Friday, May 29, 2020

Redefining racism in 21st-century New Zealand

(First published in The Dominion Post and on, May 28.)

Trevor Richards, once famous as the driving force behind Halt All Racist Tours (HART), recently wrote an essay in which he reflected on the history of New Zealand race relations.

He recalled growing up in a country where history was viewed entirely through a Pakeha lens and the notion of racism was hardly acknowledged. 

I grew up in the same era and recognised the country he described. We learned little about Maori history or culture at school and the Maori world only occasionally overlapped with that of white New Zealand. Racism was something I associated with America’s Deep South.

Richards went on to deride what he clearly regarded as a smug belief that New Zealand enjoyed the best race relations in the world. I found this criticism a bit more problematical.

I can see why, when viewed through an ideologically pure 21st century lens, aspects of the old New Zealand could be seen as racist, if only in a passive way. But I also believe a persuasive case can be made that by world standards, our race relations were admirable.

We were a highly integrated and harmonious society.  It’s easy to judge ourselves harshly now, but it was reasonable to look at race relations in other countries – Australia and the United States, for example – and conclude that ours were pretty good.

Of course much has changed for the better since then, and people like Richards can take some of the credit. But I wonder what purpose is served by denigrating past conduct and attitudes, other than to congratulate himself on his own enlightened thinking. It struck me as an exercise in presentism: the tendency to interpret and judge the past according to contemporary values.

And here’s something else that struck me. Richards freely used the words “racism” and “racist” to describe the New Zealand of that era, but nowhere did he attempt to define those terms. No one ever does. I think it suits activists to leave them loose and undefined. That way the words can mean whatever the user wants them to mean.

On that note, it was disappointing that Sir Robert Jones abandoned his defamation action earlier this year against the Maori film maker Renae Maihi, who had called him a racist. I had hoped the trial might result in the judge attempting to pin down the exact meaning of the word.

For what it’s worth, here’s my own attempt at a definition. I believe racism is the belief that some races are inherently superior or inferior to others, and that discriminatory treatment is therefore justified. But discussion about racism in New Zealand is muddied by the fact that the definition has deliberately been stretched to encompass virtually any statement or action that is perceived as not favourable to Maori or other minority groups. 

We are told, for example, that it’s racist not to have unelected Maori representatives with voting powers on city or district councils. Or that it’s racist to object to roadblocks set up to inhibit the public’s freedom of movement and to police iwi “borders” that have no basis in law.  In effect, any opposition to the activist Maori agenda is routinely condemned as racist.

But surely another definition of racism is the assertion by one racial group of rights that are not available to others. Try to imagine, for example, how far a Pakeha group would get trying to block public roads without legal authority. Is this the new racism?

Truth is, the situation described by Richards has largely been turned on its head. We have moved down a path to a form of institutionalised separatism so well-entrenched that people barely notice it.

We have special funding for Maori affected by Covid-19 (over and above the billions for the community at large, as if Maori suffer differently), separate Maori streams in public policy formation, an unelected and inscrutable iwi leaders’ forum that exerts influence at the highest levels of government (and behind closed doors), Maori control over lakes and rivers, state-funded Maori media outlets that confuse journalism with advocacy, special courts for Maori youth and “cultural reports” for Maori defendants, preferential quotas for Maori medical trainees and elaborate mechanisms for iwi engagement on major public projects, regardless of whether they specifically impact on Maori. I could go on.

Then there’s the matter of the Maori seats in Parliament, which survive even though 20 of the 27 Maori MPs currently in Parliament were elected from the general rolls. Oh, and the country has acquired a quasi-official Maori name without any public mandate. (If we want to become Aotearoa, fine – but let’s do it properly, through a referendum.)

In almost every area of public policy, Maori are treated as having separate, exclusive needs. We have been persuaded that this is necessary to remedy 180 years of disadvantage. But at what point do we realise we’ve over-corrected and created a society where racial division is permanently built in and officially sanctioned?


Doug Longmire said...

"racist" Collins Cobuild dictionary 2007:-
"Racism is the belief that people of some races are inferior to others, and the behavior which is the result of this belief"
"Racist describes a person who is influenced by the belief that people of some races are inferior to others"

Doug Longmire said...

So, as I see it, from the dictionary definition above, ANY policy, practice or judgment that gives different qualities or treatment to any sector of society, based upon their race, is simply racist. It is that simple. Period. There is no such thing as "positive discrimination". All discrimination based upon race is racist.
Somebody please correct me if I am wrong.

Andy Espersen said...

I was delighted to read this article in the Dominion a couple of days ago. You are so right - and so timely. May I point to one omission though : nowhere do you attempt to explain the reason why all this has come to the fore to such degree today - and is increasing. I believe it is all because of the illusion, the myth, now imperceptibly becoming an accepted fact (part of school curriculum), that the Treaty of Waitangi is a declaration of a genuine partnership between the Crown and Maori.

Nothing can be further from the truth. The idea that Queen Victoria, ruler of the richest, militarily the most powerful, scientifically the most advanced and technologically the cleverest nation the world had ever seen, would share power with a collection of illiterate, stone age tribes, is quite ludicrous, of course.

And yet, exclusively because of that fairy tale idea, we are now all tying ourselves in knots trying desperately to navigate through the necessary regulations and decisions of governing Aotearoa (I must confess I quite like that name; isn’t it really far more appropriate and poetic than that other Dutch one?).

I have read through the debate between the Maori chiefs and the Crown at Waitangi in 1842. I was struck by the intelligence and wisdom displayed by the chiefs - and by their thorough understanding of the basic question of sovereignty - which is just individual freedom under the law. And I was amazed by the power of Maori oratory, of the width and depth of their language (as it was when it was a living language!!) and of the way they had obviously come to grips with the to them wholly unknown concepts of individual property rights and written legislation that everybody must abide by.

And this, of course, constituted the real reason for the Treaty. The chiefs wanted desperately to get the same rights individual settlers had, namely protection of their properties in law. They were all itching to belong to this new type of society that had suddenly appeared on their doorstep. It does not occur to many New Zealanders how unique the Treaty is. Nowhere else in the world did Europeans formulate such treaty with a native population. I am proud of Polynesians. I believe no other stone age people in the world were intellectually advanced to the degree that they could pull off such feat. And I am proud of our European ancestors for their enlightened attitudes as colonisers.

It is crucial that this fancy, wholly inane notion of equal partnership between Maori and the Crown is done away with – the sooner, the better. But I can imagine the screams of fury arising in our fair country if you, Karl, had even hinted at this.

Don Brash courageously stuck his neck out - and is now paying the price, being persona non grata in certain woke (but, alas, governing) circles. Most likely STUFF would cancel your contract with them if you were to come out, all guns blazing, giving voice to such hate speech - such racist ideas!

Mr Boo said...

Andy. It was 1840 not 1842, but otherwise you’re spot on with your observations. Karl, I have had in the last two days in my Facebook and Instagram feed, posts from people I have had as ‘friends’ both post on the subject of White Privilege. Both were white ladies who are adamant that it exists and I have called it for what it is, Bullshit. White privilege is somehow a racist society that gives me a benefit for being of pale skin, and disadvantages people of other coloured skin solely on skin colour and not personal actions. Funny thing is, like wage gender gap, when you break down the numbers into things other than skin colour, the “disparities” all disappear. It also has the effect of treating groups of people as having no will of their own, and all power to a mythical entity called society. I don’t know about anyone else, but treating all people from an ethnic group as thinking the same way, seems pretty racist to me. I have come to the conclusion that it’s being pushed by the left wing of politics as part of identity politics.

I no doubt will either have to remove as friends, the white guilt ladies so I don’t have to read the bullshit posts, if they haven’t already done that to me, but I am not racist and will not carry that burden. Fact is, I hate everyone equally. (Sorry about the swearing Karl)

hughvane said...

Your third-from-last paragraph is the most telling I’ve seen in print in a long while - congratulations [it would have looked even better tabulated].

Maori have had extraordinary amounts of tax-payer money shovelled their way for decades, but I’ve seldom seen any accountability of/for it. To question where it’s being spent is to invite fanatical accusations of racism. To make it worse, those who do the accusing are seldom of Ngati anything, but - to quote Winston Peters - the ‘sickly white liberals’, thoroughly brainwashed and coached at universities.

Our present society’s OCD is to attach labels usually ending in ‘ism’ or ‘ist’. Much of it can be ignored as vacuous hysteria, but the puppet masters and mistresses pulling the strings above and behind the curtain are the dangerous ones. Let them be identified.

Doug Longmire said...

Thank you Andy for your clear and lucid description of the original treaty process. It has always been obvious to me and any thinking person that any notion that " Queen Victoria, ruler of the richest, militarily the most powerful, scientifically the most advanced and technologically the cleverest nation the world had ever seen, would share power with a collection of illiterate, stone age tribes, is quite ludicrous, of course."

I have never heard any cohesive argument to the contrary.

Doug Longmire said...

On the issue of Maori sovereignty - the issue is quite clear.
This country is a parliamentary democracy. It is impossible to have a separate sovereignty. A separate sovereignty would entail the country becoming a non-democracy.

Andy Espersen said...

You are spot on, Doug. It is of course impossible and illogical to have two "sovereignties" within one parliamentary democracy.

Odysseus said...

We have clearly reached a new rung in the descent towards a State organized around race when health services are rationed on the basis of racial affiliation, with priority being given to those claiming Maori or Pasifika descent and the rest being shunted to the back of the queue. The Capital and Coast Health Board has proclaimed this appalling policy only this week, while the Health Minister dismisses it as an "operational" matter unworthy of his attention. It is in fact a matter of the greatest ethical and moral significance and speaks to the collapse of sound and principled governance in New Zealand.

Ricardo said...

May I suggest some quality historical reading in response to some of these comments. Read some Jock Phillips, Jamie Bellich, Keith Sinclair, Michael King, Claudia Orange, Anne Salmond..... and then read some of Waitangi Tribunal histories.

Then I suggest visiting some Marae, experiencing the warmth and welcome.

Then remember that in 1960, the year 60 blacks were slaughtered at Sharpeville, we happily agreed to prohibit Maori from touring South Africa. Remember that in 1970 we agreed to reclassify Maori and Pasifika as "honorary white" so as to appease Nelson Mandela's gaolers.

Racial harmony in NZ was always a pakeha myth.

Karl du Fresne said...

That’s a display of weapons-grade condescension if ever I’ve seen one. You assume (a) that my stance can be explained only by ignorance (I’ve allegedly never read any of the people you cite, never been on a marae, never read a Waitangi Tribunal decision, all of which is wrong) and (b) that I can achieve your level of enlightenment if only I take the trouble to read the approved sources. You sound like a salvationist reaching out to a wretched sinner. You also seem to assume I either don’t know or don’t care about apartheid-era South Africa or the anti-tour movement (in fact I marched against the 1981 tour), all of which is massively irrelevant because it’s not what my column was about. I suggest you try reading it again, this time preferably not blinded by your own sanctimony. It’s not about any of the issues you raise, or even whether Maori were subjected to historical injustices (they undoubtedly were, some of which I’ve written about). My column was about the dangers of creating a stratified and potentially polarised society, driven largely by ideology, in an attempt to expiate Pakeha guilt. And please, if you want to continue this dialogue, have the guts and courtesy to identify yourself.

Ricardo said...

Whoa Karl, deep breath. My comments were not directed to your column, but to "some of these comments" that it occasioned. Apologies if I did not make this clear.


-the "myth" of the partnership between the Crown and Maori..dear me, tell that to the NZ's highest courts much less parliament.
-"illiterate stone age tribes" - good to see all that culture, history, rich generational language and taonga since Kupe summed up so wittily
-"itching to belong to this new type of society" an interesting historical interpretation. In 1840 Maori outnumbered settler NZ by a wide margin and some chiefs saw the Treaty as a means to maintain their dominance and control over some alarming visitors
-"shovelling taxpayer dollars to Maori for decades" - oh yes that explains their superior health, wealth and crime statistics

and so on and so on. It is depressing to read such worn, incorrect and gin-soaked tropes still in 2020.

I trust that clears it all up and again, apologies for not making the target of my remarks clearer. I take it as a compliment that a former Dominion editor ranks my condescension as "weapons grade".



Odysseus said...

@ Richard: re "partnership". In the 1987 case taken by the Maori Council against the Attorney General, Lord Cooke held that "the Treaty created an enduring relationship of a fiduciary nature akin to a partnership, each party accepting a positive duty to act in good faith, fairly, reasonably and honourably towards the other"." "Akin to a partnership". Cooke used the idea of a "partnership" as a simile, he did not intend it to be taken literally. His intention was that the Crown should take account of Maori interests when making decisions; he did not suggest however Maori were in some way way to be a co-decision-maker with the Crown. Since that time ethno-nationalists have misrepresented the sense of the judgement and advanced the idea that New Zealand is some kind of racial condominium. The situation is not helped by the fact that our current Prime Minister appears to be largely ignorant of the contents of the Treaty when interviewed upon the subject.

Doug Longmire said...

Reading Richard's rants inclines me to the notion that anonymous comments should perhaps not be accepted.
His last comments are shallow, biased and miss the point that introducing racist policies and funding does not address the issue. It simply pours money into the hands of the top level.
In point of fact - Maori have had equal opportunity for a long time. Many of their health problems for example have resulted from generations of them deliberately making wrong choices and blaming others for the poor outcomes. For example smoking cigarettes. Also I fail to comprehend Richard's implication that increased funding will somehow improve the appalling domestic violence and child abuse statistics.

Andy Espersen said...

Adding to Doug Longmire’s response to Richard re Maori’s health and social problems may I quietly remind Richard that until the mid-20th century Maori were as law-abiding and generally decent as all other New Zealanders. But now, 70 years later over 60% of our prison population are Maori. These are terrible statistics - and I certainly agree that something must be done to reverse the trend. Richard and his arrogant, woke ilk insist that this was caused by colonisation - but hey, how can that be when for over 100 years crime statistics were fine??

What happened after the war was that Maori began to move into cities, away from their culture and their settled existence in their own communities - and that was when their problems started. In cities individuals are on their own, must care responsibly just for themselves (and spouse and children). But Maori culture is qualitatively different. Individuals here are forever under the thumb of their elders and their community in general - and that system works just perfectly. European city culture represents something quite new for humankind - and all indigenous, native populations find problems here. That together with a tendency to be easily addicted to alcohol.

This is, of course, a generalisation (a concept our friend Richard probably does not understand). We have very many Maori who are adapting just fine to our European city culture.

Doug Longmire said...

Perceptive comments Andy. And I can recall in my own primary school years (late 50's) it was just as you have described.

Ricardo said...


In the Lands case the Court of Appeal found unanimously that "The Treaty signified a partnership between races, and it is in this concept that the answer to the present case has to be found". This is the critical and enduring start point.

Andy and Doug

What can I say as I read your illuminating and straightforward diagnoses. Let's see..

maori don't make good choices,
maori blame others,
maori can't live in cities
maori can't care responsibly just for their spouse and children
maori are under the thumb of their own elders
maori are easily addicted to alcohol.

Who knew it was all so simple. Please amplify your comments, they require as much sunlight as possible.


Andy Espersen said...

Just speaking for myself, my statements cannot be any clearer than how you put them, Richard They surely need no amplifying or more sunlight to be understood. But it is very obvious that you are oblivious to the very concept of generalising (exactly as I suggested in my last post). When trying to address the social problems of any one group of human beings, it goes without saying (at least among rational folks) that we must always generalise. We have no end of Maori successfully fitting in with city culture and life in general - just like we have no end of Pakeha folks who don’t.

How about seriously and intelligently debating and addressing each of mine and Doug’s statements - instead of just screaming out angrily that you don’t agree with us. Aren’t you really interested in solving these serious Maori problems??

XxxSammi3xxX Msp Nz said...

Richard, far from being uneducated on New Zealand history, I and exceptionally well versed in our history. I object to any insinuation that I am unaware of history of our country. Having had books from Michael King and James Belich (assume you mean James, never seen him referred to as Jamie) while I liked Micheal Kings books on the whole, his was still historical revisionist. James Belich’s book ‘the New Zealand wars’ was flawed and down played the role and motivations of loyalist Maori tribes.
One final thing you have pointed out, but very flawed, is the treaty partnership concept. Can you please tell us all where in the treaty that it referred to a partnership cause I can’t see it Richard? Activist judges do get it wrong, and in this case they made law where the concept was not in the treaty.
I do appreciate your push for learning about New Zealand’s history. It’s a subject where sadly, not enough people get stuck into.

Ruaridh said...

My admiration, Richard, for courteously standing your ground in the face of unfortunate ad hominem attacks in this column. Your perceived by your attackers sin seems to me that you in a very effective way beg to differ from the views of most all of the other correspondents. Your light handed but no less thoughtful for that writing style offers an added bonus.

khrust said...

@Richard, it seems you have no interest in dialogue as a means of getting closer to a balanced view or closer to the truth. In your excessively irony-ridden posting above you have taken quotes out of context and turned broad generalisations which have some degree of validity into absolute and universal statements which then look deeply bigoted - all for the purpose of discrediting your opponents. I am surprised you havn't yet stooped to ad-hominem slurs or strawman arguments. Whilst personally I do not go along with all of Andy Esperson's and Doug Longmire's arguments, there are uncomfortable truths regarding urban Maori that the progressive left just want to sweep under the carpet and blame colonists, systemic racism, white privilege etc. This fixation on blame, throwing lots of money or creating race-specific privileges for Maori will not make the problems go away but it certainly assuages the guilty consciences of urban white liberals.
In keeping with indigenous people in former colonies elsewhere in the world, urban Maori show all the usual statistics for child abuse, gang membership, crime and violence, drug dependence, poor health and education outcomes. All of this is in my opinion the result of the "Culture Shock" of urban living, the point well made by Andy Espersen. There are no quick or easy fixes, just understanding, compassion, targetted social programmes and time. Do you have anything constructive to offer in response.

Odysseus said...

Richard: In the Lands Case the Court of Appeal also found unanimously that the Crown has the right to govern and that the principles of the Treaty ‘do not authorise unreasonable restrictions on the right of a duly elected government to follow its chosen policy. Indeed, to try and shackle the Government unreasonably would itself be inconsistent with those principles’. Judge Bisson in particular observed that it was ‘in accordance with the principles of the Treaty that the Crown should provide laws and make related decisions for the community as a whole having regard to the economic and other needs of the day’. The Court did however note that the Treaty imposed an obligation on the Crown to protect Maori interests.

My point was and remains that there was no basis either in the Treaty or the jurisprudence surrounding it to support the idea of co-governance or co-decision-making which is currently being advanced at all levels of government by Maori ethno-nationalists. Such fanciful and perverse interpretations must be rejected.

Ricardo said...

XxxSammi3xxX MSP NZ,

I commend your historical reading and encourage you to continue the same. Forming your own views on historical matters as you read a range of histories about them is one of life's pleasures.

The reference you seek is New Zealand Maori Council v Attorney-General [1987] 1 NZLR 641 per Cooke P at 664; see also per Richardson J at 682; per Somers J at 692-693; and per Casey J at 702.

Robin Cooke was perhaps New Zealand's finest jurist. I think many would disagree with your description of him as a misguided activist judge. I appeared before him once and the memory endures.

Ka pai, Richard

Andy Espersen said...

XxxSammi ..............., - Thanks for your support. As it happened, only last year I (again) read Michael King’s book (I own a copy). You call him a historical revisionist. Well, at times he may indeed express his own opinions - but that does not stop him from reporting all the historical facts soberly and objectively, as as true historians ought. I particularly noted that he marvelled how Maori throughout that first hundred years really did keep to themselves in their settlements in the country. There was very little mixing with the Europeans. Their culture remained intact.

Ricardo said...

Andy Esperson

Thank you for confirming that your comments cannot be any clearer than how I put them. I trust I have been just as pellucid with my own. I suggest we leave it at that and let the readers decide.

As a final note you might care to enter the words "sunlight" and "Brandeis" into your web search browser. My attitude to your thinking will then be clearer.

Ka Pai, Richard

Doug Longmire said...

We all agree that there are serious problems with some (not all) Maori. The summary above by (anon) Richard shows some of this.
What is being debated is:-

a/ who is to blame? (When there are "victims" there is always someone to blame) and:-

b/ What to do to address these problems and try and put it right?

My point was that billions of dollars have been paid out over the years in treaty claims and also also extra funding. But - the money only ever seems to get as far as the fat cats at the top, and I have not seen any evidence of the money being directed to real ordinary people and families in any substantial way.

Genuine help where it counts is left to people like Alan Duff with his very effective books in homes program.

Doug Longmire said...

"But at what point do we realise we’ve over-corrected and created a society where racial division is permanently built in and officially sanctioned?"
Answer:- Happening now.

Karl du Fresne said...

I agree it's happening now. My question was not about whether it was happening, but asked when we would realise it was happening.

Andy Espersen said...

Interesting comment, Karl. But as I see it, the real problem is rather : “When will we again be open to free speech, or be open to voicing private opinions on anything freely”. At present, the very refusing to accept the idea that the Treaty of Waitangi represents a true partnership between the Crown and Maori indicates “hate speech” or “racism”. And, to be honest, Karl, the mere fact that you completely avoided that obviously basic problem in your article was a disappointment to me.

We know it is happening now. But WHY is it happening now? I say it is because we are all, right now, being insidiously socially conditioned (a.k.a.brainwashed) to believe that “The Treaty means Co-governance”. It is instilled in children in primary school, even. I think we need more brave social commentators like Don Brash. Otherwise we are creating no end of problems for future New Zealand (i.e. apartheid).

Karl du Fresne said...

You say nothing here that I haven’t said many times. For nearly 30 years I’ve been writing columns that went against the political current, including on Treaty issues, but because this one didn’t say exactly what you thought it should say, you patronisingly describe it as a “disappointment”. I suggest that the only way you can guarantee not to be disappointed by views that don’t precisely mirror your own is to start your own blog.

Andy Espersen said...

Thank you, Karl,


Doug Longmire said...

Don't agree with you this time Andy,
Karl has it summed up well.
Also - no matter how woke or pc things become, we have not yet reached the stage where it is "hate speech" to disagree with the current Left wing hand wringing opinion that the Treaty of Waitangi is a "partnership between the Crown and Maori" One only has to read the Treaty to see that there is NO "partnership" stated or implied. It also follows that their can be no Maori "sovereignty", because the chiefs accepted the Queen as sovereign. This is not "hate speech" yet in this country. The question of course is how soon it may become hate speech.

Andy Espersen said...

I absolutely agree with Karl that it was impertinent and silly of me to expect him to write his column exactly how I would have done it.

But, sadly, Doug, you are wrong. Vice-Chancellor Jan Thomas of Massey University stated, “In my opinion the views expressed by members of Hobson’s Pledge come dangerously close to hate speech”.

Brendan McNeill said...

If we focus on racism and racial conflict as a 'problem to be resolved' we risk missing the the 'bigger picture' of what is happening in western cultures, led by the USA.

In an article (link below) Professor Joshua Mitchell suggest that the west, and the USA in particular, is caught in an existential divide between Christianity and Paganism as it's animating worldview. Briefly, the world of paganism is the world of 'tribe'. A crime against (say) George Floyd is not one of an individual policeman against an individual person, to be dealt with under the rule of law, (the historical liberal Christian position) but one where the white tribe has transgressed against the black tribe.

In a culture where the white tribe is dominant, there is no justice for the black tribe, they must seek blood retribution based upon their own judicial framework. Only then can 'justice' be satisfied.

This is the logical extension of identity politics. The question for the west, is which worldview will prevail.

Doug Longmire said...

Well - Jan Thomas is simply wrong. She is not a Kiwi. She is an Aussie. Until Andrew Little gets his way, there is legally no such thing as "hate speech" in this country.
However the issue that Karl has raised is germane :- Is it only a matter of time ?

Trev1 said...

Racism in New Zealand has now moved to a whole new plane with the introduction of race-based rationing of surgery by DHBs, most likely on the Coalition Government's confidential instruction. And not a peep from the "Opposition".

Trev1 said...

Dear Karl, I was greatly saddened to read just now of your retirement from the pages of the Dompost. Pleas keep your blogspot running, you are a much needed voice of sanity as the lights go out around us.

hughvane said...

Put this item/topic to sleep - pleeeeease! Fresh material sorely needed.

Andy Espersen said...

hughvane - Absolutely NO. We must keep this topic on top of our political consciousness and agenda in New Zealand. At this very moment we are deciding the nature of our political system in the century ahead of us. You blithely say, “Fresh material sorely needed”. Do you not realise that your children may grow up under an apartheid system? Do you not understand the problems we are creating for future generations by our unprincipled, racist decisions right now?

hughvane said...

@Andy - I wasn't going to respond to your challenge, but ....

I'm sure you've heard or read all the tropes about hollow drums, dead horses, road to nowhere, hiding to nothing - the list goes on.

The theme started by Karl was apt and timely, and I understand a great deal more than you choose to credit me with, but all the clamouring and sneering that it has generated subsequently serves little or no purpose.

How many are going to read and be influenced by your opinions - or mine - and what difference will be made? Your intention is admirable, but it matters not, because so few, especially those with some influence on our future, will take notice of it.