Whanganui High School invited only Māori and Pasifika boys to a Joseph Parker speaking event, which some believed to be racism in action. Hint: it wasn’t.
Here we go again. On Tuesday, news broke that Whanganui High School had limited a Joseph Parker speaking event to Māori and Pasifika boys and their fathers. Some parents weren’t happy with the exclusion of Pākehā and girls, and voiced their complaints. Parker expressed his disappointment, Whanganui High School said they only did it because Parker requested it, Parker said he requested no such thing, Whanganui High School made the event open to everyone, done.
While all this was happening, Mike Hosking cried “racism“. “That is racism, pure and simple,” said Hosking, before proposing some hypotheticals. “If it was a closed session to all but the elites you know what would have happened.” Hosking implying that Māori and Pasifika boys are the opposite of elite was the closest thing to racism in his whole segment.
Duncan Garner agreed. “How can you exclude people on race?” he asked on The AM Show. “White boys peering through the window…” he added, apparently unconcerned with the exclusion of girls. “That is racism.”
There’s a nuanced debate that could, and perhaps should, be had about situations such as this. Māori and Pasifika scholarships divide opinions, as does the Māori and Pacific Admission Scheme in medical schools. But whatever side of the argument you’re on, whatever you believe, please remember that none of this is racism. Nor is it “reverse racism” or, as Hosking put it, “acceptable racism.”
Hosking and Garner will likely never change their views and are not worth a point-by-point rebuttal. But if you find yourself wondering why there’s no such thing as racism against Pākehā, boil the jug, make yourself a cup of tea, put way too much milk in it, and have a browse through these helpful explainers.