Editorial: Reason to be disturbed
It is disturbing that a white supremacist group is again doing the rounds in Timaru.
Disturbing because of the extreme nature of the group. Why would you include a skull in your branding?
Disturbing in that while it promotes the rights of whites, it does so in a provocative fashion. "Help us stop anti-white racism; we shall not bow!" says the recruitment flyer of the Right Wing Resistance. "We shall stand tall, we built western civilisation, now we must defend it."
And disturbing too because they evoke fear in the community, due to their black clothing, links to skinhead groups and the wearing by some of Nazi memorabilia.
When we sought comment from the Aoraki Multicultural Council it preferred to provide it anonymously because of that perception.
Right Wing Resistance has a right to freedom of expression, but just as it sees government policy as being racist against whites, it encourages racism to fix it.
And that's not right.
This from its mission statement: "We are an organised unified resistance movement against mass immigration, the dilution of our European culture and pride, and the current multicultural agenda created by the current government networks designed to destroy our colonial rights and identity."
But there is nothing wrong with multi-culturalism - all races enrich this country - and nor is anyone out to destroy the colonial identity of Europeans.
That's not to say you can't promote European culture, just as other races here celebrate their own culture at various times, but you don't have to denigrate others while doing so.
New Zealand First adopts a different approach. Winston Peters argues against what he sees as separatist policies, such as Maori prisons and Whanau Ora. He doesn't want to deny Maori or anyone else the help they need, but that help should be based on need, not colour of skin.
Likewise when he speaks out on Asian immigration, it is on the basis that many don't assimilate into their new country, and he says they have a responsibility to do so. What he'd like to see is "a united, harmonious and tolerant society".
That's a far cry from the mission statement of the Right Wing Resistance.
It would be tempting to ignore the presence of the resistance group, but when it surfaces in our own community, we should be aware.
It's not healthy that people out there are pushing a message that whites are somehow superior simply because they are white.
The Timaru Herald