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I'm an old fashioned guy. It's my belief that people are people, regardless of their colour, ethnicity, race or religion.
Sadly, not everyone thinks this way and it is becoming increasingly the norm to engage in racism whereby certain individuals and groups believe that skin colour, race and ethnicity should be factors that determine one's entitlements.
The irony is that in this new world of racism, those who claim that they deserve these extra race-based entitlements are also hypocritically decrying the very behaviour the exhibit -- blatant racism.
How on earth does this work?
Well take a read of this news piece published in our favourite tabloid, Stuff.
It appears that the PM is being criticised for not giving Maori special race-based priority when it comes to the issue of Covid 19 vaccination.
Um... excuse me... if demanding preferential treatment for no reason other than your ethnicity isn't blatant racism I don't know what is.
As far as I can see, *everyone* in New Zealand is being given plenty of access to vaccinations and at some point it becomes a personal responsibility to take advantage of that access to get your self jabbed.
Whilst it may be true that poor lifestyle choices such as smoking and obesity may place some Maori at greater risk should they catch CV19, these are not the fault of anyone but those who make those choices. I don't see anyone holding a gun to anyone else's head out there and demanding that they eat more food or smoke cigarettes "or else".
Maori aged between 40 and 59 are THREE times more likely to have diabetes than those categorised as "European/Other" in This NZ Medical Journal report. Likewise, the incidence of heart disease is twice as high in Maori. These rates are indicative of poor lifestyle choices, something that can be blamed on nobody except those making the choices.
I know a healthcare professional and they've related to me that there seems to be a significant difference in culture between *some* Maori and the rest of NZ's population. This group seem to think that the world should revolve around them and that everything should be done at their request and to their schedule. They don't believe they should have to visit a doctor but instead, the doctor should come to them, for example.
Is this acceptable?
Instead of demanding that government panders to those who feel entitled to some kind of extra privilege based on race, perhaps these leaders and spokespeople within Maori ought to be teaching their people that THEY have a responsibility to get of their arses and join the queues at the local vaccination station.
Remember that personal visits to a race-privileged group for the purposes of administering a vaccine will never be even remotely practical. Given that the vaccine administration procedure involves supervision for 20 minutes after the dose is given (to check for adverse reactions), the most that any travelling nurse could administer in an 8-hour working day by going "house to house" would be around 16 households.
I really do not believe that "lack of access to healthcare" is an issue with this vaccine roll-out and uptake. Extraordinary effort has gone into ensuring that everyone who needs to be vaccinated and qualifies for vaccination has had ample opportunity to get their jabs. At this stage, any Maori or non-Maori who is not vaccinated is simply lazy or stupid -- or perhaps both.
The bottom line is that I don't care how you try to disguise it (by using the word "positive" in front of it or whatever), racism is evil and should not be acceptable at any level within a modern society.
If the whining figureheads with Maori want to really help their people then how about investing more in educating them about making sensible lifestyle choices with respect to diet, exercise and substance abuse. This alone would dramatically improve Maori life expectency and overall health.
When I was diagnosed with Parkinson's I could have sat on my arse like a jelly in an earthquake and demanded drugs, therapies and all manner of medical help. Instead I realised that the person who was truly responsible for my future condition was *ME* so I changed my diet, exercised regularly and did everything I could possibly do to improve my own situation. The results were remarkable and as a result, I'm still functioning at a very high percentage -- in fact I'm fitter, stronger and feel healthier than I ever have before. Surely a proud warrior race can do the same... or is that too much of an ask?
When it comes to health, regardless of your race, ethnicity, colour or creed, you are either your own best hope or your own worst enemy, the choice is entirely a personal one.
As for the issue of racism and race-based preferential treatment; sure, Maori have been wronged in the past but we should always remember that two wrongs do not make a right so for some Maori to be pushing the race-based privilege thing themselves is a very bad look.
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