New Zealand trades on its political correctness. Ethnic
minorities not only have the power of being presumed to be in the right in
any dispute with a member of the majority ethnic group (or ethnic mish-mash),
but some of these ethnic minorities also originate in large countries that
are important to tiny New Zealand, from a military, political, or economic
point of view (See eggstone.html) . When I was
teaching Mandarin Chinese at The Correspondence School, for example, I was
expected to show deference not only to my more junior Mandarin-speaking Chinese
colleagues, but also to all ethnic Chinese that I came across -- even if they
were actually Cantonese, or speakers of other "dialects", who didn't even
speak Mandarin ! Even White spouses of Chinese people acted at times as if
they "owned" me !
My Head of Department even told me that, though my family has been in New
Zealand for about 150 years, I would have to leave New Zealand if I was insufficiently
deferential to Chinese people. Obviously, this referred to the behind-the-scenes
economic power of the Chinese community to threaten and bribe lawyers and
officials. Meanwhile, the other members of my nuclear family, who are all
(unlike me) part-Chinese, were picking up from their politically correct environment
the notion that it was OK to be a Chinese racist, and I was subjected to racial
Political Correctness, which is totalitarian oversimplification, automatically
assumes that minorities are in the right. However, socio-economically successful
minorities such as the Chinese, Jews, and Armenians have been the focus of
riots and genocide on several occasions and (in the case of the Chinese and
the Jews) in several countries, and it is seriously misleading to pretend
that this is all because of jealousy at their relative economic success --
though I'm sure this played its part as well. These minorities have been able
to use their economic power and international links to achieve goals that
must sometimes have been (to some extent) to the detriment of majority ethnic
groups at levels all the way from small company policies, through local government
policies, to national policies, and even to international policies.
A New Zealand Immigration official, Raoul Lochore, who later became Ambassador
to West Germany, incurred the anger of the New Zealand Jewish community, and
therefore notoriety, for having described the Jews as "clannish". In fact,
I know a half-Jewish couple who regularly went to visit him in his rest-home,
in his later years -- no doubt to torment him subtly.
However, it is important to emphasize that it is not racist to call the
Jews clannish. It may be considered to be true, or it may be considered not
to be true, but it is not racist. The Jews may not like being called "clannish",
but it is not -- or should not -- be sufficient for an ethnic group to dislike
some description for that description to be called "racist". Not only is it
not racist, but it it also true to state that the Jews (in certain circumstances)
are clannish. In fact, every ethnic group, including the Scots from whom anyone
with the name "Lochore" is presumably descended, can be clannish in certain
circumstances. The word "clannish" relates to the Scots clans, after all !
A person who uses the term "clannish" may prefer ethnic groups
who assimilate easily into a particular country. A fashion is being imposed
upon New Zealand by the Human Rights Commission, whereby assimilation is discouraged.
However, if history teaches us anything, it teaches us that ethnic groups
tend to get into conflicts with each other, and a policy of assimilation would
presumably solve this problem.
Hypersensitivity is a weapon that ethnic minorities wield against the ethnic
majority when the political climate allows them to. On the other hand, of
course, there is also the well-publicised potential for persecution of ethnic
minorities by sections of the majority ethnic group -- the well-known incident
where prominent New Zealand broadcaster, Paul Holmes, referred to the United
Nations Secretary-General as a "cheeky darkie" is a reminder of
that fact. The current political climate, however, must seem like "Christmas"
to ethnic groups, because they can do what they like and run almost no risk
of being called "racist", because that is generally regarded as an attribute
of the majority ethnic group only. After the Paul Holmes incident, his own
TV station (TV One) called his remark "racist" (which it was, of
course), whereas that word has never been applied (to my knowledge) by any
White New Zealand journalist to any event or person in Fiji, for example --
despite the blatant discrimination there by some ethnic Fijians against ethnic
Indians. They are all Black, of course, so White journalists apply different
standards to them than they do to Whites.
For example, I recently had a visit from a South Asian tradesman, who was
rude and racist, and then left behind some tools -- hoping that I would retaliate
by doing something to his tools, so that he could then spread stories about
me. I have recently had quite a bit of intimidation from some South Asians,
who (like all minority ethnic groups) expect to be able to do what they like
and never get complained about, in Western countries. I once complained to
the then Race Relations Conciliator (a South Asian) about some Asians -- and
he did not even reply to my letter !
For many decades, the South Asian approach to politics appeared to incorporate
a sort of self-admiration, based on having got rid of the British colonialists
through civil disobedience. The idea that South Asians themselves could be
guilty of the sorts of things that they (correctly) accused others of appeared
incredible. It is only recently, now that an Italian-born citizen of India,
Sonia Gandhi, has been prevented from becoming Prime Minister of India because
of her national and/or ethnic origin, that it has become reasonably obvious
that South Asians are not as perfect as their myth held them out to be.