Saturday, September 5, 2009

Maori have better things to get whucked off about

I've so far desisted from commenting on Michael Laws's reaction to the letter from Otaki School's kura kaupapa unit over the insertion of the 'h' into Wanganui. Not because I don't have an opinion on it - of course I do - but because the children involved, and the adults behind them, have just annoyed me to the point where I've preferred to ignore them altogether (aside from deciding that there was no chance in hell that my kids were going to Otaki College when they reach high school age).

And, initially, I just thought Michael Laws had maybe over-reacted.

But, today I finally got the chance to read the letters written by the children (the translation, anyway, and I can only assume that the translation is accurate), and the irritation could no longer be subdued.  A sample of the letters read as follows:
"I am very angry with you all.  I know it is only a name, but to disallow the letter `h' being put back now is condescending to everyone and the Treaty of Waitangi."
I am very angry with you, and do not support your actions on not changing the name.  The translation of `whanga' means `harbour', and `nui' means `big'. Therefore the translation of Whanganui is `Big Harbour'. What is the explanation for `wanga'?
"I am a child from the Otaki school, whom is very angry with what you are saying. As you are the mayor of Whanganui you need to uphold the Treaty of Waitangi by ensuring the change is made to the name."
"I am angry with your ability to challenge this serious subject.  I also encourage the Whanganui District Council to put the letter back in the name, and not focus on the costings."
Notice a common thread here?   It's anger.  These children - aged 11 to 13 years old - are all apparently "angry".  Incensed, enraged, a sense of hate.  To me, the word "angry" is usually accompanied by a mental image of someone being violent, or at the very least, contemplating violent actions.

No matter how you look at it, "anger" is a hellishly strong emotion, and to feel such aggression towards something so insignificant suggests to me that they have some behavioural issues that need addressing before they leave school.

Not that any behavioural issues will be addressed if their teacher guiding them through this letter writing process also feels rage and thuggery over the letter 'h'.

The letters are aggressive, abusive, and offensive.  Just because they are children does not mean they are not capable of learning how to write in a respectful manner.  Believe me, it will get them further in life than getting "angry".  A letter can easily be polite and strong without plummeting to the depths that these letters plunged to.  There's no reason for Michael Laws to be subjected to this diatribe and if anyone should be apologising, it is the children and their teachers for being so bloody rude.

And I don't understand why there is such a fuss over Mr Laws's comment to the children that they focus on Maori child abuse and child murder rates. It's hard for me not to draw a connection between the apparent "anger" felt over something so inconsequential, like the exclusion of the letter 'h', and how they would react to matters demanding significantly more self-control that have a sorry cycle in Maori families - precisely like child abuse and child murder.  The reaction from the children and their teachers is that Laws was wrong to utter these words.  Why?  Have you never heard of these words?  I couldn't disagree more with the children and teachers.  Now is the age when these girls need to understand the damage caused by  Maori to their children through their disgusting rates of abuse and murder.

Children and your teachers of Otaki College: get your head out of the self-inflicted sympathy swamp, accept you crossed the line with your language, and apologise to Michael Laws for your abusive letters. Just because you are young does not excuse you from being so obnoxious.  And channel your rage into something more useful for everyone.  Get angry at your own people first for abusing and killing children with such disgusting regularity; a far more serious problem that will not be resolved over the spelling of some whucking town's name.


Oswald Bastable said...

One of the better commentaries that I have read on this storm in a teacup!

Have you noticed that the media get in behind a couple of kids or a dopey actress having a tantrum- yet don't have a lot to say about 88% of voters being ignored on a far more important issue.

Oi said...

I quote from on of the future beneficiaries As you are the mayor of Whanganui
Actually, he's not. He is the mayor of Wanganui - and long may it remain so. I have to say though, the only reason I have ever found to stop in Wanganui is the Peking Cafe - if it is still in existence, that is......

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Oi, you mean the PC wowsers haven't forced a name change?

Welcome to the Bejing Cafe ........

bustedblonde said...

oi , there is a heap lost in translation here - the word that has been interpreted as anger can also be interpreted as annoyed.. I dont think the H shhold be included. thats not the issue for me. - it was Laws wanker response. Hell I have written sterner stuff in my teenage past to all manner of digntaries, polys, letters to the editor etc. Started when I was about 12, so i empathise with these kids.

brian_smaller said...

Oi - the Peking Cafe is long gone from it's spot on Victoria ave but Georges Fish shop is still there - but I very much doubt George the Greek guy is still running it.

libertyscott said...

Yes, anger in Maori families, vented on each other is a far more serious concern.

Heaven help us the level of racial based indoctrination in some schools. Be fine if they weren't paid for by everyone else.

Sus said...

Laws has certainly been guilty of past-wankery BB, but that's not the issue for me; nor is the H-or-no-H.

These kids were put up to this by brain-washed teachers with their own nasty little separatist agendas.

I grew up near Otaki. I can sniff separatist bullshit from two miles ...