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The Racist, John Tamihere
Peter Zohrab 2020
The Maori politician, John Tamihere, has been quoted as saying, "Pakeha
people are asymptomatic racists", meaning that Pakeha may not realise
what they're saying and doing is racist. Obviously, Mr. Tamihere
has not met every single White person (which is what he means by the
term, "Pakeha") and so he has no objective basis for his pejorative
characterisation of all of them (which arguably includes myself). His sweeping,
negative generalisation about all Whites is purely subjective and quite clearly
motivated by race-hatred, on his part.
He explained what he meant by referring to the performance of the Blues
rugby team, as follows:
"[My friends] wouldn't know they're saying this - this is the
asymptomatic nature of this - they would say, 'if it wasn't for Beaudie
Barrett and the white men running around, we would be losing.'"
I don't really follow rugby, but apparently the Blues had been faring badly
until Mr. Barrett (who is White) joined the team, so the above statement might
actually be factually correct. Would it be a racist statement if it was actually
true? Do all statements referring to Maoris have to
be positive, in order not to be called "racist"? New Zealand
is certainly a loony enough place for that to be the case! For example, I
once went to an Indian restaurant in Newtown, Wellington, and ordered lamb
vindaloo, specifying "Indian hot". Since I have been eating spicy
food every day for decades, that was perfectly normal for me. However, when
I was eating it (without pausing to have sips of water), two men sitting nearby
-- particularly one Maori man -- stared at me. When I later told a White woman
about this event, mentioning that this man was Maori, she was apparently offended
that I mentioned that he was Maori. The point was that I had had Maori flatmates
and had eaten on Maori maraes some time ago and my impression of Maori food
at that time was that it tended to be bland. Thus it was relevant to mention
that he was Maori, since he probably was not used to spicy food.
There was a whole movie about basketball called, "White
Men Can't Jump"and I can't remember anyone ever complaining
in print or on-screen that this was a racist statement, which it is. There
is obviously a whole stratum in Society (concentrated in the media and universities)
which is incapable of abstract thought. Instead of understanding what terms
like "racism" and "discrimination" actually mean, they
interpret them as meaning "negative towards Blacks or Maoris or women."
These sorts of people are perfectly happy being racist or sexist towards Whites
and men, because they hate them!
I am sure, however, that some Whites are racist and that some of them may
be racist without knowing that they are racist. As an example of White racism,
I cite the example of being in a car with my late cousin, Margie Shorter,
and her friends, driving through Auckland's inner suburbs, many years ago.
At that time, the inner suburbs were poor areas, having a high proportion
of Maoris and other Polynesian residents. Someone in the car remarked that
we were entering "torchlight country," which was obviously a racist
reference to the relatively dark skins of the residents.
Similarly, Tamihere is racist -- apparently without knowing that he is racist
(although he is trying to get elected in a Maori seat, so he may have been
deliberately racist, for the sake of publicity). The Maori Party, to which
he belongs, is clearly a racist party. For example, the former leader of the
National Party, Todd Muller, was criticised by the moronic media for not having
a racially "diverse" front bench. However, the Maori Party is deliberately
100% Maori -- except that Tamihere himself is part-White. Until recently,
seven of the nine party leaders and deputy party leaders in the New Zealand
Parliament were (part-) Maori, but I have never seen or heard any journalist
criticise this lack of diversity -- given that Maoris constitute a small percentage
of the total population!
It is not hard to find other examples of Maori racism. However, I would
like to concentrate on the two occasions when I met Tamihere myself. When
he was a Labour Party Member of Parliament, I went to see him in his office
about Men's Issues. Before I went into his actual office, because of the open
door I could see and hear him apparently talking (or pretending to talk) loudly
on the telephone and the one word which I heard clearly was "Hori",
which is a racist term for a Maori. At that point in my life, I had never
used that term. I assumed -- either immediately or on later reflection --
that he was trying to elicit guilt-feelings in me about White racism, which
is also probably what his statement about "asymptomatic racism"
was about. There was a
famous interview, which ended his career with the Labour Party, in which
he said, among other things:
"What you do is you always use the wimmins’ language: ‘I’m
feeling unsafe!’ And the women, as soon as they hear that, they’re
instantly with me. ‘I’m feeling unsafe in here’. [chuckles]"
So Tamihere seems to like analysing other groups of
people, such as women and Whites and he has decided that the way for the Maori
party to extract concessions from Whites is to make the Whites feel guilty.
After our meeting, I emailed Tamihere and offered to write a book about
him, in the context of Men's Issues, but he did not reply. Soon afterwards,
he came up from behind me on the street and spoke to me -- perhaps hoping
to elicit some anger from me at the fact that he had not replied to my email.
However, I did not mention that issue -- nor did he. As far as I can see,
he was racistly glad to have ignored my email and was hoping to get racist
pleasure from finding that he had annoyed me by not replying.
26 September 2020