Winston Peters has been heard saying that corrections minister, Sam Lotu-Liga, is qualified to fill his position because he’s Polynesian and, given that the majority of New Zealand inmates are also Polynesian, this just makes sense.
Now he’s being called a racist.
Gosh, here’s me thinking that racism was a form of race-based slander – scurrilous comments, defamatory insults, mocking effrontery and so forth – but it turns out the term has been opened right up; now racism is any kind of speech, factual or otherwise, relating to race, creed, or personal preference…
I’ve said it before – quite recently in fact – but it looks as though it needs to be said again: people’s ability to take offence has become so ridiculously petty that I just don’t think we are going to survive out there.
…It should be said, I don’t much care for Winston Peters but in this case, all the man did was state a fact; yet the instant that he was seen to be ‘classifying’ races – calling a Nigerian ‘Black’ or an Englishman ‘White’, or in a few years’ time I guess claiming charcoal is black or cotton wool is white – some idiot decides to throw around the ‘racist’ call.
John Key ran into a similar predicament at Waiuku College, joking that if Maori language week was extended to an entire month people might get bored, and is now being vilified in a similar manner because a 16-year-old girl started crying.
Are we honestly supposed to believe that Key’s comment was the cause of her tears? His awkward presence under the guise of humour, perhaps.
As a predominantly European nation (have I been racist yet?), the majority of New Zealanders are English speaking (dude, that sounds pretty racist); admittedly a section of our population do speak Te Reo Maori (oh my God, that so has to be racist) but proportionately, I mean unless the density of Maori speakers is more than 1 in 52 (racist), it’s simply impractical to draw it out for any longer than a week, given that other people have lives to live, too (bigotry, xenophobia, intolerance, hate crime!).
I see what he was saying.
Article by Tim Walker
Edited by Cotton Wahl
Photography by Lang Wedge Weak