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Thursday, January 7, 2010

An Open Letter to John Minto

Hi John,

This is a personal appeal.



It was interesting to watch your progress to South Africa on TV not so long ago. I couldn't believe that you had protested so loud, so long and so vociferously against something that you had no experience of.

As a youngster at the time of the Springbok tour and at the height of HART, I had no opinion beyond that which was given to me by my parents: i.e. Let sport be separate from politics. In succeeding years as I developed my own opinions, I was proud of the way that NZ had "contributed" to the downfall of such an abhorrent regime. 

Then I traveled to South Africa - first in the time of De Klerk, just after "reconciliation"  - then later under Mbeki and I found out what the issues were and realised just how ineffectual and off the mark HART was.

You had no idea what was going on.  You had no idea what life was like in South Africa. You may have known some South Africans but you certainly didn't know South Africa.

And when, on that TV program I saw your attempts to "rally socialism in a true marxist spirit" amongst the black people, I realised that you are not fighting for those people at all. You are fighting for your own selfish beliefs - USING those people as an excuse to further your own agenda - impinging your own ideals on faith and cultures that you have no knowledge of.

John, I've seen the devastation that war between Israel and Palestine has caused. I have lived it and seen with my own eyes the impact of daily violence on ordinary humans and, like you, am aghast that it happens in the modern age. We should, given our past history as a species, have learned the consequences of such behaviour.

Yet in the midst of this media age where our views are served to us by outlets with agendas (sorry - did I say Fox Network out loud?), there has been and never will be any excuse for being there and truly knowing.

John, your credibility is slightly shot.

You have no moral right to protest over things you know little to zip about.

Sure you will probably say you have "friends" that feed you information. You may have even "stopped off" in the area once.

But you have no idea really. You don't know what it's like to walk a mile in Shahar Peer's shoes. Or a Palestinians for that matter, I wager.

Do what is right, John and live up to at least one of the principles that New Zealand was created upon: egalitarianism.

Be fair. Because at the moment, you are displaying the worst aspects of racism and cultural jingoism that for so long you opposed.

And hypocrisy is a bitter pill to swallow.  

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