In the hours following the Countdown terrorist incident, serial race agitator Guled Mire tweeted the following:
“To my Muslim brothers and sisters, while we all condemn today’s attacks, please remember you don’t owe anyone an apology. You have done nothing wrong. And the actions of this individual does not [sic] and will not ever represent what we truly stand for.”
As it happens, I agree with the sentiment. New Zealand Muslims are not to blame for what happened last Friday.
But I wonder what Mire’s reaction would have been if a white commentator had posted a similar comment in the immediate aftermath of the Christchurch mosque massacres. “To my white Christian brothers and sisters, while we all condemn today’s attacks, please remember you don’t owe anyone an apology. You have done nothing wrong."
My guess is he would have been apoplectic. He would have denounced it as racist and inflammatory. More to the point, he would have seen it as an attempt to evade blame for an atrocity that Mire seems to think, judging by his many comments about racism in New Zealand, all white New Zealanders share collective responsibility for.
The obvious point to be made in response to Mire’s gratuitous tweet last Friday is that no one actually asked his Muslim brothers and sisters to apologise, for the very good reason that no one blamed them. Not that this deterred Mire, who rarely misses an opportunity to foment mischief.
Here’s the thing about Mire. Even when he’s saying something that no reasonable person would disagree with – namely, that New Zealand Muslims shouldn’t be blamed for the Countdown stabbings – he manages to do it in an overtly (and I suspect deliberately) provocative, confrontational way; one that’s calculated to foster the impression that New Zealand is irreconcilably divided on ethnic and religious lines. The pernicious ideology of critical race theory underpins almost everything he says.
Ironically, the person most likely to excite ill-will against New Zealand Muslims (and I hope it doesn’t happen, because they deserve better) is Guled Mire.
■ Historical footnote: The New Zealand History website informs us that on this day in 1921, the South African Springboks played a New Zealand Maori side for the first time.
The match, played at Napier, was notable not just for that fact, but also for the reaction of a South African journalist who was astonished that the predominantly white crowd cheered for the Maori XV.
In a telegram to his paper, he gasped: “Spectacle thousands of Europeans frantically cheering on band of coloured men to defeat members of own race was too much for Springboks, who [were] frankly disgusted”.
The incident is worth recalling because it tells us something about the unique nature of race relations in New Zealand, which were far more amicable than left-wing revisionist historians would have us believe.
As an aside, one of the reasons I recently backed away from writing a weekly column for the National Business Review was that the paper’s co-editor, Tim Hunter, objected to a paragraph in my inaugural column in which I wrote that race relations in New Zealand had been mostly “harmonious and respectful – a fact attested to by the number of Maori activists with European features and Anglo-Saxon surnames”. Hunter (an immigrant from Scotland) disagreed with that statement and wanted to delete the sentence, along with one other. I refused and decided to cancel the contract I had signed with NBR only days before.
New Zealand history is threaded throughout with examples of Maori and Pakeha not only collaborating closely but exhibiting mutual goodwill and respect, and in the process creating a unique culture that, as I wrote in a recent post, incorporates admirable elements from both constituent parts. The rugby match at Napier was a small but revealing example.
Of course this is not the full story of race relations in New Zealand, but it's one that's largely ignored in favour of versions that highlight only those actions and policies that disadvantaged or discriminated against Maori (of which there were plenty).
A courageous historian could write a book around this theme. The problem would be finding a publisher willing to defy ideological orthodoxy and risk the fury of woke vigilantes.