Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Dear Hone

Q: What do the following, all from today's paper, have in common?
  • A front page story
  • Two articles, by two different journalists, on page A2
  • No less than seven letters in the "Readers' Forum"
  • Brian Rudman's weekly opinion column

A: They're all about New Zealand's latest penitent, Hone Harawira.


Haven't we got anything better to talk about? The front page story, "Pressure still on leaders over Hone", begins:
Hone Harawira's apology has done little to relieve pressure on the Maori Party leadership to take a strong stance against him when it meets the MP for the first time tomorrow.
Really? Where's this pressure coming from? Harawira, a man apparently very popular among Maori, is the electorate MP for Te Tai Tokerau. The Maori Party itself is voted for, as I understand it, almost entirely by Maori. So is this pressure coming from Maori? Not according to this article; it seems to be coming from John Key and, worse, Phil Goff - the man who, a year into his job, still lags behind Helen Clark in preferred PM ratings.

However, Mr Harawira's apology left Prime Minister John Key and Labour leader Phil Goff underwhelmed.

Mr Goff said it was "phoney" and it was time for the Maori Party leadership and the Prime Minister to take the matter more seriously.

Mr Key said it was an "apology of sorts" but he would leave New Zealanders to decide on its merits.

"I think everybody's getting a bit sick of the Hone Harawira sideshow."

He usually ignored Mr Harawira's outbursts, he said, but had found this one offensive. However, it was not up to him to discipline the MP.

Oh yes, I'm sure you were extremely offended. People who make it to the highest levels of politics, via a process not unlike Tim Robbins in the Shawshank Redemption crawling through hundreds of metres of shit, are well-known for being thin-skinned enough to be offended by a combination of blue language and what more-or-less amounts to an NCEA history class in a nutshell.
Mr Goff dismissed Mr Harawira's comments as "silly" but said it was time the Maori Party and Mr Key showed they were taking the matter seriously. "He has still not apologised for ripping off the taxpayer - in fact he's bragging about it - and nor has he apologised for making obscene and racist remarks. I don't think somebody that behaves in that way and shows no contrition for it has any place in Parliament at all."
It's time to show they're "taking the matter seriously"? Or what - you won't vote for them? As for the last sentence, I think you'll find there are only two major criteria for having "any place in Parliament at all": being on the Electoral Roll, and being voted in, in this case by the people of Te Tai Tokerau. Perhaps Mr Goff harks back to a more civilised, more Victorian age where MPs were gentlemen who doffed their hats to each other and said "please", "thank you" and "pip-pip, tally-ho", rather than "white motherfuckers". Good thing he's the leader of the Labour Party.

Moving on, the page 2 article "A sorry, sorry, sorry state of affairs" rather smugly looks at Harawira's 'apology' at the University of Auckland marae:

But don't give an inch for calls to apologise to Phil Goff who he'd called a "bastard" earlier and who he reckoned should be lined up and shot with the rest of the Labour Party for passage of the Foreshore and Seabed law.

"I think it's important to realise that while I'm prepared to acknowledge the things I've done wrong, I'm not prepared to sit down and shut up and take that kind of rubbish from another politician."

Funnily enough, that sounds to me like exactly the kind of person who should be in parliament.
At the back of the marae, a supporter called out that he wanted to hear about Paris. It was "great", Mr Harawira reckoned, but it's a city and an issue you can bet co-leaders Tariana Turia and Pita Sharples can't wait to see the back of.
Again, this claim that it has been a serious setback for the Maori Party. But the same paragraph gives some evidence, however anecdotal, of the opposite: that the people who, for the most part, actually matter to the Maori Party - Maori voters - are actually in significant support of Harawira.

I'll ignore the Readers' Forum - a rule-of-thumb I can't recommend strongly enough. But the normally reliable Brian Rudman made me yawn with his meta-diatribe, "Hypocritical Harawira let us all down". I've read the article twice, and I can't really work out where the "hypocritical" bit comes from, apart from the fact that Harawira visited Paris, "one of the centres of the imperial nastiness he's been fighting all his life". Presumably he should stick to holidaying in Parihaka.

If Parliament is a true House of Representatives, then pressuring Hone Harawira to apologise for spouting off in an email views he's been shouting from the rooftops all his life seems a tad counter-productive.

On this I'm with Dover Samuels, the former Labour MP for the Te Tai Tokerau seat Mr Harawira holds.

"Any apology from Hone would be absolute hypocrisy. He's advocating what he really believes in. He's done that for many, many years before going into Parliament," Mr Samuels told Radio New Zealand. He added any apology would "be artificial, superficial and he actually doesn't believe it".

Except, of course, Harawira didn't apologise for his views - he apologised for the way he conducted his trip and for the language in that private email. So that was a waste of three paragraphs. Also, I can't help noting the fact that everyone is going round quoting Dover Samuels, the paragon of virtue known mainly for three things: constantly wearing a hat; alleged sexual impropriety; and urinating in a corridor of the Heritage Hotel.
An informal 1979 CV, quoted more recently, quotes him writing, we "beat the shit out of some smart arse Pakeha students at Auckland for ridiculing Maori culture".
Well of course it sounds bad if you put it like that. Actually, the event in question is a key part of Auckland University folklore. There was a tradition in the engineering school of (white, male, middle-class) engineering students drawing moko on their bodies with lipstick, wearing grass skirts and performing a derisory haka. After several years of complaints and no action, a group of activists gave them a hiding. No one was killed or seriously injured, a disgusting and unfunny practice stopped, and a bunch of 'casual' racists got their comeuppance. Sounds all right to me.

And on goes the list of his 'radical' actions and statements over the years, all leading to the 'hypocrisy' of going to Paris - sacre bleu! Come on Brian, you can do better than this.

Even the expression "white motherf***ers" hardly has much shock value these days when you can walk down Queen St and hear the "F" word trilling from the lips of teenage girls.

What is a little quaint about the email exchange is to hear a 54-year-old grandfather of two still using the angry slang of American rappers of a past generation.

As a time-to-time listener to American rappers of this generation, I can assure him that the 'mofo word' is still very much in current use.

I suppose we can expect more of the same tomorrow - a quick search on the Herald website shows 24 articles starring or co-starring Harawira in the last five days. His crimes, as far as I can see them, are as follows:
  • He pulled a sickie at work to go sightseeing, and apparently paid for it himself.
  • He used naughty, naughty language in a private email to a person he knew.
  • He holds controversial but - let's face it - not completely unfounded views on race relations in New Zealand.
His main 'crime' however, was of course subtly different. He did all this right after Rodney Hide's shame, and thus found himself in the centre of one of those periodic witch-hunts that so captures the magpie-like eye of the national media. Sometime soon this gem will lose its lustre - I don't know, a dog will bite a child or something - and the Herald will spread its wings and dive to pick up the new, shiny news item; and MPs' expenses and perks, Rodney and Hone, they will all fall from the nest, unloved and ignored.

50 comments:

  1. The biggest problem I have with Harawira is that he has become a politician but refuses to act like one. Yes, I know the comeback will be "but all politicians are wankers!" Quite right, but Harawira is also a wankers, albeit a different kind. He needs to learn to fit in with the people he's working with. If he keeps carrying on like he is, he'll find himself on the outer in a big way. Which may be a good thing for him - after all, if he doesn't want to act like a politician then he should leave Parliament and go back to being an activist. That way he can go back to saying what he wants and nobody has to take him seriously.

    The newest article on Harawira (breaking news! How does everything get to be breaking news these days?) is painful to read. It seems like it was written by a high school journalism student - sorry, a high school journalism drop-out - and is composed entirely of single sentence paragraphs. I suppose this is what you get from people who are used to communicating in 140 words or less.

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  2. Great article James, and rather funny. I like the magpie analogy. The Herald and the media in general have done one hell of an overkill on this one. I just think Hone is kind of funny. I'm pakeha and the substantive content of what he was saying is simply true, and thus not overly insulting. We have been/can be mo fos much of the time - just look at Michael Laws..

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  3. I have trouble with the concept of 'acting like a politician'. I personally find a lot of what generally gets lumped into that category as pretty distasteful, and I think that someone like Harawira who says what he thinks and, from what I can tell, generally serves his constituents admirably is far preferable to the large majority of current or past politicians. That's not to say that I agree with what he saays on various issues, but I think that's an unrelated matter.

    I do, however, agree that a parliament full of Harawira 'types' would be unlikely to get very far at all. Perhaps one needs a reasonable ratio of Hone Harawiras to, say, Lockwood Smiths.

    And you're absolutely right about the latest 'story', which leads off:

    "It remains unclear what the Maori Party intends to do at its hui on Hone Harawira tomorrow."

    Thanks for that. Do keep me posted.

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  4. "What is a little quaint about the email exchange is to hear a 54-year-old grandfather of two still using the angry slang of American rappers of a past generation."

    What is the cut off age limit for motherfucker?

    I know heaps of really young grandparents. Is it age or just whether or not you have grandkids?

    I want to make sure I use motherfucker as much as possible before it becomes quaint.

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  5. So beating up a bunch of students is perfectly ok by you? Sure they were being insensitive arses, but it was a differne t time and, frankly, if you allow for violence for this, well... where does it stop? Is it acceptable for me to beat the shit out of you because I think you're a cock? Evidently, yes.

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  6. "So beating up a bunch of students is perfectly ok by you?"

    Way to decontextualise what I said. Would I endorse violence to solve social problems? No. But am I going to bring up a thirty-year-old story, leave out the details, and use it to imply that someone is a dangerous radical? Also no.

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  7. I love hearing Willy Jackson go on about how he's a lovely guy. He's this, he's that. Nobody points out how much of a moron this guy is. I don't understand why. After all, he's quite slow. Since when do we ascribe importance to the ill-thought ramblings of a fool?

    Lesson so far. The public are precious to the point of hilarity.

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  8. I have trouble with the concept of 'acting like a politician'.

    I suppose what I mean by that is that there's a certain standard of behaviour expected of him as a memeber of parliament. It's all very well for him to say "I stand up for what I believe in!" as though it justifies his behaviour (it doesn't) but he's not hanging out with his activist mates now. When he carries on like he has, both he and his party will get tainted with the 'just another bloody maaari' image - rightly or wrongly.
    I hope I've clarified what I meant rather than muddying it even more. I suppose my 'wankers' comment was the cynic in me.
    Anyway, fuck Harawira, fuck Hide, fuck Laws. If Harawira wants to drag his party down to the level of the latter two then he's going about it the right way. He seems to think his righteous indignation justifies his behaviour.

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  9. "Keegan said...
    I love hearing Willy Jackson go on about how he's a lovely guy. He's this, he's that. Nobody points out how much of a moron this guy is. I don't understand why. After all, he's quite slow."

    I don't think he's a moron. I think he's very trenchant and bloody-minded and that overshadows whatever intelligence he has.
    Acting like he does is shooting himself in the foot. That is what I'd say is stupid.

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  10. I really can't understand the contrary stance you are taking.

    In no other country I have lived in would anyone survive as an MP after disparaging such a large section of the electorate. Racist or not (really, his comments were those of a sour idiot with a grudge more than anything), such behaviour should not be tolerated.

    But... oh, he's not elected by the electorate, he's elected by a specific a part of the electorate, which exists outside any known democratic convention I have ever experienced.

    A crap democratic system will always breed crap representatives. This is what we have.

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  11. The electorate paid for him to go to a meeting in Brussels. It doesn't matter if he used his own money on the sick day he pulled. If I told my boss I bunked off work to go to, I don't know, Auckland Zoo, I don't think it would matter whether or not I used my own money to get in. He signed up for the job.

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  12. I, gulp, agree with Monk on this. The fact that I couldn't vote for or against this black motherfucker really nullifies his relevance in my eyes.

    As an aside, apart from skin colour and a lazy eye, how much difference is there between him and Nick Griffin? Both have risen on the back of the poor and disenfranchised by speaking out against the people that those parts of society blame for their misfortune. Yet I doubt we will see any nice words being written about Griffin on this blog. And nor should we. But I didn't expect to see any written about Harawira either...

    Oh, and I , umm, apologise if I ofended anyone with the language I used in this post. I do not, however, apologise for the intent of said language.

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  13. I am consistently confused by white NZers' lack of empathy, and lack of understanding that the benefits they enjoy as white/settlers need to be paid for. Equity policies (and electoral systems) are a small price to pay considering the Rangitiratanga that was promised, and is owed.

    If everyone showed respect to each other there would be no problem here.

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  14. I think people are offended without actually knowing why they're offended, it's just sort of expected of them because the media's making a big deal about it. Like James said, this boils down to some blue language, since what Harawira said was basically true. The same people rallying about this are probably the same people always harping on about "PC gone mad", and yet now they're so offended by some swearing.

    Also, something the media keeps leaving out is Harawira was responding to Buddy's Mikere's email which said (I'm paraphrasing because I can't find it online, but it was on the TV news' original report) "Who paid for your wife, eh? You're just as bad as those white mofos you're always going on about". So Harawira's use of "white motherfuckers" was actually in direct reference to Mikere's choice of words. Just like the media's leaving out the bit before "Phill Goff should be lined up against the wall and shot", which was "Now if I should be suspended for swearing, him and his mates should be lined up against the wall and shot." Seems like context is a forgotten concept nowadays.

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  15. Hey hey hey, no-one here is arguing with him about his Phil Goff comment. And I am offended not by his comments, but by the double standard that Jimmy is adopting in his post. Its a lot like the terrorist/freedom fighter situation- if a yur vewz contributer used the term 'black mofo', he would be mocked for being a bigoted racist who probably couldn't spell. However, when Harawira uses the term 'white mofo, Jimmy condones is as he is an activist standing up for what he believes in.

    "I am consistently confused by white NZers' lack of empathy, and lack of understanding that the benefits they enjoy as white/settlers need to be paid for. Equity policies (and electoral systems) are a small price to pay considering the Rangitiratanga that was promised, and is owed."

    I, in turn, am consistently confused by native NZers' lack of understanding of the benefits that white/settlers have provided to this country since settlement. While I lack the critical research to back this up, I think NZ is in a much better state than any of the pacific islands that weren't settled by whitey. Health care, social services, law enforcement, education, employment opportunities- I think there is a reason why Auckland has such a significant population of native pacific islanders.

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  16. JP Rocks, I too am confused by many things. Such as why woman who are raped by their husbands even bother to complain about it!

    I mean, they're getting a free ride on the HARD WORK of their husband, and should be grateful!

    Do they not understand the benefits their husband has provided them with?

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  17. excellent satirical counter Nixon. JP, have you ever heard of something called ethnocentricism? I'm not trying to insult you, I just think you're missing the point somewhat. It's both a historical and sociological fact that there isn't equlity between NZ's indigenous populations and Pakeha. On principal or in our multicultural rhetoric perhaps there is, but not in reality in a general sense.
    Anyway, we're probably overriding poor James' site with politics, when really this is about crappy journalism.

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  18. GREAT! So we can have our politicians call us white mother fuckers and we should feel a sense of shame, rather than a sense of insult, because of who we are and because of who they are.

    Get real. The man's a dick, he holds outdated, paranoid, idiotic ideas about the people he shares the planet with and he should do the decent thing and step aside from public life.

    Edward, crappy journalism or no, but the creator of this blog has stuck his neck out with some pretty wild, contradictory ideas and should be questioned just like anyone else would be questioned.

    >>> So Harawira's use of "white motherfuckers" was actually in direct reference to Mikere's choice of words.

    So actually, it's better to have two white mother fuckers than one white mother fucker, eh? Great logic. Two white mother fucker heads are better than one white mother fucker head, as the saying goes.

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  19. Three white mother fuckers walk into a bar...

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  20. If I sent an email with that language I would be getting sacked.

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  21. @James W.

    I have to clarify, because I think you're confused. Buddy Mikaere's email asked 'Gotta ask the question... who paid for your wife?' That's all he said.

    In response Harawira accused his mate of being as bad as those 'white mofos' for even questioning him about it. It was his choice of words, nothing to do with Mikaere.

    From my perspective, it's his suggestion that the only people who would naturally have a problem with him bunking off at the taxpayers' expense are white people.

    This is an issue of ethics, not racism. Much as his underlying points of grievance be valid, his habit of scampering off to make fun while he's meant to be doing work the taxpayer is funding is not, and he can't get out of it by crying racism.

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  22. Monk,

    Not sure if the first part of your post was directed at me, but I was merely questioning the sentiment that JP put forward, which is pretty much that indigenous peoples shouldn't complain because they can benefit from the wonders of European culture. I just think such statements are a little ethnocentric. I'm not trying to knock JP, I just don't think that's an ethical perspective and that it ignores ongoing social issues which need to be addressed.

    As for Hone, you're right. He said some stupid remarks which have upset some people. I just find him funny is all. And I find him funny because he's a spectacle who's managed to upset people over pretty much nothing. Granted it's inflammatory language, but it's not like it directly adversly affected people's lives like the media is making out. I didn't feel insulted or ashamed. I don't think it's one option or the other. It simply didn't affect me because it wasn't directed at me, so why is everyone else making a fuss? After all, if Pakeha sentiment in the media can involve phrases like "Dole bludging Maori's" then it's a bit tick-for-tack isn't it? I dunno, I don't really care either way. People will scream for blood over anything trivial while ignoring the Rodney Hides of this world's attempt to privitise water.

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  23. sorry, but when was the last time a white politicians referred to 'dole bludging Maori'?

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  24. fair enough. like I said, I don't really care, I just think it's a non story / being the subject of overreaction. But that's just my own opinion. Scream for blood all you like :)

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  25. No, Eddie, I get your point. I get it, and I disagree with it. And I dont expect you to admit to agreeing with me, but let pose this series of questions to you.

    1) You have a life threatening condition that requires surgical intervention. You can choose to have this operation either in Apia, Nani, Nukualofa or Auckland. Where do you choose?
    2) You have three children who are about to start school. You can choose an average school (measured against other schools in the city) in either Apia, Nadi, Nukualofa or Auckland. Where do you choose?
    3) You are a blue collar worker, and can choose to work in either Apia, Nadi, Nukualofa or Auckland. Where do you choose?

    If any of your answers was anything other than Auckland, you are either a liar, a fool, or both. And what is the main difference between Auckland and the three other cities?

    As a side note, the term 'sociological fact' can only be an oxymoron.

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  26. Well the party considers him finished. So what do you say now?

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  27. JP, Auckland of course. But what's your point? Maori can't complain because NZ has better services than those other places? Well, I guess you've put me in my place. All is equal in NZ, we're all 'one people', and Maori aren't overwhelmingly overrepresented in the lower socio-economic demographic. Congats, you've solved the nations woes by setting up a straw man argument. What's next, Maori weren't subjected to harsh treatment by European settlers because the Australian Aboriginals got it "far worse"?
    And how is sociological fact an oxymoron? The trends in demographics studied by sociologists are false? Oh, of course they are, because all is equal in NZ, right?
    My point was that you saying "Maori should be thankfull white man came and showed them how to be civilised/technologically advanced/whatever" is a patronising and ethnocentric view to hold. So, you can disagree with me all you like, but it won't change the fact that such sentiments are indeed ethnocentric. Forcing your supposed opponents into saying 'Auckland' means nothing other than that you are incapable of reasonable discussion. Oh, and the difference is "a lot more white people". Does that satisfy that race-based ego of yours?
    And drop the chip on your shoulder buddy, I wasn't trying to insult you and I certainly wasn't being confrontational.

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  28. >>> My point was that you saying "Maori should be thankfull white man came and showed them how to be civilised/technologically advanced/whatever" is a patronising and ethnocentric view to hold.

    No one said that. Nor has a white politician recently called someone a Maori dole bludger, which you suggested happens all the time.

    You're inventing stuff to argue your point. That's not a great system.

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  29. re: "Noone said that"

    JP_Rocks implied it above. It's a common view held in New Zealander (not sure if you've heard of the place,) that Maori shouldn't complain because of this advantage we all have but they have less of.

    It would be a great step if a Maori person could walk down the street in 2009 without getting looked at "like that."

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  30. Thanks to 'The' for contextualising what I said :)

    Monk,

    I was paraphrasing the substantive content of JP's sentiment. As 'The' says, it was implied in one of his earlier posts. Of course I suppose you can call me out on a technicality of not quoting what he said word for word, but it doesn't change the underlying content of what he said. If it makes you feel better, here's the quote, word for word:
    "I, in turn, am consistently confused by native NZers' lack of understanding of the benefits that white/settlers have provided to this country since settlement. "

    As for you claiming I said "a white politician recently called someone a Maori dole bludger", well, perhaps you need to read what I said before putting words in my mouth as you accuse me of doing, otherwise you may look like a bit of a hypercrite. Here's what I actually said:
    "After all, if Pakeha sentiment in the media can involve phrases like "Dole bludging Maori's" then it's a bit tick-for-tack isn't it?"
    Can you please tell me where I use the word 'politician'? No? Oh, yeah, that's because I specifically said 'Media'. Oh, can you feel that hypocricy!?

    So, no, I actually am not 'inventing stuff to argue my point', that would be you. In addition, neither you nor JP are addressing the point - that there does exist inequality between Maori and Pakeha in NZ. I wasn't confrontational in my posts, I stated what I thought, which was simply that you can't sweep that under the rug simply because Maori can drive cars thanks to colonialism. As I said, I've nothing against JP and I've nothing against you, but such reactions are uncalled for. After all, what are you arguing with me about, that I think one thing JP said is ethnocentric or that I think people have overreacted a bit to Hone's rubbish (I agree he said stupid things)?

    Oh, and last but not least, just for JP, here's a social fact definition, which according to him is an oxymoron:

    "In sociology, social facts are the values, cultural norms, and social structures external to the individual. For French sociologist Émile Durkheim, sociology was 'the science of social facts'. The task of the sociologist, then, was to search for correlations between social facts to reveal laws. Having discovered the laws of social structure, it is posited that the sociologist is then able to determine whether any given society is 'healthy' or 'pathological' and prescribe appropriate remedies. Durkheim made two main distinctions between social facts--material and nonmaterial social facts. Material social facts, he explained, has to do with the physical social structures which exerts influence on the individual. It is something that can be touched emerging because of society's shared belief that it serves a purpose. Nonmaterial social facts are the values, norms and other conceptually held beliefs."

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  31. @ Mel

    "I have to clarify, because I think you're confused. Buddy Mikaere's email asked 'Gotta ask the question... who paid for your wife?' That's all he said."

    You're correct, sorry. It was in Mikere's subsequent email where he wrote:

    "... you're no better than that w***er Rodney Hide and the white mofos you complain about"

    But you're right, it was after Harawira used the words.

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  32. "Anonymous said...
    If I sent an email with that language I would be getting sacked."

    Can I just say I hate this argument? Whenever a white person complains they can't be racist anymore but brown or black people can, like it's this outrageous double standard, it just makes me want to slap my forehead with a history book. NO ONE can be racist, but please be aware there are lots of reasons why brown or black people might be given a bit more slack about being angry than white people. We're not equal.

    Also, as long as people like Micheal Laws has a job (thanks to the Sunday Star-Times, Radio Live and the people of Whanganui), I don't even think it's true. Prominent white people say racist shit all the time - it just may not be as unsubtle as Harawira's.

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  33. >>>> As for you claiming I said "a white politician recently called someone a Maori dole bludger", well, perhaps you need to read what I said ... you may look like a bit of a hypercrite.

    Hypercrite. Heh.

    >>>> Here's what I actually said:
    "After all, if Pakeha sentiment in the media can involve phrases like "Dole bludging Maori's" then it's a bit tick-for-tack isn't it?"
    Can you please tell me where I use the word 'politician'? No? Oh, yeah, that's because I specifically said 'Media'. Oh, can you feel that hypocricy!?

    You're not having much luck with the word hypocrisy, are you?

    Riiiiight. So let's look at the actual sum of your argument:

    Hariwiaracist is justified in calling the white majority of his country motherfuckers because of your perceived anti-Maori bias in the undefined 'media'.

    >>>> In addition, neither you nor JP are addressing the point - that there does exist inequality between Maori and Pakeha in NZ.

    That's not my point, that's your point. Address it with someone who gives a shit.

    Thanks.

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  34. >>>> Can I just say I hate this argument? Whenever a white person complains they can't be racist anymore but brown or black people can, like it's this outrageous double standard, it just makes me want to slap my forehead with a history book. NO ONE can be racist, but please be aware there are lots of reasons why brown or black people might be given a bit more slack about being angry than white people. We're not equal.

    WTF???? What makes you so sure anonymous is white?

    So no one can be racist but it's okay to be racist if you're black because those white motherfuckers started it? What kind of logic is that?

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  35. How is what he said racist? I don't get it. I've re-read the email 20 times. How is it racist? Is it because he said "white" before motherfucker?

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  36. Who cares how I spell hypocrite or hypocrisy Monk. What's such an ad hominem got to do with my argument. Nothing really does it? But I suppose you pointing out spelling mistakes is supposed to add weight to your argument? What a joke and what a pathetic debating tactic. Besides, you haven't even addressed the point that you were in fact doing exactly what you accused me of doing - it's there for all to see. So you are a hypocrite.

    As for the sum of my argument, no, my point was that while I agree with you that he said something really quite stupid, I just think the reaction has been a bit over the top, especially considering "Maori dole bludger" is a phrase passed around the national rhetoric like a football. This doesn't justify Hone's statement, but I just think that it contextualises it. And I know what your doing: trying to polarise me into one extreme side of the debate while failing to acknowledge that I agree with many points both you and JP made, just not all of them.
    I suppose when you keep tripping up over your own ego though it might be a bit hard to actually contextualise your oponents argument, so in the rush to prove how smart you are you box them in to a position you wish to vilify. Pretty lame and dishonest tactic.

    As for your last point, well, need I say more. You don't give a shit about inequality by your own words. I think now we've highlighted why you've jumped all over my comments. After all, you're right, it was my point, so why then did you instigate a debate with me about a point you don't give a shit about? I wasn't the one who commented on you was I? It seems in my opinion it's because I didn't automatically get on the 'I hate Hone' bandwagon with you and instead dared to suggest that the sacrosanct status of white NZ'ers might not be so wonderful after all. In short, it seems I stepped on your apparently delicate little white toes. How dare I say anything negative about Pakeha! The sheer audacity of me!

    I suggest you sit down, take a breath, let some of the air out of that ego of yours, and get over it.

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  37. is you saying i is a racialist lol

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  38. No Monk, i'm not saying that. I just think you're being a bit defensive. And it's pretty low to imply i'm stupid by mock-parapharsing me like that. If you can't come up with anything other than pathetic ad hominems then it seems you're the one who's lacking in critical thought. Anyway, i'm done "debating" with you, your ignorance, arrogance, and aggression isn't worth further diologue. You merely look like a fool.

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  39. At least we can pretend to be ONE PEOPLE!

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  41. Whereas you are a fool, Edward. You have inferred far worse in me than I of you. Like anonymous says, leave it.

    Double H is being kicked from his party very slowly and very painfully. Not because of white man's guilt or disgust or superiority, but because his party believe his actions and his views inappropriate.

    I never, ever brought up any of the wider issues you seem to ascribe to the whole affair. That is why, in this context, I don't give a shit.

    I never realised we were in a debate. Your side was more 'I will throw my preconceptions at you, ascribe my values to the issue, misquote you and infer racism and you had better agree'.

    Now leave it alone.

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  42. Damn, things got heated here while I was away. Probably a bit too heated for any of us to get back on course here. I'm not going to start it back up, but I will just finish it off by clarifying my position. I acknowledge that maori generally do not have it as good as pakeha people. If you are 25 year old maori man, you are more likely to have a criminal record, to have had a child out of wedlock and at a young age, to have a low paying menial job, and to have a lower level of education than a 25 year old pakeha man. This is undeniable. However, how would the quality of this 25 year old maori man's life compare to a 25 year old maori man who was living in a hypothetical Aotearoa which had never been settled by significant numbers of pakeha? One can only assume that it would be similar to that of a 25 year old fijian, tongan, samoan, niuean, tokelauan, vanuatan or new guinean, all living on their native islands. I would suggest that, regardless of how he stacks up against the 25 yeard old pakeha, the 25 year old maori living in Noo Zilland has it better.
    If that makes me ethoncentric, then so be it.

    Oh, and go the All Whi... Um, go the NZ Football Team! World Cup Baby!

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  43. Anon, get stuffed. Monk, I don't actually care about double H and your contextualisation of my approach is misleading and untrue. I don't think and never said anyone was racist (except Michael Laws). Also, you don't get to tell me when to leave something alone, especially when you're the one who instigated dialogue with me, but I will agree with you that this is no longer constructive. Perhaps it was more a matter of talking past each other than anything.
    JP, I agree. Things have gotten too heated. I understand what you are saying, and agree with the plain 'yes' or 'no' logic you put forward, but merely disagree with how that articulates with indigenous rights. I had a problem with only one thing you said at the start, but that's just my opinion and I don't want to argue the point any longer. Guess we'll just have to agree to disagree on some of the finer points.

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  44. Done. Hopefully next time (odds are there will be a next time) we can all keep it civil, because one thing I am sure we agree on is that this is a very interesting subject that is worthwhile of discussion.

    And for what its worth, I have an angry writing style, which has been honed on a US based forum where if you dont insult or make your point in a strong, simple, and somewhat confrontational fashion, you dont get heard.

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  46. Maybe we can leave this here and see how it develops.

    It may turn out that I was wrong about my prediction that little would happen because there was really no significant pressure on the Maori Party. That's fine - I don't claim to make accurate predictions.

    However, it also seems that this has less to do with the reaction to the incident and more to do with internal wrangling within the party.

    Anyway, this would be where I would lock the comment thread if I knew how.

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  47. Too late, you're as bad as "Your Views" now ;)

    Seriously, I really preferred the non-hostile, non-partisan ETH that just took the piss out of the Herald... nobody needs another political blog.

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