Thursday, September 8, 2011

power and racism

Professor Mutu is continuing to agitate some people with statements like this,

She said Maori could not be racist against New Zealand European as Maori were not in a position of power.
This is a very interesting point - the power aspect and on The Standard dave brown from redave made this comment which sums up my view beautifully.
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.
And I cannot see any good arguments against that. I realise that dave's analysis is broad but we must understand the big picture to really see what is before us. There are many subtle aspects of racism, bigotry and discrimination and these absurd worldviews didn't arrive out of thin air - they were created and they can be uncreated - by us.

Meanwhile on Kiwipolitico Pablo has vented his spleen at his former workmate Professor Mutu.

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