Thursday, January 25, 2007

Special treatment

Are we all special? I ask because John Boy Key was saying yesterday at Ratana marae both that Maori are "special," and at the same time that Don Brash's "message" that everyone should be equal before the law "won't be changing," so either we're all special, or else he's just talking nonsense.

In a relaxed speech that began with a short introduction in te reo, Mr Key reiterated his view that the National Party believes Maori have a special place as the Tangata Whenua.

He says the National Party wants to engage in dialog with Maori and develop a relationship that will stand the test of time...

A speech by National's previous leader, Don Brash, on race relations led to some strain between National and Maori, and Mr Key concedes there may be bridges to mend. But he says fundamentally his message won't be changing from Dr Brash's - but the tone may be different.

Those two statements -- one that Maori should be regarded as "special," and the other that everyone should be equal before the law regardless of colour -- are so different that either he thinks we're all stupid, or else he thinks the meaning of words is less important than the "tone" in which those words are said, the 'emotional vibrations' put out with the words.

Either way, he's disgusting.

The most sensible thing said yesterday at Ratana seems to have been said by Tariana Turia. "Maori don't need patronising politicians," Turia is reported to have said. Maori aren't the only ones.

UPDATE: Lindsay Mitchell puts it bluntly: "When government accords one group special status they are by necessity taking from another. There can be no privilege without some corresponding disadvantage. If one individual or group is "special" then others are not." Couldn't say it better myself.

LINK: Political leaders trek to Ratana Church for yearly visit - Radio New Zealand
Key tells Maori they have "special status" - Lindsay Mitchell

RELATED: Politics-NZ, Politics-National, Hollow Men, Racism, Maoritanga

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2 Comments:

Blogger sagenz said...

Peter - I think you are very "special". But I dont think you need protection under the law. Or do you think that government intervention is the asnwer for everything???

1/26/2007 08:17:00 am  
Anonymous John said...

I see the results of special treatment every day. I live near the two largest Casinos on Earth: Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun, which were created by judicial fiat on a technicality (Connecticut allowed charities to run two "Las Vegas Nights" per year as fundraisers and the fake Indians at Foxwoods used that as a crowbar to get year-round gambling approved on tribal lands).

The spectacle of American blacks and whites scrambling to be registered as a Pequot to get in on the Foxwoods bandwagon is disgusting. Do you konw what the blood quantum requirement was? 1/16th. That's right one great-grandparent out of 16 being a Peqout was enough. By that criterion I should lay claim to German, Swedish and Irish citizenship simultaneously.

They don't even speak Pequot on the reservation anymore - the one woman who knew any died before the casino was built, but they hired a teacher from the neighboring (real) Naragansett tribe to teach them a bit of some sort of lingo. The irony? The Naragansetts were enemies of the real Pequots, and conspired with the English to nearly wipe them out in Colonial times.

As you grant special protections to ethnic groups, you, too will see more of this kind of rent-seeking. But I can't really blame the real Indians, the Mohegans, for jumping on the gravy train once the feds allowed the "Pequots" to violate Connecticut state law on their tribal lands.

1/26/2007 03:59:00 pm  

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