April 25, 2016

Oops! Nasty!

ONE TREATY, ONE NATION, ROLLING THUNDER

booms the leaflet in front of me advertising a “new” book. It may be recently published, but it sounds like recycled Pakeha prejudice and colonization crap to me. Nothing new there! The leaflet features old favourites like:

reversed racism
Maori privilege
no full-blooded Maori(s) left
Maori ceded sovereignty
Maori violence
benefits of colonisation for stone-age people Read the rest of this entry »

December 6, 2014

Mr Allbones’ Ferrets – A book review

allbonesMr Allbones’ Ferrets – an historical pastoral satirical romance, with mustelids, by Fiona Farrell, 2007.  A vintage Book, Random House, NZ.

I have just caught up with this book and it was well worth reading, although I found it quite difficult to get into. I realize that this is because it feels very alien and at times repulsive if, like me, you have had no experience of ferrets, and have always regarded mustelids as lethal predators on our birdlife. The way in was for me to enter into an alien cultural experience, the world of English Victorian village life as lived by the most impoverished people. Soon afterwards I was drawn into an equally alien world of affluent middle class scientifically-minded European gentlemen.

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May 15, 2014

Tracking Race Relations in New Zealand: Tūi Tūi Tuituiā 2014

The Human Rights Commission’ s (HRC) (2014) Tūi Tūi Tuituiā report is a unique and useful resource that provides a structured annual overview of key developments in race relations. Written in a readable form, beautifully laid out and illustrated, it examines the areas of human rights reporting, trends in racial discrimination complaints and progress on addressing racial inequities. It documents patterns in religious diversity, migration, resettlement, language retention and media monitoring. Furthermore it provides convenient updates on Waitangi Tribunal settlements and profiles relevant local diversity research.

tui tui tuituia
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March 13, 2014

Reconfiguring Racism: Conference Review #3

This is part three of a three part series by Elena Meredith about Reconfiguring Anti-racism; Tolerance, Harmony, Inclusion or Justice– an international conference hosted by the Centre for citizenship and globalisation  at Deakin University, Melbourne December 2013. Post one summarised her views on the conversation around conference themes ‘Tolerance’ and ‘Harmony’. Part two discussed her experience of the conference discourse around ‘Inclusion’ and ‘Justice’. We close with part three, a conclusion of her thoughts and experiences and her take home learnings.

Professor Ratnesh Nagda suggested in his plenary paper on “Intergroup dialogue” that anti-racism uses all of the lenses suggested in the conference themes:

Tolerance to enable mutually engaging relationships
Harmony which results only from constructive conflict engagement
Inclusion with its critical analysis of power and a focus on resources as much as identity
Justice which equalizes power to enable the fundamental changes to be determined and resourced across identities.

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Reconfiguring Racism: Conference Review #2

This is part two of a three part series by Elena Meredith about Reconfiguring Anti-racism; Tolerance, Harmony, Inclusion or Justice – an international conference hosted by the Centre for citizenship and globalisation at Deakin University, Melbourne December 2013. Post one summarised her views on the conversation around conference themes ‘Tolerance’ and ‘Harmony’. Part two discusses her experience of the conference discourse around ‘Inclusion’ and ‘Justice’.

Inclusion

Being based in Australia, much of the focus on this aspect was couched in conversations about and experiments on promoting  multiculturalism (the “M” word) which was described in populist and political contexts  as “being in crisis”.  Allan Lentin suggested that this “Australian” view is “the contemporary articulation of racism”. She explored the concepts of:

  • “good diversity” which is seen to add colour, richness and individuality and can become a USP (Unique Selling Point)  and
  • “bad diversity” which is seen to  impede progress, based on the belief that society has been “too tolerant of difference”.

Lentin’s fear is that with an orthodoxy uniting left and right, society may be “sleepwalking to segregation” with a focus on a return to “national values” and a positive teaching of the colonial past. This resonated for me as a familiar scenario and likely outcome in Aotearoa also.

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Reconfiguring Racism: Conference Review #1

This is part one of a series of three posts reviewing Reconfiguring Anti-racism; Tolerance, Harmany, Inclusion or Justice an international conference hosted by the Centre for citizenship and globalisation at Deakin University, Melbourne December 2013  attended by Elena Meredith.

Associate Professor Yin Paradies, Chair of the organising committee, noted that “this multidisciplinary conference brings together scholars from disciplines as diverse as anthropology; applied theatre….social work; and sociology……[to] debate epistemologies, theories, policies, practices and aporias pertaining to anti-racism as a global phenomenon”  (Conference Programme,  p3).

The possibility of exploring this continuum in an Australian context, where I myself had never had or heard such a discussion in either personal or professional contexts, both intrigued and attracted me. As a member of Treaty People Network and as an educator for early childhood teachers, I was keen to extend and broaden my understanding of both current research and thinking on anti-racism, as well as meeting and “debating with” a broader range of peoples actively engaged in anti-racism work. So did we one-hundred or so ‘delegates’ find this event “insightful, thought-provoking and even inspiring” (Ibid)?

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December 23, 2013

Belated Response to Muriel Newman on Institutional Racism

I recently stumbled upon a disturbing blog posted on 14th July 2013 by Dr Muriel Newman from the right-wing think tank New Zealand Centre for Political Research. It was about a subject I am passionate about – institutional racism. Her post is riddled with misinformation and factual inaccuracies that, in the interests of informed debate, I feel moved to unravel for the discerning reader.

The following points address only a handful of the inaccuracies in her post.

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September 6, 2013

The ongoing legacy of Puao te ata tu

puao-te-ata-tuPuao te ata tu (daybreak) was aptly named, with its arrival being timed at the point when people were waking up to the demands of indigenous people in New Zealand in the mid-1980s. The origin of the report comes through a group of feminist women in the Department of Social Welfare that first identified racism within their institution. They began the work that developed into work led by the Māori advisory group. Ultimately, this led to the Ministry Advisory Committee produing Puao te ata tu.

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