Wednesday, September 28, 2011

distance learning

There are issues all over the world with empowerment of indigenous rights and it is important that we, at least, try to understand the complicated tensions that abound and how they influence indigenous rights and are used by the powers that be to fractionate indigenous peoples. 

The first article is an awesome analysis by Julia Good Fox called "From Arab Spring into Indian Summer?" Julia discusses the lessons for self determination that can be learned from the uprisings, including cosmopolitanism (shared responsibility for each other) and informationalism (using social media intelligently with the goal of spreading/gaining knowledge while increasing political development). I highly recommend the article and julia's blog - goodfox- Culture. Politics. Indian Country - some of the best writing I have found on the net on subjects dear to my heart.

... But Arabs and American Indians have more in common than being routinely caricatured or savaged in mainstream films for mass consumption. We also share the experiences of living, at one time or another, under political tenures that have been more interested in undermining our communities (under the guise of “civilization” or “reorganization”) than in investing in an informed and engaged people who can be the basis for a participatory style of intelligent and community-based government. Arab Spring, like other events, promises to be of help in learning how to create such a style of governing through the supportive role of cosmopolitan communication.
... In the case of American Indian self-determination, there exists the extra struggle of contending with anti-Tribalism. Anti-Tribalism is a form of extremism that insists upon erasing differences in our humanity, it is an extremism that refuses to recognize that Tribes do belong in a thriving international community...  Arab Spring, like the Self-Determination movement, through its belief in global conversations, offers us one possible pathway into a world which acknowledges both Tribal and Non-Tribal Peoples.
Māori and all people dedicated to tino rangatiratanga can learn from the struggles of other people for equality. 

Sometimes the struggle is messy and distorted and influenced by enemies and sometimes it is impossible to see the truth from this far away. Bolivia is undergoing upheaval at the moment and it is pitting indigenous peoples against other indigenous peoples, add in - environmentalists, lobby groups, evo morales, police brutality, economic growth, enemies of Bolivia's indigenous government, environment destruction, a highway and international environmental protests against it including petitions, gas and oil and you have a very volatile mix. 

I cannot sort it out from here but I am interested and Federico Fuentes from Bolivia Rising gives a very through runthrough about what has and is happening. He is backing Morales and offers disturbing insights on the enemies using indigenous peoples to further their own agenda. I don't agree with all of the analysis or conclusions. It cannot be disputed that the objective of the road namely economic growth is considered more important than the destruction of the environment and disruption to indigenous people on the route. Let alone the mentality of thinking growth into the future is possible or even desirable now that peak oil has occured. One strong counter argument is that it is hardly fair for middle class wealthy western societies to mouth off while underdeveloped, poor countries try to get on their feet and give their people more opportunities. This is true. 

I love so much about the Bolivia indigenous program for development starting at the top with government. There are so many positives as empowerment is activated. That doesn't mean there are not lessons to learn and sometimes, mistakes are made. I am not sure what the answer is there but communication must be essential. The Bolivian people will work it out as we must all work our stuff out. And if in doubt we must all follow our heart, our values and beliefs. We must walk the walk as well as talk the talk.

September 25 will go down as one of the darkest day in Bolivia since Evo Morales was elected as the country’s first indigenous president almost six years ago.
After more than 40 days of marching, police officers moved in to repress indigenous protesters opposed to the government’s proposed highway that would run through the Isiboro-Secure National Park and Indigenous Territory (TIPNIS).
The controversial highway has been opposed and supported by many of the indigenous and social organisations that make up the support base of the Morales government.
Differences over the project have resulted in tensions escalating between both sides during the past month and particularly in the days leading to the violence. Protesters were set to reach a town were locals were organising a blockade in protest against march demands they felt would negatively impact on them.
After the repression, Morales rejected accusations he was behind events he described as “an abuse committed against our indigenous brothers” and called for an international commission to investigate the incident.
During the police action, which lasted around half an hour, tear gas and rubber bullets sent indigenous marchers, including pregnant women and children, fleeing for safety.
Shock and anger at these events led to a wave of mourning and questioning as to how an indigenous-led government could carry out such actions against its own people.
The backdrop to this terrible event is the conflict that has been brewing over months regarding the proposed 306-kilometre highway that would link the departments of Beni and Cochabamba.
Legitimate anger at the failure of the Bolivian government to carry out its obligation in consulting local communities within TIPNIS over the tract of the proposed highway that would cut through their territory, led locals to organise a march onto the capital, La Paz.
I urge you to read this post and this one and the comments underneath because it is instructional and the struggle is a real one, with real people being hurt - kia kaha Bolivian People

We cannot hide from the messyness of life, much better to front up and work through it. The same struggles will occur here and are occuring now between Māori as some want to protect, and others exploit, our land and sea, our home. If you look at the volatile mix of environmentalists, lobby groups, pitting indigenous peoples against other indigenous peoples, police brutality, economic growth, enemies of indigenous self determination, environment destruction, a highway and international environmental protests against it including petitions, and gas and oil there, it is easy to see the same mix, more or less, here.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

trader talk

It's worth watching these two videos. The first is entitled, "The men who crashed the world"  the first part of Meltdown a four-part investigation on Al Jazeera that takes a closer look at the people who brought down the financial world. It is important that we know the truth however disturbing because it will help us recognise the attributes we don't want or need within our communities. It would be nice to think we are not going to make the same mistakes again. 

The second video shows the result of our capitalist society - the end product. A person who doesn't care if the market is going up or down as long as he makes money - what the hell he is going to spend it on when it all falls down is anyone's guess. He knows that goldman sachs rules the world not governments, he knows the slide is gaining momentum but caught in his own hubris and invincibility he thinks it is going to affect everyone else except for him - he is wrong, it will affect us all.

Hat tip The Unrepentant Marxist

Monday, September 26, 2011

visual poem kererū

The branch is rested, weighted
down by you and yours for a time as
much as my life is mine.

A measured settling in with immanent
gaze your eye angle reflects
my aspect mirrorlike - a mimic I see.


spotting one

In one of my previous roles i worked as a general manager for a financial services company - you know investments and insurance. I reported to the board and at that time the market was suffering, so we were often below expectations. Tough - what to do? Well, what you do is put the best spin on it as possible - "yes we didn't get there, and this is what we are doing about it..." If you have a few quarters like that you get quite imaginative in composing spin, you have to. The point of that background is to say that when you have spun to save your life (however illusory when viewed from now) you recognise spin from others easily. The Prime Minister is spinning

there is optimism China's economy will remain strong and that will buffer New Zealand from the latest round of turmoil on global financial markets.
This turmoil is major indeed. And this is the financial system but the effects of peak oil with a loss of cheap energy coming, and climate change is obvious. For me, my critical analysis says that it is actually happening, we have reached a place in our time on this planet of critical juncture and our world is undergoing unheaval. Key's option of spinning is a cop out - the only one to 'save' us is us and that means not selling our land and resources to any bidder with the money. That means saying no to the exploiters who are mining and prospecting for oil and gas in our rohe. And it also means supporting community and unity, equality and empowerment. It is time for the past to lead us to the future. 

On a lighter note :)

Watch for the effects of major sunspot activity 

Universe Today
A highly active region on the Sun threatens to deliver powerful geomagnetic storms over the week ahead. Highly energetic solar eruptions are likely heading in our direction to give Earth’s magnetic field a significant glancing blow! Over the past few days the new sunspot AR1302 has been incredibly active, hurling massive X-class solar flares into space and it will soon face Earth.
jeepers another Carrington Event would stuff up the money go round, wouldn't it.

Friday, September 23, 2011

neutrino on my mind

It hard to get your head around neutrinos and this apparent faster than light discovery. Should be lots of people investigating this which will sort it sooner rather than later.

Universe Today
An international team of scientists at the Gran Sasso research facility outside of Rome announced today that they have clocked neutrinos traveling faster than the speed of light.
For me I enjoy these upsets - but this one, if proved, will change most of what we know and the implications are staggering.

I've written a haiku for the occasion

we align, a slant
unaffected you’re through me
Oh heart of no-mass.

The more we know, the more we learn.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

shutter shudder

Some powerful comments in the blogosphere about the governments plans to rush through retropective legislation to allow secret filming on private property. It is a scandal and against the principles of law, but these legal commentators can say it much better than me...

Morgan at Maui Street
If the Police were aware in the Urewera investigation, which occurred years ago, that they were employing illegal investigatory methods, yet continued to do so in the years following the completion of the Urewera investigation, then the Police must be held to account. The law should not be bent to accommodate law breakers (i.e. the Police), the law should be used against those who break it intentionally.
Andrew Geddis from Pundit
So what the Government really seems to want to do here is short-circuit the courts' role in deciding if the Police's unauthorised (and, according to the Supreme Court, unlawful) use of video and photo surveillance should be allowed to stand as evidence. Instead, it will require such evidence to be let in - irrespective of whether or not it was obtained unlawfully in breach of the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 (which it wasn't ... because Parliament will deem that it wasn't).
Dean Knight from Victoria Law School
Let’s recap now. As a consequence of the Supreme Court ruling, the police do not have any legal power to engage in covert video surveillance – but they knew that anyway. For investigations already undertaken, whether or not unlawfully obtained video evidence can be admitted in court depends on the context. For serious charges, it will probably still be admissible. For less serious charges, it will not be admissible. It might also turn on how significant or insignificant the degree of intrusion was and rogueness of police actions or attitudes.

Idiot/Savant from No Right Turn
In such circumstances, ramming through a bill under all-stages urgency to retrospectively validate deliberately unlawful behaviour by the Police is a gross assault on the rule of law. The police violated the law, and they should pay the price. If they didn't want to pay that price, then maybe they shouldn't have deliberately conducted unlawful surveillance in the first place. 
So there is an uproar - and the Green Party, Mana Party and The ori Party have all said they will not support it, ACT are wavering - Labour will support it with conditions like a select committee hearing apparently but the gnats are under pressure. They have 6 sitting days of parliment before the election so it must be passed under urgency. It is obvious that we cannot trust this government - they cannot even follow the recognised process of the law that they are supposed to govern under and the evidence by the respected legal minds that blogged above is testamony to that. This issue is not going to go away and reveals a terrible truth about the gnats - they will just do what they want. The Mana Party is the best vehicle IMO to effect change and put a stick in their heinous agenda.

Hat tip Maui St

Monday, September 19, 2011

misleading is not unfair

I don't miss many of the misinformations they put out about Hone Harawira and the Mana Party, even though I don't have a TV or read the paper - i check the news on the net and that is pretty similar but better because you can often go to the source and read differing views, if you want to. and sometimes a story pops up that you can't remember and before you know it, you know it. That is the case about this story where TV1 presented an item which said that Hone had “racked up a $35,000 travel bill... that’s almost $4000 more than the Māori Party’s total travel bill”. They didn't mention that the Māori Party received money from more than one source and when added together, made their statement 'misleading'.

The BSA have ruled that the item was misleading

we consider that viewers would have been left with the impression that the figures reported constituted total travel expenditure for the period specified, and not just expenditure administered by one agency,'' 
The misleading item created a negative attitude towards Hone for some, and reinforced and validated others who already held those views - and for some supporters, it may have created doubt. The misleading item was designed to discredit Hone and to reduce his mana. It has ended up doing the opposite of course. The second part of the judgement is disconcerting - it relates to whether the TV item was 'unfair'.

Now in view of the fact that the BSA has said that the item was misleading I expected that the item would also be ruled unfair simply because it was misleading. But I was wrong. Unfair is breached when an item strays into 'abusively personal territory', it is not based on whether it was misleading or not. So this misleading item was deemed not unfair and the additional rationale seems strange to me too,
The BSA said that because he was a high profile and often controversial politician, "he should expect to face robust criticism, especially with regard to the expenditure of public money''.
Is airing a misleading item robust criticism, especially in regard to expenditure of public money? I would say no! How can it be when the item was misleading - by definition it was not fair.

Maybe it is the definition of fairness that needs to be changed. We have an election coming up and that is why we need to be especially careful in exposing their dirty tricks.

Hone and Mana are working hard and there is lots going on and this is the quiet before the storm and oh what a memory Mana will create - from us, to the generations to come.

Kim at He Hōaka has written some awesome posts about Mana and other interesting areas.

and another favorite blog at the moment The Archdruid Report - I just love the way John writes and what he writes about - he absolutley gets it and can explain it so that you just want to read more.

Friday, September 16, 2011

i wish you weren't so dull

How do ideas form traction and embed themselves in society so much that they are almost invisible? Perhaps by repeating poor taste jokes like DPF or maybe sending racist emails, such as the one sent by a Dunedin businessman to a school because they flew the tino rangatiratanga flag. I believe this is a similar or the same email that i have seen but I can't confirm yet - certainly the phases are the same as those reported. The email I've seen is reproduced below because it is subtle and gross, full of mistruths and bias - but members of our society believe it, they believe the lies and denigration inherent within the writing.
I wish I was a Maori.........
I have been wondering about why only Whites are racists, but no other race is...... so I got to thinking Maori call me a ‘Pakeha’, [Pa = village, keha = flea, vermin ] 'Whitey’,  ‘Honky’ and ‘Redneck’ and that's OK, but if I call you Hori, you call me a racist. (I was told "Pakeha" as an entire word means "stranger"!Not white man). You have a race based Maori Political party, special Maori only  parliamentary seats and Maori can stand as a candidate in any parliamentary electorate in New Zealand but white people cannot stand for a Maori seat or be on the Maori roll or a member of the Maori Party. You have ‘3 bites at the same electoral cherry’. White people have only one and yet you still say you are dis-advantaged. If I complain you call me a red neck racist. You have a race based Maori caucus in parliament which includes the Maori members from all parties. It concerns itself with protecting and advancing Maori values, not party political values. If whites or any other ethnic group had a multi party parliamentary caucus that dealt with the advancement of its own race or for whites only, and not politics we would be called racist. You also want to appoint your own representation on Local bodies and demand the granting of special seats or privilege. If not granted you scream racism. Yet Maori can be elected just the same as any person from any race. If there were seats on any local body that were just for whites only there would be great cries of racism. You have a flag of your own, which you insist be recognised and flown alongside the flag of our country. This illustrates your separateness and division from the rest of New Zealanders. If a white person flew and demanded recognition of a competitive flag for New Zealand, it would be tantamount to Treason. There are a number of openly proclaimed Maori schools and Colleges in New Zealand. Maori colleges and high schools specifically for Maori students. Yet if there were 'Whites Only colleges', they would be racist colleges. If whites had scholarships, college funds and Trusts that only gave white students  Scholarships, you know they’d be racists. You expect whites and other New Zealanders to ignore your special tax payer funded educational institutions and when we complain or say you should teach your language and culture in the home as other races do you call us racists. Who pays for the running of Maori colleges? If whites objected to their taxes going to pay for them they would be called racist. If white people had their own schools and colleges they would be called elitist racists You have  Government funded race based Kohango Reo’s [pre-schools] to teach your race your own language and even have transport to pick the children up. If any other race asked for the taxpayer to fund the teaching of only their own language, or transport to take their children to pre-school they would be laughed at and called racist. You have Maori Health Services. Special organisations within the taxpayer funded public health system which are run by Maori for only Maori. If whites asked for such special and separatist privileges from the health services they would be racists. You have a Maori TV channel funded by the New Zealander taxpayer. If there was a Whites only TV or if whites said Maori should fund their own TV, they would be called racists. You also have your own Te Reo TV channel which broadcasts solely in Maori. Of the 14 free to air Freeview TV channels Maori have two of them and yet there are also Maori language programs and news on the main network channels such as TV One and TVNZ 7. If we consider that an over representation of a language that the rest of us don’t want to learn, we are called racists. If we had any organisations, schools, trusts, and governmental groups TV stations, etc for whites only to advance OUR lives, we'd be racists. A white woman cannot be Maori sportswoman of the year, but any race can be New Zealand sportswoman of the year. A white person cannot be in the Maori All blacks or any Maori sporting team, but any colour can be in the All Blacks or any New Zealand sports team. This separatism is decidedly racist but if a white person comments on it they are labelled racist... The fact that we have a Maori Allblack team is as racist as is any race based sports team can be but if there was a whites only Allblack team or any other whites only sports team it would be considered blatantly racist. You say the whites commit as much violence as you do. So why are the Maori parts of town the most dangerous places to live? Why are the jails so full of Maori? Why are so many children killed and bashed by Maori. But when I say that Maori are a violent people you call me a racist. You rob us, convert our cars, rape our women and bash our elderly. But, if a white police officer shoots a  Maori or a Maori gang member, or assaults a Maori criminal running from the law and posing a threat to society, you scream racism. You are proud to be Maori and you're not afraid to announce it, even though you may not be full Maori, but part Maori, or even only ‘trace element’ Maori, but when we announce our white pride, you call us racists. Why is it that only whites can be racists? There is nothing improper about this e-mail. It’s all true and illustrates that it’s time we started to pressure all politicians to eliminate special race based privilege and  parliamentary seats based on race. Stop giving Maori special privilege and treat them the same as any white person, Chinese, Asian, Indian or Pacific Islander.. There are many races that live in New Zealand, all were alien initially, now there are many minorities and if we don’t learn to stand up and stop privilege being accorded to any one particular group, the next group to start wanting separatist rules, favouritism and privilege will be alien religious groups. The great gravy train, a.k.a the Waitangi grievance Industry, has hopefully nearly finished it's work of judging events of 160 years ago through today’s eyes and making compensation awards in today’s money so now is the time to stop and ask:   Do we want a privileged group enjoying special favour for no rational reason, or do we want racial equality in New Zealand with fairness and equal privilege for all. There is nothing improper about this e-mail......... so let's see which of you care enough to send it on. Think about this ... If you don't want to forward this for fear of offending someone – THEN YOU ARE PART OF THE PROBLEM! It's not a crime to be white YET.. but it's getting very close!
Whew!!! a lot of bleating there - some sort of hybrid kyle chapman/john ansell/don brash mashed up nightmare. The dull tome speaks for itself so I'm not going to break it down, sentence by sentence, lie by lie but rather leave it there in its glory to be contemplated.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

poor taste joker

Poor taste jokes aren't funny especially when they are loaded with all sorts of cultural superioity taints - hey it was just a joke - ha ha, what are you getting offended by - ha ha. The reality is that the joke teller is just reinforcing their prejudice - like this one from DPF

"I understand that for the first time ever, the Crown has filed a Treaty of Waitangi claim against an Iwi.
The Government is claiming that Ngai Tahu sold them dud land in Christchurch and they want Ngai Tahi to buy the land back :-)"
Yeah that is a big joke alright - sold them land - ripped them off and treated them like they didn't exist is truer 

Treaty 2 U
Before 1840, Ngāi Tahu held rights over much of Te Wai Pounamu (the South Island). But within decades, the government obtained vast tracts of Ngāi Tahu lands, paying a fraction of their worth and failing to deliver promised benefits of the purchases.
Go and have a read about Te Kerēme (The Claim) and how hard Ngāi Tahu have had to work to get any recognition of the grievance.

- and if you want to see why DPF posts this crap - read the comments - his gallery is baying.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

that tongue is forked

So John Key, the Prime Minister of this country, at the opening of the Rugby World Cup, chose not to say kia ora and acknowledge tangata whenua. He has admitted he just decided not to, even though, for the most generally part he does, and he is sure that most people know he can. He didn't think it was important or necessary. 

"I could have of course, and for the most part I generally do, but I decided not to on that occasion." 
The occasion was his big showpiece of this country - if that isn't an appropriate occasion then what is? But he most parts generally does so what are we to take from all this. He could have but didn't and for no good reason. He just doesn't give a shit? he doesn't have much between the ears? or he astucually wanted to make a point - that tangata whenua should be happy to allow our culture to be used as window dressing for the grand illusion and when the dust has all settled it will be back to business, back to pretending to care about Mäori whilst dismantling everything Mäori care about.

This going round sums it up
"Miss half a game of rugby because a train breaks down: personal apology from John Key and compensation up for discussion.
Have your doors kicked in, automatic rifles pointed at your kids, and four years of your life stolen because of police incompetence. Apology and compensation immediately ruled out."
The charges have been dropped but the hurt is still there, not just for those free but for the four still facing charges and for the Tuhoe people. The police came for terror and terror is what they created just as they planned but their plans have finally been just about stopped and the truth, while smothered in supression orders, will come out eventually. Thank you to all concerned who have helped and fought for the truth and thank to to all who continue that struggle. A great post from Joshua called Reflections on the invasion of Te Urewera.

Monday, September 12, 2011

dying to save them

I just don't understand why keas have to die to test whether 1080 baits are attractive to them or not. Can we not test these baits first or is that too hard. I know the arguments around 1080, the improvements in the forest and native species, the birdsong and the flowers - but I cannot reconcile throwing poison into the environment to kill them - it just seems like more hubris from people rather than looking, listening and learning from Mother Nature. After all, stoats were brought here deliberately by the colonists to help sort the rabbits out, which were brought here deliberately - the solution created more problems than the original problem and that's because nature wasn't considered at all - it was just a thing that could be managed, manipulated and mangled to achieve man's ends. That worldview is destructive to our environment and society - it distances us from ourselves and our heritage as living organisms within the total ecosystem. That worldview considers us seperate from nature and is in opposition to indigenous worldviews where the holistic nature of reality is endorsed.

Department of Conservation has reported the deaths of seven keas following a recent 1080 pest control operation on the West Coast that was designed to prevent the birds eating poison baits. They follow seven kea deaths reported in the Franz Josef and Fox Glacier area in 2008, with the possum-killing 1080 poison pinpointed then as the most likely cause of death.
So sad that these beautiful unique birds have died. I hope we sort this out soon.

edge to edge

To be upfront - I don't rate John Tamihere and that doesn't mean I don't appreciate the good he has done for Māori - I just feel the negatives outweigh the positives - Tamihere doesn't speak for me. Which is what he says about Professor Mutu and that is why he entitled his post "Mutu doesn't speak for me". Tamihere calls Professor Mutu a reverse racist and I don't care about that because as I have mentioned, racism = prejudice + power and if you think a Māori woman within academia has power you would be incorrect. So the worst that anyone can say about Professor Mutu is that she is prejudiced and I have no issue with that. Tamihere makes this statement

no one can tell me that my mother, a Pakeha third-generation Kiwi, is a guest in this country. There is an acknowledged rule throughout the Pacific and in Maori. That rule asserts if you can retain occupation of land for three generations or more, you have rights to assert mana whenua. In effect, you become tangata whenua. To make out that we have special rights above all others into the future, solely on the basis of ethnic supremacy, is wrong from a Maori cultural perspective.
So what are you saying john - that everyone is tangata whenua now - if they have lived on their land for 3 generations, because if you are - you are wrong. We are all guests in this country at times - if you visit a new marae you are a guest, if you travel to another area you are a guest - guest isn't a swear word it is a term of honour because of the reciprocity of obligation and responsibility attached to it. This term 'ethnic supremacy' is also inflammatory and incorrect - it is not about supremacy it is about equality and any Māori who frames it incorrectly is treated with suspicion by me.

Tamihere disqualified himself from any credibility back in 2005, when he crudely described women as 'frontbums'
"I don't mind front-bums being promoted, but just because they're (women) shouldn't be the issue, they've won that war,"
he also said in that investigate interview that
that while he was revolted by the Holocaust, he was sick of hearing about Jews being gassed and killed in order to make him feel guilty.
That argument is used against Māori as in, "stop talking about the past colonisation to make us feel guilty".

He continues to diminish himself when in a recent post he said
It is true oil will run out and it is true it produces everything from plastic to tarseal and drives all economies. It is true we must seek alternative energy. But on the way to this happy little world, we had better start using our resources on the way.
So for tamihere drilling and descecrating Papatūānuku for oil and gas is okay because it is all going to run out anyway - what a disgusting, selfish, exploitative attitude - the same mentality that has got us into this hole we are in now.

So John Tamihere you definately don't speak for me - you are not a deep thinker,  your conclusions are wrong and incomplete - based on prejudice and your opinions are inconsequential but you are part of the Māori Nation just like Professor Mutu.

I'll listen to Professor Mutu not to you.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

power and racism

Professor Mutu is continuing to agitate some people with statements like this,

She said Maori could not be racist against New Zealand European as Maori were not in a position of power.
This is a very interesting point - the power aspect and on The Standard dave brown from redave made this comment which sums up my view beautifully.
A pretty dim post actually. Just because Mutu makes over-sweeping generalisations that actually have historic truth on her side, dimpost comes along with a more crude set of generalisations and lowers the level of debate which others accept with alacrity, except for uke.
You cannot be a racist unless you impose your views by means of power. Thinking that other people, tribes or family members are different and inferior is not racism unless you can define the ‘other’ in such as way as to gain by it long term. Historically racism as we know it was invented by European colonisers to classify non-Euros as subhuman to justify ripping off their riches and impose white supremacist rule. The Catholic church had a huge upheaval before it recognised Native Americans as humans capable of ‘salvation’. It took a couple of centuries for black Africans to achieve this select status.
When this colonial rule was overturned lots of white racists retreated to countries where they attitudes where not challenged. The British in India went ‘home’. NZ was already colonised by a majority of racists who while professing equal citizenship took away the land and self-rule. In the 20th century NZ copped a big flow of ‘kith and kin’ from Africa and Britain and here their attitudes were not usually challenged because they were accepted as normal. So there is some truth to what Mutu says. In many cases racists don’t recognise they are racists because racism has been ‘institutionalised’ and made respectable as ‘bicultural’ or ‘multicultural’ by the dominant ‘culture’. As RWC says lets haka as one people.
On the other hand, reverse racism, or reciprocal racism is not really racism since it can’t be imposed. If it could be then Maori would be running the country and whites would be complaining about being at the bottom of the heap. So-called reverse racism is no more than the expression of historic grievance of the colonial past being reproduced today as Maori marginalised off their land in the underclass. White racists hide their racism by trying to claim that this reverse resentment is equally pervasive and potent as Euro racism. Historic amnesia.
Some Maori gains have been made, especially by iwi middle class, but only by begging the state to redress past wrongs and playing by the rules of capitalism – that even Brash can agree with. Begging is hardly the action of racists. But if the begging begins to look like ‘special treatment’ then the racists come rushing out to cry ‘one law for all’.
In the final analysis NZ remains a racist country and the evidence for that is the majority support for the NACT regime that continues to plunder NZ’s land and resources and deny any possibility of Maori emerging from marginalisation into economic self-sufficiency.
And I cannot see any good arguments against that. I realise that dave's analysis is broad but we must understand the big picture to really see what is before us. There are many subtle aspects of racism, bigotry and discrimination and these absurd worldviews didn't arrive out of thin air - they were created and they can be uncreated - by us.

Meanwhile on Kiwipolitico Pablo has vented his spleen at his former workmate Professor Mutu.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

encumberances begone

Professor Margaret Mutu is entitled to give her opinions about matters she deems important and that is part of her role. Sure the language is polarising but the issue is serious and has to be discussed.

Professor Mutu responded to a Department of Labour report which found Māori are more likely to express anti-immigration sentiment than Pākehā or any other ethnic group and from Stuff,
Mutu agreed with the findings and called on the Government to restrict the number of white migrants arriving from countries such as South Africa, England and the United States as they brought attitudes destructive to Maori.
"They do bring with them, as much as they deny it, an attitude of white supremacy, and that is fostered by the country," she said.
I don't like the way that is stated because it obscures the issue. Māori do feel overwhelmed but the migrant aspect is secondary to the inherent overwhelming of Māori by our society. If migrants arrived here to a country where Māori and the Crown were equals then their supremacy views would be quickly dispelled or else they would leave - or perhaps not decide to come here at all.

Professor Mutu also said
she was happy to welcome white immigrants who understood issues of racism against Maori. "They are in a minority just like Pakeha in this country. You have a minority of Pakeha who are very good, they recognise the racism, they object to it and speak out strongly against it."
To my way of thinking, part of being able to immigrate here should be a history lesson and an outline of Māori culture, beliefs and values. Of course I'd start with the people already here, so that the new immigrants, with their appreciation of the unique value of tangata whenua, would fit in.

The University has said
"The Education Act protects the right of academics, within the law, to question and test received wisdom, to put forward new ideas and to state controversial or unpopular opinions. That is an important right in a free society."
Paul Spoonley has said
his research showed while other ethnic groups' attitudes toward migrants had been approving, Maori perception had become increasingly negative. Anti-immigration sentiment was fed by Maori fears that multicultural policies were diminishing policies concerning Maori.
I say that framing the arguement around skin colour and country of origin obscures the very real issue that has to be addressed. The discussion centres around the controversial words and does not get to the real concerns or the solutions needed.

For those who feel offended because they identify as 'white' - think about it - if you are not racist Professor Mutu is not talking about you. We can't deny that our society is structured so that certain groups have advantage over others and those inequalities create privilege and are based on skin colour, ethnicity, gender, age, sexuality and ability. If you are male you have inherent privilege, if 'white' you have inherent privilege, if you are hetrosexual you have inherent privileges. Breaking this structure down is the goal and sometimes sharp weapons must be used. I am a male and paleish and hetrosexual and I enjoy inherent privileges because of that and every day, like you, I work and strive to create equality - so that I can be free of these encumberances and be seen as me, and so I can see you as you.

Monday, September 5, 2011

underreported struggles 53

Ahni at Intercontinental Cry has some very important underreported struggles this month.
Two Shipibo communities in the Peruvian Amazon broke off negotiations with Maple Gas Corporation, over the health and environmental impacts of six oil spills on their territory over the past three years. The move comes just one month after 32 Shipibo were forced to clean up one of the spills with their bare hands.
Shell and BP are mere steps away from drilling exploratory wells off the Coast of Alaska and Russia, a region that everyone's playfully referring to as the "final frontier" for petroleum development. The notion of the Arctic being "undeveloped" or "undiscovered" probably couldn't be more insulting to the Inupiat, Saami and other Indigenous Peoples whose cultures and subsistence ways of life evolved over centuries of living in the region.
The Pechanga Band of Luiseño Peoples are speaking out against a planned quarry project that threatens a key religious and cultural area. The company, Granite Construction is seeking an agreement that would allow it to mine the quarry for 75 years. Tribal officials, however, insist that they been telling county officials about the property's spiritual importance for years. They consider the land to be the site of creation. 
Heavily armed drug traffickers from Peru are believed to be hunting isolated indigenous peoples in the Brazilian state of Acre on the border with Peru, in order to make way for coca-growing operations. According to latest reports, the Ministry of Defense has organized a "permanent occupation" until the crisis is contained.  
The Indigenous Telengit Peoples in the Altai Republic are turning to the international community to help stop a new gas pipeline that would cut through their sacred lands and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Cultural Survival has responded to the Telengit's call by starting a letter-writing campaign on their behalf
And many more - please visit Intercontinental Cry and read about these struggles.

no laughs here

LudditeJourno at The Hand Mirror has said everything I want to and have struggled to say about this abuse case, so I have reprinted her post.

I am a father and I don't think any of this is funny. Child abuse isn't funny.
Trigger warning – please be careful with this post – it is deliberately provocative.
Imagine this. You’re a woman. You live with your partner and your daughter. One night, your partner has gone out to a Christmas party by himself. When he comes home, it’s late, he’s drunk, he fancies a shag, you don’t.
You say “no, thanks” and go to sleep.
In the wee hours of the morning, you wake up. Something’s not quite right. You open your eyes properly and look around. Your beautiful little girl, all of four years old, has jumped into bed with you.
Your partner has pulled down her pyjama pants. He was removed her night-time nappy. He has his mouth where her tiny, four year old genitals are.
You probably shout or scream. You probably grab your daughter and pull her away from him. You probably can’t quite believe what you’ve just seen, and desperately wish you hadn’t. You probably try to control what you want to say and do to him, because you have a little, confused girl in your arms who needs a cuddle, who needs help to put her nappy and pyjamas back on properly.
He says “I was confused, I thought it was you.”
You don’t believe this. You don’t wear nappies to bed. And you had already told him, that night, that you didn’t want to have sex.
Who knows how much you talk about it that night – but you decide you have to report this to the Police. You’re not sure why your partner would lie about trying to do adult sexual things with your daughter, but you don’t want her to be at risk. You don’t know what to believe. Could this happen again? Has he done this before? You don’t know. But you can’t risk your little four year old girl. You talk to people. No one else wants to believe it either.
When you tell the Police, he is furious. He made a mistake, he was drunk, it could happen to anyone. Don’t you care about him? What about his career, he’s a comedian, he makes people laugh, this will ruin everything. He just wants a chance to show you and your daughter how much he loves you. But he has to get a lawyer, because the Police investigate.
It’s in the papers. He tells people that whoever told the Police did it out of spite, to get back at him. It was a genuine mistake, and the report to the Police was malicious, but he’s distancing himself from that bad person now.
The case drags on and on. Even though the court tells reporters they can’t say who you are, who your daughter is, you know everyone knows. Everyone in your lives. They all have opinions about what you should do. Most of them don’t think it’s that big a deal. You don’t want to tell them the details of what you saw, and anyway, you’re not supposed to talk about it.
You might never want to see him again, or you might beg him to go talk to someone professional. Your daughter is behaving differently, crying at night and being very clingy. She doesn’t want to take off her nappy. She wants to see her dad, but she doesn’t want to be alone with him.
You see, over and over again, what you woke up to that night. Flashbacks, other people call it. You feel like you’re there.
The trial is called off for now, because they say they can find no evidence. You don’t understand, doesn’t what you saw count? Doesn’t what your daughter says count?
He tries again. So does his family. Why do we have to do this? Come on now, let’s just forget it and things can get back to normal. Stop making a fuss. He loves you. He loves your daughter. He will never do anything like that again.
You stay strong. Your lawyers stay strong. The trial goes ahead, fifteen months later. The lawyers talk. He doesn’t want to go to prison, and he knows he will if the court believes you and your daughter, if you get to tell them what happened that night.
Your lawyers do a deal. He says he did it, he did try to do sexual adult things with your four year old daughter. He says he is guilty. You don’t have to talk in court after all.
You go back for sentencing. The judge says your partner needs to get back to making people laugh as soon as possible. She said what happened wasn’t so bad, and he had suffered enough, and anyway it wasn’t like real child abuse, because that happens in secret. He doesn’t have to go to prison, or have counselling, or do community work. He is free.
Your life has changed forever. So has your daughter’s. None of this was funny.
The child and mother are the victims and they have my support for the henious abuse of trust that they have to endure. Kia kaha.

Hat tip - The Hand Mirror

Friday, September 2, 2011

thoughts on Māori centred research

I have been busy writing an essay on Māori centred approaches to research and it has been fascinating. It is an area I hadn’t really considered too deeply before – just taken it for granted - but after studying it, I realise how out of touch I have been. These are just some random, slightly muddled thoughts on the topic that are running around in my head. I realise that research today is more aware of the issues, but I still think we have a wee way to go to get there.

Māori have criticised much past research and for good reason – mostly research has been done by non-Māori with reputations built and maintained by being the expert – on Māori. The research has been developed and implemented with very little consideration of Māori people or culture. It is amazing to consider the arrogance of believing you can study a culture without recognising and incorporating the cultural values of the group being studied. It is disturbing to think about how disempowered Māori have been in this area and we are talking about research about Māori, so surely Māori should have a say in the research – it seems a minimum requirement to me. But others are the gatekeepers, they set the parameters of the research and they determine the methodologies, and they do the research, evaluate it and present it.

This research structure does not fit within a Māori worldview and is valueless for Māori and therefore our society. Research which describes what Māori already know is worthless and research too often does that and also focuses on comparing Māori with others. This comparing seems to me to be a subtle assimilation tactic because it accentuates the ‘otherness’ of Māori, often in a negative way. The gaps, always the gaps – which show Māori below others but what actually does this research, this measuring do? Sadly as I mentioned above – it does nothing. The next question should be - how can we create something that does make a difference? The answer is there, within Te Āo Māori.

Various models to create Māori centred approaches to research have been developed and they have some attributes in common. The lessons from the past show that knowledge must be actively attained and it must be for the collective good. Research is valuable when it enhances the lives of the people, when it makes a positive difference. Consultation with, and accountability to, the group are explicit within the histories of Tane and Maui and they are the models to follow. This can only occur when Māori values are incorporated within the research structure from top to bottom. Part of this is the defining the purposes of research which should relate to gains for Māori, as Māori. And part is the practise of research - how the research is conducted, the accountability and responsibilities, the ownership and analysis of the research as well as the way Māori interact and participate in the research. As Durie says “Māori people are seeking to control research processes that directly affect them.”

There is ongoing debate around the role of researcher. For many, that person should be Māori - a qualified Māori researcher able to navigate competencies in research and Māori knowledge whilst operating within Māori society. The exchange culture of Māori realises obligation, reciprocity and responsibility as intrinsic for all participants of a research project. Spiritual aspects of tapu, wairua and mana are embedded within the transmission of knowledge: it is sacred and closely guarded and must be deserved. This is in contrast to the western academic view where knowledge is apparently available to all, as of right.

A Māori centred approach to research puts Māori at the centre and is empowering because it allows Māori to be Māori and benefits accrue to Māori people. It provides an integration of the holistic Māori view of everything and highlights the multiple interconnections that influence all aspects of wellbeing. Māori control over research is Mana Māori and repositions Māori from passive researched into active, empowered participants.

To move forward in true partnership between Māori and the Crown requires an acceptance and recognition of a different way of looking at things. We will have to revise the dominant euro-centric approach and realise that other cultures have something to offer. Māori do not accept that they are objects to study - Māori insist on empowerment, on control, and to my mind it is not an outrageous request – it is basic human rights.