Underbelly of Hate?

Are we living in the same country?  Because I just reckon this guy is a precious petal

Canterbury University academic Ekant Veer has been flooded with support since returning his student-voted lecturer of the year award in a stand against an “underbelly of hate” and racism on campus.

Veer has received emails, calls, and more than 2100 likes on a Facebook post about his decision, and even had an email of support from Vice-Chancellor Rod Carr’s office – quashing his initial fears he might lose his job for speaking out.

He said the university itself was by no means racist, it was just the actions of some ”stupid individuals” that encouraged his decision.

He had not yet heard from the Students’ Association or the Engineering Society which organised the recent controversial RoUndie 500 event that sparked about 100 complaints of racism and sexism.

”I wasn’t expecting anything, I don’t need anything, but it’s nice to see the support.”

Veer, who is of Indian descent, said he first experienced racism when he was reading anonymous feedback from students in his first semester of teaching in 2010.

“In the section where it asked ‘what should be changed to improve the course’, one student wrote ‘his ethnicity’,” he said.

So you had a racist student.  So what?   They exist.   No need to throw your toys out of your cot and use being “of Indian descent” as a weapon.

Try being a woman.  You think women should give their awards back because there are misogynists in our society?

If you won the award for good work, you’ve just slapped everyone who’s ever supported you in the face, you idiot.    

It was “with deep regret” he yesterday returned his 2014 Lecturer of the Year award for the College of Business and Law.

While Veer thought the university was a “wonderful organisation” that was not racist, events like the RoUndie 500 event encouraged racism and sexism through participants being told to choose inappropriate themes.

“My race is not inappropriate. The gender of my daughters is equally not inappropriate but for people to jump on these old chestnuts in order to cause offence just continues to highlight this ugly underbelly. This is offensive and inappropriate.”

The university took swift action after complaints, he said, but the University of Canterbury Students’ Association had not taken ownership.

“I wanted an honest, clear, ‘We’re sorry, we didn’t realise, we won’t do this again’.”

Being offensive isn’t illegal.  Being offensive is a freedom.  What offends me may not offend you.  And so on.

Ekant Veer is an idiot.  And he’s right, the fact he’s an Indian idiot is irrelevant, except he uses it to focus on and try to make a point.

We all have a problem Ekant.  We’re too short, too tall, too fat, too thin, too hairy, too bald, we have buck teeth, we have a face like a horse, we have arses the size of a small moon, we are gingers, blondes, black, brown… we come from the UK, or the US, or India.

Diversity is everywhere.  Freedom of expression is everywhere.  And you are allowed to be upset about students that don’t value you for your skill but rate you on where you were born.

And you have the freedom to throw a paddy about it.

But let’s not change a thing.  It’s a delicious freedom.  Freedom of thought.  Freedom of opinion.  Freedom of expression.

Something universities used to be at the forefront of.

 

– Jody O’Callaghan, The Press

 


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  • I wonder what might happen if he went back to India and tried to rid the country of their Caste system? Or tried to proclaim that females are not chattels once married and should be treated and respected as equal as men?

    He got his 15 minutes of fame though….

    • Jas

      Or being called racist if white in nz and have opinion on how Asian people here feel about Maori or islanders but you only know as can understand some of what they say.

      Or the other classic is Asian saying we are racist but they think 2 tier pricing system based on ethnicity in original country is fine.

  • Not Clinically Insane

    You cannot appease those who are determined to be outraged

  • Radiodog

    University Academic – no surprises there.

    • Wendy

      I am offended by your academicist views.

      • Mark Harrison

        If you have time to be posting here you must have cooked dinner and finished the dishes.

      • Radiodog

        That surprised me !

  • Brendon Taylor

    Having been a Student at a tertiary learning institution just last year. I can say that there is a difference in how difficult it is to understand foreign tutors as opposed to tutors who have English as Their first language. Has anyone thought that this was the cause of the offending remark? Although I agree that it could have been put more tactfully. In my experience more detail is better than less, but I don’t think I would have put this suggestion down on a suggestion paper, especially now I know that such a document is not confidential.

    • botti

      It’s anonymous student feedback – why would it matter if it’s confidential? Certainly it would be reasonable to put down language/communication issues if they were a factor.

    • Ginny

      Yes, we like to be tolerant of people who have English as their second language. But it’s tricky for students who depend on the quality of their lectures for good grades and a quality degree.

      • English is his first language and he was educated in Hamilton… As one of his students we hold that against him however there is no language issue whatsoever, except he sounds vaguely British.

  • Wendy

    I would be more concerned if students weren’t offensive. Its all part of human development and is rarely more than a passing phase…like teenagers getting an attitude.

    Mr Veer should look on the bright side…if he can afford to be upset about this he clearly doesn’t have a lot to be upset about.

    Get some perspective Mr Veer.

  • botti

    ***the fact he’s an Indian idiot is irrelevant, except he uses it to focus on and try to make a point.***

    Somewhat ironically, according to the World Values survey, India is the most racist place on the planet.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2013/05/15/a-fascinating-map-of-the-worlds-most-and-least-racially-tolerant-countries/

  • IHD

    If you can’t take the piss out of yourself then there is something wrong with you!

    • Mark Harrison

      The Engineering students were not taking the piss out of themselves, they were taking the piss out of others. Some of that comes with the territory of being not much more than kids, but sometimes adults with a sense of decorum need to step up and show the way. Well done that man.

      • IHD

        You missed my point. I am a middle-aged, white, American-Kiwi, male. Those alone make me the butt of 90% of jokes; should I be offended and make a scene or take these at face value? They were not out in the streets beating anyone. There is no racism in this story other than someone trying to “play the race card”. Harden up I say.

        • Mark Harrison

          Ninety % -really?
          Only 10% for the Irish and the blondes?

          • IHD

            No, no, no, 5% for Irish and blondes(did i mention as a young lad i was a fair headed monster and in the distant past some of my ancestors were of Irish decent)the other 4% for Indians and Asians, and 1% for the offended ones by the previous 99%.

  • Ginny

    Everyone would think that he came from a great country called India. Don’t they have a cast system with the lowliest of lows being the “untouchables? India has beggars in the true sense of the word, not just children in poverty like we have here in NZ. He should embrace NZ and all its foibles and just get on with living in this great country.

    • andrew carrot

      Don’t forget the rape culture!

    • ahem

      So we are blaming people for the sins of their forefather’s countrymen now? Professor Veer is not responsible for India’s poverty, or their cast system.

      • botti

        Somehow I suspect if a European academic turned up in India and started telling their students to alter their practices, someone would bring up the background of colonialism.

  • Nirvana10

    And. of course, the media report this as ‘news’. Incidentally, anyone who gives their students a questionnaire to be answered anonymously is inviting the silly or facetious response. If you aren’t prepared for the odd offensive comment then don’t participate in such an exercise.

    • botti

      Of course the media report it as news. The media is comprised of white progressives. Being offended is #101 on the list of Stuff White People Like:

      “Naturally, white people do not get offended by statements directed at white people. In fact, they don’t even have a problem making offensive statements about other white people (ask a white person about “flyover states”). As a rule, white people strongly prefer to get offended on behalf of other people.

      It is also valuable to know that white people spend a significant portion of their time preparing for the moment when they will be offended. They read magazines, books, and watch documentaries all in hopes that one day they will encounter a person who will say something offensive. When this happens, they can leap into action with quotes, statistics, and historical examples. Once they have finished lecturing another white person about how it’s wrong to use the term “black” instead of “African-American,” they can sit back and relax in the knowledge that they have made a difference.

      White people also get excited at the opportunity to be offended at things that are sexist and/or homophobic. Both cases offering ample opportunities for lectures, complaints, graduate classes, lengthy discussions and workshops. All of which do an excellent job of raising awareness among white people who hope to change their status from “not racist” to “super not racist.”

      Another thing worth noting is that the threshold for being offended is a very important tool for judging and ranking white people. Missing an opportunity to be outraged is like missing a reference to Derrida-it’s social death.

      If you ever need to make a white person feel indebted to you, wait for them to mention a book, film, or television show that features a character who is the same race as you, then say “the representation of was offensive and if you can’t see that, well, you need to do some soul searching.” After they return from their hastily booked trip to land of your ancestors, they will be desperate to make it up to you. At this point, it is acceptable to ask them to help you paint your house.”

      http://stuffwhitepeoplelike.com/2008/05/28/101-being-offended/

  • JC

    Looks like Sharia law will be imposed in NZ universities sooner than we thought.

    JC

    • andrew carrot

      Mind you, full burkas for all male engineering students would be a policy even their mothers would likely approve. DipAg students at Lincoln should be treated similarly.

      • JC

        And Massey types.

        My niece went there and in the first two weeks won something called the “bucking bronc”. I know the thing about the 44 gallon drum with saddle on guy ropes and so thats what I believe..

        JC

      • Timboh

        Don’t knock people smarter than you. Like “all male engineering students ” . If you’ve been there and think that like that then you are either a loser or you’ve got an BA with the greatest respect.

  • Disinfectant

    True story folks, and a damn good laugh.
    Went down to the Mall for lunch.
    Decided upon a “Butter Chicken” – advertised price $9.
    Lovely Indian lady prepares my meal and asks if I want Naan bread.
    How much for Naan bread?
    $2.
    Tell you what, I will give you $7.
    No – why you only give me $7.
    Well I’m a tour operator and I’ve learn’t a few tricks from you people.
    Stony silence.
    Then big smile erupts.
    Tell you what I will throw the Naan bread in for $9.
    Done.
    We were good friends thereafter.

  • Travis Poulson

    So students still act like students, this is good to hear. Last weekend when we were staying in Tauranga there was a bunch of young people where we were staying gearing up for a night on the town and they were all in fancy dress. One of them was dressed in a full KKK costume, and they were all outside our room having drinks and taking photos of each other. I was lying on the bed watching tv and thinking I could really be a sook right now and walk outside, take a photo of they guy in the KKK costume and send it in to the Herald or such repeaters and attach a whiny sooky story about how I was outraged and offended, Tauranga is a hotbed of racism, blah blah blah.

    I mean really. Everywhere I turn this week I see men crying like women.

    Grow some balls and be a man. Being outraged and offended is the product of being a pathetic excuse for a man. So is running the the media about it, and fishing for sympathy on social media. And handing in his award? what a bloody clown!!

    I’ve worked in a work crew of Fijians, Islanders and maori, I was the only white fella on that shift. I’ve heard the way they all talk about each other behind each others back, so I can only assume that being the only white boy I probably got my fair share behind my back too but you know what?

    I don’t care!

    • d.null

      The KKK outfit’s pretty benign – doesn’t carry much weight in NZ. Now, if the guy had worn Prince Harry’s Nazi costume to the Anzac Day dawn ceremony – well, in some circles that would be thought of as pretty damn funny. Would you be calling anyone a sook for throwing him the long way out of the area?

      What would your preference be for this guy’s actions? If your answer is to harden up and ignore it – since when is it manly to see something you think is wrong and do nothing about it?

  • Imogen B

    How is it that the Students Association and Engineers Society are free to express themselves however they wish, and Mr Veer is labelled an idiot for expressing his opinion?

    • John Q Public

      You’ve every right to express an opinion, however idiotic. I think you’ve missed the point. But that’s your right too.

      • Imogen B

        If the point is that anyone can say or do anything they like and anyone who is offended can go boil their head then yes, I have missed the point.
        I guess I am the victim of an upbringing that taught manners and consideration. The fact that we are able to express ourselves any way we want to does not mean we should do so without thought for others.

        If that puts me in the same category of idiot as Mr Veen who seeks to put some boundaries around student behaviour, I’ll wear the badge with dignity.

        • Another Middleagedwhiteguy

          “manners and consideration” you say, and well said, but consider also that it is a two-way thing.
          How much of manners and consideration does Mr. Veer have?

          “Peace is a group effort” said that old bumper sticker.
          Absolutely correct. The Yazidis and Assyrian Christians are not acting in a warlike fashion but still many thousands of them have been slaughtered. So, why are you not protesting about that?

          • Imogen B

            Surely you are not suggesting that a person cannot take a position on an issue unless s/he takes a position on all issues?
            Can Mr Veen not express himself within his sphere of influence ie. Cantab Uni, without having cured all of India’s social ills and secured world peace first?

            Most people who post here observe the moderation rules of this site, and (like myself) are generally glad of them. A standard of behaviour is required and offensiveness will not be tolerated. This site does not allow the language and personal attacks that are normal occurrences on others.

            There is also much criticism (justified in my view) that MSM dishes up opinion dressed as news, yet here we have a mainly editorial piece that ridicules a person for being offended by behaviour which is intended to be so.

            We live in a curious world where the goal posts move around a lot.

    • botti

      I think people are criticising his opinion not his freedom to express it.

  • So let me understand this, he gets racial abuse from 2010, accepts the student award, then gets offended when someone else gets offended and gives the award back, I’m missing something obviously.

  • d.null

    Apparently Polish, Irish and Italian immigrants faced a lot of discrimination in the US – I don’t know what the experience was here. Now its largely a thing of the past, most people just see white, there’s no analysing names or genetic cues in faces to figure out where one’s family hailed from. That’s the ideal outcome, I guess, being just one tribe. Not really an option if you’re Chinese, Indian, Hispanic, Maori – that first impression is a doozy.

    One of the most irritating thing about NZers is that we swear up and down we’re not racist, but the instinct is rather a different story. That’s why one of my favourite bad habits when I’ve walked into a place and haven’t yet said anything is to make eye contact with someone and say “G’day, mate, how are ya?” in as broad a kiwi accent as I can manage – my voice doesn’t match my Indian ancestry, and I like the shocked, confused, and then in turn embarrassed reaction it gets. My boss and I were talking one day about a month after I joined my current job; I made a joke or comment (can’t remember what, throwaway self-deprecating racial humour) and she stopped for a second and burst out laughing, “I’d actually forgotten you aren’t white!”. All in good fun.

    Still, what I observed from another higher-up that was training me bothered me a little – he had a distinctly different way of talking to white and non-white people on site – the former a little more respectful and personable than the latter. As an observer I got the impression he had no idea he was doing it, and he doesn’t otherwise appear racist. It also bothered me that when working with a hire driver 10 years my junior and looking it, dressed worse than me (wrist-to-ankle PPE requirement for the job and the kid turns up in shorts, but that’s another story), and clearly my subordinate in the job, walk-up public enquiries on the job invariably went to him. Still, nothing to throw toys over.

    Now don’t get me wrong here – I don’t agree we have a severe racism problem, and the EngSoc debacle is an issue of poor judgement, not bigotry. I also heartily agree that many (most? Can I generalise that much?) Indians are by far more racist than even the most backwater Kyle Chapman-types – if you want to find out who’s most bigoted against any non-white ethnicity you need not look any further than their own. I think it could be a damn sight worse than it is, and I don’t feel as strongly about it as this Professor.

    However I don’t disagree with the Professor’s move. Its his every right to hand back the award if he feels it endorses something he doesn’t believe in. He has every right to call them on bulldust when they’re saying one thing and doing another. Racism here has been hijacked by the left and made to look like its another Apartheid – its more like a thousand papercuts, the “just a jokes” don’t mean a thing to thinking people but it accumulates in the minds of morons.

    And this is why in this discussion we’ve already had posts about the Caste system, about women as property, about Sharia Law (you do realise that’s a just Muslim thing, right?) as if those things are somehow inextricable from Indian identity and aren’t equally hateful to us too (for the record: It is. It so very is. The first fellow Indian to discuss dowry with me is never going to be able to regrow the things I take from him. But I’m more Kiwi than not, I acknowledge).

    It’s not necessary to go on the defensive. Racism is an inextricable part of human psychology, from thousands of years of evolution as a social animal. So think about it this way – thinking about your own prejudices and how they affect your behaviour, and how that behaviour inflicts harm, takes minimal effort. Is it worth it to you to spend that effort to lessen or eliminate that harm?

    Old as he is this Professor probably has as thick a skin as the rest of us, and probably isn’t offended by it at all – but doesn’t want his kids to face the same subtle degradation that makes that thick skin so necessary. Is that really beyond understanding?

    • d.null

      Holy biscuits word wall Batman…sorry ’bout that.

    • Imogen B

      Thank you for the balance d.null

      • d.null

        Cheers but I didn’t write that as a Devil’s Advocate piece to bring balance. I didn’t really have much of an opinion about the news story at hand (and I still don’t, really – seems a bit of a non-event) until I read the comments in here.

        I remember the first year I was here, in intermediate school, no friends, complete culture shock. A helpful teacher, a good Christian to his mind, was teaching a geography unit and saw fit to point out to me how good western Christian nations lead the world in wealth and industry by virtue of their religion and heritage. I felt like any twelve year old outsider would, breaking down when I later told my dad why I was feeling like crap and seeing the look on his face when he told me I have to grin and bear it until the year was up because we could do nothing about it.

        These years later, as a man, if told the same I’d argue the point and win. But if someone said that to my nephew I’d level him. I’m proud to be best friends with a guy so racist he used to go drinking with National Front members when down in Chch, an actual good Christian who disagrees with me on many points and takes the piss out of me (returned with gusto) like any brother would. I can grit my teeth and endure when I have to, but most issues can just be shrugged off with passing irritation.

        But there are still those who can’t, those who have no choice but to grin and bear it but are nonetheless injured by this bullying. The strong playing it off as just jokes, the weak having to just take it, and those who speak out about it ridiculed for what action they take, while the left find joy in taking offense on behalf and making it so easy to trivialise.

        How can this not offend your sense of rightness?

  • Win

    Yet another visitor / immigrant who arrives in NZ and starts telling New Zealanders how we ought to behave to suit his particular ideals. Maybe he should go back to the UK or wherever he was previously.

    • ahem

      I am curious as to why you assume he is a visitor/ immigrant from overseas and not a New Zealander?

      • Win

        His staff profile University of Canterbury.

        • ahem

          He grew up in Hamilton, and then lived for a while in Bath. I too did an OE to the UK, should I ‘go back to the UK’ too Win?

          • Win

            He wasn’t born here, didn’t grow up here, has now arrived here, claims he wants to live here but clearly wants NZ’ers to conform to his particular ideals.

      • John Dodd

        Personally don’t care if he’s an immigrant, 6th generation or virgin birth, he’s as stated, a precious petal and needs a few kegs of concrete in him. Intolerance needs a Ministry, never mind womens affairs race relations or whatever

  • The level of ignorance and thinly veiled hatred for people of colour on this page simply astounds.

    I was angry at first and wanted to slap some sense into each and every one of you but that passed. Now I pity you all and only hope that my generation replaces you with love for one another.

    No doubt you will mock this. However by standing up against racism, sexism and the misogyny evidenced here and elsewhere in the comments we stand on the right side of history. You are out of date and disconnected with the future of New Zealand so it will be with a great joy that we watch you fade into the shadows of history to be forgotten.

    • botti

      In relation to “my generation” replacing “your generation” what does that mean exactly? Aren’t the students who Veer is complaining about of your generation?

      Also, for someone who claims to preach “love for one another” you appear to have a thinly veiled genocidal urge to see this “other” you define as “your generation” replaced by others more like yourself.

      Also, as noted below – India is the most racist country in the world according to the World Values survey. Racial tolerance is also low in diverse Asian countries. Ango-European countries tend to be the most tolerant. The implication that “people of colour” are special flag bearers for ethnic tolerance is misplaced.

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2013/05/15/a-fascinating-map-of-the-worlds-most-and-least-racially-tolerant-countries/

  • BG

    I believe in the conception that if we have the right to love anyone, we have the right to ‘hate’ anyone.
    I can’t say that I particularly hate any one group, but I should have the right to, if i choose.

  • Halcyon

    Cameron, you comments do you no credit. This man has stood up for his beliefs just like you do. By criticising him you have devalued your own position.

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