July 22, 2021
OPINION: Judith, talk to us not about us
Judith, talk to us not about us
By John Tamihere
Judith Collins has spent a lot of money and effort in defining a national debate.
A debate commenced while she was a senior Cabinet Minister. A debate consented to whilst she was a high-ranking Government Minister in the John Key administration.
He Puapua is a paper discussing how Aotearoa may implement its agreement to the Indigenous Rights Debate.
Let’s be clear, Collins is not making hate speech. She is knowingly enriching it, emboldening it and inciting it. I have written this column because everything I have read on Collins’ defining debate has been written by white people about brown people.
Police have just prosecuted a 44-year-old white supremacist from Tauranga on two separate charges of making an objectionable publication and inciting racial disharmony.
This man appealed on YouTube and called on all his white patriotic New Zealanders to go out and kill Māori, and burn their Marae. Initially he was merely warned. This is but one example.
The filth and the vitriol that is directed at Māori is naturalised and normalised by many white folk including Collins. You have to be subjected to it to constantly to understand it.
Politics is about the use of words.
Collins use of Politics 101 is emotion + passion = hate, known as raising the politics of fear.
What we as Māori talk about is a rights based debate. Collins has purposely turned it into a race based debate.
This campaign around Maori matters is justified by Collins because she is not politically correct, because she is a proud white New Zealander, because her entitled and privileged community are being denied a debate, that her rights are being stolen by conspiracy and stealth.
She is framing this conversation as if I as a Māori, am taking something away from her, when what I’m actually deeply requesting is that we want some honesty, fairness and justice. We want rights at the table that was promised to us under the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840.
Where in any debate or document have Māori ever taken anything from a Collins or her privileged white and entitled followers.
How have Māori discriminated against Pakeha in health, housing, education, employment or justice? All of the evidence is absolutely contrary to the campaign of fear being unleashed by Collins.
How can getting one or two Māori around a table of 10 or 12 White Councillors at a Local Council table be a takeover?
When Māori ask for the recognition of their rights, Collins makes it a debate on race â€“ never about rights. White versus Brown, Stealthy Māori versus Honest White, White Victims versus Brown Villains.
Māori will continue asserting our rights as indigenous people and the fact we are Māori is beside the point.
Māori have persistently and relentlessly indicated that honouring the Treaty of Waitangi is the starting point of any conversation or debate.
We just need to find a few honourable white folk to have that debate with.
If that scares the likes of Judith Collins, then she’s in the wrong country.
By all means, have a debate, but do not make Māori your bait.
So Judith, talk to Maori, not about us.
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