Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Pandering to Talkback Land

The "It's Not Ok" campaign against family violence has been cut, despite pushing a significant increase in reporting and ultimately in intervention too. This is another bizarre decision by a Government that seems to automatically consign anything the last Government did to the Two Legs Bad basket.

The money will be reallocated, to a programme targeted only at Maori family violence. Now this may well be a worthwhile programme, deserving of public funding. However this looks to me like a statement from the highest levels that family violence is a Maori problem. It's not. The Minister of Social Development herself has stated this week that over half of the hospital admissions due to family violence are not from Maori families (of course she didn't put it like that). So why put this issue in a ghetto, especially when there was an effective, universal, and already established programme out there? The only reason I can think of is to pander to Talkback Land, who insist that it's a Maori Only problem, despite evidence to the contrary.

While getting a programme like this may be a win for the Maori Party I think they need to think about the broader message it is sending; a racist message of dangerous stereotyping which isn't going to help solve the problem.


Stef said...

I remember a few years ago reading research which showed that family violence is endemic at all levels of society.

However I don't doubt that arrests and subsequent convictions might only be consigned to certain groups within society... the kind that don't drive flash cars or have access to the best justice that money can buy.

Anonymous said...

"Talkback land" - what is this please ? Do you listen to talkback radio ? I'll bet you don't. I'll bet you're just using this cliched phrase as yet another abusive label. Hollow talk Hand Mirror.

Julie said...

If you think Talkback Land is an abusive label then don't go to Kiwiblog Anon, you'll faint right away.

I grew up with talkback on in the house, and until my Dad died last year it was always on at their place whenever I went around. My father and I used to discuss things he had heard on ZB frequently. The views espoused by some on talkback can also be seen in the Your Views section of the Herald. I'm pretty comfortable that I've got a decent handle on the casual racism, sexism and homophobia, not to mention beneficiary-bashing and Othering, that is not universal, but still somewhat commonplace, on talkback.

How about arguing with the actual point of the post Anon?

Good point Stef, I think the underlying message of Always Blow on the Pie must reinforce that.

IrishBill said...

I'm reminded of that notorious Christine Rankin comment which went something like "We don't have a child abuse problem, we have a Maori problem."

Anonymous said...

Don't mention being a pro-lifer on this blog either, I can't wait to see this comment deleted. Hand Mirror hates both talkback land and freedom of speech.

notafeminist said...

Anon (5:19pm), if someone went a put up a sign on your lawn that went against a well-reasoned and well-articulated belief of yours, you would probably take it down, and quite rightly. That is not affecting anyone's freedom of expression. This is not a public forum. This is a space created by people and you are a guest. For the most part the runners of this blog treat it as a public forum, luckily for you. I would have no problem if they deleted off-topic posts likes yours.

Freedom of expression doesn't give you the right to shit on someone else's lawn without being expected to explain yourself and be held accountable. Freedom of expression doesn't mean you get to do whatever the hell you want, whenever you want, free from consequence. Freedom of expression means that you have are allowed to publicly publish your opinions. THM aren't stopping you creating your own blog to complain about them. Especially since your post is completely off-topic, that would be the most appropriate idea. There is nothing that gives you the right to invade their space without consequence.

(Feel free to delete this comment as for the most part it is just troll-feeding.)

On a relevant note though, I agree with Idiot/Savant's comment: If the problem were 100% Maori, 100% of the funding going towards prevent domestic violence among Maori makes enough sense. Maori are less than half the problem (according to Bennett's statistics), and the remainder are not just magical imaginary cases. It's marginalisation of Maori, creating false attitudes toward Maori, and choosing not to address the problem amongst more than half the families who happen to be non-Maori. It's all kinds of stupid, and while it's all very well for me to sit here and roll my eyes and go tut-tut, for many people out there the government's stupidity can lead to real danger.

Grace Dalley said...

Hi, in relation to anonymous commenting, Blogger can be set to only allow comments from identified contributors. Would this be a good idea here? I've noticed that people are much more polite if they have to say who they are.