Impacts of colonisation and systematic racism ignored

LETTER

Re: An egalitarian society? Are we close? Oct 10 column.

Interestingly, it is often the people who identify somewhere on the non-Maori spectrum who offer up a patronising, ill-informed argument, suggesting the tangata whenua’s (first people’s) “reluctance to take advantage of opportunities available to them” (Clive Bibby) is the real reason they find themselves in the “bottom sector of our community”.

To reduce the argument to one focusing on the individual’s reluctance to appreciate the opportunities presented to them ignores the well-documented research that highlights the very real and ongoing effects of systematic racism which comes from colonisation. Bibby finishes with a quote “you can take a horse to water — we can’t make it drink’”. Ironically this proverb captures the essence of colonisation: You can take a Native to water, but you can’t make him think.

Nicola Carroll

Re: An egalitarian society? Are we close? Oct 10 column.

Interestingly, it is often the people who identify somewhere on the non-Maori spectrum who offer up a patronising, ill-informed argument, suggesting the tangata whenua’s (first people’s) “reluctance to take advantage of opportunities available to them” (Clive Bibby) is the real reason they find themselves in the “bottom sector of our community”.

To reduce the argument to one focusing on the individual’s reluctance to appreciate the opportunities presented to them ignores the well-documented research that highlights the very real and ongoing effects of systematic racism which comes from colonisation. Bibby finishes with a quote “you can take a horse to water — we can’t make it drink’”. Ironically this proverb captures the essence of colonisation: You can take a Native to water, but you can’t make him think.

Nicola Carroll

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John Porter - 2 months ago
Subject: Egalitarian society? What? Here?
Clive Bibby, you gotta be dreaming!
The Herald has recently published my piece on white privilege and racism in NZ and now you're suggesting the possibility of creating an egalitarian society?
Are you serious?
How insensitive, mindless and surreal!
Where have you been for the past 177 years?
That remark was intended to be facetious but the context it references is not amusing or easily dismissed.
The criminal Pakeha military invasion of Aotearoa, destruction of Tangata Whenua cultural/economic/political institutions, wholesale land theft, and subsequent environmental degradation is one thing. The
forced conversion of a non-European people to a Eurocentric way of life and their submission to total Pakeha domination/racism for 177
years is another.
So, now you want an egalitarian society.
Unbelievable and supremely arrogant!
Typical of a male Pakeha hive-mindset.
Surely, you must realise that the most important requirement for a secure building project, apart from elimination of internal structural defects, is a solid foundation free of possible subterranean disturbance.
I very much doubt that you can apply that model to NZ society at present. Especially one based on egalitarianism.
There are several reasons for that and I've just outlined the most important obstacle - Pakeha privilege/racism.
Good luck with your project.
You're better off just visiting Disneyland (USA).
Now, that's another one in need of egalitarianism!

PS: Never forget that I am merely voicing the thoughts of billions of indigenous peoples who have experienced Pakeha privilege/racism for
too long.

John Fricker - 2 months ago
The difference between Mr Mulrooney, Mr Bibby and I suppose myself is that we live in the now. I'm not speaking for these two I quickly add.
You and John Porter seemingly prefer to live your lives in the distant past.
Your last sentence does your argument no good at all.

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