Monday, October 11, 2010

So Long Henry, Thanks for the Insight

Well Paul Henry is off and the New Zealand public at large are horrified that poor old Paul could cause such trouble with just a few jokes, I mean what is wrong with laughing like a demented hyena because someone's name sounds funny to you or suggesting that a man with brown skin and an Indian accent is not a "real Kiwi"?   Nothing at all, if you are a racist.  (He did later make this half hearted apology)

I was suprised a few years ago by a South African firend who was staying with me in London who informed me how sexist the UK society was.  It was news to me, but fom his perspective as an outsider he saw clearly that the UK was not as enlightened in its attitudes to women as it thought itself to be.  My impression as a newcomer to New Zealand was that a large chunk of the population are latent or overt racists, in simultaneous denial of their racism.  The Henry episode just shows have far we still have to go, when huge numbers of people still don't see any problem with Henry's comments. 

2 comments:

  1. As a South-Auckland Kiwi living in Thailand (which has its own issues with racism and classism) I concur with the comment about NZ society that "a large chunk of the population are latent or overt racists". I think a certain amount of mental repositioning goes on at a deep level to disguise, minimize or even deny this racism. It is almost as if the multicultural efforts by governmental and educational authorities (often labelled as "politically correct") have induced a change over the last 30 years that goes beyond skin deep, yet, subconsciously the deep-seated racism remains and occassionally bursts forth to much hand ringing and mea culpas. A hundred years ago it was the Catholic Irish and Chinese, forty years ago the Pacific Islanders,and the Maori (for daring to challenge their position in mono-cultural "God's Own", ten years ago it was the Chinese, now maybe it is the Indians who are being targeted.

    It sort of reminds me of the reforms of King Josiah that are shown up in Jeremiah as "change from the top down" that didn't really change the world view of the populace over idol worship. Lip-service. Sad really. When will we grow up? After all, we all have the same Father...

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  2. thanks for your comment Dan, welcome to the blog.

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