It may be that we have heard publicly from John Banks for the last time. If so this will be a good thing.
The man harbours rather extreme racist views and has not improved with age.
Decades ago Metro Magazine called him the most culturally unsafe person in New Zealand.
He once said that “[i]f Polynesians aren’t urinating in the streets in public they’re punching someone in the head”. In 2011 he said “[i]f we continue the bankrupt response of just paying young Polynesian, young Māori men in South Auckland, the dole to sit in front of TV, smoke marijuana, watch pornography and plan more drug offending and more burglaries, then we’re going to have them coming through our window regardless if we live in Epsom or anywhere else in the greater Auckland”.
He is also homophobic and vehemently anti abortion as well as environmentally regressive. His six years as Auckland mayor were highlighted by his destruction of the consensus to build light rail back in 2001. Imagine how different Auckland would be if he had not done that.
Magic Radio for some strange reason brought him back for a show to fill in for Peter Williams. Williams is hardly a paragon of rational virtue, his climate change denying rants being well known. Some older men seem to get more stupid and more strident at the same time and this is a potent mix.
Yesterday in response to a racist rant by a caller Banks joined in and talked about Maori having a “stone age culture” and warned about Maori coming through people’s bathroom windows.
The response was swift. Twitter kicked into gear and later that day Vodafone, Kiwibank and Spark suspended advertising on Magic. NZ Cricket said that it was “disgusted and appalled by an indefensibly racist exchange between a talkback caller and host John Banks on MagicTalk Radio yesterday. NZC has contacted the station to both ask for an explanation and express its dismay over comments completely at odds with our values and culture. Should strong action not be taken NZC reserves its right to review its relationship with Magic Talk”.
Banks issued an apology for saying something that could have been “misconstrued as racist“. When giving an apology the catholic in me says give a proper apology. Do not say something that suggests that everyone else misinterpreted what you said, especially when it was blatantly racist.
To those complaining about cancel culture all that I can say in response is that this is the perfect case where it has provided very desirable result. We should no longer tolerate racism.