The whole is ‘worse’ than the sum of it’s parts

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By now most New Zealanders will have heard about the claims of racism on the ridiculously named, and tragically awful ‘Real’ Housewives of Auckland. even if you have no idea what this ‘show’ is, you’ll had heard murmurings over the last week about the fallout between Julia and Michelle.

If you haven’t, long story short, entitled old white woman, who lives off her (and previous) husbands wealth, calls ex-model a ‘boat n****r’…fall out ensues, champagne is thrown in faces, lots of swearing and crying, women divide up into white/non-white groups.

There, all caught up.

The old, white, privileged woman is Julia Sloane, and she tells us that the term “boat n****r” is “an old boating term” and I am sure it is…among racist sailors. Having been involved in sailing for quite a large portion of my youth, and still knowing people who own and sail large vessels I have to say that I have never heard the term, but then again the people I spent time with on boats were not racists or, at the very least, liked to slip in and “joke” using racist terminology.

I’ve only seen (and will only see) one episode of any of the ‘Housewives‘ franchises which was last night and unfortunately it’s something that I can never un-see. It’s like if you were silly enough to see one of those ‘beheading’ videos on the internet, once you’ve seen it, you regret it and realise that it’ll haunt you until your dying days. But even though I have only seen one episode it’s very easy to see unequivocally that Julia Sloane is a moron. A dimwitted idiot who thinks hours after she speaks and for whom this ‘Housewives’ experience will end up only showing the viewers what a lacking individual she truly is. It does that same for the rest of the cast as well, as in not painting any of them in a good light, but as evidenced in last nights episode, Sloane will come out as the worst.

With that all be said, I have to say that Bravo New Zealand, in my opinion, is a whole lot worse that Julia Sloane. As we’ve already made clear, Sloane is dumber than a jar of snot, and has put her foot in it with an off the cuff remark…but the executives at Bravo NZ have made calculated and deliberate decision to benefit from this moment. The sum of the parts of last nights episode were disgusting. but the ‘whole’ which Bravo NZ brought together was even uglier.

The show and the offending “boat n****r” comment have been in the news since the weekend, lawyers have been engaged by the parties involved, and have advised Bravo on the best was to broadcast the episode (see ‘best way‘ as ‘way they are least likely to lose revenue‘). There has been promotion and publicity about the incident pointing people to the show to see what happened and then whilst Bravo made the decision to not have any advertising during the episode, they chose to play as many promotions for other programmes from their stable as possible which then publicised their product to what will likely be their biggest single audience ever.

I am not the kind of person who calls for boycotts as I think they rarely serve a purpose, but what I would like to know, from the marketing departments and CEOs of companies associated with and advertising during  the #RHOAKL what they think of the episode and the messages put out there and having their brands associated with it.

Bravo NZ and Julia Sloane you should be ashamed of yourselves, Sloane for being a revolting person with an ugly hidden vein of racism and Bravo NZ for being a corporate pimp. For putting out into the market place this episode which could have been left well enough alone but as you chose not to it means you have deliberately done one thing…profited off racism and promoted it to get as much bang for your buck.

Please don’t make me side with the rednecks

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There was an opinion piece that I saw in my timeline today by NZHerald columnist Lizzie Marvelly about the disgusting case of Nikolas Delegat assaulting a female officer in Dunedin and receiving 300 hours of community service and paying $5,000 in reparations as his punishment.

Let me state this from the outset, I think the New Zealand justice system is imperfect, sometimes the threshold and directives for sentencing are too lenient and at other times they are too harsh. I also believe firmly that minorities, and especially Maori, are treated unfairly and disproportionately severely when sentenced as compared to non-Maori. Marvelly’s own NZ Herald, pointed this out earlier this week when it showed that “Maori imprisoned at twice rate of Europeans for same crime

So, if you read nothing else from this post, be aware that I am in the camp that thinks the Justice System is stacked against Maori and that often for others, especially the privileged, the system is too lenient.

The problem with Mavelly’s opinion piece is that the Nikolas Delegat case is not an example of that in the current system.

To be clear, I do think Delegat’s sentence is too lenient, but with the current stipulations for the crime he committed, he did not get special treatment because of his families wealth which is the main crux of Marvelly’s piece. This also means comparing it to other sentencing becomes problematic because Delegat’s sentence was proportionate, in the current Justice System’s climate, to his crime.

Lizzie Marvelly wrote about the difference between the sentence of Delegat to Hautahi Kingi, a young Maori boy in Whanganui in 2007 who, according to Marvelly. “attacked a male friend who had recently taken up with his girlfriend, causing a bloody nose and a cut lip”. The truth is, again according to Marvelly’s NZ Herald, is that with a friend “acted as street thugs engaging in street fighting. There was also an element of premeditation in that Kingi had sent threatening text messages to his intended victim the week before.” So according to the record it was a bit more than a off the cuff punch up.

Needless to say it appears to have been Kingi’s first offence so when he was sentenced to 5 months prison one could start to look at the bias inherent in the justice system where Maori are sent to prison and non-Maori are not, unfortunately for that narrative there was also another person who was sentenced with Kingi for four months…and my investigations point to him as being Pakeha. If my investigations are correct and the Kingi sentence was the inherent racism in the system, why was his friend also sentenced? On top of that the prison sentence was then overturned and both parties had their convictions quashed, and served 200 and 250 hours of community service. This means they actually got an easier sentence that Nikolas Delegat. What this points to is a rogue judge who tried to instill a sentence that was inappropriate, as opposed to the system being broken.

The truth is that Lizzie Marvelly and I, it would appear, are in the same camp when it comes to Maori being sentenced more harshly than ‘the rest’, but I said it on ODTtv this week, and I’ll say it again, this is not an example of that.

The maximum sentence that Nikolas Delegat could have received for this crime, under the current system, was 400 hours community service as experienced Christchurch defense lawyer Grant Tyrrell pointed out on RNZ National this week. He received 300 hours and had to pay $5,000 in reparations…based on the criteria for sentencing that is not a ‘slap on the wrist with a wet bus ticket’…that’s close to a maximum sentence.

If you now want to have a debate on the whole Justice system being too lenient and Mr. Delegat’s case being an example of that, then I am with you but please stop comparing this case, today, to the injustice that Maori face in NZ courts on a daily basis.

What Marvelly’s piece does is give oxygen to those who don’t want to acknowledge that Maori and treated more severely in the Justice System than non-Maori because, again, this is not an example of that. So what Marvelly’s good intentions do, is actually give all those rednecks and racists a valid comeback because in this instance she, and many others, have got it wrong. And what that leads me to do it sit on the same side of the argument as those disgusting people and I don’t want to be here, so please, please…I beg of you…stop it.

 

I’m on the bridge – Support for Same-Sex Marriage from within the Church

Turnaround Tuesday as portrayed in the movie Selma
“Turnaround Tuesday” as portrayed in the movie Selma

The post I wrote last week about marriage equality was partly brought about by the movie Selma.  The movie documents the three marches (or part marches) from Montgomery to Selma in 1965. It’s an incredible movie to watch – it brings the civil rights movement to life – and it also impacted me as an example of how intense and dangerous the fight for any civil right can be. As I covered in my previous post, one of the key leaders of the Selma march, John Lewis, has publicly stated that he thinks the resistance to marriage equality for the gay community comes from the same “fear, hatred and intolerance” he himself witnessed in “racism and bigotry” during the civil rights battle in the sixties.

The movie depicts the first march, often referred to as “Bloody Sunday“, which had 525 black protesters who began the 80 kilometre march without Dr. King at the helm. At the outskirts of Selma, on the Edmund Pettus Bridge, they were stopped by Alabama State Troopers who were ordered there by Governor George Wallace. The Troopers turned back the protesters with brutal violence – you can read about it here from a reporter on the scene – it makes for horrific reading.

In complete contrast, the third march was safe and legal with a federal Judge ruling in favour of the protesters saying it was a Constitutional right for them to march and that right could not be quashed by the State of Alabama.  On the third march there were no police roadblocks, no legislative restrictions, no legal way for the march to be stopped. 25,000 people marched to Selma. It was an incredible moment.

But it is the second march, known as “Turnaround Tuesday”, that I think is the pertinent march for the church at this time.

After Bloody Sunday Martin Luther King decided immediately that they would go back to that bridge and finish what they started. He made a public call to Americans to get involved in the fight, “I am appealing to men and women of God and good will everywhere, white, black and otherwise,” he said, “If you believe all are created equal, come to Selma and join us, join our march against injustice and inhumanity. We need you.” This appeal caused thousands of people from all over the country, many white and many ministers, to travel to Montgomery for the second march.

On Turnaround Tuesday again the marchers got to the Pettus Bridge and this time the number of marchers was 2,500 individuals. They made it half way across the bridge and stopped. Dr. King prayed briefly, then turned the marchers around and walked them back to Montgomery. That night three white preachers were attacked by members of the KKK for supporting civil rights. The injuries sustained by Rev. James Reeb led to his death two days later.

The first march was dangerous, but the danger was unknown. The marchers didn’t realise what was going to happen to them on the Pettus Bridge. They were acting in good faith, having no idea what lay ahead. The second march was dangerous, but this time the danger was known. The 2,000 new marchers knew that they may face the tear gas and night sticks again, but they went anyway to support the cause. The second march gave clear evidence of the widespread growing support for black rights amongst white people. And amongst those people, ministers were a significant number.

It’s apparent, as evidenced in the weekend’s US Supreme Court decision, that the world outside the Church is well on its way to the third march. It is now ‘safe’, in most Western nations, to support Marriage Equality. However there is no denying that LGBTI issues and causes within the church are still on the second march. Turnaround Tuesday is not a safe place to be and there may be consequences ahead for the LGBTI community and their allies within the church. But if history teaches us anything it’s that now is the moment to get on the bridge and show our support for the LGBTI community. It’s not completely safe yet, but it is the right thing to do and I believe the Christ-like thing to do.

My willingness to stand on the bridge stems from these firm beliefs:

  • That marriage is a government institution
  • That marriage provides many legal and social benefits, and that it is discriminatory to withhold those benefits from same-sex couples
  • That recent scientific and psychological developments, as well as the personal experience of thousands of gay Christians, show that gay people don’t “choose” to be gay, and that efforts by the church to “cure” gay Christians have failed (see the closure of Exodus International)
  • That as a Christian, Jesus’ call for us to love our neighbour as ourselves (Matthew 22:37-40) carries more weight than the passages that have been traditionally viewed as anti-homosexuality in the bible (and there are alternative readings for those passages of which Gushee’s Changing our Mind, and Vines’ God and the Gay Christian are two of many)
  • That the LGBTI community are a minority that are often discriminated against, and in many places persecuted, and that to stand with them in support rather than protest, imitates Christ
  • That Christians should support the LBGTI community even if they believe that gay Christians should be celibate (see Marin’s Love is an Orientation, and the explanation of the “side A and side B” debate on the gay christian network)

If you choose to publicly state you are on the bridge, what you are doing is standing side by side with the LGBTI community and saying ‘Yes’ to Marriage Equality and the full inclusion, as Tony Campolo recently stated, and “full acceptance of Christian gay couples into the Church.” You are positioning yourself as an ally and as a friend to those who have been denied full welcome in the church, who have been rejected and who have borne the brunt of the church’s spite and violence. It’s time for that to change.

onthebridge

I’m on the bridge and my prayer for you today is to join me on that bridge. Stand with me on that bridge, as an ally, side by side with the LGBTI community.

I echo the words of David Gushee who recently wrote in the Washington Post

“I am pro-LGBT in just the same way I hope I would have been pro-Jew in 1943 and pro-African American in 1963. I stand in solidarity with those treated with contempt and discrimination. And I do so because I promised in 1978 to follow Jesus wherever he leads. Even here.”

If you are already on the bridge, or you want to use this as a chance to join us, then please use the hashtag #imonthebridge to let people know where you stand and spread the word.

How the ‘normal’ person reacts to racism

A brilliant social experiment was done in Lithuania where a new migrant to the country has a Facebook post that is ladened with racist themes targeted directly at him.

It is written in Lithuanian so he asks a local to translate it for him into English.

Check it out for yourself

The audio is in English and there are Lithuanian subtitles

It’s fascinating to see how people who are reading someone else’s words are affected by racism and how it says to me that the vast majority of us are not that way inclined, which obviousky is brilliant.

My favourite part of the video is when one gentleman, upon reading the racist post, says “there’s no like useful information here for you”. I don’t think you could define racism better

Marriage Equality is the New Civil Rights Movement

It’s probably been fairly obvious for a while that I am a supporter of marriage equality.  I have always viewed same-sex marriage as a cut and dry case of civil rights. I believe that marriage is a governmental institution, not one that belongs to the church. Marriage, in its many forms, pre-dates the church. And as discrimination based on sexual orientation is illegal in New Zealand, it is obvious to me that to deny same-sex couples the right to marry is discriminatory.

I myself got married fourteen years ago, on a bright winter’s day in June. I hardly thought about marriage as a right back then. All I knew was that I was in love with a beautiful girl and wanted to spend the rest of my life with her. It was a case of opposites attract, and we had no idea how much work our love was going to take, but here we are all those years later, and the cliché is true. We are more in love than ever before.

For us, marriage was a right of passage, the beginning of a journey that forced us to grow up like nothing else could. Statistically speaking, marriage improves every success marker for the couple and the children that may come from that marriage. Marriage done well makes everything better – and I can vouch for this. Marriage is also the ultimate gift. There is no other commitment quite like it. Marriage is the fullest demonstration of love that can be given from one person to another. It’s an amazing, life-giving transaction and it can only build stronger families and therefore stronger communities. Why would we want to withhold this incredible gift from anyone?

After watching Selma recently I finally came to the conclusion that the current battle for marriage equality is akin to the fight for Civil Rights in the 1960’s. Marriage equality is a civil rights issue. It has similarities with the world-changing battle that Dr. Martin Luther King, John Lewis and many others fought (and sometimes died) for. Marriage, for the spiritual, emotional, physical and legal benefits it offers, is a civil right.

In New Zealand we have been fortunate enough to have had both civil union and same-sex marriage legalised. But until same-sex marriage was legalised couples who were joined by civil union could not avail themselves of the Matrimonial Property Act, or adopt children. In other countries where same-sex marriage has not been legalised, gay couples are significantly disadvantaged. They are withheld rights to hospital visitations, medical decision making, adoption, parenting rights and automatic inheritance, among other rights.

John Lewia on Edmund Pettus Bridge in 1965
John Lewis on Pettus Bridge in 1965

You may not recognise the name John Lewis, but he was with Martin Luther King on the bridge at Selma, and is considered one of the ‘Big Six’ civil rights leaders. He is the only member now still alive. He is a Christian and has been an American Congressman for more than 25 years. If there is anyone who has the right to compare the fight for marriage equality with the civil rights movement it is him. He was there in the thick of it then, and judging by his political and religious positions he is still in the thick of it today. There is literally no one else on the face of the planet who can look at these two issues, compare them, and speak to them with as much authority as John Lewis.

As a response to President Obama’s public support of Same-Sex Marriage Congressman John Lewis said:

Once people begin to see the similarities between themselves and others, instead of focusing on differences, they come to recognize that equality is essentially a matter of human rights and human dignity.

Even as early as nine years prior to President Obama’s public statement, John Lewis was beating the drum for marriage equality. In 2003, the man who was at the front of the march with Martin Luther King wrote an article for the Boston Globe that stated:

“I’ve heard the reasons for opposing civil marriage for same-sex couples. Cut through the distractions and they stink of the same fear, hatred and intolerance I have known in racism and in bigotry.”

Sometimes it takes courts to remind us of these basic principles. In 1948, when I was 8 years old, 30 states had bans on interracial marriage, courts had upheld the bans many times, and 90 percent of the public disapproved of those marriages, saying they were against the definition of marriage, against God’s law. But that year, the California Supreme Court became the first court in America to strike down such a ban. Thank goodness some court finally had the courage to say that equal means equal, and others rightly followed, including the US Supreme Court 19 years later.

Some say they are uncomfortable with the thought of gays and lesbians marrying. But our rights as [human beings] do not depend on the approval of others. Our rights depend on us being [human beings].

John Lewis today
John Lewis today

He couldn’t be clearer; the fear and intolerance that leads people to seek to withhold the right for same-sex couples to marry is the same as the “fear, hatred and intolerance” that Lewis and the civil rights movement faced in the 1960’s.

As a follower of Jesus I want to be in the camp that stands up and speaks out for the disenfranchised. I want to speak up for those whose voice is not always welcome, not always heard. You can throw all the bible verses you like at me, and I’ll say simply that Jesus’ commandment to love one another trumps them all.

Some people may be unaware that the work I do for elephantTV is done jointly with my wife Idoya Munn. Although I am the presenter of the episodes, behind the scenes the project is carried 50/50 between us. This is the first post in a series, and we’ve written the next one together.

As I said in my earlier post, genuine comments and healthy, constructive conversation are welcome.

Why Jeremy Clarkson is going no where

Ever heard of the phrase “too big to fail”? Well it’s apt to use when it comes to Jeremy Clarkson and consequences to his actions. He, and by definition Top Gear, is too big to fail for the BBC. It is the holy grail of television shows and the golden calf of all cash cows.

Here’s some things you may not be aware of.

Top Gear has no budget, by that I don’t mean they scrape together favours to make it one the skin of their teeth…I mean their budget is limitless…they have no budget and it shows when they want to test a car and the company won’t comply and lend them one, they buy one.

Evidence of this excess in spending has been seen in NZ when the Top Gear team were on an island in the Hauraki Gulf and Jeremy Clarkson wasn’t able to purchase the correct brand of cigarettes, so a helicopter was sent back to the CBD to pick some up for him. As I said…they have no budget.

On top of that, the series is shown on over 200 territories, and each episode gets watched 50 times, that’s right each episode is watched once, then repeated on average 49 more times in those territories. Shall we do the maths? One episode, times 212 terrotories, times 50 viewings is 10,600 viewings. And there has been 166 episodes in total. That’s a mind blowing 1.76 million episodes that have been, or will be viewed thus far.

It’s been revealed today that “Jeremy Clarkson is on his last warning“. It was always going to be a slap on the wrist, he was never going anywhere. Jeremy Clarkson and the whole Top Gear team is likely one of main funders of dozens of other BBC programmes purely due to the amount of money that they bring in.

Money talks in this days and age and you need to understand that the hugely successful model that has built up around Top Gear means their hosts are almost untouchable and for the BBC they are too big to fail.

A powerfully, disturbing diversity excercise

This video is powerful, disturbing, uncomfortable and I think a must watch for everyone who wants to learn a bit more about how a minority might feel.

The teacher is Jane Elliot. Jane is also a diversity trainer who developed the Angry Eyes Exercise otherwise known as the “Blue Eyes/Brown Eyes” exercise to teach students what it feels like to be a person of colour.

This video begins pretty abruptly, where one of the students who’s been singled out based on eye colour is extremely frustrated. The exercise shows how when an uncontrollable attribute, in this case the colour of someone’s eyes…or indeed the colour of your skin…effects you when you get treated in a prejudicial way.

I am way underselling this and trying to sound like I know what I’m talking about…I think you should just watch the footage.

The Youtube clip has a write up that says

Racism is a system of advantage based on race. Do you believe white racism exists? Do you believe black racism exists? How has white racism adversely affected the lives of black people in America? How has black racism adversely affected the lives of white people in America? Black people or any minority race can hate white people all they want but it has no power to impact a whole group of white people.

Centuries of slavery followed by systemic racism—such as share cropping, black codes, Jim Crow—have acted as “virtual re-enslavement” policies that continue today. The practice of lynching was done by families, women and children, who would smile and grin at blacks being hung, or tied to a truck with their bodies dragged through the streets until the limbs came apart. Although not everyone is traumatized by a particular incident, slavery is not about one incident but a lifetime of incidents.

Brown Eyes-Blue Eyes Experiment – “The Angry Eye”
By Ms. Jane Elliot

One terrifying statement in the video, and I hope you made it right the way through is when 80 year old Jane Elliot says “things are better than they were when I was 13…they’re not as good as when I was 50.”

The Pakeha Party

TPPI was going to write a piece on the Pakeha Party, but I have to say that a post by Steve Tollestrup on his Facebook page has pretty much summed it up for me, so why reinvent the wheel.

The Pakeha party is not a giggle.

Growing this evening at a rate of 3000 per hour on facebook ( up to 30,000 at time of writing ) the Pakeha Party is really about privileged white people trying to protect their patch. Harmless fun and satire? Go to the facebook page and you’ll find the Pakeha Party considers itself a viable political force that will soon have policies. The Pakeha party is just one giggle away from becoming the NZ equivalent of the British National Front party and is certainly bigotry cloaked as ‘Friends on Facebook.’

There is such a thing as positive discrimination and rightful restitution that recognises the undermining of Maori well-being through colonisation and close to a hundred and fifty years of alienation – marginalisation and oppression that the ‘Friends’ of the Pakeha party haven’t faced.

I’m not sure the Pakeha Party have thought through their infantile motto

‘If Maori get it we want it too – no matter what.’

But OK, if they really mean that, let’s begin. This is what Maori get; shorter life expectancy, lower per capita income, poorer housing, 4 times more likely to receive a conviction with a longer sentence, higher unemployment, land confiscation, higher incidence of diabetes, higher infant mortality, lower educational achievement, higher per capita mental illness, and addiction, dismal child health.

As a Christian and as a Green party spokesperson I find that appalling. In other parts of the world those same statistics have translated into conflict and violence. I think we Pakeha should be thankful for Maori patience and Aroha. Like it or not sometimes it takes a little extra to make things right. I look forward to a day when it is no longer needed, but unfortunately that day is yet to arrive, and the rise of Pakeha Party is part of the proof it hasn’t.

To my Maori brothers and sisters I say that I am ashamed.

If nothing else the one part of Steve’s post that I’d really like to bring your attention to is the stats for Maori

This is what Maori get; shorter life expectancy, lower per capita income, poorer housing, 4 times more likely to receive a conviction with a longer sentence, higher unemployment, land confiscation, higher incidence of diabetes, higher infant mortality, lower educational achievement, higher per capita mental illness, and addiction, dismal child health.

If you really want what Maori have, and all they ‘have’ then this is where you may end up.

Many sectors in society have ‘rules’ or ‘advantages’ just for them like over 65’s, like under 6’s like students, like the poor, like the rich, like those with children, like ethnicities (as in grants for tertiary study) but we seem to ignore all those and go straight to how unfair it is that Maori get advantages in some arenas. Get truly consistent, or get over yourself.

Eden Park officially support homophobia…albeit subtly

Aaron-Cruden-looks-to-offload-A story came out today about boorish fans at Eden Park yelling homophobic comments at rugby players. This may not seem to be that surprising, or even a news item, apart from the fact that Eden Park supports the actions of these fans…albeit subtly.

A stretch you say. I disagree.

The story so far from the NZHerald

A young woman who asked three All Blacks fans at Eden Park not to use homophobic slurs was told by the men that “it’s just part of the game”.

Hannah Spyksma, 24, was at the All Blacks versus France test on Saturday with her family and the three men were sitting in the row behind.

The men, believed to be in their early to mid 20s, were yelling at players, calling them “homos and faggots”.

When Ms Spyksma complained they yelled back: “If you don’t like us using the word faggot then don’t come to the footy because it’s just part of the game.”

The ‘gentlemen’ then turned on Ms. Spyksma turning on her “for the rest of the match, directing slurs in her ear, tapping her on the head and telling her not to go to the rugby again.”

An Eden Park spokesperson then responded

EdenPark spokeswoman Tracy Morgan said harassment of a patron would not be condoned and the men could have been evicted for that.

But unless everyone else around Ms Spyksma was offended by the men’s slurs, they would likely not have been kicked out. Ms Morgan said it wasn’t EdenPark’s place to “be the PC police”.

“If she’s saying that she was isolated and that it shouldn’t be acceptable, it’s not our job – I don’t believe – to try to move the cultural morals of society.”

Now if Ms Morgan had of stopped at the point of condemning the action I wouldn’t be writing this post today…but she let off the offenders, and subtly supported the actions by adding that it wasn’t Eden Park’s place to “be the PC Police” which of course leads to the only logical conclusion that Eden Park is officially saying that to complain about, or be offended by, homophobic slurs is ‘PC”.

Homophobia is akin to any other discrimination, be it sexism, ageism, racism etc…they are all seen equally under discrimination laws, as they are seen equally by the Human Rights Commission. Therefore an establishment should take them as seriously as one another.

I wonder what Eden Park’s response would have been if these men were yelling out words like ‘Nigger‘ and ‘Jigaboo‘ at a player on the field. I bet they wouldn’t have said they weren’t the PC Police then, they would have unequivocally denounced it and wanted to take action. What about the people sitting around these 20 somethings. According to the story Ms. Spyksma was the only person to speak to these young men asking them to stop, and telling them it is inappropriate language. Would any of the other patrons have spoken up if the language was of a racist manner? Or would their silence confirmed the stereotype that racism too is acceptable “because it’s just part of the game.

I recall an episode of Dr. Phil a few years ago when he talked about the word ‘but‘. He said when people use the word ‘but‘ what they are saying is ‘ignore everything I have just said‘ in other words after the word ‘but‘ comes the persons real opinion.

Now I don’t think it is quite as simple as what Dr. Phil said, but there is some validity to it.

  • I am not a racist but…Asian’s are terrible drivers.
  • I have nothing against this Government but…National are morons selling us up the river.
  • We don’t condone homophobic behaviour in Eden Park but…we aren’t the PC Police.

There is a very famous quote of which the origin is disputed that says “ The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” I wonder if the same could be said in this instance.

All that needs to happen for homophobia to exist is that we do nothing. The people in the stands did nothing, Eden Park has responded with a nothing response and now what should you and I do?

Pastor Stands up for Gay Rights in America

A Pastor recently in America used a clever ‘ruse’ to get a point across about the churches attitude towards ‘social issues’ over the ages.

These arguments have been used to keep the vote from women, slaves, to stop racial integration, to fight to make homosexuality legal, to stop Same Sex Marriage and the list goes on.

One wonders if in 50 years from now you’ll hear a clever Pastor using quotes from religious people today fighting to keep marriage heterosexual, replacing then with their social battle, and again use exactly the same arguments.