The historical example is just history . Nothing unusual at the time .
And extrapolating from the antics of the political class?
You could do worse than read K.Emma Ng's Old Asian, New Asian, published by Bridget Williams Books. It's not "just history" we're talking about, and it's nothing unusual at this point in time, and it's not just the antics of the political class. Or you could do something as simple as ride the bus to work with my wife every morning. She's noticed that even in this very ethnically diverse corner of Aotearoa certain drivers tend to treat people of Asian appearance with less courtesy than they do others. Or let me show you how certain Pakeha kids, even at a school where several Asian languages are spoken, talk about or to their Asian classmates. None of this is "just history", it is still very much the present.
No, xenophobia doesn't have to be racist - and I did once see Winston Peters question the right of a man with a scottish accent to question him at a political event at Otago University, and I thought, "Well, at least Winston has the decency to be an equal opportunities xenophobe, at least on this one occasion". But in the context of NZ society, "foreign" is all too often a code for "Asian", and comes loaded with negativity. Not always, but all too often.
It would be nice to see an immigration debate stripped of any and all racism and xenophobia. I very much doubt that will ever happen, but it would be nice to see. It would also be nice to see a party with an immigration policy based firmly in humanitarian principles. Some come close, but none have won my trust yet, and NZ has spent decades reducing everything to a monetary value.
Several parties support increasing the refugee quota. That is only right.
Green Party co-leader James Shaw has apologised for how the party introduced its immigration policy last year, which was slammed as "racist pandering" by migrant groups.
And I'm glad James Shaw was big enough to make that apology. What I want to see is the Greens develop a record of being (in Mr Shaw's words, from the above-linked article) "the most migrant-friendly party in Parliament", and I want to see that because in most respects I'm a natural Green voter. But the Greens haven't yet done enough to win my trust back (but there's time).
Historically between the Greens and Labour it’s a no contest.
Labour has a longer history, but I'm struggling to see the Greens as being any better on this count.
I think he deserves an apology, frankly.
I don't. But to be clear, I did not mean to accuse him personally, but probably didn't make that clear enough. I have no reason to believe he's anything than what he says he is. But he is co-leader of a party which has a history of the same sort of xenophobia as Labour - take the Crafar farms as an example. So my problem is not with James Shaw, but with the party he co-leads.
I find it very hard to take Labour's "Chinese-sounding names" episode as motivated by anything other than racism, or as anything but one incident in a series of Yellow Peril-style outbursts. This is one reason I find it very hard to trust Labour.
James Shaw's apparently sudden enlightenment on issues of racism and xenophobia is also difficult to accept given the Greens have also often jumped on that same Yellow Peril bandwagon.
I have very big doubts about TOP's immigration policy, but points 5 and 6, refugees and exploitation of migrant workers, seem good, if somewhat vague and lacking in detail. I have talked to their Ōhāriu candidate at Johnsonville Market*, and I have been somewhat reassured. There are lots and lots of ways that policy could go really wrong, but what Jessica said about refugees and our refugee quota was good, and, well, the conversation generally was positive. Of course, she wants my vote...
What bugs me about the immigration issue is that whether we're repatriate Kiwis or new immigrants or any other kind of migrant (we have three kinds of migrant in my family), we seem to be getting the blame for a whole bunch of social and economic ills we couldn't possibly be responsible for. We were overseas when all these issues developed. International students didn't set up dodgy PTEs, and migrants wouldn't be so vulnerable to exploitation if they could see more viable options. But bashing migrants is easy, finding real solutions to the problem takes more work.
*which I mention because I have only seen two Ōhāriu candidates there. Both have talked about how they like the cultural diversity at the market and throughout the electorate - yet one represents a party that wants to drastically cut immigration.
at 5 a.m., and I’ll flick on the radio.
There's what happens at 5am, and there's what gets published or broadcast at "mainstream" hours. E.g. "Car crash, foreign driver involved." Not fake news, but a deliberate choice of facts presented, and a point on the spectrum from actual news presented honestly to just plain fiction. Choices of which facts to present and how to present them are small, important steps that can take the public either towards better informed or just a short ways down the slope towards fake news, and these choices also affect the media's credibility in the public eye. I fear that when the media (all too often) choose the emotive, manipulative, clickbait presentation of news, they make it easier for fake news to flourish.
I saw you on Backbenches, Russell, and you seemed caught in the headlights. I think the Backbenches format makes vox pops difficult, especially given how eager the hosts are to share their opinions. What really didn't help with your vox pop was the microphone constantly being pulled away. Combine that with background noise of various kinds, and I think an optimistic estimate would be that us, the viewers at home, got to hear about half of what you had to say.