Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The crybaby philosopher

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  • Rob Stowell, in reply to SHG,

    It is completely sensible and noncontroversial to at that Tiger Moths and 747s are both aeroplanes.

    Jeez. If you were to attempt to describe a Tiger Moth by saying- it's like a 747- you'd be about as obtuse (and helpful) as Mr Whyte.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2110 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to SHG,

    It is completely sensible and noncontroversial to at that Tiger Moths and 747s are both aeroplanes.

    Maybe, but a 747 takes a lot more training to fly than a Tiger Moth.

    I leave the rest to then-President Lyndon Johnson, when he signed the Civil Rights Act in the 1960s. Pity he screwed up with the Vietnam War though.

    "But freedom is not enough. You do not wipe away the scars of centuries by saying: Now you are free to go where you want, and do as you desire, and choose the leaders you please.

    You do not take a person who, for years, has been hobbled by chains and liberate him, bring him up to the starting line of a race and then say, "you are free to compete with all the others," and still justly believe that you have been completely fair.

    Thus it is not enough just to open the gates of opportunity. All our citizens must have the ability to walk through those gates.

    This is the next and the more profound stage of the battle for civil rights. We seek not just freedom but opportunity. We seek not just legal equity but human ability, not just equality as a right and a theory but equality as a fact and equality as a result."

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5443 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    Similarly, both the Empire State Building and whales are very big, but they are not both buildings. I mean what on earth are you on about --- I think we can expect slightly better than first year tut meanderings here.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to SHG,

    Attachment

    And one more thing. This cartoon originally described the US education system, but it also perfectly sums up 'one law for all' dogma.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5443 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    Going by Whyte's Foucault haircut, and the fact that he hates being deconstructed, I'd pick him as a posturing postmodernist over any of his detractors.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    obtuse

    good summary of SHG's contributions elsewhere

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • WH,

    Whyte acknowledges that:

    [I]n our ordinary use of the word, it is absurd to say that Maori are privileged. The average life expectancy of Maori is significantly lower than Pakeha and Asian. Average incomes are lower. Average educational achievement is lower.

    Why then compare the legal status of Maori to that of the French aristocracy, or indirectly compare New Zealand to apartheid South Africa?

    But the principle of legal equality is far more important than any redistributive or compensatory impulses that people may have. It is not some philosophical nicety to be discarded because you feel guilty about what people with the same skin pigment as you did 150 or 200 years ago. (Emphasis added.)

    Whatever its imperfections, article three of the Treaty gives Maori the rights and privileges of British subjects. After 175 years, you might have expected this legal equality to have translated into a broad equality of life outcomes as measured by life expectancy, average income and educational achievement. That hasn't happened, and ACT doesn't seem to mind ("redistributive impulses", etc).

    If we were going to have a discussion about how formal legal equality should fit into New Zealand's constitutional structure, would we have asked ACT to lead it with an election stunt?

    Since Nov 2006 • 797 posts Report Reply

  • HORansome, in reply to SHG,

    Anyone who splutters latte onto his scarf in outrage about it is, simply, a fucking idiot.

    The “You’re not reading the speech right” argument seems very popular (and certainly it’s Whyte’s contention), but if most people go “That’s an inappropriate analogy!” then the right response isn’t to say “The fools!” but rather ask “How could I have phrased that better?”

    Because, it is a terrible analogy, in part because the French aristocracy had legal privilege and material privilege and because the French aristocracy got that privilege by oppressing the lower classes. Claiming that there is some similarity between the affirmative action doled out by the state to Māori and the role of the French aristocracy in the Ancien Régime is pure rhetoric: Māori are the recipients of affirmative action by the state rather than a class which has sole controls on the reins of power and care little for other people. As others have argued, if this is the standard of analogies we are meant to hold to as being “good”, then basically anything goes.

    One thing I didn’t talk about in my post was Whyte’s choice of analogy: I don’t know how many people here in Aotearoa know about the Ancien Régime and thus I’m not sure whether Whyte chose it because he’s out of touch with “the common Kiwi” or precisely because we know enough to realise the good revolutionaries of Paris overthrew the régime but not enough to realise that Māori are in no way similar to the French aristocracy.

    Tāmaki Makaurau • Since Sep 2008 • 441 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    And in yesterday's developments: Whyte's trainwreck of an interview on Native Affairs, where he revealed his "ignorance" (his word) of the sector on which he has been lecturing by never having heard of Whanau Ora.

    To be fair, I think many of us would be hard pressed to describe Whanau Ora in any great detail, but to never have even heard the words?

    I actually thought the most remarkable point was when, pressed on how inequality of opportunity could be conquered, the first thing he said was "a good education". It didn't seem to occur to him that in railing against tertiary admission schemes in his speech, he was set against that very thing.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I actually thought the most remarkable point was when, pressed on how inequality of opportunity could be conquered, the first thing he said was “a good education”. It didn’t seem to occur to him that in railing against tertiary admission schemes in his speech, he was set against that very thing.

    With apologies to George Orwell, I just came up with the perfect term for Dr Whyte's worldview: blackwhyte.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5443 posts Report Reply

  • Carol Stewart, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    blackwhyte

    Fifty shades of Whyte?

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 830 posts Report Reply

  • Mikaere Curtis,

    I actually thought the most remarkable point was when, pressed on how inequality of opportunity could be conquered, the first thing he said was “a good education”. It didn’t seem to occur to him that in railing against tertiary admission schemes in his speech, he was set against that very thing.
    He really didn't have a plan, did he ? I was waiting for him to lecture Maori about how it all could be fixed if we just pulled ourselves up by our bootstraps. What a lightweight.

    Tamaki Makaurau • Since Nov 2006 • 528 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Mikaere Curtis,

    He really didn’t have a plan, did he ? I was waiting for him to lecture Maori about how it all could be fixed if we just pulled ourselves up by our bootstraps. What a lightweight.

    Or to put it more bluntly: "Goldfish only have themselves to blame for not learning how to climb trees!"

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5443 posts Report Reply

  • Martin Lindberg,

    I assume Jamie Whyte is subscribing to the same newsletter as Alabama Republican Congressman Mo Brooks.

    “We should not be dividing anybody based on national heritage or race. Rather, we should be bringing us all together. That’s what the melting pot ideal of America is all about. A person’s skin pigmentation is something acquired at birth that has absolutely nothing to do with the merits of the person of how one should vote.”

    Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks Doubles Down: Democrats ‘Waging a War on Whites’

    Stockholm • Since Jul 2009 • 802 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Meyers,

    One thing that concerns me a little about the privilege argument is that it could easily be the start of a further erosion of privileges that we take for granted.

    Unemployment benefit is a bit of a privilege that only a few people get. As is health care and the DPB. And then what about legal aid? What's to stop the ACT party from trying to get rid of these as they are all a privilege for some.

    Support for those in need has become the hallmark of a civilized western society. Cutting any of these could easily happen if Mr Whyte were to see the need as the are simple a privilege that only a few benefit from. "One law for all!"

    Also, I've just watched the Native Affairs interview that Russell linked to above. Was interesting to watch and full credit to him for showing up on Maori Television. It's amazing how tone-deaf he is and continues to show how the ACT favors ideology over pragmatism and reality.

    Wellington • Since May 2014 • 56 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Act board member and Dunedin North candidate Guy McCallum has resigned in what looks like disgust with Whyte:

    “In fact, I didn’t know the Hamilton speech was coming,” claims McCallum. “Jamie was in Dunedin for a small gathering of ACT supporters on the morning of 20 July, and he mentioned to me that he was in search of a ‘stunt … because you know, the polls.’ A week later ACT rolled out a controversial and obviously unprepared race relations policy.”

    This claim contextualises issues raised by journalist Toby Manhire, who wrote Whyte “suggested that small parties' struggle to get media attention very often saw them gravitate towards the fruity, shouty excesses.”

    Furthermore, McCallum claimed Whyte’s call for Dame Susan Devoy’s resignation was “the final straw … People criticising Jamie for One Country, One Law have only been met with derision; either they haven’t read his speeches, have ulterior political motives, or are, by him, wrong.”

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Act board member and Dunedin North candidate Guy McCallum has resigned in what looks like disgust with Whyte:

    If it's the case, then the divide between the Douglasite intellectuals and the Prebbleite populists hasn't really gone away.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5443 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    Dr Whyte sounds visibly off guard on NatRad Checkpoint right now.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5443 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    It thought Whyte's sputtering on Checkpoint was crying out for a remix, though I realise that is not debating the "issues"

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    I thought that interview with Whyte was quite funny.

    (Paraphrased)
    Wilson: "Was this a stunt?"
    Whyte: "*splutter, cough*, I, look, no, see, well, look, just, that's, can I, I don't [tries to change subject]..."
    Whyte: [interrrupts]"Was it a stunt?"

    (rinse, repeat).

    It was just so entertainingly transparent. He'd clearly decided in advance that he was going to try to deflect and try to make it sound like it hadn't happened without actually lying, but hadn't put enough thought into how best to achieve that. I had the sense with Wilson's questioning that she was laughing on the inside at just how easy it was.

    To be fair, Whyte did sound like he was nursing a dose of some winter virus, which never puts us top of our game, but still.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 585 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Guys! The Act Party press release declaring Whyte the winner of the minor party leaders' debate is totally awesome.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Guys! The Act Party press release declaring Whyte the winner of the minor party leaders’ debate is totally awesome.

    He out-pygmied those other wannabe political pygmies!

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Act Party press release declaring Whyte the winner of the minor party leaders’ debate

    i.e. the gold minor; at least, that's their claim

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1944 posts Report Reply

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