Feb 15, 2012

More on Holmes and the Herald

We all know this Paul Holmes rubbish annoys me, but to be honest, I don’t care so much about what he said, it’s the fact that the Herald published it and that 99% of Pakeha don’t care when Maori are on the receiving end of abuse.

In publishing Holmes racist rant, the Herald failed to uphold acceptable standards of media ethics. Media organisations are under an obligation to run a range of views, but those views must meet requirements of good taste, decency and acceptability. Holmes piece did not meet these, in my opinion, low requirements. The Herald also owes it to society not to print racist rants. If they do, they legitimise that racism and provide a platform for the other racists to perpetuate their views. This, more often than not, hurts the race, usually a minority race, on the receiving end.

Holmes piece, and the Herald’s complicity, serves to entrench poorly informed opinions and, more significantly, drags public discourse down to the sewers. The sick comments under Holmes piece and on some right blogs is a testament to this. I’m not going to quote any of it, if I do I’ll probably throw up on my keyboard. Holmes has really brought the scum out of the woodwork.

Another aspect of this that disappoints me is the lax, don’t care response of most Pakeha. Sadly, Bryce Edwards (who is very sensible 99% of the time) holds that Holmes has raised legitimate views. This is a common sentiment. However, he hasn’t. Holmes is resetting the Treaty debate and taking race relations back to the 80’s. In terms worthy of the 19th century, Holmes is relitigating things that are settled. The Treaty is an accepted and important part of our constitution and society. Maori are an important part of our political system. Maori grievances are legitimate and work is progressing to heal the wounds. Historical grievances and contemporary struggles still fuel Maori anger. There is no debate over these things.

Imagine if the situation was reversed and a prominent Maori broadcaster slammed greedy Pakeha land thieves, slammed paedophilia as a Pakeha problem, slammed the propensity of loser Pakeha men to take Asian brides, slammed fraud as a scourge on all Pakeha. There would be outrage and rightly so. It’s untrue, it’s unfair and would constitute racism. Holmes rant is on a similar level. Slamming Maori as hateful, loony, irrational, fat and so on. Imagine for one second that Holmes was vilifying you. And imagine it from the position Maori are in. Powerless. No one listens (hell, no one cares), you don’t know how to respond (i.e. don’t know about complaint mechanisms, public pressure etc), the list goes on.


  1. While I understand your feelings on this, I would like to point out that Bryce Edwards is not "most Pakeha". From the reactions I have read, Pakeha have a range of views on Mr Holmes' column and Mr Edwards speaks for no one but himself. Personally, I can't comment on the article because I haven't read it. I make it a policy not to read anything by Paul Holmes or Michael Laws because every click makes them look like a money earner for the paper they write for and means they will continue to be employed to write what they do. Personally I am hoping this controversy will send Mr Holmes off to retirement but unfortunately it seems that uttering extreme views simply makes a columnist more valuable to a newspaper by driving more traffic to the site. I wish you luck on your campaign.

  2. So Holmes is a racist prick, no argument there and no problems with Maori hanging him out to dry
    Quite happy to help but where were you when a Maori MP claimed white people were " M****r F*****s and none of them were going to marry his daughters
    Ok, that was a private conversation that was leaked and certainly not a so-called "opinion" piece but would like to see your opinion on his musings

  3. Hi most recent anon... i wasn't blogging when Hone made those comments. As I said in the previous post, I thought Hone's call constituted hate speech. His comments were uncalled for, unfair and offensive. No doubt about that.

  4. Hi Morgan
    Thanks for that, that is very fair minded of you and what I expected
    Good that we agree on both matters

  5. Agree completely Morgan - the most disturbing aspect is that the Herald thought this was 'okay' and I guess the comments which followed show that sadly, they were playing to their audience. Holmes is a bully, full of unacknowledged white male privilege (I mean, he even had a go at the wonderful women of the LLLeague). he is way past his usebyday and I wish he would go to Aus with his equally abominable namesake - Henry.

  6. The next hikoi should target the media. They are the organisation fueling the hate and ignorance. And this is why something like the holocaust can never apply to Maori because if it did the media and other propaganda ministries will have to cease. And that's something they do not want to do.

    As you've seen we've had revisionists trying to play it down by saying the holocaust can only apply to one specific incident - the deaths of many whites at the hands of many whites. Then they try to 'calculate' Maori population sizes using dubious eurocentric methods and history, and attribute the deaths of 1000s of Maori to 'natural causes' while excluding diseases such as pox and syphilis in the blankets and anthrax and arsenic in the flour. Elsdon Best set about documenting Maori to 'smooth the pillow of a dying race'. They didn't expect Maori to survive after the population had shrunk to around 35,000. Now there are attempts to redefine the upper limits of the Maori population pre-Pakeha settlement to molify reaction to this country's 'harmonious' past

  7. As Margaret Mutu suggests - she can't be racist because she doesn't have the power and the privilege. She was talking about institutional racism. But these two ingredients are important in sustaining not just racism but sexism, genderism, homophobia and any other form of bigotry.

    Hone's response was to the past politicians and power/land grabbers. But as usual these people think it's all about them. Imagine calling Hitler a white murderous motherfucker and people (and Hitler) actually taking offence to that. Hone's response did not come from a position of power. Where did his response come from then? Hurt - and you should know that Morgan. If a bully attacks a person she/he is being violent; if the victim responds, is he/she being violent, too? Technically, I guess he/she is. But what's the difference? Power! One is coming from a powerful position while the other is coming from a position of hurt. Realise the difference.

    I think those politicians and power-brokers were deserving of much much more.

  8. Hi Morgan,

    I am Pakeha and I was absolutely disgusted not only with Paul Holmes' article, but with the fact that it appeared in NZ's major daily newspaper. It is something I would expect to read in Der Angriff. It is a symptom of the gradual erosion of decent news media in this country. I believe it breaches ss61 and 131 Human Rights Act 1993. Holmes' comments were abusive and perpetuated deeply offensive racial stereotypes. This was not mere criticism of Waitangi Day or the Treaty, which is justifiable in a free society; it brought Maori into contempt and ridiculed them.

    I think the editor's response was pathetic and he should not hide behind the cloak of free speech. There is no such thing as absolute free speech, as the cliche "you can't falsely shout 'fire' in a crowded theatre" demonstrates. Defamation is another justifiable limitation on free speech, as are laws against offensive language in a public place. Free speech was not developed and safeguarded to allow spittle-flecked vilification of an entire race of people.



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