To be upfront - I don't rate John Tamihere and that doesn't mean I don't appreciate the good he has done for Māori - I just feel the negatives outweigh the positives - Tamihere doesn't speak for me. Which is what he says about Professor Mutu and that is why he entitled his post "Mutu doesn't speak for me". Tamihere calls Professor Mutu a reverse racist and I don't care about that because as I have mentioned, racism = prejudice + power and if you think a Māori woman within academia has power you would be incorrect. So the worst that anyone can say about Professor Mutu is that she is prejudiced and I have no issue with that. Tamihere makes this statement
I also rate the positive work John Tamihere has done for Maori, but I – like Marty – disagree with the thrust of Tamihere’s piece. Having said that, I do not share Marty’s definition of racism. Racism is an unfortunately subjective term. My definition of racism does not include power as a precondition. I can hold prejudice and perpetuate prejudice without holding power. I may need power to further racism in a significant way, but on a day to day level I do not need power to be a racist. If I were to say “all Asians are bad drivers” what does that make me? I think it makes me a racist. Or am I just stating a truism? No, I am furthering a racial stereotype based on my own unfounded prejudices – I think that makes it racism.
So what are you saying john - that everyone is tangata whenua now - if they have lived on their land for 3 generations, because if you are - you are wrong. We are all guests in this country at times - if you visit a new marae you are a guest, if you travel to another area you are a guest - guest isn't a swear word it is a term of honour because of the reciprocity of obligation and responsibility attached to it. This term 'ethnic supremacy' is also inflammatory and incorrect - it is not about supremacy it is about equality and any Māori who frames it incorrectly is treated with suspicion by me.
Marty is right. Pakeha are not tangata whenua, read indigenous. Pakeha are New Zealanders and this is their place, but Pakeha do not share the same interests as Maori. We all share this country and it is as much mine as it is my Pakeha flatmates, but my place in Aotearoa is different. For example, I have unique interests in the whenua given my whakapapa i.e. As a Maori I have an obligation to exercise kaitiakitanga over the lands of my tipuna (the same tipuna who settled this land before anyone else).
Like I said last week, I have no appetite for debating Professor Mutu’s call. The racists on both sides ensure reason is forgotten and poison introduced. New Zealand needs to mature before we can deal with this subject adequately.