Wednesday, June 02, 2021

This is what institutional racism looks like

Last month, a man was arrested for threatening to kill National MP Simeon Brown. Over the weekend a second man was arrested on the same charge. This is appropriate: threatening to kill is a criminal offence, and threatening to kill an elected representative an offence against democracy. But it appears that not all MPs receive equal protection under the law:

The complaint comes after a YouTube video posted last weekend made specific threats towards Māori Party leaders Debbie Ngarewa-Packer and Rawiri Waititi, and Māori people in general.

Ngarewa-Packer said the party lodged a complaint on Monday and didn't hear back till Wednesday.

Although the video had now been taken down, there were grave concerns for the leaders.

The contents of the video were hateful and racist, referencing violence towards Māori and "civil war".

From the RNZ verison of the story, the police were trying to minimise the threats, calling it a mental health issue. Which seems like a clear-cut case of institutional racism. And its exactly the sort of failure which led to 51 people being murdered in Christchurch.