Overuse of racist

politics seems to be a bit peculiar in that the racism or racist charge is levelled all the time, on very flimsy grounds.

Often this is from the left, with for example calling people racists or worse because they don’t support Maori seats.

But sometimes it is from the right also, and an example is this press release from Don Brash as ACT Leader:

Proposals to make tertiary level Maori language and education courses compulsory for secondary school teachers are racist, high-handed and wrong-headed, says ACT New Zealand Dr Don Brash.

Now as it happens, Pita Sharples has said there is no proposal to make the Maori language compulsory for secondary teachers. But regardless, even if that was the proposal I can’t see how one can label it racist. One can absolutely label it high-handed, wrong-headed, counter-productive etc. But not racist.

Maori is one of three official languages of New Zealand. Requiring teachers to know some basic Maori language can not be racist, unless one considers having English as a compulsory language is racist.

Again such a proposal can be argued to be wrong, bad, un-necessary, divisive etc  but not racist.

My plea to all politicians is to stop calling things racist so much, and instead debate proposals on their merits.

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