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Someone in Hamilton is racist as well as stupid

Written By: - Date published: 8:30 am, August 23rd, 2016 - 35 comments
Categories: iraq, Syria, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: ,

Community voice defaced billboard

It is election time. Throughout the country billboards are springing up from the ground with pictures of people wanting to be civic leaders and associated words designed to persuade the public that these people understand the job and will represent them best.

Graffiti and damage are common occurrences, although thankfully this year much less frequent.

Years ago on my first campaign it seemed that a third of all signs had to be rescued and repaired each week.  Nowadays the incidence of damage is thankfully much less common.  Although these are early days …

In Hamilton a piece of graffiti has attracted public attention.  A local candidate standing for the Community Voice ticket, Yugraj Singh Mahil, has had the word “ISIS” sprayed on his billboard.

What if anything was going on in the sprayer’s mind is unknown.  Presumably he or she thinks that Mr Mahil is a Muslim and therefore an ISIS supporter.

There are however major flaws with Hamilton billboard graffiti artist’s understanding.

Firstly Mr Mahil is a Sikh. This is an incredibly short disrespectful description of them but Sikhism is a religion that originated from the Punjab and involves belief in a monotheistic god. Male Sikhs have “Singh” (Lion), and female Sikhs have “Kaur” (princess) as their middle or last name. Initiated Sikhs wear a turban. There may be 27 million Sikhs in the world.

Their beliefs are comparable to christianity. Their religion is opposed to greed, ego, attachment, anger, and lust. Throw in envy and sloth and you have a checklist any Catholic could agree to. And their religion proposes meditation, prayer, and that everyone should improve their relationship with God and if they do so God will forgive, cleanse, and save them. Very similar to Catholicism of which I have more than a nodding acquaintance with.

Every Sikh I have ever met has always been pleasant. I have had way worse interactions with Australians.

And let’s be clear here. Sikhs are not Muslims. It is like saying that Irish are Anglo Saxons.

The next problem that Hamilton billboard graffiti artist has is equating Muslims with ISIS.

There are 1.6 billion Muslims in the world or about one in every four humans.  This analysis from Clarion Project suggests that there are 42 million Arabs who think somewhat positively about ISIS. The phrase is “somewhat positively”. This is not strap on an explosive belt and lets see who we can kill supportive, this is my home has been destroyed by bombing and I am somewhat upset by it sort of supportive.

Number wise this is 2.6% of the total Muslim population. It is like rounding up all the New Zealanders who support ACT and United Future. Suggesting that they are somehow representative of Kiwis as a whole is just as much of a stretch.

Another comparison is to suggest that members of the National Rifle Association or the Klu Klux Klan represent all American views. The proportions may be different but the principle, blaming a whole population’s belief on the actions of a small minority, is the same.

Clearly it is dangerous to ascribe the beliefs of a small part of a population to the population as a whole.

But this is the really stupid thing. Hamilton billboard graffiti artist clearly does not understand that Sikhs are not Muslims. So blaming them for the beliefs of a very small minority of Muslims is very silly because they are not Muslims. It is like blaming New Zealanders for something the Russians might have done.

Anyway I home Mr Yugrav Singh Mahil had a good campaign and I would be more than happy for him to be elected. Our democratic institutions should be representative and include representatives from all of our communities.

Reprinted from gregpresland.com.

35 comments on “Someone in Hamilton is racist as well as stupid”

  1. Halfcrown 1

    Not only stupid and racist, also of low intelligence and thick as two short planks.

  2. grumpystilskin 2

    +1
    The graffiti says more about the person who wrote it then anything else.

  3. Bill 3

    S’not the turban Micky. Everyone knows that a big beard is dangerous and that it’s growing.

  4. Siobhan 4

    I know I’m just adding to it…but dumb nuts like this and their infantile scrawlings get way too much media attention…which they no doubt revel in.
    Personally I think the sign should have been taken down, cleaned…and promptly forgotten about. It did not need to be the headline story on National Radio.
    It isn’t a dangerous mass movement of racist action..it’s the work of one guy with a tin of paint.

    Incidentally I know of many political signs that have been greatly enhanced by people I may or may not know, and they never get onto the News.

  5. TC 5

    Hamilton’s going to be a bit of a litmus test with egomaniacs and nactoids like king and southgate vying to take over from hardakers debt fuelled reign.

    Declining services, rising rates, near million dollar new homes, a struggling dhb run by another dodgy nat drop in the community is unhappy with and now water bills….sound familiar ?

    This looks like work of the stupid so get ready for more about good ole nz as tis the season for it.

    • Graeme 5.1

      Like the bozo who tried to get argy-bargy with Winston Peters during the last election campaign.

  6. Graeme 6

    It’s not just some at the tron that have trouble with this distinction.

    At the height of the post 9/11 tourist boom (NZ tourism did REALLY well out of the post 9/11 paranoia) an Air New Zealand ATR flight to Christchurch was held up on the apron at Queenstown for nearly an hour when a member of an American tour group had a panic attack around two young Sikh gentlemen, chefs at a very popular local restaurant, who were also on the flight. Of course the panic spread to the whole tour and the crew had no option other than off load the two Sikh boys and get them up to Christchurch on the next flight when it just about escalated to a diplomatic level.

    The level of mistrust / fear around Sikh is difficult to understand, they are gentle, disciplined people. But they do have to fight for their freedom sometimes. It seemed the only time you saw the word Sikh in MSM was preceding the word terrorist.

    • Andre 6.1

      Fuck I wish airlines would take some calcium pills, grow a spine, and say to anyone having a racist hissy fit about another passenger “if you have a problem with any of our other customers, you are welcome to deplane and take another flight. It’s your problem, not ours and not theirs”.

      • Graeme 6.1.1

        In the case above there may have been some issues with checked through bags…

        • Graeme 6.1.1.1

          Just to clear my ambiguity there, it was the aggrieved gringo’s bags that may have had some issues getting home

      • weka 6.1.2

        There was a case the other week where an airline attendant took offense to a woman on a plane who was wearing a hijab and listening to something on some headphones. Her and her husband got thrown off the plane. The pilot had the final say I think.

        • Graeme 6.1.2.1

          Just wearing headphones can get you on the way to being kicked off a plane. About not being able to hear, or ignoring, safety instructions. Like how Bob Jones got kicked off Air NZ. Although you’d probably have to give the crew some lip as well.

  7. Rosie 7

    Yeah, I heard about this eye roll inducing graffiti. Sometimes the pain of stupidity and bigotry literally draws out a groan from deep within.

    Thank you Mickey for clearly and sensibly pointing out why the two main reasons in which the graffiti sprayer was so amazingly wrong.

    It needed to be said. I hope the sprayer has learnt of his/her mistake, somehow, somewhere along the line since he/she did that.

  8. TheExtremist 8

    You can be stupid but not racist however you can’t be racist and not stupid.

  9. Ad 9

    We should not underestimate race rage in New Zealand.

    We saw the Mayor of New Plymouth being spat on in the street for daring to suggest that there could be Maori represented on a local Council. May seem like a long bow to draw to this, but not in a global context.

    We won’t see Trump, Federated Farmers, the NRA, the white NIMBY’s who opposed the Auckland Unitary Plan, or others of their ilk moderating their messages. They aren’t people who are polite when they lose. In the US version it’s “We still got the guns. We don’t have the vote, but we have the guns.” Thankfully in New Zealand it’s as simple as “We got the property, we got the water rights, therefore we stack the system to eternity against you, and spit on you in the street and your kids at school if you try to change anything.”

    In the US that means they are committed to the Police, anti-immigration, jails, and their own property. In New Zealand that means exactly the same. In New Zealand terms they won’t be caught celebrating Waitangi Day, Matariki, Maori Language Week, or social welfare. Don Brash as leader of the National Party came very close to winning an election on exactly all of that.

    Those of us who care about pluralism, progressivism, justice, equality, that good stuff, had better be really clear: elections bring out the people who are not convertible. They are not our allies. They are not potential friends. We will either defeat and suppress those impulses and their redneck tendencies and impose the values of a just and decent society, or we will let them win.

    That’s what standing for election is in no small part about.

    There is no middle ground.

    • weka 9.1

      You’re becoming more fundamentalist yourself there Ad :-/

      What do you propose to do with the rednecks who won’t be suppressed? I think what you are proposing leads to the situation in the US. A much greater divide that eventually becomes militant.

      • Colonial Viper 9.1.1

        Only approved citizens whose views that we approve of shall have a voice in our democracy.

        • Nelson Muntz 9.1.1.1

          Yup, The Standard to a tee.

          [lprent: The Standard is a machine and has no golfing experience.

          But if you don’t want to comment here as you have so clearly indicated in this comment, then I can facilitate that outcome. Bye.

          Explanation a classic idiotic troll banned permanently for a characteristic level of stupidity and a distinct lack of humour in any comment that I scanned since feb. ]

    • Colonial Viper 9.2

      They are not our allies. They are not potential friends. We will either defeat and suppress those impulses and their redneck tendencies and impose the values of a just and decent society, or we will let them win.

      Remind me who you think the “allies” of liberal progressives in NZ actually are? Exactly which sections of NZ society do you think look up to and follow the lead of these self-styled liberal progressives?

      • Ad 9.2.1

        I would say the allies are the people who clean the graffiti off that sign and stand for election, or support those who are standing for election.

    • What amount of race rage do you have ad? What are you doing about it, apart from inflamming it like your comment on the Māori king?

      • Ad 9.3.1

        The best thing to do from a democratic perspective is to get good people elected.
        If one can’t stand for election, support people who are.

        • ropata 9.3.1.1

          so, immigration “good” and complaining about it is “racist” huh?

          must be nice to have such a simple mind

  10. Wensleydale 10

    Years ago on my first campaign it seemed that a third of all signs had to be rescued and repaired each week. Nowadays the incidence of damage is thankfully much less common.

    Wait until the John Key billboards start going up again. Then you’ll see true artistry at work.

  11. Guerilla Surgeon 11

    People have been shot in America because rednecks are too dumb to know the difference between a Sikh and an Muslim. Not that it’d be okay to shoot a Muslim mind.

  12. ropata 12

    I hope Standardistas were equally upset by the vandalism of Bob McCroskrie’s family home a couple of years ago.

  13. Andrea 13

    ISIS/Daesh is NOT ‘a race’. People from many countries and a range of human varieties join the movement.

    Sikhism is a religion: not a ‘race’. Judaism is a religion, not a ‘race’, and people who AREN’T ‘semitic’ can belong and practice some version of it.

    Just when are we going to stop flinging this relic of the nineteenth century like mud pies? ‘Race’.

    Or is it just handy to use ‘race’ because it’s too hard to spell zeno…seno…xenophobia?

    PS Anyone written to Hekia Parata to complain about the poor teaching of geography and social studies in schools?

    • Richard McGrath 13.1

      Absolutely agree. I can’t see how anyone can conclude that Islam, ISIS or their respective followers is/are a ‘race’. They are ideologies or political movements.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 13.1.1

        As Wikipedia puts it, the notion of race is based on “folk taxonomy”, so anyone can conclude anything they damn well please.

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