Metiria’s fall from grace through Racism tinted glasses

Green Party candidate Leilani Tamu

I know we all view the world through a filter to some degree but one Green politician has the remarkable ability to filter out all the facts and only see skin colour. Where we see a failed political stunt, fraud and deceit she sees a challenge to the traditional political system and racism.

…In describing politics as a blood sport our political writers and commentators, by default, condone a distinctive kind of political morality that is commonly known as Machiavellian.

…Listening to and reading some of the vitriol that has been levelled at Metiria Turei since disclosing she claimed more benefit than she was entitled to when she was a solo mother has made me wonder how some parts of our society are completely comfortable with Machiavellian politics, especially when it comes to punishing anyone who has the guts to say they’ve done something wrong.

She wasn’t punished for admitting to wrongdoing she was punished for not paying it back before she came clean. She disgusted people because she came across unrepentant and proud of her fraud. It upset people that she justified hers and other’s fraud on the basis that it was government’s/ taxpayer’s fault for not being a better provider.

She upset people for helping the father of her child to avoid taking financial responsibility by refusing to name him. She upset people when it was revealed that she had good emotional and financial support from her child’s father’s family and was not in a desperate situation at all like she had claimed.

It is taken for granted that politicians are all dishonest but the number one rule is to never admit it. Metiria committed the ultimate Machiavellian sin—she admitted to having been dishonest to cast light on the hardships of others. Then, according to Audrey Young and other commentators, she didn’t appear sorry enough for it. Let’s face it, what they really wanted to see was a Māori woman on her knees begging for mercy in front of the predominantly Pakeha media scrum. And she refused to do it because she wasn’t playing Machiavellian politics. She was demonstrating the opposite: honesty.

When Pakeha politician Todd Barclay was hounded into resigning by the “Pakeha media” scrum no one blamed his skin colour or the colour of the skin of the media pack for what happened. It is very disappointing to see the race card being played by Leilani Tamu. I would call it Machiavellian politics except that Machiavelli was very clever and playing the race card is neither clever or original.

…I’d like to contend that yes, politics is a blood sport. But from here on, for as long as I’m involved in it, I’m going to redefine what that means. Because power isn’t everything. Standing up for what is right and what you believe in is what’s important. And for women—especially for Māori and Pasifika women—the significance of blood is much greater than war and violence on the battlefield. Blood is core to new life, to our babies, to our ancestral ties, and to the legitimacy of our values—where family and the environment are treasured and supported. And, most importantly, blood represents unity—a unified Aotearoa, where everyone who bleeds is represented and every voice counts.

What a cheek and how racist to on the one hand talk about every voice counting and a unified New Zealand but on the other hand infer that Maori and Pasifika women’s babies and values are ” much greater” than those of women from other races. How dare she be so racist as to lump every non-Maori and non-Pasifika woman into the stereotype of a race that only sees the world through “war and violence” tinted glasses.

-Vice

 


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