Why does this student want to set up a European Student Association?

My interview with a self-described Jewish NZ European happened after I came across a lot of backlash on social media about the witch hunt at Auckland University. The witch hunt resulted in the Auckland University European Student Association disbanding and shutting down their facebook page thanks to death threats and threats of violence against members.

Amongst the backlash on social media students were talking about setting up European student groups at their own educational institutions in New Zealand. I contacted one of them to find out more about his/her motivation for founding such a group given what had happened to the association at Auckland University.


Whaleoil: The Auckland University European Students’ Association deleted their facebook page today. They said that while they appreciated people’s support they felt that it was best for their individual member’s safety if they let the whole thing die down before saying anything further.

Given the hostile response that this group encountered almost immediately after forming the association, why are you now considering starting up a similar association at the educational campus in New Zealand that you attend?

Anonymous: Because it’s exposed an insidious double standard that exists within our society. Which is basically: There’s nothing wrong with being proud of who you are and where you came from. Unless you’re white in which case you are a racist.

This is beyond absurd. Pride in your Asian heritage doesn’t make you an Asian supremacist. Pride in your sexuality as a gay man doesn’t make you a gay supremacist and pride in your NZ European heritage doesn’t make you a white supremacist.

Whaleoil: Are you going to do anything differently to AUESA in order to try to prevent a similar reaction or do you feel that it is inevitable that people with an agenda will look for reasons to call a European culture association racist and fascist?

Anonymous: If I do establish the club, I would emphasise that it is open to students of all backgrounds and ethnicities. Even still I know that accusations of racism and fascism would fly, mostly because many people seem incapable of distinguishing these types of cultural clubs from Neo-Nazi hate groups.

What I find most ironic is that the people who are most vehemently opposed to such clubs normally do so in the interest of equality. But giving every race and ethnicity the opportunity to promote their heritage on campus except for NZ Europeans because of the colour of their skin is not only the very definition of inequality, it’s also racist.

Whaleoil: Which organisation do you feel is most responsible for what happened at Auckland University and why?

Anonymous: I don’t think it was any specific organisation so much as the flood of online threats, accusations of racism and pushback from students at Auckland University. In the end, the AUESA did still choose to disband but their hand was forced by relentless bullying and horrifically biased news reports.

Whaleoil: You are speaking to me anonymously because you are concerned about possible backlash and threats of violence. If the group you help form ends up under attack like AUESA has and gets death threats and threats of violence will you disband like they did and shut down your social media accounts like they did?

Anonymous: My main concern isn’t for my own physical safety because the vast majority of death threats online are completely hollow. Almost all the time they don’t actually intend to go out and kill you. They just want to offend or scare you as much as possible, it’s textbook bullying tactics in action.

My main concern is how my views could be misinterpreted and limit my employment opportunities in the future because employers don’t want to attract that kind of attention. Although I strongly believe all of this, I don’t want to restrict my potential in the future because of slander, misinterpretation and false accusations of racism.

Ultimately, I stand by my beliefs and I’m proud to defend them.

 


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