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The Minority Is Not Always Right

Copyright: Peter Zohrab 2001-5

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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 harassment !

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.

 

"Clannishness"

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.

 

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6 August 2015

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