1/4 'His place, his rules': Christchurch Air B and B operator who tried to ban guests from using Maori is getting huge support on the facebook pages of Hobson's Pledge & Newstalk ZB. The case shows the importance of NZ's anti-racism laws. But some want to weaken those laws. Image
2/4 Before the Race Relations Act was passed in 1971, there was no legal way to stop hoteliers & renters discriminating against Maori. & discrimination was endemic. A 1938 survey in Hamilton found that Maori were barred from 26 of the city's 27 hotels & boarding houses. Image
3/4 When there are no protections against discrimination in places like shops & hotels, the state can be pressed into service to defend segregation. In the US south in the '60s anti-segregation protesters were often removed by cops from cafes like this one at Greensboro. Image
4/4 The Human Rights Act of '93 expanded the anti-discrimination measures in NZ's 1971 law. David Seymour, that s'posed champion of free speech, has criticised the Act, & called for the repeal of parts of it. Without the Act the Christchurch bigot's ban on Maori would be legal. Image

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More from @SikotiHamiltonR

24 Nov
1/10 Professor Brian Boyd is one of the world's foremost experts on the Russian novelist Vladimir Nabokov. Armed with these credentials, Boyd has waded into the argument about Matauranga Maori. Unsurprisingly, Boyd has had nothing sensible to say. Image
2/10 Talking to Newsroom, Boyd claimed that Matauranga Maori was a threat to science, and compared it to Christian Creationism. Because indigenous thought is 'holistic', Boyd said, Matauranga Maori will demand that every Maori oral tradition is taken as literal fact. Image
3/10 Boyd is worried that Matauranga Maori scholars treat Maui's fishing up of islands as historical fact, and see taniwha as long-lost pleisiosaurs lurking in our rivers and lakes. He should have talked to some of his colleagues at the University of Auckland.
Read 9 tweets
24 Nov
1/15 The controversy over the letter by a group of scholars opposed to treating Matauranga Maori as science continues. I think the scholars who wrote the letter rely on a glaring double standard, when they dismiss the idea that Polynesian societies had science. Image
2/15 In their letter, Michael Corbalis and co argue that science emerged from a range of societies, including Greece, India, Egypt, and the Islamic Middle East. They accept science was often misused for political & military ends, & that it was a tool of colonisation.
3/15 But the letter-writers argue that we have to distinguish between the misuse of science and a sort of true science, which is rational and progressive and untainted by irrational ideas. 'Science does not colonise', they say.
Read 17 tweets
23 Nov
1/4 I've been writing for North & South about Arthur Dallimore, the Brian Tamaki of the '30s. Dallimore was a faith healer who preached to packed town halls over the prostate bodies of those he'd 'slain with the spirit'. Philosopher Dick Anschutz decided to test Dallimore. Image
2/4 Anschutz was a young lecturer at the University of Auckland. He knew Dallimore got audience members on stage, annointed them with holy oil, & then proclaimed them healed after they'd fallen down. Anschutz headed to the Town Hall one weekend for a Dallimore service. Image
3/4 Anschutz waited while Dallimore sang & preached, then joined a group of worshippers on the hall's stage. Soon the men & women began to fall down; some lay still, some writhed or twitched. Anschutz felt nothing. He stayed standing. Image
Read 4 tweets
14 Jun
1/8 The Surrealism exhibition at @Te_Papa represents an enormous wasted opportunity. Te Papa could have drawn on its permanent collection & put European masterpieces alongside the Pacific art that inspired them. Instead, surrealism is misrepresented & our region ignored (thread)
2/8 The Surrealists revolted against European capitalism, whose rationality & clock-time they associated with the First World War. They looked to the colonised world, & especially the South Pacific, for alternatives. Surrealist leader Andre Breton was obsessed with Melanesia Image
3/8 Paul Eluard made the Surrealists' affection for the Pacific clear in his famous Surrealist Map of the World. He shrunk Europe, & expanded islands like Rapa Nui & New Guinea. Surrealist artists & poets acquired & studied Pacific sculpture. Image
Read 8 tweets
28 Feb
1 In his new book Tranquillity & Ruin Danyl McLauchlan tries to make sense of life using both Buddhism & 'Western' academic philosophy. Many Westerners still believe that Buddhism is an exotic ideology, with few historical links to European thought. They're wrong. (thread)
2 Like me, Danyl went to university in the '90s. Like me, he learned that the first Western thinker to dig Buddhism was the gloomy romantic Schopenhauer, in the 19th century. But Christopher Beckwith's startling 2017 book suggests Buddhism went West many centuries earlier.
3 Beckwith shows that, when Alexander the Great invaded India in the 4th century BC, the odd Greek intellectual tagged along. The philosopher Pyrrho of Elis spent time in one of the new kingdoms Alexander established, observed the practices of early Buddhists, & came home.
Read 10 tweets
25 Feb
NZ has many intellectuals who appear before the public. But since the death of Peter Munz in 2006 we haven't had an old-fashioned 'public intellectual'. Danyl McLauchlan's new book Tranquillity & Ruin seems to me to take up Munz's unfashionable but vital mission. (thread)
2 In NZ, intellectuals of both the left - think of, say, Jane Kelsey, @gtiso, @MorganGodfery - & the right - @PronouncedHare, Michael Reddell - regularly publish articles & speak on radio & TV. They take positions on issues, advocate changes to society. Their work is important.
3 We need intellectuals who advocate for certain ideas & take clear positions on issues. But we also need the sort of 'public intellectual' exemplified in the US by Edmund Wilson, & in NZ by Peter Munz. The public intellectual is not an advocate.
Read 10 tweets

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