Race Relations Commissioner may have made a bad situation worse, unintentionally

I wouldn’t have expected Susan Devoy to inflame a situation by creating racial tension but, according to a poster on the Trademe notice board, that may be exactly what she has done, unintentionally. By revealing a previously unknown fact, in order to try to stop a group taking part in a march for Moko, she may have made a bad situation worse – possibly.

To be fair, that was clearly not her intention in writing the article she did. She was attempting to honour holocaust victims and a lot of what she wrote was very moving. However, by revealing racially charged information about one of the members, she may have accidentally lit a powder keg in Masterton.

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This month when I opened a copy of the Wairarapa Times Age, a New Zealander wearing a Neo Nazi uniform stared back at me.

I’ve been going to the annual Holocaust Memorial Services at Wellington’s Makara Cemetery since becoming Race Relations Commissioner. Over the years I’ve had the privilege of meeting some elderly New Zealanders who were just children when they were rescued from Hitler’s concentration camps.

Many arrived here after their entire whanau had been tortured and murdered. They are remarkable, quite unforgettable people to meet in person. They are also some of the bravest Kiwis I’ve ever met.

A few years back the children from Wellington’s Moriah Jewish School began collecting buttons – one button to represent every child who was murdered by Germany’s Third Reich. Buttons arrived at the school from all over the world, along with them stories of children. Some murdered, others left orphaned and some vanished. The students ended up collecting 1.5 million buttons – one button for every child murdered.

These are a few of the reasons why I will never think that it is OK for New Zealanders to wear Nazi styled uniforms as they march against child abuse. Why? Because people wearing Nazi uniforms murdered 1.5 million children. They did it on purpose and they would have kept murdering children if they had not been stopped.

I’m proud that New Zealanders went to fight against the Government that murdered those children, I know our own Kiwi veterans returned home with horrible stories of what they had seen in the concentration camps they liberated. They had seen humanity and humans at our worst.

When asked why they started the button project, one of the students from Moriah School told the reporter: We wanted to make sure the murdered children weren’t forgotten.

I’ve written this article to help ensure that those children aren’t forgotten and to make it clear that Neo Nazi fascism and racism does not belong in Aotearoa New Zealand. This is not how we roll. This is not part of Kiwi culture and it does not belong in our future.

I totally support the marches against child abuse that will be taking place across the country but question the participation of those who’d use them as a public relations opportunity. Hitler was apparently a vegetarian and an animal lover but these aren’t what we remember him for. Some members of this organisation argue that they aren’t Neo Nazis but just White Pride activists: I don’t really care what they call themselves.

The reality is that their New Zealand leader has been convicted of fire-bombing a South Island marae. The person in Masterton who has been in the Times Age of late has vowed online that he will give his life for his white race. Some say we should ignore these kinds of extremists but sometimes we need to stand up publicly and say that their philosophy is Not OK.

As I looked back at the man in his Neo Nazi uniform I wondered if he’d ever had the guts to meet any of those brave old ladies I have met who survived the Holocaust. Unlike him they have seen a real Nazi uniform up close. Not just a dress up one.

-hrc.co.nz 

 


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  • Really?

    Interesting.
    So when we have extremists “we need to stand up publicly and say that their philosophy is Not OK.”
    Is that what you think Ms Devoy.
    So why (oh why) when we have radical Muslim extremists, you don’t stand up publicly and say their philosophy is Not OK.
    Rather you run and cuddle the ones (who you believe) are not extremists.
    Why aren’t you going to see the nice Neo Nazis? you know the non extremist ones?
    One rule for Muslims and a different rule for eveyone else it seems.

    • Observer

      Well, technically they’re not a race :-P Of course, if anyone criticises them then they risk being branded a r8cist.

  • cows4me

    As far as I’m concerned the introduction of this office has made a bad situation worst. This office and it’s commissioner are now nothing more than a glorified fire hydrant where every dog and it’s issue has a go at. The office has created more problems than it ever hope to solve as those residing in it are human and will pass judgments according to their world views. I would expect an office of this type to be neutral in it’s views but clearly this is a nonsense and was never going to happen, it should be shut down at once.

  • XCIA

    “The person in Masterton who has been in the Times Age of late has vowed online that he will give his life for his white race.” So, whats the fool still doing here and why is he not fighting in the caliphate. That’s the trouble with these trash talking cowardly idiots, all talk and prey on the weak and vulnerable.

  • sandalwood789

    “…I will never think that it is OK for New Zealanders to wear Nazi styled uniforms as they march against child abuse. Why? Because people wearing Nazi uniforms murdered 1.5 million children. They did it on purpose and they would have kept murdering children if they had not been stopped.”

    Dear Dame Susan –

    Islam has murdered approximately 270 million people (and counting) in the last 1400 years –
    https://www.politicalislam.com/tears-of-jihad/

    Those Muslims “did it on purpose” too and *they* will keep murdering children (and anyone else) too if they are not stopped.

    Who will stop them? You? I doubt it.

    ( Edit – formatting )

  • hookerphil

    Why does she have to say whanau?

    • sandalwood789

      It’s a “good girlism / good boyism” thing. It’s a way of flaunting your PC-ness. Sort of a “badge” showing that you’re a “member of the PC club”.

      • hookerphil

        Annoys me, I like your explanation, when someone says it to me, which isn’t very often, I always say “What does that mean”

        • sandalwood789

          Words like “whanau” are tossed around by the elite with a real smugness. A smugness that reminds me of the Treasures ad where the boy sings “I’m a big boy now……”.

          It’s like – “Look at me! I’m *sooooo* multi-culti and inclusive……. “

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