Wednesday, 15 February 2012

maori speak back

i've written a lot about hate speech and freedom of speech over the years. i even made written and oral submissions to the parliamentary enquiry on hate speech - which never ended up reporting back to parliament. but one of the most effective measures against hate speech is enabling the targetted group to speak back, and to have their voices heard stronger and louder than those who peddle hate.

there are many ways to promote the voices of those who are targetted, and i'm going to do my bit by linking you to some responses by maori to the nonsense spouted by paul holmes regarding waitangi day. if you haven't read it yet, i'd recommend an internet search engine.

i've already linked to a couple of pieces at the end of this piece, one of which is from a maori writer. there is also mr bradbury's take down at tumeke. but i'll focus on 3 other pieces. first from this blog run by an awesome group of maori women, tewhareporahou:

Our national day is Waitangi Day. Waitangi Day is a day of honour, and struggle, bravery and sacrifice. A day on which we commemorate the time when our ancestors sought to put into place a convenant that would protect future generations. It is day that signifies a belief in a partnership. A partnership that is yet to be honoured. And Paul Holmes does nothing but degrade that day. He spits his words onto past, present and future descendants of those tupuna.

the herald gave hone harawira the opportunity to speak back - the least they could do really. it's an excellent piece and well worth reading in full:

So I'd also like you to know that along with a whole lot of other people (Maori and Pakeha), I enjoy going to Waitangi every year.

I enjoy the company, I enjoy the politics (both the Maori stuff and the Pakeha stuff), I enjoy the banter, I enjoy the people (both Maori and Pakeha), I enjoy having the kuia tell me they love me even when they're telling me off, I enjoy watching the kids playing sport, I enjoy the kapa haka groups, I enjoy the kai, I enjoy the march up to the top marae, I enjoy the church service, I enjoy seeing people I haven't seen in a while, I enjoy the occasion ... and yes Mr Holmes, I even enjoy the protest, because protest is every bit a part of Waitangi as anything else.

Waitangi Day is our National Day Mr Holmes. It is rightly commemorated in many different ways in many different parts of the country, but it was at Waitangi that a group of people chose to sign a Treaty that was to be the foundation of our nation, and it is to Waitangi that we rightly return every year to see how well we're doing.

and finally, there's this open letter to mr holmes:

I just wanted to say that I’m terribly sorry about the annual Waitangi Day predicament that Maori are continually putting you through.

It must be tough for you as a political blogger, talkback host and current affairs broadcaster to have to turn your attention towards the more heated and controversial side of New Zealand's history. Lucky it's only an annual event I suppose....

Well Paul, I think I have a solution for you that will free you up from a life of stress and worry.

Stop giving your opinion on important New Zealand issues. Take your hands off the keyboard and step away from the microphone.

now that's the best advice i've seen. again, i'd recommend you go to the blog & read the whole post.

1 comment:

Annanonymous said...

One of the more bizarre comments about Waitangi Day I read was from a young kiwi woman in London, defending the drunkeness and behaviour that took place there. She said that Waitangi Day was way better because people just dressed in period costume and had fun rather than getting political about it like they do in NZ. Sigh. I would almost rather have absurd political opinions expressed than none. Turning the day apolitical is the ultimate denial of voice, I think.