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“Those who generate, collude with and ultimately run racism in Britain are the moral heirs of the Christian gentlemen who carried it in their bags to all points of the Empire”
“When observing the great ships and inventions of the civilized Europeans, all declare in a language which he can understand that it is a superior race which has come to share his country. From the day when he makes this acknowledgment to himself, he feels that his greatness is departed, that his nation is henceforth a nation of Helots”
Sir William Fox, Premier of NZ ( Miller, ‘Early Victorian NZ’, p103)
In the official histories the attitude is one of benevolence but scratch below the surface and examine the statements of officialdom and you will find blatant racism. A Helot as stated there by William Fox is a serf. Fox was not alone in his sentiments.
John Ballance, one time PM of the colony, the creator and editor of the Wanganui Evening Herald, “shared his feelings of his fellow-townsmen that: “the only good Maori, ‘friendly’ or otherwise, was a dead one…” (Belich, ‘I Shall Not Die: Titokowaru’s War’ p67).
Such sentiments were not reserved for the nineteenth century either. Well known radio personality Lindsay Perigo told the Hon Tariana Turia, member of the Maori Party on national television in 2006:
“I think that the values that are embodied in our institutions by and large are very good values for all of humanity, again, regardless of skin colour the reason that science, individualism, technology, freedom all of those things which we identify as western and European I think they are marvellous and I do think they are superior to Maori culture and any form of primitive tribalism …”
This British imperialist thinking that underlies much of the colonialist white-superiority culture came from Cecil Rhodes who dreamed of a brotherhood of elite Anglo-Saxons (whites) who would occupy all of Africa, the Holy Land in the Middle East, and other parts of the world. He argued that only the British should rule the world:
“I contend that we are the finest race in the world and the more of the world we inhabit the better it is for the human race. Just fancy those parts that are at present inhabited by the most despicable of human beings [the indigenous peoples he means]; what an alteration there would be in them if they were brought under Anglo-Saxon influence… Added to which the absorption of the greater portion of the world under our rule simply means the end of all wars” (Cecil Rhodes)
At the commemorative service of the 40th anniversary of the battle at Te Ngutu o te Manu in the Taranaki,
Returning to Fox’s summation of the superiority of the British and/or European culture, how do you survive a system that sees you as a Helot or a serf? If you do, and you speak up about the injustice of that, you are called ‘separatist, greedy, a hater and a wrecker, divisive and … racist’ even. You are told you should be grateful you weren’t colonized by the French, Belgians, Spanish or Germans who would’ve shot you on sight. Or you should be grateful, ‘you now have automobiles, electricity & aeroplanes’, as the aforementioned Lindsay Perigo also told the Hon Tariana Turia on national television.