Different views and racism at The Standard

Some interesting discussions and reactions about racism at The Standard, triggered by the debate over Donald Trump’s shithole comments.

Yesterday Bill posted Two Faced Liberalism.

Anyone want to lay out what the essential difference might be between picking and choosing between broad categories of migrants and picking and choosing between broad categories of migrants?

What’s the difference at play in preferring “skilled” migrants over supposedly “unskilled” ones or Norwegian migrants over Haitian ones; moneyed ones over poor ones? Liberals might argue that the former and latter are nuanced and better targeting for economic exploitation than the middle one. And some might point out that the middle is informed by racism while the former and latter aren’t. But then, that last point is just to argue that some forms of discrimination are okay while others aren’t.

Anyone inclined to get on a high horse over Trump splabbing shit about preferring Norwegian migration to Haitian migration should, surely, get all fired up over preferring those who might be considered economically exploitable to those who might be considered economic liabilities. It’s the same shit afterall – born of discrimination.

And while we’re here, Haiti is a shit-hole. Would you live there? Or would you want to bring up a family there? I wouldn’t.

I don’t really know much about current Haiti, but it’s home for over 10 million people. Perhaps many of them wouldn’t be fussed about living in New Zealand.

To slam Trump for his bullshit as though it’s such a terrible thing to refer to a place as a shit-hole (who hasn’t referred to some place as a shit-hole?) and ignore why Haiti and other places on Trump’s list are “places polite society would never refer to in that way”, isn’t just facile – it’s the height of cold fucking hypocrisy.

You give a shit about Haiti and the people living there? Do you? Really!? Or is indulging in a bit of excited monkey spanking over successfully identifying with those who would deem themselves superior to a guy you don’t like, on the basis they’d never (apparently) refer to a place with predominantly black or brown populations by way of Trump’s uncouth terminology – is that all that matters?

Actually one of the latest ‘clarifications’ is that while Trump was critical of Haiti in relation to US immigration he didn’t refer to that country as a shithole (he referred to others as such though).

There was limited reaction to that post at The Standard, but Matthew Whitehead commented:

If Haiti is a shithole, Bill, it’s because the rest of the world has been digging around and shitting on it for quite some time.

It’s really unjust to agree that a developing country like Haiti a is shithole just because it’s been colonized, and is still having wealth transferred out of it, by overseas interests. I would have expected better of you. It’s also very dismissive of the fact that people like you and I might actually have things we could learn from people in Haiti.

I would actually argue that all the types of migration restrictions you mention are informed by discrimination, but okay. I agree there is an inconsistency to thinking skilled migration is fine and opposing the rhetoric of white supremacy, although it isn’t a direct inconsistency that everyone finds easy and obvious because it’s an argument that relies on statistics, not direct inference.

And yes, I actually do give a shit about countries that are less well-off than New Zealand, like Haiti, or Samoa, and have previously given both time (and I don’t mean by spreading “awareness,” lol) and money to help make the situation just a little bit better.

Bill replied:

…it’s because the rest of the world has been digging around and shitting on it for quite some time.

Well, yes. Did you bother reading the link before commenting? The link that comes after You want racism? Read Johnathan M. Katz’s opinion piece… and before There are very specific and traceable reasons as to why Haiti, El Salvador and however many African states might be referred to as ‘shit-holes’. And every single one traces back to liberal capitalism.

I also provided a “get out” clause for anyone who might have felt the urge to get all defensive, but it seems you missed it Matthew. I made no assumption about whether any individual reader of this post has sailed on by the historical colonial context of Haiti and other countries or not. I asked if a bit of excited monkey spanking over successfully identifying with those who would deem themselves superior to a guy you don’t like was taking precedence to giving a shit. Ample room right there for a simple “no”. 😉

There was some discussion on Twitter:

Removing a post would have been a drastic way to deal with it, and would likely have caused a split at The Standard. Instead Presland wisely chose to do a posy of his own providing some different views – Racist dog whistling

We may think that we now live in more enlightened times where the scourge of racism is finally being dealt to and racist behaviour by politicians is no longer considered acceptable.

But recent events suggest to me that racist memes are still being used by the calculating to stir up political support from the bewildered.

A classic example of race baiting has occurred recently in Australia.  Victoria, which currently has a State Labor government, has an election later on in the year.  Clearly the Liberals would love to win back power.  So the Turnbull Government has made a big thing about gangs of young Africans causing problems in Melbourne and how Melbournians are afraid to go out at night.  Peter Dutton, whose level of odiousness almost matches that of Trump, has front footed the attack.  And things have been egged on by Rupert Murdoch owned papers.

Dutton chose to use the right wing playbook.  He attacked the Andrews Government for appointing “weak” judges and suggested that the non existing law and order problem was all because of liberals (small l).

But just when you thought that no politician could sink lower than Dutton Donald Trump describes most of the developing countries as Shithole.  Put aside his misogynist views, his lack of understanding, his overt belligerence, his anti environmental crusade, his attack on the poor and support for the rich and the threat he poses to world peace these comments should result in his removal from office.  In a properly functioning democracy …

But this is a weakness of the democratic system.  Pedalling lies and threatening racial tolerance for political gain should result in automatic failure, every time.  That it does not, and that it is seen to be a legitimate political tool by the right means that we have a problem.

It’s not just been a political tool of the right in New Zealand, with Winston Peters pushing dog whistle racism boundaries regularly, and Labour’s disaster over Chinese sounding name mis-analysis a couple of years ago.

Claims of racism from the left in an attempt to shut down discussion are not uncommon either, as the exchange on Twitter shows.

This is valid and healthy discussion to have here, so good on The Standard for providing a forum for diverse views rather than trying to squash discussion.

Some emotive and interesting comments on that second post. Shona:

My daughter had a knife held to her throat and was threatened with death while a Sudanese 16 year old youth groped her in Central Melbourne during daylight work hours, while she was carrying our her job. i have NO SYMPATHY for these assholes. The aggression against the Sudanese is because of their fucked up religious views of women amongst other things.

And no those views are not to be tolerated in a modern society.They do not give a rats arse about western values. And no Australia and NZ do not need these fucking people . Now out will come all the dearly deluded members of NZ’s oh so tolerant left telling me what a racist I am. I am an atheist and an old fashioned working class feminist . Fuck these people we don’t need em!

A feminist racist? It sounds like she has good reason to be angry, but her target appears to be too broad.

Gristle responded:

A cousin of mine was raped at knife point in the South of USA by a couple of whites.

Am I now meant to think that all white Americans are like that due to their race, nationality, religion? I mean look at the fundamentalist, racist, sexists, class hating people in the USA. (And that includes so many in power.)

“Fuck these people we don’t need them(?)”

Fender:

And my son was stabbed fourteen times by a NZ born white crohn’s disease sufferer who was unemployed and is now in jail. I’m unaware of any religious or misogynist views held by this asshole but obviously he’s from a group that is also not needed in this country (using your logic).

These are isolated personal experiences so it’s fair to cut them some slack if over-reacting.

But we hope that our politicians, and politicians in leadership positions such as Peters and Trump, should have more consideration for a bigger picture than appeasing their own base of racists supporters.

43 Comments

  1. And One Anonymous Bloke demonstrates some of the worst of intolerance (not surprising, their MO is to drive away views they disagree with):

    Australia has a problem. The same one New Zealand does: racists. We need to get into their homes and communities, identify the instigators, and get them out of Parliament.

    Start with anyone who bleats about political correctness. It’s simple code that means: “I am a racist.”

    That’s typical dirty and inaccurate targeting from OAB.

    • robertguyton

       /  January 14, 2018

      OAB strops you up something terrible over at TS, Pete; you extracting some revenge with this comment?

      • David

         /  January 14, 2018

        In what way is it revenge to point out that OAB is a cretin? It’s an observable fact.

      • OAB has nothing of reason about them Robert – nothing. I’d be obliged if you’d stop disrespecting PG so witheringly.

    • sorethumb

       /  January 15, 2018

      This is rabid fundamentalist primordial religious thinking from OAB and Greenfly.

  2. PDB

     /  January 14, 2018

    The biggest racism story here of more recent times occurred when the NZ Labour party thought it a good idea to accuse people with ‘Chinese-sounding names’ of being foreign house buyers regardless of the fact that many of those with ‘Chinese-sounding names’ were actually NZ citizens or in many cases not even Chinese.

    The fact that the left in the main tried to defend such actions tells you all you need to know about the racial hypocrisy within their ranks.

    • Blazer

       /  January 14, 2018

      the Chinese sounding surnames is a complete ..non story.Only a complete moron would believe that overseas domiciled chinese account for 3% of property sales.Even NZ Chinese understand…this.There is a plethora of evidence available in Australia and Canada to confirm the pattern…as well.

      • And out comes the “non-story” defense…. Blind loyalty again Blazer.

        The fact we have large price escalation in the Auckland market is due to: 1) restricted supply driven by poor planning rules and a constrained urban boundary, 2) low interest rates making “borrow and buy property” as an investment strategy attractive 3) large in bound migration concentrated in Auckland

        Deal with 1 and lower migration and the market will re-balance on price…

        • Blazer

           /  January 14, 2018

          wrong…again Dave,cause is…open slather selling to foreigners,speculators using negative gearing,landbanking,tax advantages,and an impotent reaction by the National Govt which sat on its hands as immigration and runaway property prices made GDP growth look like they had a clue.

          • You describe Symptoms of the underlying causes – speculation of the type we have in Auckland is driven by short supply. Sort supply and its no problem. Sort supply now and prices will retreat – and any foreign money that has flowed into NZ stays here as NZ sellers reaped the high price and can pick up when prices retreat.

            Classic market situation that needs addressing on the supply side….

            • Blazer

               /  January 14, 2018

              can’t agree Dave,cheap money and the scale of Chinese investment means supply is almost insatiable…the benefits of property investment over other investment…is too great.

            • Blazer

               /  January 14, 2018

              demand.

            • yeah yeah yeah….. start a upswing in profit taking opportunities by constraining supply a la AKL Property and watch the demand escalate as windfall profits abound…. normal market profit seeking behaviour…

              It was and is all about Supply

            • sorethumb

               /  January 14, 2018

              Why should any foreign money that has flowed into NZ stays here? If New Zealand has more money than productive investment money will flow out?

            • No. I am saying you buy at 700K, market goes down you sell for 650k then 50k has been nett gained by the original NZ seller IF the foreign buyer sells to a kiwi.

            • Blazer

               /  January 14, 2018

              does not add up….no surprise there.

      • PDB

         /  January 14, 2018

        Only a ‘complete moron’ would think anybody with a ‘Chinese sounding name’ in the phone book is definitely a non-NZ citizen.

        • Blazer

           /  January 14, 2018

          [Deleted personal abuse. PG]

        • Blazer

           /  January 14, 2018

          what phone book…and when was this theory presented?

        • sorethumb

           /  January 14, 2018

          Which just goes to show that one reaction to the Chinese sounding names was to deny that it is happening. Which begs the question: if it was happening why was that a problem? Ans = ethnic stratification.

    • sorethumb

       /  January 14, 2018

      90% of motels in Christchurch are owned by Chinese (I was told by an ex motelier)

      • Corky

         /  January 14, 2018

        I was at a new sub division yesterday. Three of the seven houses completed had Chinese good luck signs on their frontage, and of course No 4 address was not owned by a Chinese; it had surly, staring Islanders moving in. The type that reeked of trouble.

        I pick major problems coming soon, with the Chinese folk eventually moving out. It’s all about calling a shit hole situation when you see one.

        So many words on this topic. Yet it boils down to simply blocking people from certain countries and religions coming in unless they are highly qualified and have western ways.

        Why the angst, navel gazing, hypocrisy and circular arguments going nowhere?

        Close the fucken border. Isn’t that what Trump is trying to do?

        • Gezza

           /  January 14, 2018

          No, not according to Fox & CNN hosts last nite. They both say he’s said wants more immigrants from White European countries AND “Asian countries” & fewer from South of their border & Africa.

          • sorethumb

             /  January 14, 2018

            The relative situation though is that the US gets a flood.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  January 14, 2018

              I have what a Ganesh statue and a Shiva one in my window, but I am not a Hindu.

              Why ‘of course’ ? And why do Pacific Islanders ‘reek of trouble’ ? They could have been staring because you were rude enough to gape at them-this would annoy anyone.Nobody likes being gawped at.

              The Labour Party thought that Singh and Patel were Chinese names.

              There are many names like Ching, Lee and Ling that might sound Chinese to the ignorant.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  January 14, 2018

              The 90% of motels sounds rather unlikely and doesn’t seem to be backed up by anything. Urban myth, I suspect.

            • Blazer

               /  January 14, 2018

              Ching,Lee and Ling sound Chinese…to me…and you…French,Spanish!!

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  January 14, 2018

              Ling is English, it means bracken. Ching is a Cornish name. Lee is Romany. It’s a common Gipsy name.

              They may sound Chinese to you, and it’s true that some Chinese spell their name as Lee (some as Li), but Cornwall is not part of China and ling is an English word. There is a famous NZ painter whose surname is Ching-his family is from Cornwall.

              No, these names don’t sound French or Spanish-certainly not to someone who has learned these languages, as I have !

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  January 14, 2018

              I cannot believe that you have never heard of Brent Ching !

            • Corky

               /  January 14, 2018

              Some times you have to wonder about Kitties weird worldview.

              ”And why do Pacific Islanders ‘reek of trouble’ ? ”

              Where did I say that?

              ”They could have been staring because you were rude enough to gape.”

              Nope. Unlike in your sheltered world, I can tell a scumbags by sight.
              Not being Polynesian, you probably don’t know a silent challenge or look of disrespect when it is aimed at you.

              Three homes with Chinese good luck signs, and No4 address missed out. Yeah, sure, they were Europeans, Kitty.

              There are some excellent TV programmes on tonight. Why don’t you watch some.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  January 15, 2018

              You said ‘reeked of trouble’ in your first paragraph. I never said that the houses were lived in by Europeans (not that I would call people who have never been there that-how old-fashioned) How did you know that they were not Chinese-Pakeha couples ?

              Your psychic gifts must be excellent if you can tell a scumbag by sight. Of course, you will not be called upon to prove that the person is, so it’s a safe thing to say. If you imagine that only Polynesians aim looks of disrespect or challenge, you must have limited experience of the world. Have you ever been overseas ? Before you ask, I have-to many countries. Try walking alone in some London streets ! Disrespect and challenge don’t come close to that=and that’s just for being there, not gaping at the occupants. .

              If you were gawping at the Polynesians, what do you expect ?

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  January 15, 2018

              Blazer, which part of China did Sandra Lee and Gipsy Rose Lee come from ?

              Do Gee and Chew sound Chinese to you ? Maurice Gee wasn’t Chinese,and nor was the Chew family who gave their name to the street.

  3. Alan Wilkinson

     /  January 14, 2018

    The simple, blindingly-obvious fact is that shit-hole countries are not shit-holes because of race but because of beliefs and morals.

    People who haven’t figured that out are just a waste of space.

    • So much easier, albeit ignorant and intellectually tiresome, to yell “racist”. There are many contexts in which I view the call of racism as inherently patronising and racist in and of itself.

    • David

       /  January 14, 2018

      “The simple, blindingly-obvious fact is that shit-hole countries are not shit-holes because of race but because of beliefs and morals.”

      Indeed, there is good evidence for this too. The Dominican Republic is a far, far nicer place than Hati, despite it being the same island, with roughly the same ‘race’.

  4. sorethumb

     /  January 14, 2018

    But recent events suggest to me that racist memes are still being used by the calculating to stir up political support from the bewildered.
    ….
    Thank God Lprent is here to correct our thinking.

  5. artcroft

     /  January 14, 2018

    Interesting that Bill regards anyone working as being “exploited”. My guess is that he’s too “smart” to be exploited.

  6. sorethumb

     /  January 15, 2018

    It is true that not all Chinese sounding names are Chinese however, those that aren’t are a small fraction.
    Are Asian forms of capitalism, especially those more exploitative forms that rely on family and clan links, a model for New Zealand?
    https://nzbooks.org.nz/1995/non-fiction/but-what-about-all-the-others-paul-spoonley/

    The tensions between the ethnic Chinese and native Indonesians is a topic that is
    frequently marginalized in Southeast Asian and Indonesian history. While the ethnic
    Chinese comprise of only 1.2% of the total population in Indonesia, they dominate the
    economic sector
    and generally make up a large part of the economic elite. However,
    despite the generally high economic status of these Chinese Indonesians, they face
    discrimination from both the government and the local Indonesians.

    http://scholarship.claremont.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1503&context=scripps_theses

    • sorethumb

       /  January 15, 2018

      Is the government /liberals more concerned about “inclusiveness” than the well being of the New Zealand population? Isn’t that why we pay their fat salaries?

  7. lurcher1948

     /  January 15, 2018

    The motel i stayed at in Wanganui was Chinese owned and pleasant they were