The Poison of Nationalism

By Shomi Yoon

Anti-Asian racism - such as this 'Truth' cartoon from 1907 - disfigured much of the twentieth-century labour movement. Let's not let it infect the twenty-first's.

Anti-Asian racism – such as this ‘Truth’ cartoon from 1907 – disfigured much of the twentieth-century labour movement. Let’s not let it infect the twenty-first’s.

“What we need is an outright ban on foreigners owning land or houses in New Zealand.”

“This 3rd great [Chinese] colonisation could finally be a bridge building event between Pakeha and Maori.”

You’d be forgiven if you thought these quotes are from a National Front website.  Building a bridge for a coming race war? Foreigners out? New Zealand for the New Zealanders? This has the same tone and paranoia of the Yellow Peril rhetoric that comes out of the racist Right.

These quotes are actually from veteran activist John Minto and union-funded blogger Martyn Bradbury. Far from attacking Labour’s race-baiting of Chinese foreigners based on shonky statistics, they’re both in agreement with this anti-Chinese, anti-foreigner rhetoric.

[Read more…]

Under Which Flag?

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“Treasury tells us there are 285 000 kids living in poverty, the Ministry of Health tells us that 100 000 of them are going to school hungry every day… and the Prime Minister tells us he wants to change the flag! Eliminating child poverty, homes for all families and jobs for everyone – those are the real issues, not the flag.” That was Hone Harawira’s response to the announcement from John Key on 11 March that the country needs a “public discussion” on the flag. He’s quite right. Hungry kids can’t eat a flag.  [Read more…]