Sunday October 22, 2017   Last updated 21:15PM

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Marae TV phone message racism highlights ignorance
Marae, TVNZ

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Marae TV phone message racism highlights ignorance


Marae TV employee Blake Ihimaera had a phone message accidentally left on her phone from a company they were looking to hire a car from. The conversation that was left was eye opening for the virulence of its racism...

"they (expletive) spelt Maori wrong and she is a Maori.

"Sort of sums it up doesn't it. Unbelievable."

"they want their own prison now (expletive) let's give them their own island somewhere."

"Send them away,"

...Send them away? To where?


Here's what these words say to me. It says to me we have had a total breakdown in our public education and public broadcasting services.

This isn't just naked racism, it highlights an appalling lack of perspective, basic general knowledge and simple human decency.

The last 30 years of NZ has seen a hard right neoliberal political, cultural and economic experiment released upon the people of NZ and at no time have we ever paused to consider the fruits of that experiment.

In the neoliberal NZ, there is no structural racism or hegemonic economic structures, colonial legacy or sexist patriarchy, there are only individuals who choose to succeed and those who choose to be poor.

That is the thinking you are hearing that underpins the conversation above.

For these two, allowing Maori their own prison isn't just obviously favouritism and evidence of special treatment but the joke is amplified because in a culture where the individual is responsible for their failure or success, these two would automatically place the blame of such a racist incarceration rate at the feet of those serving.

In their thinking the imprisonment of Maori at extraordinary rates has nothing to do with them, and their conclusion is to send all the Maori away shows how desperate they are to impose that dislocation and blame elsewhere.

The ease and relaxed nature of the ignorance in this exchange is what is most concerning.

Martyn Bradbury

Editor -

Waatea 5th Estate


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