Way to cheapen some good statements on language and culture, Nation

Maybe I’m missing something here.  Maybe The Nation just deliberately whacks odd headlines on top of its post-show transcripts.  What puzzles me is how Tim Groser saying fairly good-sense things like:

Speaking today on TV3’s “The Nation”, Mr Groser stressed that it was a personal view but he believed we should be teaching Maori to every five year old.

”This is turning the usual Pakeha argument on its head, because what I think should happen is that you introduce very young children from New Zealand to the idea of biculturalism and more than one language, and then they will be able to learn other languages as their personal circumstances fit,’ HE SAID.

“There’s a whole lot of research to back this view up.

“This is not a conventional view of the Maori language issue, understand that.”

Mr Groser said learning another language gave people the ability to look at things from a different cultural perspective and pick up on this.”

Deserved a reductive, pandering headline like:

Learning Maori might make it easier to learn Mandarin

Because (a) NOT WHAT GROSER SAID.  Yes, there’s  a small line in there about learning additional languages later in life, but that’s because you have made biculturalism and multilingualism normal.

(b) THANKS FOR DUMBING THAT DOWN FOR US.  Because we can’t just expect that when a current government minister, albeit from a personal perspective, is talking about the benefits of independent foreign policy or the massive advantage we give people by getting them to think in different ways, plus a bonus doing-a-good-thing-for-Maori-culture-and-language, that people can see the value.

No no no, everything has to be boiled down to “IF WE APPEASE THE BROWN PEOPLE HERE WE CAN GET MORE CASH FROM THE YELLOW PEOPLE LATER.”  Even when that’s not what anyone said.

Thanks for clearing up how post-racial and not-needing-to-be-spoon-fed we are, Nation.

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