Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Joel Maxwell's obsession with race

Last Saturday I sent the following letter to The Dominion Post. It was written in response to another bizarre article by Joel Maxwell – a talented writer but a man apparently so obsessed with painting the worst possible picture of race relations in New Zealand that many Dom Post readers now recoil at the sight of his byline.

Joel Maxwell (“On being a black-skinned mayor”, May 21) seems determined to frame everything in terms of race. His profile of outgoing Kapiti mayor K Gurunathan is littered with implications that Gurunathan has struggled all his life against racism. But surely the cogent factor here is that the citizens of Kapiti, an overwhelmingly Pakeha city, elected him not once but twice. That must count for something. 

I now notice that the online version of Maxwell’s piece is accompanied by video footage from Patu, Merata Mita's documentary about the 1981 Springbok tour, just to drive home the notion that New Zealand’s history is irredeemably stained by racism.

I also note that the headline on the online version of the article has been changed from the original, which incorporated the phrase referred to above (“On being a black-skinned mayor”). Perhaps that was because someone at Stuff realised K Gurunathan actually doesn’t look all that black, though Maxwell does his utmost to highlight his skin colour. (Which leads to the question, who’s being the racist here? I'm not aware that Gurunathan's ethnicity has ever been an issue in Kapiti, so why does Maxwell make so much of it?).  

It should also be noted that Gurunathan, while he talks in the article about his past association with anti-racism groups, is silent about the state of race relations in New Zealand generally. This is consistent with his image as a politician who, to my knowledge, hasn’t played the race card. That didn’t stop Maxwell from mining Gurunathan’s story for whatever negative slur he could extract about New Zealanders’ attitudes to ethnic minorities. But remarkably, as my letter noted, Maxwell doesn't acknowledge the inconvenient fact that the predominantly white voters of Kapiti twice elected Gurunathan as their mayor (“inconvenient”, because it rather contradicts Maxwell’s thesis that we’re prejudiced against people of colour).

My letter hasn’t been published and I don’t expect it to be. However, to its credit, the Dom Post published my previous letter responding to an earlier article by Maxwell. You can read that article here.


Madame Blavatsky said...

Painting the majority of (presumably only White) people in the country as being irredeemably "racist" serves to discourage them from objecting to and resisting the overt and incressingly systematised anti-White racist sentiments currently prevalent. What are "diversity" policies other than anti-White and/or anti-male policies? It seems only traditional White Eurpopean and Anglosphere countries are being diversified – nobody is telling the Nigerians or the Chinese or the Indians that they need more White people in the name of "diversity", diversity apparently being a self-evident good that requires no further justification.

Rather than being systemically disadvantaged, people with brown skin are revered by a sector of society, apparently simply due to their not being White. If New Zealand were a "racist" society, then you would expect that no people of colour would ever attain any positions of influence or elevated status, yet this is empirically not the case. It is also highly doubtful that the world's POC would all want to come here in the first place, seeing as it is such a racist society hellbent on oppressing non-Whites.

So again, branding White New Zealanders as intrinsically racist is just a cynical rhetorical device rolled out to shut us up and to negate resistance to the anti-White agenda, with the aim of having us accept our ever-increasing systemic disadvantage. Ironically, this program to propagandise, demoralise and disenfranchise White people is being perpetrated on the grounds of redressing a systemic disadvantage purportedly suffered by non-Whites which, like the so-called White supremacist attitude they love to cite as justification, doesn't even exist. They are invoking a fantasy in order to correct another fantasy.

Richard said...

Thanks for that Karl, it confirms I was correct years ago in cancelling my Dompost sub due to the overwhelming tone of their Opinion Pieces from Maxwell, Bowron etc etc.
I live in Kapiti and have twice voted for Gurunathan - not as a statement of race, but because he seems a decent person and isn't bound to obey any Political party.

D'Esterre said...

I saw the headline of Joel Maxwell's piece about K Gurunathan, rolled my eyes and moved on to another story. I fail to understand a) Maxwell's obsession with skin colour, and b) Stuff's continuing to publish his - the only word for it - twaddle.

In the first instance, and as you point out, Gurunathan isn't "black". Anyone looking at him can see this for themselves. The fact that Maxwell not only continues to write this sort of nonsense, but that he's apparently ramping up the divisiveness, says everything we need to know about him.

I am Pakeha, and a former ratepayer in the KCDC area. I - along with enough other voters to get him elected twice - voted for Gurunathan because he has "chops" as a politician. We didn't - and don't - give a toss about his skin colour. Why on earth would we?

I'm no longer a ratepayer there, but I'm sorry to hear that he's stepping down. In my view, he'll be a loss to that area. The same cannot be said of Maxwell, were he to cease writing for Stuff. We need more of that rancorous resentment from MSM journos like we need toothache.

LNF said...

And this is my email to Maxwell. Note - I rarely read his writings
"I must make a comment about your article this morning
The skin tone matter is the Mayors problem / hangup
Kapiti has a large population of Maori people, Webber’s, Parata’s, Lake’s to name just a few families that I knew when I lived there. Then there is Otaki
Non white people would have no problem getting elected in their own right in Kapiti – or anywhere else I would hope"

Thank you for your time

Hilary Taylor said...

Maxwell's never-ending (te reo) journey of some years ago was enough for me. Yep, terrible headline that meant I simply moved on. I'm with all the above commenters. This BS has become my own 'never-ending story' & I'm tired of it...SO tired of it.

Odysseus said...

Maxwell appears obsessed by race to the point of derangement. I trust the authorities are keeping an eye on him.

hughvane said...

Maxwell is a menace, and should be banished to the Auckland Islands to report on seal colonies for the remainder of his miserable media life.

Others have mentioned his obsession with race and bias - as he perceives it. And that is where the Great Disgrace occurs - his perception. Why he is allowed by editorial management to publish his tripe is a serious question struggling for an answer.

Bush Apologist said...

Let him publish. The real question is why the Dom Post is unwilling to publish a reasoned, countervailing rebuttal. That i believe, just speaks to the illegitimacy of such legacy media outlets labeling themselves as members of the fourth estate.

Eamon Sloan said...

Maxwell’s efforts are sometimes so bad that the garbage must be read. I am a long suffering reader of the Dominion Post and Stuff. Over the past year or two I have punished myself by reading many of Maxwell’s offerings.

Yes, I was aware of his Maori language studies. He spent a whole year on the study and it eventually showed up in his writing. Some people might not like my next point. To me Maxwell was/is thinking in the Maori language and trying unsuccessfully to express himself in English. It never works out.

His Gurunathan piece, racial matters aside for the moment, was in language terms fairly well presented. Maybe he had a well qualified sub-editor looking over his shoulder. In that particular piece I thought that Gurunathan, assisted by Maxwell, was also pushing the racial dog whistle barrow. Sorry about the mixed metaphor.

Doug Longmire said...

Very well put, once again, Madame Blavatsky !!

Paul Peters said...

Stuff will print only what corresponds with its ''values''. Rarely will its empire allow anything else. It allows a few token commentators who mildly disagree with the main line but they too are on board with the key thrust on race, monarchy, name changes etc; they are allowed to disagree on some economic issues and once in a blue moon a token mild piece by a Nat MP to show Stuff's ''diversity and independence''.
I gather letters are not published on the grounds they are racist, offensive (to ''minoroties'' etc. Stuff is like Pravda was in Soviet days; you monitored it to get the new thrust of govt policy....the current one is columns pushing for the voting age to be 16, which will boost the government's chances.
When you see a pattern of columns advocating one thing you realist Stuff's news directorate, which sets policy on issues, is in action. Stuff is always well in syn with the Labour-Green-Maori Party rection.
When I was 16 and 17 and well into my 20s I held views I deemed to be idealistic and correct. Full stop. No compromise. Opponents were wrong and should be marginalised out of power...or worse. Why? Because the were wrong, capitalist fascist racist etc. I was way left, pro-Soviet, donated to the SUP. I travelled under my own resources to many countries including the USSR, DDR, Poland etc visiting friends and found the truth varied from my expectations and changed my thinking.
Advocates of 16 say they can have sex at 16 legally etc so the voting age should be that. At 16 many young folk, like me, are easily inspired by politicians advocating radical change ; smash capitalism, communal property ''equality (enforced) for all blah blah . Some may follow their parents' preferences while others will vote differently in defiance. I personally know teachers who push a left wing race based theme in class ....outside the curriculum; they just do it.
For young people to question things and be idealistic is a good thing but it should be to debate and question ALL sides of an issue rather than being shoe-horned (as seems to be the norm now in schools etc) into one line of thinking.

Anonymous said...

Madame Blavatsky, your letter is a pleasure to read. It is really about 2 dogs fighting over a bone (gross as the image is.) So,, the 'white people feel "guilty' because they are 'white' and the 'brown's or 'coloured' feel aggrieved, because they are not 'white'. It is really ridiculous.
And then this stew is stirred by politicians who KNOW that this grave injustice must be remedied, by creating SEPERATE health systems, rather than putting more money into the broken mess the health system. Is. And legislating for all Councils to have a Maori Ward, and so with 3 Waters;
rather than encouraging (I can't think of the word, but it is probably "togetherness",).
Blinded racist commentors. Defensive "whiteys". Bizarre. Thanks Karl and M. B.

Tom Hunter said...

...just to drive home the notion that New Zealand’s history is irredeemably stained by racism.

New Zealand, the USA, European nations... - but the US most of all.

Whenever Kiwis say that they can ignore the crazy stuff the originates in the USA I always point out that sooner or later the crazy reaches here, and in the case of Maxwell it's clear that he's swallowed all of the Critical Theory stuff on race, and probably in the other areas where it defines Oppressor & Victim purely in the context of European and Anglosphere nations.

Oh, and as other commentators have noted, and excellent contribution from Madame Blavatsky, who understand where this crap is going.