did choose of Maori tenants twice. And in both cases it went badly wrong despite our best efforts to prevent it the wheels from falling off. You find yourself treading a very fine line between managing the tenancy and interferring in their lives… yet the two are very tightly linked together.

                  And remember that the bank doesn’t care if my tenant is pink, brown or blue… they just demand the mortgage is paid.

                  I would happily choose a Maori tenant tommorrow if they looked the part and the references were good. It’s not a case of race we selecting on… more the sad fact that landlords themselves are caught up in the conequences of the wider socio-economic issue in play here.

                  • rosy

                    RL you go from this….
                    But it’s a hard truth that our experience with Maori tenants has made us wary. How many more times do you want me to repeat the experiment… at our own expense?

                    to this….
                    I would happily choose a Maori tenant tommorrow if they looked the part and the references were good. It’s not a case of race we selecting on…

                    In the first instance I read it as saying it’s Maori who have the problem. In the second you step back from that. Which is it?

                    more the sad fact that landlords themselves are caught up in the conequences of the wider socio-economic issue in play here.

                    The sad fact is landlords who refuse good tenants because they discriminate against a whole sector of society cause some of the wider socio-economic issues at play. I don’t think there are any reasonable people who would expect you to take in tenants with serious anti-social problems, and then get personally involved in trying to fix them. Some people need much more help than a sympathetic landlord can give, I understand that. But after having 2 bad experiences you’re wary of people based on their race? Instead being wary of your own ability to assess tenants?

  12. The lowest peasent to the highest king can be racist, if you judge someone by their race then you are racist, nothing else matters.

  13. Bill 13

    Dimpost is spouting nothing but bollox on what Margaret Mutu said.

    To save a lot of rehashing, here are the links to two strands of quite long and involved discussion on the matter as had on ‘open mike’ on Tuesday

    http://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-06092011/#comment-371698 and http://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-06092011/#comment-371739

  14. felix 14

    God how boring.

    Does anyone actually dispute that some of the people who immigrate here are racists?

    Or are you all just upset that an uppity darkie said it (as usual)?

    • Brett Dale 14.1

      I just dont think , people cant beleive, that some people still think someone cant be racist because of the colour of thier skin.

      • felix 14.1.1

        I do think, but you make it, it’s not easy to, I read sometimes, your just fucking with me aren’t you Brett?

    • Blue 14.2

      No dispute. Some of the people that immigrate here will be racists of all colours, some will be irretrievably stupid (of all colours), some will be criminals (of all colours), some will be a burden on the tax payer forever, some will rape, some will steal, some will be lunatics and some will be violent. Of course ‘some’ will add to our country and be productive and law abiding members of this Country. Skin colour and the dribbling of a clearly deranged and discredited academic really don’t enter into it. Methinks she doesn’t like white folk very much, regardless of their contribution, eh?

      • felix 14.2.1

        You’d have to ask her, I have no idea what she thinks apart from what she actually said.

      • Bill 14.2.2

        Aw ffs! Getting really fucked off with some of the utterly apologist lines (apologist to institutional racism) that are coming from people here who claim to be of the left.

        Racism is about the excercise of dominant white power. Individuals within the cultural or political bounds of white power, although individually powerless, can be racist. They are racist because they seek to confirm the supposed superiority of their so-called race – the white race ( it’s logics and cultures and institutions).

        If purple people with yellow polka dots had been at the helm of colonialism and ideas of Social Darwinism, then only purple yellow polka dotted people could be racist.

        Everyone else, no matter how objectionable their utterances or actions, would be being prejudiced or bigotted or hateful or whatever. But not racist. Because they wouldn’t have natural (even notional) entry into a panthenon of power that self idenitifies through it’s purple with yellow polka dottedness.

        Purple yellow polka dotted people wouldn’t (couldn’t) be on the recieving end of the particular aspect of the inherent institutional bias of that power that we call racism in the same way as ‘others’…and certainly not at all if excercised by ‘others’.

        They might be on the recieveing end of inherent sex or class biases etc. And they might be in an overall position of less agency than a particular non purple yellow polka dotted person when the sum total of the entire mix of bias is added up.

        But it is only they (purple yellow polka dotted people) who can be racist , no matter how much others who are not and can never be a part of the exclusive and dominant club might seek to use the same fallacies of difference to fuel hatred.

        It really ain’t that hard to understand now, is it?

        • Eddie

          I don’t agree with that definition.

          I don’t see why racism can ONLY be a member of a dominant ethnic group’s attitudes towards members of a non-dominant ethnicity.

          Of course institutional racism is inherently tied up with power but the definition of racism in our language isn’t that limited. It’s not the case that someone in a non-dominant ethnic group can cast whatever aspersions they like on other ethnicities and that belief isn’t racist.

          Racism is the stereotyping of all members of an ethnicity as having negative qualities. Anyone can hold and express racist beliefs.

          And that’s without going into the issue of whether Mutu is really disempowered here.

          • Bill

            Sure Eddie. Nice how you just totally bypassed or excused the possession and excercise of power by the self identifying superior group there though…but that’s okay, what with it being the merely incidental crux of the matter

            • vto

              Bill it is convenient for you to describe it in that manner. It suits a certain line of argument. But it is heavily flawed.

              First there is the discrimination. Following that the discrimination is applied (or not applied). That second step has no effect on the existence or meaning of that first step.

            • Bored

              Fuck it Bill, a new tie to be purchased tomorrow, Purple with yellow polkerdots, an end to my utter powerlessness, megalomania here I come. Call me what you will, I dont care, power, power….

          • marty mars

            “And that’s without going into the issue of whether Mutu is really disempowered here.”

            IMO Professor Mutu is empowered as a representative of her people within the Māori worldview and she has the mana to speak out. That is where her empowerment comes from rather than just the exhalted position she has attained within society. There are few individuals who can span both the academic world and the Māori world and fewer still who are women. Patriarchy is still dominant as far as I am aware and racial discrimination of course, so within those systems as a woman, and a Māori, she is disempowered – it is part of their structures.

            • Bored

              Mutu just done a great job of self disempowerment, absolutely first class. If she wasnt marginalised before she is now.

        • Chris

          If it is only about the exercise of dominant white power what about the treatment of white farmers in Zimbabwe. Is that not racism?

          • Adele

            Teenaa koe, Chris

            I had a friend, a white Rhodesian (she never liked being called a Zimbabwean) who together with her husband and children immigrated to New Zealand soon after the ‘independence as Zimbabwe’ in the 1980s. Left behind were her parents, farmers, who refused to leave despite the overturn in the status of white people in Zimbabwe from the powerful to the powerless.

            On an intellectual level, I was elated that a colonial power was overthrown and Zimbabwe was restored to its indigenous peoples. On an emotional level, however, I felt for my friend and her family and I too worried about her parents, an elderly couple, facing an increasingly dangerous and life threatening situation. I lost contact with my friend in the 1990s but last I heard her parents had been attacked by a marauding gang of men.

            The unfolding condition in Zimbabwe illustrates to me that in the exercise of power (by whomever), the powerful must seek to re-distribute the benefits that come with power equitably and to all sections of society, and to not tolerate pockets of deprivation, injustice, or unfair treatment.

    • higherstandard 14.3

      She’s not an uppity darkie she’s just a dim bigot.

    • Blighty 14.4

      yeah, again: The issue is that she said she can’t be a racist, not whether some immigrants are racist

      • felix 14.4.1

        Na Blighty, that’s the issue today. But the reason all the racists got upset in the first place was because of what she said last week, which was that a lot of white immigrants bring “white supremacist” views to NZ with them.

        I hardly see how that could be seen as a controversial statement.

        • vto

          felix, I think what people were annoyed about was the fact she cries racism all the time and then indulges in discrimination on the basis of race herself to forward her own agenda.

        • Eddie

          She actually said that immigration by certain ethnic groups should be banned or limited because they bring with them racist attitudes. In other words, she called for the government to actively discriminate against a certain ethnic group – ie institutional racism (btw, admitting that what she’s calling for is racist doesn’t deny that there’s racism against Maori)

          No-one’s denying that some immigrants (of all ethnicities) bring with them racist attitudes but Mutu herself was being racist in painting all people of a certain ethnic group with the same negative stereotype.

          • Bill

            According to Mark Sainsbury’s intro the other night, it was a universal test that was being called for. But maybe you have a reference that verifies the targetting you claim?

    • muzza 14.5

      What is boring is seeing human beings hoodwink by various establishments into infighting on all manor of ism’s etc, when the real problems are created by those same establishments who wish to decieve!

  15. randal 15

    I always thought that a racist was someone who said that if one member of a race was such and such or did this and that then all members of that race were the same. If racism was solely a power issue then everybody would be discriminated against in one way or another. I think Ms Mutu should hire a better medicine person with a better philosophy than the one she is using now.

  16. Tangled up in blue 16

    Of course she’s a cheerleader for the Mana Party.

    Do not want.

  17. vto 17

    ha ha, people like mutu make me laugh at their convolutions, contortions and self-justifications. she reminds me of adele who sometimes posts here. ha ha ha.

    • Adele 17.1

      vto, I think that foreskin enslaving your brain is constricting the oxygen flow to your neural net. It pays not to have an erection when you think with your penis.

    • marty mars 17.2

      that’s pretty mean vto – adele makes more sense in one sentence than you do with your total comments combined IMO

      • vto 17.2.1

        Tough. And in addition, every time she has answered me she has referred to my cock. Ask yourself. I don’t appreciate sexual harassment.

        Adele’s recent posts when we have tangled have completely painted a picture of someone similar to Mutu. This entire issue is such a load of rubbish, loaded to the hilt with hypocrisy, selective history, blinkers, tiny single culture world views. and discrimination of near every kind. Just check out this entire thread for examples.

        I am open to and interested in other views. That is why I hang around here sometimes. In fact, surely you will have noticed that my views have morphed some during recent periods – morphed in favour of the left type views. And that is to an extent due to the arguments and issues promulgated on here. They have been well reasoned and have been supported by evidence so I have been happy to amend views. But with the issue the subject of this thread I am completely unchanged. I am not convinced by the arguments put forward by the likes of Mutu and Adele on this particular matter, despite those arguments having been presented many many times and batted back and forwards. I am just not convinced.

        • marty mars

          I like you vto I was just being mean 🙂

          What would convince you – really, would any arguement or points shift your position? It is interesting to think about how we form our beliefs and opinions and whether they can actually ever be changed. Like you I think they can be, but often we need an epiphany to breakthrough – then of couse the world never looks the same.

          • vto

            Oh. woops..

            Re changing views I dunno. I think the problem with this issue is the way it gets so tangled up in other issues and gets all muddled and heated. Just gotta keep conversing I guess and one day it will sort.

        • Adele

          I will stop referring to your thinking appendage when you stop using it to spurt uninformed opinion.

          Sexual harassment is also dependent on a power imbalance between the perpetrator (that’s me) and the victim (vto = victim to onliner). Tough. Your victimhood is unconvincing and merely raises the spectre of white man’s tears.

          This entire thread is loaded with white privilege mostly from angry white men and a sycophant in a supporting role.

          I really can’t be bothered engaging with you vto, so spurt away while I find another angry white male wannabe to sexually harass from my position of power as a Maaori woman.

          [lprent: Had to do extensive fixes to the links because of mangled HTML. Some may not work. ]

          • Eddie

            I think it’s a real shame that the Left reacts so aggressively to people like vto.

            Here’s someone who supported National last election but has, with an open mind, looked at the results and said ‘this isn’t what we were promised’ and has become much more sympathetic to our views.

            And just because his definition of racism differs from some others’, he gets this torrent of shit dumped on him. It’s not appropriate and it’s the very reason that the Left turns off many people who should be supporting it.

            • Adele

              What are you saying? That the left should lay off vto because he’s a vulnerable, marginalised, disenfranchised, white male aspirationalist who was forced into voting National by his unfortunate upbringing as a redneck. 

              Well, thank god I am not a leftie.

              Vto personally invited me into this particular discussion so he obviously gets a thrill at the attention.   

              • Eddie

                No. I’m saying that when we treat people like shit over the definition of a word – which is all this is about, whether one accepts the common definition of the word racism as the holding of stereotyped negative views about other ethnic groups or a more academic one of racism as a shorthand for institutionalised exercise of power of one ethnic group over another – it has the effect of driving away people who agree with 95% of what we believe.

                • racism = prejudice + power

                  you can have the prejudice but without the power it isn’t racism, it is prejudice, and it can be hateful, nasty, disgusting prejudice – but not racism. Maybe for some that is semantics but for me it is as obvious as black and white.

                  as for the torrent of shit that vto has apparently recieved – where exactly?

                  this ‘95%’ and ‘driving away’ meme is a derivative of the tone argument which i believe was explained during QoT’s previous posts on the Standard – I’m sure you remember that eddie

              • clandestino

                Haha the bitterness is palpable.

                Why is it so hard for some people to get that, in 2011, some (if not most) members of the ‘white-male patriachy’ have no advantage over anyone else (materially or politically)?

                Maybe for older generations this was the case, but the continual excuse-making and straw-grasping is going to wear pretty thin with a lot of younger people who don’t ever, ever see these intangible ‘institutional’ advantages.

                • Carol

                  Statistics say otherwise, Clandestino. I’m an older person…. old enough to remember members of the younger generations of past times say exactly what you are saying about the situation as perceived by younger people today.

                  I’ve also lived in 3 countries and heard many people say that racism is a problem in the other countries but not here. Funny how racism (as disadvantaging brown/black people more than whites) is always somewhere else… another place, another time…..

                  • clandestino

                    Maybe that’s because it was there overtly but denied because of a perceived threat. I know people will apply that to me now, but I disagree.

                    We all go for the same minimum to just above minimum wage jobs, we deal with employers of all ethnicities. We apply for the same universities (although I don’t get the same level of subsidy or support), we eat the same food and deal with the same government departments.

                    I want to know where the racism is, when I find it, I am disgusted. This is as true as the painter who doesn’t hire Maori because he’s a fuckwit as it is the uni that positively discriminates to the very tangible disadvantage of whoever misses out.

                    If we can agree we don’t want people to see colour in the decisions they make that affect other people, we should make that clear.

                    • pollywog

                      It’s not even all about colour. It’s could be the perception of cultural difference implied by having a non euro name that one can be discriminated against.

                      There is no greater inference of institutional racism than in the woeful employment statistics of Pasifikan, inclusive of Maori, compared to Euro NZers, especially youth.

                      Even the fact that a quota of sorts has to be applied for token niggas to make up the numbers and avert a percieved racist outlook is condescending, patronising and racist in itself.

                    • clandestino

                      I agree with the last comment, I’ve always found it patronising. I’m part Maori and am forever getting emails asking me to apply for this grant or that, attend free lunches, get academic support etc. There are people who need it, but they ain’t all necessarily Maori or had the parents I had! Loads of my pakeha friends are languishing in seemingly perpetual unemployment as well.

                      The cultural point is important and I think is linked to your second paragraph inference on institutional racism. So long as parents believe the system is against them, they will be less likely to trust it, and to encourage their kids to (in the form of education), thus their kids will be less likely to find employment down the line. Do you think culture-based schooling is the way to combat this? Maybe this makes sense, but maybe this just further divides and diverts from issues of class.

                    • pollywog

                      Do you think culture-based schooling is the way to combat this?

                      If it means new immigrants have to attend cultural awareness programmes to highlight indigenous concerns and possibly flag some on a watchlist of potential nutjobs that may see an Anders Breivik type try and settle here then yeah.

                      nothing wrong with mixing up the classes in a schoolroom type setting and telling em how it is in lil ol NZ.

                      new immigrants should be told to leave their racial baggage and cultural elitist shit at the door or fuck off from whence they came…i reckon

                    • clandestino

                      I kinda meant schools for specific cultures eg kohanga reos and that.

                      But yeah schools do this already, at least I went through it, and NZ history is taught at high school.

                      I’d love to know how you’d go about discovering an immigrant’s ‘racial baggage’ and ‘cultural elitist bullshit’. Perhaps a pop-quiz on Te Tiriti?

                    • pollywog

                      I’d love to know how you’d go about discovering an immigrant’s ‘racial baggage’ and ‘cultural elitist bullshit’.

                      Same way Deckard uncovers replicants on Blade Runner…Id start profiling short, pudgy, bald, guys for starters 🙂

                      …as for NZ history. I’d rather all inclusive Pasifikan history was taught. Even Maori could do with knowing a bit of that.

                    • Vicky32

                      We all go for the same minimum to just above minimum wage jobs, we deal with employers of all ethnicities. We apply for the same universities (although I don’t get the same level of subsidy or support), we eat the same food and deal with the same government departments.


          • Adele

            Thank you Lynn.  When I originally posted the comment, for some reason, I wasn’t able to edit it. 

          • vto

            Adele you would get more traction if you played the issue rather than the person.

            Don’t refer to a persons cock.
            Don’t refer to a persons gender.
            Don’t refer to a persons sexual orientation.
            Don’t refer to a persons race.
            Don’t refer to a persons age.
            Don’t make assumptions about people.
            Don’t jump to conclusions.

            The fact that you do all of the above (in evidence see all recent threads) just weakens what you say and says more about you than the person the subject of your vitriol.

            • MrSmith

              Hypocrisy VTO, you applied over half of your list in reply to something I posted early, talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

              • vto

                i did nothing of the sort. i claimed you were someone who did that.

                • MrSmith

                  VTO Basically you called me a bigot earlier in the tread

                  “you’re just another one of those people who judges others on the basis of their race, age and gender.”

                  and then you go on to lecture Adele about playing the person rather than playing issue.

                  “Adele you would get more traction if you played the issue rather than the person.”

                  Thats called Hypocrisy VTO


                  Also Claiming something, “That I am just one of those people” without putting forward any evidence or argument doesn’t make it true VTO.

                  • vto

                    Mr Smith, you said “Shouldn’t that read ‘hypocrisy needs exposing wherever middle aged white male hypocrites find it appropriate in election year.’”

                    To me that reads that you are judging people on the basis of their race, age and gender.

                    So I said ““you’re just another one of those people who judges others on the basis of their race, age and gender.”

                    I seriously fail to see where the hypocrisy is. I did not refer to your race, age, gender, sexual orientation religion or anything similar, as Adele does. I merely said that you were judging on the basis of race, age and gender. Your post was discriminatory and I merely responded to that by telling you so.

                    The hypocrisy in that I cannot see. Just like the humour I could not find in your original post.

                    • MrSmith

                      VTO your efforts to defend middle age white males is admirable, but perhaps before you start pigeon holing to many people, you could get a sense of humor.

            • Adele

              Victim To

              I never use the word cock – well, not until now. I believe you initiated this particular line of dialogue by firstly calling me a “dickhead” and then telling me to “fuck off.” I merely continued with the general thrust of the genitalia testis.

              Your penis, however, does appear to do most of your thinking as your opinions waver between the tumescent – an engorged conservatism, and the flaccid – a pseudo-egalitarianism. Otherwise known as piss and wind.

              In terms of the rest of your list. I only have an issue with pale stale males however young or old and of whatever sexuality who seek to impart their ignorance upon the rest of creation.

              You can have the last rant as I do not wish to be further accused of stomping all over your dithering manhood.

              • vto

                You can’t help yourself can you. Not only do you get the facts wrong with who lashed out in abuse, you then once again go on to refer to penises, cocks, genatalia etc all over again. And lace each and every sentence with petty digs and jabs which expose your full array of prejudices.

                Once again the person is played rather than the issue.

                To me you come across as a bitter pile of damaged goods.


              • vto

                Dr Ranginui Walker in the SST today is right, as I have similarly maintained for some time, it is impossible to have a mature debate on race in these islands today.

                • Carol

                  I just had a look at the article. Yes, I agree with Walker, but also with the comments by Mutu and others about not enough being done to reverse Maori under-achievement while immigrating people for many prime jobs. I said that already on this thread. But the article also quotes someone saying immigrating people for choice jobs over the last 30 years, hasn’t helped the economy.

  18. burt 18

    Anyone who accepts her definition should try posting blatant racist remarks on this blog. As powerless commentors they can’t be racist and therefore they won’t be moderated and you won’t be banned – try it if you actually believe the crap this racist bigot spouts.

    • Bill 18.1

      “Anyone who accepts her definition should try posting blatant racist remarks on this blog.”

      It’s happening all of the time here burt. Seems that the blatently obvious ain’t that patently obvious all of the time though, eh?

  19. HC 19

    As much as I understand where Mutu comes from, it is only stupid and counter productive to argue in this manner. What about “Asian” migration, “Latin” migration (fr. Latin America), “Polynesian” or Islander migration? Is she selecting one ethnic group that she dislikes to prove her case? I think she may as well be fairer and include all “migrants”, no matter where they come from. But because she does not, she is showing a biased, racist attitude indeed. Sorry but Maoridom can and will do better than this archaic approach.

  20. HC 20

    Mutu was talking about “Europeans” and basically “white” migrants, no other migrant community!

  21. What a muddle.

    Like so many concepts, ‘racism’ has been psychologised. That is, it’s been reduced to the ‘beliefs’, ‘attitudes’, ‘motives’, etc. of individuals. Even the Oxford Dictionary (quoted on Wikipedia) falls in line with this woeful psychological reduction.

    The point, however, is that racism is a social/historical/economic phenomenon – it’s not a psychological one (that just piggy backs on the real thing).

    Psychologism has, interestingly, been on the rise for a bit over 150 years. Soaked in an individualist, liberal mindset, moderns (us) find it almost impossible to think anything occurs without individuals initiating it or experiencing it. Everything gets boiled down to what individuals are supposedly thinking, feeling, believing, etc.. Apart from making history such an utterly pointless yawn, the retreat to psychologism also bolts the door on ever changing anything for the better. (Unless you’re one of those people who thinks ‘educating’ individuals is the key to global transformation. Sigh.)

    BTW, Mutu was quite explicit that she was ‘ok’ about white immigrants who weren’t racist against Maori. That suggests that she’s not making her recommendation about immigration on the basis of race but on the basis of beliefs. attitudes, etc. that are supportive of and consistent with racism. She recommends a bit of a blunt instrument to filter racist sentiment, of course (e.g., not only are some UK whites not racist but, also, many UK citizens are not white), but perhaps understandable given the overwhelming dominance of ‘white’ culture – needs must, as it were.

    I guess you could quibble that she isn’t also directing her ire at the ‘black’ migrants from those countries/cultures that have ‘white supremacist’ inclinations but, to be fair to her, that must be a vanishingly small number of individuals. You see, having beliefs consistent with and supportive of racism (the social/economic/historical phenomenon, that is) is probably one of the few personal attributes that is most likely to be specific to ‘race’ (if you get what I mean).

    Finally, consider this thought experiment: At some future time, Maori (as a people/’race’) actually become equally powerful to Pakeha in New Zealand. I have a prediction, in that eventuality – Mutu (and other Maori) would be fine about having whites immigrate from anywhere; so long as they had the skills, etc. to make NZ thrive (now, who does that remind you of?).

    You see, having power makes you feel less threatened by representatives of what, otherwise, would be the dominant group. Individual beliefs, attitudes, etc. fall into line behind that material reality – which is always their proper and predictable place.

    In that alternate reality, Mutu probably wouldn’t feel the need to make comments that upset people on here.

    • Carol 21.1

      Puddleglum, you must have posted this while I was typing my last post above. You seem to be taking a similar tack to me, looking at institutional racism as opposed to individualised notions of racism.

    • clandestino 21.2

      Very easy to say that ‘if only the world was different Mutu’s racism wouldn’t exist’.

      I have a question though. In this alternate reality, what would equal ‘power’ actually look like? I have always thought of power as money, or the ability to acquire resources (political power). This process of redistribution has begun, and is following the same pattern it would within an homogenous ‘white’ population, I would argue.

      • Puddleglum 21.2.1

        I’m not sure I understand your point (genuinely).

        My understanding is that power, in its most general sense, is control.

        I don’t know if this helps, but I think the ‘racism’ angle misses the point on all of this. Basically, from colonial times it has amounted to competition between different social/economic/cultural forms. For what it’s worth, I imagine that my fictional ‘alternate reality’ would be one in which the kind of economic/social and cultural processes (no doubt in modified form) that were present prior to colonisation still have their clear and distinct presence.

        (Interestingly, having those economic, social and cultural options as feasible options within which people could live might have appeal to some non-Maori too.)

        In that world, people (‘a people’) could have the kind of ‘control’ that I think many Maori now feel they lack. It’s not about controlling others, it’s about controlling one’s own (one’s people’s own) destiny.

        But I might have it wrong. 

        • clandestino

          Sounds great, in a ‘back-to-the-land’ kind of way. I’d be most certainly up for it, maybe without the mysticism etc. But it does seem a bit idealised, and are you saying Iwi don’t control their destiny? Which economic/social/cultural ‘processes’ can (a) people not practice now (bartering, community child-rearing, etc)? Is it a matter of having those processes mainstreamed and imposed upon others?

          My point was that the redistributive process to bring about this vision has begun (transfer of resources from the state or taxpayer/dominant culture/whatever (back?) to an authority purporting to represent Maori interests), but that this process has so far resulted in the continuation of the same class structures we see in society in general. A wealthy, hereditary elite (eg. Mutu) with the majority still going to the state for minimal support and welfare, or working for pittance.

          I say again, it’s a class thing, not a race thing.

          • Puddleglum

            but that this process has so far resulted in the continuation of the same class structures we see in society in general. A wealthy, hereditary elite (eg. Mutu) with the majority still going to the state for minimal support and welfare, or working for pittance.

            Yes, and I think that tension – conflict – is alive and well in most iwi. I understand that there’s plenty of suspicion – from within – about the corporate approach being adopted. Having said that, my connections to ‘Maoridom’ are pretty minimal.

            I also agree that this isn’t about race: It’s a class/economic/power issue refracted through cultures (and in both). That’s why I emphasised the social/economic/cultural basis of racism, rather than the psychological expression.

          • KJT

            I’ve had the feeling for a long time that many Pakaha oppose Maori self determination, because they sub consciously object to Maori having a degree of power in New Zealand, when they themselves feel totally powerless to influence anything.

            For too long Pakeha, and Maori, have only been able to vote for Tweedledum or Tweedledee. New Zealand’s citizens have no real power over policy or their future.
            Probably also explains our apathy towards politics, compared with countries like Switzerland, where citizens have real power.

            The combination of wealthy corporatist hacks in National and the elitist wealthy in the Maori party, is logical when you consider it.
            Both have an interest in the status quo. Wealthy parasites bludging off productive working people, and selling New Zealand to the highest bidder for their own short term gain.

            It is easy to mistake a struggle for power between the bulk of New Zealanders, and a criminally self interested elite, as a racial division. It is not. Some Maori have learn’t too well about self interested destruction of our society for their own short term benefit.

            Annete Sykes has a good take on the Maori Moneyocracy in http://whaaingawahine.blogspot.com/

            Some Maori are very privileged in our society.

  22. Bored 22

    Thanks Puddle, that makes sense. What still worries me is that the concepts of power and blame are central to all the arguments I read. I have always been a great fan of St Francis, Gandhi, Luther King and other leaders who take a personal example, personal responsibility and peaceful resistance approach to issues such as racism as opposed to force and group based coercion.

    • Puddleglum 22.1

      Agreed, Bored. Gandhi, etc. were on to something very important but I suppose I accept that it takes a certain fortunate concatenation of circumstances to produce such people.

      I take an ‘asymmetric’ view of people, including myself: For others I try to understand and explain why they do the things they do in terms of all the circumstances and forces that have worked on them – that’s why I tend to emphasise developmental, social, economic, historical and cultural factors in understanding the social world.

      When it comes to me, though, I can never let circumstances be the final word. I see myself as someone to be held responsible, accountable, to ‘blame’ for my actions. I’m a moral agent, in other words and I can’t excuse myself (even if I can still ‘understand’ why I’ve done something). I try not to let myself off the hook (I would have made a good Catholic if it weren’t for the fact that I also think self-flagellation is just another way to avoid responsibility for one’s actions! Far too much ego in self-flagellation for my taste.)

      The interesting thing, I think, is that it takes a certain set of circumstances to produce someone who feels compelled to take personal responsibility for their actions. Circumstances that are not in their control. It’s ‘luck’ if you like (not choice) – or, if you’re that way inclined, it’s ‘grace’ and so nothing to boast about.

      It also takes a certain set of circumstances to produce someone who does not judge others but just deals with the reality of how others act. So, in a sense I guess I do think that ‘personal transformation’ is where change can occur – but whether in my case or in that of others, it isn’t some magical bootstrapping act of will that allows it to happen: In my (first person) case it’s ‘luck’; for others (the third person case), it’s about doing our best to arrange circumstances so that we end up with people who find out that they, too, have suddenly become ‘lucky’ (i.e., they see themselves as potent – i.e., having ‘power’ – moral agents who are able and willing to take personal responsibility for their actions).

      It’s a good feeling to feel responsible in that way – very vital and energising. 

      • Bored 22.1.1

        Your stance makes perfect sense. Its quite funny you mention that you would have made a good Catholic….there is that bit about personal responsibility, which in the case of St Francis was setting an example. His order took on established Papal power and corruption by setting a good example. Authority always hates a good example most as it is “given” rather than “imposed”.

        I had a good talk to a lifelong anarchist a few years back who explained to me the tension between power and personal responsibility. The right and left both struggle to reconcile with anarchists because of the way anarchists insist that you are responsible for your actions impact upon other people. No hiding behind authority, no right to impose. Suppose that is where I am at with racism and the individual.

        • Puddleglum

          No hiding behind authority, no right to impose.

          Reminds me of something I once read about Wittgenstein – that he thought the fundamental ground of human action was not ‘causal’, ‘organic’/’natural’, or even ‘logical’ (i.e., reason-based) but, instead, ethical.

          And, the deepest rub of all is that that fundamental ethical aspect of our action is, itself, unfounded (which, perhaps surprisingly, is I think what ultimately makes action quintessentially ‘ethical’ for Wittgenstein – because it has no final defence for itself; it stands alone. No wonder other philosophers were perplexed by him.).

          So, nowhere to hide at all (Not even behind anarchist morality or principles). 

          Ultimately, we just act. Everything we do, in that sense, is pure faith. Oddly enough, when you see that, you tend to be quite kind to others. Don’t know why.

          As an aside, that’s why I took the handle ‘Puddleglum’. He could never justify anything he did because he assumed everything would always fail – hence the end could never justify the means. The means had to stand alone. But he usually did it anyway. (Especially in that ‘famous’ act of his in The Silver Chair.)

          Anyway, I suppose I should be thinking about rugby, or something, at this hour …


  23. Yeah, fuck letting more cracka ass crackas into NZ.

    It’s not as if there aren’t enough here already.

  24. weka 24

    Sorry, I haven’t read the original post, nor the comments yet, so am going off simply what is in the post above, and I normally have respect for Dimpost’s writing. But, if they/we cannot tell the differences between institutional and personal racism, and collective power and personal power, then what chance have we of discussing race relations here? A while back someone was suggesting that TS host some discussions on racism. This is not even getting close. 🙁
    I’m sure much of this has been covered in the comments.
    Mutu obviously is talking about class not individuals. And not to deny the very real problems that many immigrants face, but since when have “immigrants” as a class in NZ been inherently powerless? Most of the immigrants I meet are reasonably well off or wealthy Europeans or Brits.

  25. John D 25

    As ex British PM Gordon Brown mumbled into his mike that was accidentally left on..

    she’s just a bigoted old woman….

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