Christchurch: No Place for Race Hate

For the last couple of years, Kommandante Kyle Chapman, New Zealand’s answer to Benito Mussolini, has been rallying the troops on the United Nations Race Relations Day.

In what the ballheads no doubt consider a masterful stroke of strategy, the swastika-tattooed, jackbooted, blackshirts deny the march is inspired by racism, let alone Adolf Hitler, instead it’s a plea to recognise that whites have rights too.

For too long, whites have been oppressed in New Zealand and around the world. Maori and Samoans and Asians all are allowed to proudly express their culture, but whites are denied. For some reason, Highland dancing, brass bands, church services, orchestras, Frodo Baggins, Justin Bieber and other harmless “white” things don’t count. You get a strong suspicion that what this bunch of thugs wants is the right to take pride in genocide.

They are a bunch of clowns but there is more a sinister side.

Just because these guys make racism into something akin to a sexual fetish doesn’t mean racism doesn’t exist. It’s a lived and breathed reality everyday in “bicultural” Aotearoa and worldwide. Officially both our main political parties are in favour of the Treaty of Waitangi and against racism and colonial legacy, but both parties have presided over the massive expansion of a fundamentally  racist prison system. Not only are Maori and Islanders more likely to be jailed, they are more likely to be apprehended, arrested, refused bail, denied counsel, convicted and sentenced. But it goes much further than that. Once out of jail, a “crim” faces discrimination in housing, work and benefits and is less likely to vote.  “Biculturalism” is a false dawn that has touched only a few “Brown Table” Maori with gold. Racism is alive and well, but fears to speak its own name.

The kind of redneck racism that was once acceptable in the National Party and at Federated Farmers meetings is now only openly advocated by semi-criminals on the margins of society. This is a good thing, but it is not something anyone should take for granted. So long as racism is a reality, there will be powerful people and institutions who want to maintain that status quo. Powerful, vibrant counter-demos are the best way to keep racist ideas off the streets, the news sheets and the airwaves.

Some people believe that counter-protests only give the nazis the attention they crave. This is not the case. What they want is to look powerful, to create an illusion that the silent majority are with them, to intimidate, harass and assault gays, lesbians and immigrants. The far right has only contempt for democracy. Stopping race hate, protecting migrants rights and defending democracy means denying nazis the right to speak and denying them the right to the streets.

The rally against racism gathers in Christchurch this Saturday from 12.30pm in New Brighton Mall. See the Facebook page for further details.