Race Relastions Commissioner to hold press conference as fury builds over racist “Feed the Kids” cartoon circulates online

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Screen Shot 2013-05-30 at 12.18.57 PM The Race Relations Commissioner has been called into a emerging row over a racist cartoon which was published in the Marlborough Express yesterday.

The cartoon depicts what looks to be adults pretending to be children with Maori an Polynesian features eating bowls of cereal with one saying “Psst! … If we can get away with this, the more cash left for booze, smokes and pokies!

Around them are smaller children with European features.

MANAs Co-Vice President John Minto says the cartoon of overweight Polynesians one with what appears to be ethnic tattoos using the breakfast in schools programme as a scam to save money for smokes, alcohol and the pokies, plays to the lazy racism and deep bigotry of many well-off Pakeha.

Its not just insensitive to the 270,000 New Zealand kids growing up in poverty but its inviting the public to scorn them as devious parasites.

Radio NZ announced that Susan Devoy will be holding a press conference at 1pm today.

23 COMMENTS

  1. Kia Ora All… Runaway Kiwi here from over the ditch. I am absolutely gobsmacked, not only at the Racism – yes it is! – but also the denial with which it is being greeted. Shame… Cannot believe the swaddled hatred that seems to be leaking here. Nobody has yet actually said that, yes, this is also a class thing. And it is. Don’t let pigmentation fool us into thinking otherwise. The haves want it all, and the rest of us are the Underclass, race and/or colour notwithstanding. Gotta clean our own collective acts up before we can take these moneyed crooks on. Please think about it. Arohanui… Namaste… Spirits Rising… Kia Kaha…

  2. So what’s racist about it? I don’t see it. Typically, the lower decile schools for which the program has been initiated have higher Maori and Polynesian school rolls than the higher decile schools. So in reality, the cartoon is merely reflecting the greater likelihood that the people depicted would be Maori or Polynesian. At worst, this is sterotyping but hardly racism. Remember, if it’s true, it ain’t racism.

    • stuff you ! (refers to ryan simpsons comment) Dont think that the cartoon is ambiguous with regards to subtle racial prejudice, unless of course you have beeen decieved with ambiguity in your head!

      • There are Pakeha and Maori depicted in the cartoon so where is the racism? Would it be racist if the only characters were Pakeha? Yes of course it would be but would you see Pakeha complain? No. The cartoonist has actually avoided racism by including multiple ethnicities. Understand what you are offended by before claiming offence.

        • typical white privileged individual unable to see oppression on their doorstep that their ancestors stole.
          Ha, yeah before you shoot off I’m a white straight male, I got it sweet, never saw the media picking on me my whole life, nope, all I saw was islanders and Maori being slandered.

          • So because someone’s skin colour is white, they are privileged? Wow, stereotype much?

            Still waiting for someone to explain the racism in the cartoon. It doesn’t appear anyone is able to actually do that.

            I see some people offended by the artist’s suggestion but there is no racism here.

            Just because different races are involved doesn’t mean that racism is. Imagine if the artist who drew this was Maori? Wouldn’t see half the comments on here I bet.

    • It’s not true – it’s false – it’s a load of bull – see my comment below – child poverty is about inadequate income and not priorities.

    • Ryan, the fact that you don’t see the racist content in this cartoon shows that racism is still alive and well in New Zealand; that it is a component of the very fabric of New Zealand society.

      Yes, you are right. Low decile schools are not 100% comprised of Maori and Polynesian students, they also consist of low income Pakeha families too. But the cartoon doesn’t address this. Instead, it conveys (through the character that is speaking) that Maori and Polynesian are scamming the breakfast in schools scheme to free up money to gamble and buy booze and smokes. This is what makes the cartoon racist.

      The artist attributes unsubstantiated and ignorant views to the ‘brown’ races in the cartoon while privileging others by showing them as silent.

      There are around 30,000 Pakeha students enrolled in low decile schools in New Zealand. According to Prof Lubienski, “principals of schools in the 36 zones anonymously confessed to deliberately skewing their zone boundaries, in order to encourage the enrolment of students from wealthier backgrounds, while preventing the enrolment of poorer students to these schools.”

      Perhaps the artist could have better used his ‘press privileges’ to draw attention to this rather informing New Zealand that he holds racist and ignorant opinions that are out of date.

  3. Precious anyone?????

    It’s supposed to be a joke!

    Bad taste..good taste…seems that only stuff that cuts a bit close to home inspires such “righteous indignation”

    We all know these guys are out there…some are brown and some are white…don’t let the details detract from the message…every well meant strategy is open to abuse

    • The problem is that there is not enough income for so many families to cover all the bills – too high bills,(going to millionaires) too high rent (going to rich people with more than one house), too high transport costs (going to millionair oil companies), ripped off at the supermarket (going to millionaires)… read the report into child poverty and realise this has nothing to do with priorities and everything to do with INADEQUATE INCOME WHETHER IT BE INADEQUATE BENEFIT LEVELS (A FACT) OR PATHETIC WAGES! The country is getting ripped off by millionaires in an extremely unequal society. THere should be no problem raising benfits and wages for the poor because poor people put all their money back into society and rich people take it out. This has actually caused the recession (depression for many)Right wing idealogy that somehow imagines that everyone has equal opportunity (NOT!) is the problem here.

  4. I am a born and bred Aucklander of polynesian/european descent and in July this year, I will be 60 years old. After my husband died in 2006, I lived in the South Island for six months. What I experienced there, I didn’t have to read about in the media. Certain locals in the region I lived in had the audacity describe themselves as parochial. Whatever! Within a short period of time that parochialism proved to be racism and was very much alive and kicking in many pockets of the most beautiful and scenic regions in Aotearoa and I experienced it first hand, in malls, dairies, shops, beaches, banks, hotels and in the street. The Marlborough Express have aptly described that which I speak of through crass creativity and a very limited vocabulary. I am embarrassed for Marlborough and ashamed of the fool who authorised this publication. KFM, Tamaki Makaurau

  5. Such bad taste, haven’t you got anything positive to put in your newspaper Marlborough Express. With cartoons like that who would even want to buy your “cr_ppy paper???? I’d be very careful in future “what goes around comes around”. It’s called “Karma.”

  6. well what else is new? typical marlborough,blenheim sh%t! still dumb enough to run this in there news paper, and think that its ok, in good humour,etc. times have changed since red neck pricks such as these clowns could do stuff like this and expect it to be water off a ducks back, hopefully the get a right FISTING from the proper authorities. IDIOTS!!!

    P.S….. UPOKO KO UA TE MARLBOROUGH EXPRESS!!!!

  7. well I am aggrieved at this advertising cartoon but I am also really miffed at John Minto for this comment “plays to the lazy racism and deep bigotry of many well-off Pakeha”. I believe he has himself played a race card for sympathy … I know many “Pakeha” whom are not well off at all and I know a lot of Maori who are well off and some who are really well off … and me being of the two races combined I believe money is tight yes but many people of all races need to learn to make money work for them just as they work for their money …

  8. How particularly distressing that Marlborough Express feel the need to depict Maori and Pacific Island People in such a negative way. Are sales that low? Do they feel Maori and Pacific Island people should just accept this authors narrow minded racist view? For shame! Marlborough Express for promoting your propaganda and being in the position to feed your own negative racism.

    • Probablytemptation got the better of them. It does happen. Its in bad taste but came out of a mere mortals mouth. Are we going to take notice. Hah nah. Click delete and move on.

  9. This is sad and happening to much. I hear remarks on our radio stations to that are insulting to Maori’s. Whenever Maori’s do something wrong it’s like magnified 10 times over compared to maybe most other race’s. Just recently I read in the paper statistic on life expectancy of Maori men and women compared to the rest of the world. If thats not putting Maoris out by themselves then what. In Regards to that cartoon Who bought the Pokies, alcohol and smokes here. Honestly these things should be all banned as drugs but thats to much money curtain people or groups will miss out on, can’t have that aye.

  10. Unfortunately this is an all too familiar reflection of media attitudes toward ‘brown faces’ in Marlborough…In fact in the Te Tau Ihu o Te Waka a Maui rohe in general. Its crass, insulting and embarrassing!

    • And if you look at the Fracking situation. It’s more brown faces that are fighting to abolish this. Well if that’s how you feel Marlborough Express you can save your own stretch of land. It’s not only the brown people that are eating breakfast at school 🙁

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