Thursday, 15 December 2016

Time For Righteous Outrage

Abused Children Used To Support Blighted Racist Narrative

Maori elites in New Zealand are sadly riven with perverse institutional racism.  For years now abused Maori children, at the insistence of the Maori Party, have been placed by the state into Maori "homes" when their current "home" is no longer suitable.  

The new proposal which would change the "Maori first" policy has been described as follows:
Cabinet papers released by Social Development Minister Anne Tolley last week revealed that the Government plans to axe a provision that gives priority to placing abused children with foster parents from the same [Maori] extended family or tribe.  A new law, which will create a new Ministry for Vulnerable Children Oranga Tamakiri, would require that any child who was removed from its family and cannot be returned to immediate family "must be placed with a safe, stable and loving family at the earliest opportunity".

The change would remove a provision in the 1989 Children, Young Persons and their Families Act that gave priority to placing a child with "a person who is a member of the child's or young person's hapu or iwi [with preference being given to hapu members], or, if that is not possible, who has the same tribal, racial, ethnic, or cultural background as the child".  [NZ Herald]
To put it baldly, if an abused child has only one of two foster homes available--one a Maori "home" which is unstable, violent, riven with abuse, drug use, poverty, disease, indolence, and drunkenness, and the other a stable, loving, experienced, financially secure, happy Pacific Island home, the current law requires that the child be placed in the Maori home.

Now, of course, in the real world there are few occasions when the choice is so stark.  But in practice the reality is that the state child services will always work to find a Maori household in which to place the abused child--and they will be placed there on a "suck and see" basis.  When it all falls to pieces, the state authorities will shrug their shoulders and move on to the next available Maori "home".

The government is proposing to change this terrible practice.  Maori elites--perversely racist--are opposing it.
The current Children, Young Persons and Their Families Act gives priority to placing a child with a member of their family or wider hapū and, if that is not possible, then to someone who has the same tribal, racial or cultural background as the child.  The [proposed] legislation removes that priority, and instead puts emphasis on the child's safety. . . .

But Social Development Minister Anne Tolley said it was possible for children to stay connected with their culture without being placed in family care.  "Past performance means a lot of Māori don't trust the state to do well by their children," Ms Tolley said.  "So I think we've just got to show when there's a willingness, and we want to work closely with iwi, and if they're prepared to stand up and take responsibility for their mokupuna, well then we're happy to work with them to make sure that happens," she said.

The message from young people who had been through the system was clear, Ms Tolley said.  "Kids say stop experimenting with our lives and give us that safe and stable and loving family first time round. Don't keep moving us, because we've suffered trauma and we need to get on with our lives." [RNZ.  Emphasis, ours.]
The extent to which Maori elites hold racist world views is clearly exposed in this controversy.  It is a sad, sad day.  The world view now so publicly displayed and articulated is racial identify first, tribal identity second, hapu identity third, and identity with the rest of the human race a distant fourth.

When such an ignorant and perverted world view holds sway it is bad enough.  When it results in a legalised institutional bias towards sub-standard care of abused Maori children it is an abomination.

A Green Party MP went further and crossed the Rubicon:
Green Party MP Marama Davidson went a step further during the debate on the legislation and told Parliament the bill was racist.  "The narrative that we continue in this House by supporting this legislation, which wants to weaken the priority to keep tamariki Māori with whānau Māori," she said.

"When we uphold that legislation, we are feeding the narrative that Māori do not love our children as much, and that we do not understand how to properly and safely care for our children."
The perverse nature of this debate lies here: Davidson is diametrically in the wrong.  It is when they (the Maori elites) oppose such legislation she and others are feeding the narrative that Māori do not love their children as much as other people, and that they do not understand how to properly and safely care for their children.

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