Friday, 10 May 2019


A Form of Casual Racism

We have just been through one of those life-changing gestalts.  You know.  A moment of ratre serendipity; everything falls into place.  Such experiences are scarce indeed and when they come, they are to be treasured.  Gone is all doubt.  Banished in every skerrick of uncertainty.  Everything makes sense.  At such moments one does indeed feel that one is a master of the universe.  

What caused such a moment of mental crystal-clear clarity, we hear you ask?  As often is the case, it came unexpectedly. 

Here is the account which caused life to coalesce into such clarity.

A Christchurch academic has been accused of being racist after using the word 'pākeha' at a Christchurch City Council meeting.  University of Canterbury Associate Professor Ekant Veer appeared at the meeting to urge councillors to publish major council decisions in multiple languages.
Veer told Stuff he used the word Pākeha while explaining minority groups within the community may be feeling left out of the council process.  "I think you all know that we have got an election coming up in council and that election rates and election turnout rates are not fantastic," Veer said.  "We don't have participation among pākeha people, let alone the barriers facing our multicultural community as well."
A woman, who hasn't been identified, then spoke out to say that Veer should know that the word pākeha was a form of casual racism because it translated to "long white pig" and "fleas jumping off your back".
That explains a few things.  All our lives we have struggled to understand who we really were.  Inwardly.  "Pakeha", yes.  But were we male or  female?  Were we handsome or plug-ugly?  Were we trans liberated or gender locked?  Then came the magic words, effectively reassuring us that we were none of the above.  In fact being "pakeha" meant that we were actually a "long white pig".  Never in all our days had such a thought entered our bemused, confused mind.  But at last to know!  A long white pig.  What a resurrection!  Long live the gestalt! Now we could live in self-reconciled peace.

Unfortunately even the most brilliant scintillas of penetrating truth cannot be held in pristine purity forever.  And so it proved to be.  Just as we were basking in the identity of being a "long white pig" that avatar of confusion from Christchurch spoiled it all.  She added that "pakeha" meant not just "long white pig" but also "fleas jumping off your back". 

Doubt and uncertainty rushed back in.  A torrent of confused perplexity overwhelmed us in an instant.  The moment of pure clarity was gone--forever.  Were we a long white pig, or fleas jumping of our backs?  Confusion and doubt on every side.  But for just a moment we has been masters of the Universe.  Oh, "pakeha", wherefore art thou?

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