Getting real about hate, genocide, and human rights.
What a month for White Supremacy huh.
The Aryan circus act Southern & Molyneux (henceforth S&M for so many reasons) were to appear in Auckland, then they weren’t (because they were declined a venue and required a specially granted visa), then they were (after deciding to organise another venue and getting their visa), then they weren’t (it became too late and they couldn’t find one), and now… it appears, after finding a venue… they are, once more, back on our horizon.
Like a recurrent STD, or a slow approaching, indecisive, and very dense methane fog, they’re making their way here to speak out of their methane holes, and feed methane suggestions to equally dense methane-hungry turkeys who are ever so anxious to gobble it all up and turkey-waddle back to their clans and bur-kurk to each other about how Mowrees killed all the Morry-orrys and they should all be thanking us for saving them.
All in the name of validating their own continued presence on stolen land.
If you ever thought Aotearoa was racially progressive – this is the week to relieve yourself of such imaginings. Essentially their show consists of Molyneux arguing in favour of white colonialism, while Southern argues against cultural diversity. Shall I break that down a bit more? White people may export themselves to other countries, because it’s an improvement, but coloured people must remain in their country awaiting improvement from white colonizers.
And for WEEKS, we have had to listen to the following:
- There’s no proof that what S&M are at all racist
- There’s no proof that what they are promoting is hate speech
- Denying them entry, or a platform for their rhetoric, violates their right to free speech
Seriously – you don’t have to dig too hard to find their hate but it seems that it wasn’t enough, the “Fuck Islam” selfy was apparently not enough; nor was Southern’s open disgust at the presence of non-white people in Paris; nor was it enough when she joined right-wing groups in Europe to block rescue vessels from assisting drowning refugees; nor was Molyneux’s open promotion of eugenics. It begged the question what people needed to see for them to identify racism.
And then Simon Copland live tweeted from their Australian event, publicizing vile suggestions that First Nations Australians should be thankful for the experience of colonization. Erasing, and denying, the hundreds of Indigenous massacres throughout Australian history.
Now, anyone with fingers and a keyboard can find the facts of the matter about their racism… but then, facts seem to matter very little to the likes of Molyneux, or indeed his supporters. They characteristically present themselves as intellectuals, whilst paradoxically clinging to a version of history and reality that is radically divorced from accepted fact. They recognise their exceptionalism – but misunderstand it as being exceptionally bright (rather than exceptionally absurd).
And yet, still, even the live reports weren’t enough. Supporters still felt compelled to patronise others with their misunderstandings that freedom of speech required us to provide a public platform for even the most vile suggestions. This is not a matter of opinion we are talking about here – the concept of Freedom of Speech is clearly outlined in both national and international law as having limitations. Still – you confront them with this and they will merely pretend they didn’t see it.
You see – many of these people are not in the slightest bit interested in the truth. They are not interested in justice, equity, or fairness. Indeed, they will see any scenario that does not retain, or increase, their relative privilege as an injustice upon them, the brave white martyrs. They will position themselves as the victims and play upon the notion of victimhood all the way up to, and including, inciting violence against the most vulnerable of our society.
And they are VERY well supported. They are well supported financially – and this should be no surprise, of course they will invest in protecting this system – it’s the one that has lined their pockets, and placed them in power for a long, long time. But they also have a broad social support base here in Aotearoa and this is important for us to talk about. Where the causes of Indigenous rights and environmental protection struggle to make their fundraising marks, the NZ Free Speech Coalition managed to raise $50,000NZD in just 24hrs (from how many donors is unclear but apparently thousands) for the likes of Don Brash and Cameron Slater to defend S&M’s right to present here in Auckland. Certainly social media comments seem to reflect a broad amount of people who support freedom of speech, and feel that it is being infringed by not allowing S&M a stage.
Many of the suggestions seem to carry over from the Make America Great Again campaign, that the “left” is broken, and unreasonable, and it is incumbent upon “good”, apolitical, middle-of-the-road folks, and the remainder of the left itself, to examine why so many are feeling disenfranchised and are turning to the right. Again, it’s the ‘reasonable’ thing to do.
And while certainly many Māori and Pacific Island whānau populate the ranks of the opposition – there are some who also support them having a stage, telling their story, who are happy to explore their perspective and have the debate – for the benefit of ALL. The suggestion from both sides seems to be that banning them, calling them racist, or using the term hate speech, is unfair, uncharitable, incorrect and short-changes the conversation.
First of all as I said it is NOT that difficult to understand how groups like this get financial support – they are generated by the recipients of privilege, and this is their primary interest group. Hyper-capitalism has also created huge wealth-poverty gaps in our communities so it becomes VERY easy to make scapegoats out of beneficiaries, out of refugees, and immigrants and cast them as a drain on community, as the cause of our lack of wealth. They then position themselves as victims and court those who consider themselves a-political, including the significant population of those who find it much easier to be validated by racist falsehoods than confront issues of race and privilege, particularly when they fear being cast as a part of the problem.
In short – they’re not getting support by virtue of a sound or just position. They are exploiting their own privilege and the gaps that THEY benefit from to grow their support.
Their victimhood is a sham. Their claim to reasonability is a sham. They rely upon tactics of popularism:
And false equivalence
You don’t need to find the golden racist quote to prove to anyone that they are *actually* racist and you know what even if you did – their supporters would simply overlook you anyway.
Because. They’re. Racist.
And if there’s one thing we can take from the broad support they enjoy in Aotearoa – it’s that, to quote a favoured NZ son: New Zealand is racist AF. It’s a truth that many have found hard to accept. A truth that people will deny, to the point where they will attack those who speak it.
How racist is it?
It’s so racist – that the immigration minister went out of his way to allow these white supremacists to bypass the laws that would have protected us from them, and allowed them into the country (whilst simultaneously withholding consent for human rights speakers of colour to enter).
It’s so racist – that racists can not only ascend to leadership roles in our communities, but, as councillors, feel safe to joke over lunch in council chambers that Captain Cook didn’t kill enough of our ancestors when he first landed (he only murdered 9 that time).
It’s so racist – that the government pours tens of millions of dollars into celebrating the arrival of Cook for a whole year – whilst ignoring the genocidal dimensions of his voyages, and ignoring that the event and funding itself is an affirmation of Indigenous subordination and Colonial dominance.
It is racist AF.
And while the government might like to pat itself on the back for funding Pacific voyaging, art, and heritage projects under the greater structure of Cook Celebrations – it’s still subordination. Muskets, blankets, and trinkets, 2019 styles.
And while the supporters of the Captain Cook celebrations may like to fool themselves that the celebrations will allow for “greater understanding” between our cultures and even allow for “healthy debate” – the truth is that people do not decide their positions upon logic alone. The mere providing of a platform validates a narrative. It’s not what is said in an event – it’s what an event says. The opportunity to “educate” our Treaty partners is completely undermined by the depth and breadth of our racism. People see what they want to see, and what is subtly (and not so subtly) reaffirmed by the systems that surround them every day – they will see that we are celebrating Cook, and therefore are celebrating, and validating white dominion.
And as much as the anonymous racist councillors, Don Brashes, Lauren Southerns, and Bob Joneses of the world make a fuss over the term racism – I’m much more concerned with the fact that so few are willing to recognise the erasure of historical genocide, and clear perpetuation of genocidal longing, being peddled all around us. We, as a nation, have somehow found ourselves in a place where someone who has repeatedly insulted and degraded Māori is able to carry a knighthood. We have somehow arrived at a space where even local politicians can lament in chambers that more Māori weren’t killed. We have arrived to a space where someone can seek to legitimise Indigenous murder, and still – it is not hate speech.
When our country seeks to defend the champions of Indigenous erasure and murder to this extent – you know we are very much living in an age of Indigenous genocide.