Danyl nails it

On Brash’s – and others’ – over-simplified calls for “one law for all” (by which they of course mean please let’s just ignore all that historic injustice which has placed we rich white men on the top of the pile).

The case for Maaori exceptionalism:

  • Maori as a people were signatories to a treaty that was not honored.
  • Maori, their culture and language are unique to New Zealand…
  • Maori are overrepresented in negative statistics like crime and morbidity, and it’s sometimes more effective to target these problems culturally rather than at the wider population.

I can’t say I necessarily agree with Danyl that the one-law-which-incidentally-keeps-the-old-white-men-in-power-for-all argument can be made in good faith; maybe if by “good faith” we mean “complete ignorance of basic social justice issues which privilege has allowed the arguer to never be prompted to google”.


  1. Gravey Dice

    Reminds me of Terry Pratchett’s DiscWorld where they have a “one man, one vote” concept. The Patrician is the one man, his is the one vote.

    I struggle how anyone can get taken in by this, because to me “one law for all” means there are no exceptions for anyone, everybody is treated exactly the same regardless of their need. We can all claim the unemployment benefit because we should not be disadvantaged merely because we have a job and are (relatively) wealthy.

    • QoT

      I think it’s an argument that works best with those who simply perceive the disadvantaged as not entirely worthy of equal protection under the law or from the state.

  2. Melimalle

    Until white people understand white privilege this kind of bollocks is going to fly. I’ve just had a conversation/argument with some 18/19yo friends of my staff member on FB about why Maori do deserve to get some support for getting into Uni.

    Their entire argument was that they came from poor families (by poor, they mean $50,000pa family income) and went to low decile schoold (by low, they meant 5) so why should all those Maori’s get treated special? One of them even said “you make it sound like I have some special privilege!!!”. Uh, yeh, you do. YOU’RE WHITE!!! ARGH!