Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: We should stop being surprised about racism

16 Responses

  • Russell Brown,


    And about those comments. Stuff’s homepage editor tweeted this last night.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report

  • Bart Janssen,

    Alternative title could have been

    Well duh!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4461 posts Report

  • Dave Patrick,

    The Spinoff summarised the comments so we didn't have to read them all

    Rangiora, Te Wai Pounamu • Since Nov 2006 • 261 posts Report

  • andin,

    he’s ragging on an Aucklander –


    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1891 posts Report

  • simon g,

    It's a familiar and tiresome pattern, isn't it?

    1. NZer gets international recognition for achievements. So they are Doing Us Proud, and we get the "not bad for a kid from Hicksville" stories, and possibly annoint them New Zealander of the year. Hooray!

    2. The international recognition means they appear in overseas media, saying stuff (Catton, Castle-Hughes, Lawless, Lorde, countless others).

    3. But in NZ the people in charge of Reckons are not appearing in overseas media. They are radio hosts and columnists and assorted People Who Say What They Think, but nobody outside NZ ever cares what they think. Mike Hosking's opinions are inexplicably overlooked by Time Magazine and CNN.

    4. So the various mini-celebs who do get their Reckons reported by foreigners are especially culpable, not only for what they say ("Boo!") but for being reported at all. And what have they ever done? Compared with, say, churning out fact-free columns for clickbait?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1333 posts Report

  • Russell Brown, in reply to andin,



    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report

  • Moz,

    accept that our creative stars are not paid ambassadors and that they are as entitled as any of us to share their views and, even more so, their experiences.

    But, but, that's what they do.

    Bic Runga singing about nothing in particular wouldn't be the same. Geez, can you imagine Scribe rapping about Brexit or the price of sugar in Cuba? Maybe Lorde could do a cover of "Fast Car"?

    I'm entertained at the white men telling everyone that racism doesn't affect them so it's not a problem. We should remind them of that next time there's a "reverse racism" outcry.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1233 posts Report

  • william blake,

    At least we aren't sexist or homophobes.

    Since Mar 2010 • 380 posts Report

  • andin, in reply to Russell Brown,

    funny, the joke works best when the person is next to you,

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1891 posts Report

  • Kumara Republic,

    The worst kind of racism I've personally encountered in my lifetime tends to come from trust fund kids hailing from leafy suburbs, such as the ones I had to put up with at a prestigious Christchurch private school.

    It's closely related to the kind of racism that put Trump in the White House - though there was a Rust Belt distress dimension to it, Trump's support base was still weighted towards those who've "already made it" and pulled up the ladder behind them.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5446 posts Report

  • izogi,

    And we really need to stop professing shock when well-known people observe, off the back of their own experience, that racism remains a blight in Aotearoa New Zealand.

    I agree completely but it's also part of a wider pattern than just shock about someone calling out racism. It's also about the sense that someone overseas might have a whiff of it.

    When the lynch mobs wanted to string up Mike Joy as an unpatriotic traitor because he dared to talk about NZ having environmental problems, it wasn't so much about whether the problems existed. It was also about the fact that he was a qualified expert attracting international publicity, and so letting the team down by not keeping our problems hidden and contradicting the non-negotiable 100% pure marketing slogans, as if to avoid talking about it could possibly have made sense.

    Even when people reckon NZ's not a perfect place, some are terrified that someone might find out we're not all perfect down here... and racism is a really ugly badge to be wearing.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1142 posts Report

  • Soon Lee,

    We don't respond well to criticism, especially if it is valid criticism that pierces the illusion that everything is wonderful in NZ.

    (It's not just locals that get the grief. Remember the time Kevin Sorbo copped flak for daring to suggest that it can rain a lot in Auckland?)

    Auckland • Since Apr 2013 • 145 posts Report

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Soon Lee,

    It's not just locals that get the grief. Remember the time Kevin Sorbo copped flak for daring to suggest that it can rain a lot in Auckland?

    I suspect that kind of preciousness is simply human nature and won't vanish any time soon. In a panel discussion on ABC Radio Sydney a few years ago, where expatriates compared their experiences of Sydney life, an otherwise impeccably polite American dared to suggest the lack of central heating in apartment buildings as a minor negative. The resulting flood of outraged calls from the station's normally urban liberal audience demonstrated that dissing Sydney's sacred climate was up there with advocating pissing on Don Bradman's grave.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to simon g,

    “not bad for a kid from Hicksville”

    I recall being 'chuffed as' seeing Dylan Horrocks' 'Hicksville' excellent graphic novel translated into French in the Angouleme 'Comic Museum's' giftshop...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report

  • andin,

    simply human nature

    Im going to sound elitist now, and say that most of humanity dont know their nature. Thoughts bubble up from somewhere down there triggered by nothing more than a word, a look or something someone said and that's where the inquiry stops. When , where and how it was formed is left unanswered by many. Its as if the patriarchal mind minder turns up when that thinking shit gets too difficult or starts to turn inward too far, and hits the STOP button.

    Yuval Harari talks about biometric help in the future figuring out a lot of things to make it easier for the individual to know who they are, like for a start sexual orientation. But the biggest hurdle will be social, cultural mores. And IMO a completely understandable general lack of trust in large organisations doing things "for our benefit"
    In the past we formed organisations to help us in that quest to know ourselves and somehow unite us. But they were just imposing their version of life on the many.
    It was useless and will be a hinderance

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1891 posts Report

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