Yellow Peril by Tze Ming Mok

Read Post

Yellow Peril: Bai bai

96 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 Newer→ Last

  • Steve Parks,

    Sorry, Emma, I was thinking of the sort of specific racial abuse that had been discussed earlier and comparing that to your concern over generalisations about a province.

    Sorry, obviously unclear, I was likening 'Cantabrians are racist' to 'Asians are bad drivers'. A generalised assertion, which people feel they can back up with anecdotal evidence.

    Fair enough to a point. Sure, both 'Cantabrians are racist' and 'Asians are bad drivers' are bad generalisations that are understandably offensive. But I don't think Jackie's comment was intended to say all Cantabrians are racist. Perhaps she could have chosen her words more carefully, but in the context of the discussions here I took her to be saying that Tamsin's concerns over disproportionately high levels of racism were more an issue in Canterbury than NZ in general. Whether or not you agree with that particular sentiment, I don't think that that kind of observation is necessarily unjustified or offensive per se. If I said there were a lot more irrational creationists in the USA than in Sweden, I would be stating the obvious. It would still count as a generalisation about an area, but I'd have no problem with anyone saying such a thing.

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1156 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Parks,

    (when in doubt, pass the buck)

    Yeah, I blame Timaru for most things, too.

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1156 posts Report Reply

  • robbery,

    concerns over disproportionately high levels of racism were more an issue in Canterbury than NZ in general.

    sorry? what scientific study was that jackie was referring too.
    was it the law of 'couple o people on the internet said it so it must be true'

    As a person that travels between the cities a lot I haven't noticed the general population of chch to be any more racist than any other city.
    The dumb assed bogun do tend to make their presence felt more by driving round in noisy cars yelling at anyone and everyone.

    Those people exit in wellington too, but hang out in the hutt, and they exist in auckland but hang out in the ???? somewhere else and queen street.

    Jackie's comment came across as an attempt to fob off accusations of racism on one area, there by implying that the rest of the country was pristinely clean.

    you're never going to solve societies problems if you don't own up to them. (except when blaming timaru which is a fair call of course)

    new zealand • Since May 2007 • 1882 posts Report Reply

  • Heather Gaye,

    I wonder that its even truly racism that drives these idiots, cos after they're done yelling 'asian' at my girlfriend they'll drive down the road a bit and yell some equally deep and witty observation at the next person walking on the street, if they're not obviously different then it'll be an unintelligible yelp.

    I agree, to an extent. Other (white kiwi) friends and I have had/noticed similar experiences in Chch*, although I still keep coming back to the fact that we still get FAR less abuse than non-whites. There's a lot to be said for looking different.

    * same kind of incidents were pretty common in Palmerston North. I have a couple of theories about flatness.

    Also, Stephen Judd cited the expat exposed thread:

    someone in the Expat Exposed thread said that they thought New Zealanders were diffident or inhibited about expressing public disapproval. I think that's very true too.

    I agree with this too, but I'm not sure how to counter it. If the objects of the abuse would rather just keep their heads down, what can the rest of us do about it? Ideas very welcome. Can we get an "it's not ok" public service campaign? I think that'd be very worthwhile, actually.

    Under the western motorwa… • Since Nov 2006 • 523 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah,

    If the objects of the abuse would rather just keep their heads down, what can the rest of us do about it?

    I wonder if the objects of the abuse keep their heads down becasue they think that n one is going to stick up for them anyway, so they just have to cope.

    Silence, on the part of the rest of us who aren't handing out the abuse, can be taken for consent, and even tacit approval.

    So I'm more inclined to want to respond to the people handing out the abuse, and say something helpful and constructive, like, "Piss off, you fcukwits. We don't need racist scum like you here."

    Could be a personally dangerous strategy, of course.

    Also, I didn't think Jackie was saying something to the effect that all Cantabrians are racist. I thought the idea was more that there was a greater concentration of visible racist idiots there... But that's reading a lot into the short phrase Jacke used, and it would be good to give her a chance to say what she had in mind.

    Manawatu City • Since Nov 2006 • 1323 posts Report Reply

  • robbery,

    I thought the idea was more that there was a greater concentration of visible racist idiots there...

    and my point was, based on what study?
    its easy to call a place racist and absolve ones own place of living from said critcism, but truth is chch is no different from anywhere in nz, just that a few cases have come to light that have christchurch as their local.

    I don't bump into white supremacists in this city and don't find anyone more racist than any other city, I do find society on the whole to be developing some nasty trends, idiot yobbism and the degree to which we accept it, (related to our acceptance of bing drinking etc) our acceptance of a piss poor police force and their lame excuse that they shouldn't have to do their job properly or work hard at it cs they're underfunded.

    none of this is of course going to make tamsin (are you JL's sister) or
    tze ming want to hang around here but then she's a natural born kiwi and our societies problems are as much her responsibility to fix as anyone else's.

    Luckily just walking away is an option and a fair enough one too. I've done it once or twice and intend to do it again some time too.

    Oarmaru is a pretty happening and cultured place at the moment though so there is hope.

    new zealand • Since May 2007 • 1882 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Parks,

    "sorry? what scientific study was that jackie was referring too.

    We can only comment following scientific studies?

    I've heard a lot more than just a couple of people on the net voicing concerns over racism in Christchurch. I've only got anecdotes, but there have been a lot of them. And hardly any relating to any other major NZ city. I'm not saying I haven't heard of racism or of specific racist incidents in other cities – of course I have. But I've not heard any general anecdotes about how such-and-such a city is especially bad for racism. Only for good old CHCH, I'm afraid. I've certainly never had any Asian friends or acquaintances express any concerns about the overall levels of anti-Asian sentiment in Wellington. This isn't the same as a scientific study, and yes, we want evidence for our arguments - but the testimony of people who have lived in an area would count as evidence.

    Again, I doubt Jackie was intending to say all Cantabrians are racist, or that there aren't problems with racism elsewhere. But as Deborah says in the post above, perhaps it's best to wait for Jackie to elaborate before commenting much further.

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1156 posts Report Reply

  • nanoplanet,

    so long Tze, really sorry to see you go.
    you did great.
    best of luck.

    Here • Since Apr 2007 • 15 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    So I'm more inclined to want to respond to the people handing out the abuse, and say something helpful and constructive, like, "Piss off, you fcukwits. We don't need racist scum like you here."

    Could be a personally dangerous strategy, of course.

    I have done that, in the past, on a scale ranging from gently remonstrating with co-workers to angrily shouting at a car-full of youths who were abusing some poor guy at a bus-stop. The latter incident did not result in the hiding I should have been afraid of. After said car-load drove off, I turned around and discovered that the guys who were moving our furniture that day had walked round the house and were standing behind me. If they had felt like forming a novelty act they could have juggled pianos.

    Re the alleged racism of Chch: I'm sorry to have slandered its citizens as a group. It seems a plausible notion that for whatever reason, there are more visible munters there than in New Zealand's other large cities, and that their muntery manifests in racist ways among others. Until there is a scientific study that confirms things one way or another, I'll buy that, in the same way that I'll rely on the notion that Hamilton is boring, Timaru is violent, and your home town , ***-vegas, is a shithole.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2968 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    Hamilton is boring, Timaru is violent, and your home town , ***-vegas, is a shithole.

    And my birth town, Whangarei is muddy and it's over grown with kikuya grass .

    Anyway what's with all the racist talk?

    Since Nov 2006 • 2751 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    I grew up with a best friend who was Chinese from Vietnam, and know that Canterbury at least is not an easy place for any Asian to live without racism.

    That's the quote from Tamsin that I was referring to. I wasn't at all saying that all Cantabrians are racist, of course I wasn't. Tamsin was referring to Canterbury, and so therefore did I. What I was mostly commenting on, I guess, is that Tamsin lives in the UK in a cosmopolitan city where a large proportion of people are not of British birth, nor origin. I know quite a number of British people who have spoken of their fear of "our little island sinking under the weight of all these immigrants" and other pretty xenophobic remarks. Who are, in fact, leaving the UK for those very reasons. I was simply suprised that Tamsin was uncomfortable with racism in NZ when she's living in a country where there is a groundswell of people who are expressing xenophobia, racism if you will, in very overt ways. Once again, this is not to excuse racism in NZ, just to wonder that if one's criteria for a desirable place to live is one that is minimally racist, I wouldn't necessarily pick UK as my first choice. I do apologise Emma and other fine Mainlanders if you got the wrong impression!

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3123 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    I agree with this too, but I'm not sure how to counter it. If the objects of the abuse would rather just keep their heads down, what can the rest of us do about it? Ideas very welcome. Can we get an "it's not ok" public service campaign? I think that'd be very worthwhile, actually.

    Now, see, this is the sort of thing I'm interested in. Because I've waded in when a non-Maori-looking Maori friend was copping it, and she was just embarrassed. And I've had friends intervene when I was copping it for wearing a pentacle in public, and, well, I didn't feel so great about it, because I didn't want a fight that was going to ruin my day. I did just want to keep my head down.

    I've thought about this a bit, and I tend towards the idea that there's no quick fix. It's got to be a slow societal thing. My dad was a really repugnant racist, and my youngest brother is nearly as bad. Brother is on a ban from his typical 'towel-head/coconut' rants in my house or in front of my children.

    My kids, however, have grown up largely in an environment (school, neighbourhood) where as Pakeha they're outnumbered by non-Pakeha. I've never, in seven years of doing school runs and going to school events, seen one incident of racism among the kids. They just know that kids are kids and it doesn't matter what colour they are, that's not what decides whether they're a good person or not. And me personally, I've really enjoyed doing things like trying to work children's party food around 'Asian' taste buds and bans on pork, because it's so different from how I grew up.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4369 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    It's amazing how sometimes when I telephone my Pakeha brother,same last name as me, I get this vision in my mind that; that of a middle aged Japanese man. Then he recognizes who I am, he starts speaking English, The vision in mind becomes more familiar.

    I like visiting my Japanese relations. When I see my nephews speaking in there first tong I realize the richness of my life.

    I just wish there where more native birds chirping in my back yard.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2751 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    same kind of incidents were pretty common in Palmerston North. I have a couple of theories about flatness.

    Lack of vision. You can see a lot further standing on a hill :-)

    I've heard a number of people say Chch is racist as well. Nothing scientific of course. My ex when she was in NZ (umm, she's part African American, Puerto Rican, and Polish Jew) found Dunedin to be really 'white'. And Christchurch would be pretty 'white' too. A lower proportion of Maori, Polynesian I would guess, and probably other ethnic groups.

    I suspect that families that grow up in areas where they have less contact with different sorts of people, tend to have more anger/fears about them. And that comes out sometimes.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6205 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah,

    I suspect that families that grow up in areas where they have less contact with different sorts of people, tend to have more anger/fears about them. And that comes out sometimes.

    Could be that the reverse is true. Have a look at this Financial Times piece about some research by Robert Putnam.

    A bleak picture of the corrosive effects of ethnic diversity has been revealed in research by Harvard University’s Robert Putnam, one of the world’s most influential political scientists.

    His research shows that the more diverse a community is, the less likely its inhabitants are to trust anyone – from their next-door neighbour to the mayor.

    Manawatu City • Since Nov 2006 • 1323 posts Report Reply

  • Sonal Patel,

    Ah the FT are being a touch reductive - Putnam in his actual article states that these issues tend to only exist in the short to medium term.

    Brisvegas • Since Nov 2006 • 18 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Andrew,

    My kids, however, have grown up largely in an environment (school, neighbourhood) where as Pakeha they're outnumbered by non-Pakeha. I've never, in seven years of doing school runs and going to school events, seen one incident of racism among the kids. They just know that kids are kids and it doesn't matter what colour they are, that's not what decides whether they're a good person or not. And me personally, I've really enjoyed doing things like trying to work children's party food around 'Asian' taste buds and bans on pork, because it's so different from how I grew up.

    I second that. My kids aren't outnumbered as such, but their school has a varied ethnic mix.
    The closest thing I've seen to a racial occurrence was when one of the kids mothers complained to the teacher that my son told her son he was brown. And that was a five year old making a completely innocent observation that the other kid's skin was a different colour from his own - we've never felt the urge to complain at the numerous people who have felt the need to point out our other son's red hair!

    Hamiltron - City of the F… • Since Nov 2006 • 841 posts Report Reply

  • Tamsin6,

    Um - OK - a few points of clarification...When I said that in Canterbury at least it isn't easy place for any Asian to live without racism, I could just as easily have said 'not an easy place for anyone 'different' to grow up'. I don't think any of the budding goths that were around in my youth had an easy time either. But my points were all based on the fact that I really relied on Tze Ming's posts to give me a different perspective on New Zealand life. There are all kinds of blogs where I can get some of this, but this blog has been so fantastic, that I was just trying to express a little bit of why I loved it so much. Others have said it better, or differently.

    Having said that, can I just point out that I never said that London was NOT rascist? I have never had stones thrown at me here for having an Asian/Black/red-headed friend, but I certainly hear plenty of rascism (you only have to be a white New Zealander in a black cab to get the third degree about how many Indians live in New Zealand, etc, etc.). What I said was that I relied on this blog to help me form my ideas about whether I can and how and where I can come home again. I've lived in a variety of New Zealand cities, and have my thoughts and feelings about what it would be like to come 'home' - I guess part of what I was saying was whether it would ever feel like I could be part of it again, after living in such a very different environment. I live in East London - there is a Sikh gurdwara (temple) down the road, next to a CofE church. There is a mosque not far away, and an Islamic centre on my street. My neighbours are Polish, my local pub is Irish, and my favourite local cafe is Algerian. There is a brilliant off-licence in our old street nearby run by Turkish Kurds.

    I love all this mix and hustle and bustle, and the thought of living in a society where people are singled out for abuse because they look different worries me. I'm sorry if this seems abnormal - perhaps I am bad at expressing myself. That's why I don't blog, and I wish Tze Ming still did.

    London • Since Dec 2007 • 123 posts Report Reply

  • robbery,

    I wasn't at all saying that all Cantabrians are racist, of course I wasn't.

    yet what you said was

    Are you saying that you can't come home because it's so racist here? I would suggest that's a Cantabrian thing (the racism).

    Which quite clearly states you think the issue of racism in new zealand is confined to chch, or that areas outside of chch are in some way less racist.

    The only reason I object to this is that it makes people think that if they're not in chch then they can ease up on their vigilance against racism cos "its not a problem here", its a problem in chch.

    Im not defending chch at all, I'm just not letting any other locale off the hook either, not that I think "the problem" is racism so much as stupidity.

    new zealand • Since May 2007 • 1882 posts Report Reply

  • kowhai montgomery,

    I love all this mix and hustle and bustle, and the thought of living in a society where people are singled out for abuse because they look different worries me. I'm sorry if this seems abnormal - perhaps I am bad at expressing myself. That's why I don't blog, and I wish Tze Ming still did.

    Keep on trucking Tasmin6, I am getting your point and enjoying that you offered it. I completely take your point about enjoying the hustle and bustle, and the variety on offer in major world cities. Your neighbourhood in London sounds great to me.
    My two cents worth is you will miss the variety if you return to NZ but there is plenty of diversity in NZ and interesting things happening if you seek them out.

    Complacency is rife in this country but be the change you would like to see and all that. </hippy rant over>

    wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 485 posts Report Reply

  • Tze Ming Mok,

    Comments now closed.

    SarfBank, Lunnin' • Since Nov 2006 • 108 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.