Let’s drop talk of racism, grievances and move on

LETTER

Racism is still alive and well here, according to Meredith’s “What’s on in council” column. It sure is, as she won’t let us forget it. She is besotted with it, it goes round and around in her brain and can find no escape hatch. Surely, Meredith, you can find better things to occupy your thoughts?

I went to the opening of the Waikanae cycle/walkway. Meng put on a barbie, spoke in Maori and then in English, and then a Maori elder spoke about our beautiful bay and then about confiscation of ancestral land and of course Captain Cook killing their whanau. It is an unfortunate state of affairs that we have to listen all the time to this, year in and year out.

I suggest to Meredith that she be like me, at 74 — get on your bike, ride around and breathe in the fresh air. It cleanses the brain, makes you feel good and lets you see what good there is in people and around this beautiful city.

If there is racism, we are not going to stop it if some people keep reminding us of it.

So let’s drop it, move on and perhaps one day we will all be mates.

Hmmm, nice thought?

Ray Hill

Racism is still alive and well here, according to Meredith’s “What’s on in council” column. It sure is, as she won’t let us forget it. She is besotted with it, it goes round and around in her brain and can find no escape hatch. Surely, Meredith, you can find better things to occupy your thoughts?

I went to the opening of the Waikanae cycle/walkway. Meng put on a barbie, spoke in Maori and then in English, and then a Maori elder spoke about our beautiful bay and then about confiscation of ancestral land and of course Captain Cook killing their whanau. It is an unfortunate state of affairs that we have to listen all the time to this, year in and year out.

I suggest to Meredith that she be like me, at 74 — get on your bike, ride around and breathe in the fresh air. It cleanses the brain, makes you feel good and lets you see what good there is in people and around this beautiful city.

If there is racism, we are not going to stop it if some people keep reminding us of it.

So let’s drop it, move on and perhaps one day we will all be mates.

Hmmm, nice thought?

Ray Hill

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Nic Carroll - 22 days ago
The only people who can say whether racism exists are the people who experience it. I have heard from many Maori in Tairawhiti who experience racism every day. These conversations might make us uncomfortable but I for one encourage Meredith and others to keep bringing it to our attention. I don't imagine Meredith is besotted with these conversations, they take courage and often are ignored. Keep talking Meredith, many of us are listening and are right behind you.

G R Webb - 21 days ago
Nic Carroll, your opening sentence is incorrect. The test of whether an action or words or a statement is racist is surely objective. Otherwise people might find offence in white toothpaste.

Rae, Tamaki Makaurau - 21 days ago
Thank you Meredith, hopefully stamp it out before another generation has to hear, see and feel this scurge - some @#*%s who seem to treat and enjoy this as a sport.

Charmaine Fouhy - 20 days ago
"Gol-lly" Ray, I hope someone can help you to pull your head out of the sand one day!! Racism is real, it happens daily to so many people, ignoring it doesn't make it go away at all, it gives it permission to continue to grow and destroy future hopes and dreams!!! Only by exposing, challenging and educating communities on rampant racism on a daily basis can we ever hope to "get along and be real mates" into the future together. Kia Kaha to the people with the 'Intestinal Fortitude' to speak out, they should be 'Praised' and not 'Vilified'.

Weary Whiteman - 17 days ago
Yes, racism is alive and thriving on both sides of the coin. It's not just a case of "the white man stole my land", or "the police are more likely to arrest me" any more. It's not even a case of "they might steal my TV".

In the interest of being fair and equal, both sides are guilty of it.
If you expect me not to automatically judge you because of a statistic that suggests you are more prone to criminal activities, then I expect you to acknowledge that the "what are you looking at, white boy?" mentality is a big part of the problem as well. Judging every white man as the same is no different to judging every Maori the same. Yes, there is a problem. Let's stop banging on about every little thing and just get on with today.

The issue has become so much more complex than just the past, and so many people are muddying the water with "he said, she said" remarks that it's not getting better any time soon.

Yes, there is a divide between both sides. Saying that there isn't is pure ignorance, which is most definitely wilful in this day and age. So quit the belly-aching, quit the pointless "I don't want to learn about it" or "it's not my culture" and grow up. You're in New Zealand, start sharing the damned cultures and becoming one united country, or shut up and let the rest of us move on without you while your antiquated views die out.

JOHN PORTER - 16 days ago
Subject: Recycling Pakeha Raycism.

Interesting irony in Ray Hill's commentary, "Let's drop talk of racism, grievances and move on."
Hill criticises Meredith Akuhata-Brown for revealing a Pakeha councillor's racist statement and yet he decides to perpetuate what he wants "dropped" by writing a public opinion piece about it. So apparently, it's OK for Hill to publicly suppress talk of racism but not OK for Meredith to remind him of its continued practice.
Is that hypocrisy, or logical fallacy?
No wonder I'm an avid fan of the 2017 Human Rights Commission/Taika Waititi video, warning that racial intolerance and overt attacks are on the rise. Taika says,"racism needs your help to survive" and "You don't have to be a full-on racist, just being a tiny bit racist is enough."
The satire is absolutely delightful.
Yesterday's racist tirade by a young white woman, directed at a Filipino family in a Wellington inner-city store, is a timely reminder. The white woman said, "Don't come back here any more. You're not welcome here. This is only for white people. This country is for white people only."
Get the picture Ray, or is that too subtle for you?
Attempting to keep racism a secret solves nothing. Confrontation, exposure and retribution is more beneficial for all concerned. The racist has an opportunity to be rehabilitated if required to justify and seek clemency for negative, anti-social behaviour. The victim has an opportunity to vent, seek compensation and possible closure on a painful experience.
That's my contribution for the present.
There's much more to come. Guaranteed.

JOHN PORTER
Gisborne