Impact spoilt by silliness

LETTER

I watched the TV1 programme “That’s A Bit Racist” on Sunday night, with the hope that I might learn something.

One segment asked the public, at random in the street, if they knew who was on the $5 note and then asked who was on the $50 note. Predictably, more people knew who Sir Edmund Hillary was.

But wait there’s more — not many even knew who Sir Apirana Ngata was, let alone what his claims to fame were. Quod Erat Demonstrandum — racism at work! They could have asked about Sir Ernest Rutherford, or Kate Shepherd to even things out a little.

Another segment compared the total sum spent on Treaty settlements with two other areas of spending. The settlement figure was the least of the three and we could all draw our own conclusions from that — really? Selective use of statistics can tell you what you want to hear, ask any politician.

We were also treated to infantile clips from a supposed children’s TV programme, where the male presenter used simplistic overtly racist stereotypes, in a hammy, overdone way. Real “pat you on the head”, patronising stuff, I thought.

Historical clips of Bastion Point, 1978 and the ’70s overstayers raids were included. I think it fair to say we have moved on a bit from then.

A lot of good, relevant points were made, which were food for thought and highlighted the real need for improvement.

I thought the programme spoilt its impact by silliness. I was left with the feeling that racism is exclusive, to those of a paler hue, rather than a less attractive characteristic of homo sapiens as a species.

Another episode shows this coming Sunday, so see what you think.

Ron Taylor

I watched the TV1 programme “That’s A Bit Racist” on Sunday night, with the hope that I might learn something.

One segment asked the public, at random in the street, if they knew who was on the $5 note and then asked who was on the $50 note. Predictably, more people knew who Sir Edmund Hillary was.

But wait there’s more — not many even knew who Sir Apirana Ngata was, let alone what his claims to fame were. Quod Erat Demonstrandum — racism at work! They could have asked about Sir Ernest Rutherford, or Kate Shepherd to even things out a little.

Another segment compared the total sum spent on Treaty settlements with two other areas of spending. The settlement figure was the least of the three and we could all draw our own conclusions from that — really? Selective use of statistics can tell you what you want to hear, ask any politician.

We were also treated to infantile clips from a supposed children’s TV programme, where the male presenter used simplistic overtly racist stereotypes, in a hammy, overdone way. Real “pat you on the head”, patronising stuff, I thought.

Historical clips of Bastion Point, 1978 and the ’70s overstayers raids were included. I think it fair to say we have moved on a bit from then.

A lot of good, relevant points were made, which were food for thought and highlighted the real need for improvement.

I thought the programme spoilt its impact by silliness. I was left with the feeling that racism is exclusive, to those of a paler hue, rather than a less attractive characteristic of homo sapiens as a species.

Another episode shows this coming Sunday, so see what you think.

Ron Taylor

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G.C. - 3 months ago
I totally agree with Ron Taylor. I watched the programme and had been looking forward to maybe learning something from it (let's face it, we are all a bit racist even though we say we aren't). I have to say I was bitterly disappointed. I felt it really had nothing constructive to say. Sorry TVNZ.

Phil Hunt, Picton - 3 months ago
I was in Woodville recently. A TV crew did an article on how bad Woodville was suffering with the Manawatu Gorge closed. No such thing, in fact, as a local told me. Business is steady to booming, and at the time it was winter, so it was normally a quieter time of the year anyway. The town is very tidy, upbeat, and the main road (SH2) still busy as ever.
Your TV programme was similar in the way they always push the negative for most of the time. I haven't got TV, so don't see all those silly programmes, and have more time to do other things. It's the same with newspapers and magazines. Bad news sells better than good. It fits (unfortunately) with the human brain's desire for "doom and gloom". If you open your mouth, always try to say something positive - the media rarely does!

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