Saturday, April 13, 2013

police state obvious

Anyone who knows anything knows that Māori get targeted by the police. The release of the latest police statistics shows that, not only are Māori youth being apprehended more in most categories but, they also have more prosecutions against them. Think about that, what a terrible indictment upon a group of young people in our country and for no reason other than the way they look - because sure as hell they won't be checking whakapapa records will they.

JustSpeak have released the following excellent infographic where the picture tell a thousand stories of hardship and discrimination.

Good on them for putting the data out there in such an understandable way. The hard data is compelling too I recommend you go here to read the numbers of apprehensions which have alarming consequences for young Māori. In general more get apprehended and more definitely get prosecuted - that is a double whammy right there. The sickest thing is, guess who gets blamed for this - that's right young Māori do. And sometimes to spice it up they blame all Māori. 

The real blame is hardly ever attributed to the correct place, but as Anthony Robins points out in Poverty Watch on The Standard when describing the Office of the Children’s Commissioner (OCCC) 2012 report “Child Poverty in New Zealand evidence for action" - the truth doesn't pull any punches.

"OCC report pulls no punches at all.
Mäori poverty needs to be considered against the backdrop of colonisation. Recent research documenting the experiences of Mäori whänau living in financial hardship notes that any analysis of the financial and material deprivation of whänau is incomplete without understanding Mäori economic development pre-colonisation, and the impact of land confiscation and war (Baker K., et al., 2012). The alienation of land and resources saw the loss of a cultural, spiritual and economic base (Cram, 2011). It has had a long-reaching impact that continues to shape attitudes towards Mäori in New Zealand. The devastating effects of racism and discrimination in health and elsewhere have been well documented (Reid, 1999; Robson & Harris, 2007; Mills et al., 2012). The legacy of colonialism has been the ‘differential distribution of social, political, environmental and economic resources and well-being within this country with Mäori bearing the brunt of disparities in many areas’ (Cram, 2011, p156)."
No one is suggesting that we go back in time to right the wrongs that occurred there - we can't, but we can move forward and to do that requires a few changes. The big one is that Māori have to be trusted. The evidence is that we are a long way away from that today. The destruction caused by young Māori being targeted by the police by apprehension and then getting prosecuted more, is felt within all Māori communities and this country feels it too. It is too foolhardy to believe the police attitudes will change any time soon, they won't. They are a reflection of the Government attitudes to Māori. Will middle NZ change - I don't think so, they may adjust their cushion but that's about it from them. No, the change has to come from Māori and people who support the kaupapa through belief in equality, whānau, love or for whatever reason we support the kaupapa, that is where the change has to come. We must talk loudly about this injustice against these youth, the mana must be reestablished for our rangatahi.

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