Racist ‘dog whistle’ should be kicked to touch

Te Ngaio Cleave, the acting captain for Rangitoto’s First XV rugby team with his father, Martin Cleave.

At first glance, the boys of Rangitoto College’s first-fifteen appear to be prime nominees for cry-babies of the week until, like Lieutenant Columbo of the old telly-show, you think ‘now, wait a minute’, something doesn’t seem right about this uniquely New Zealand story.

Firstly; the story originates from a very suspect place, the fetid swamp known as social media, a place I swear our modern journo’s spend almost their entire day when they’re not regurgitating press releases. It’s a filthy place much of the time, it’s also very easy to avoid, by simply refusing to go there. By having standards.

Secondly, it wasn’t the young fellows eliciting public sympathy for private hurt; it was a parent who claimed the boys were ’emotional wrecks’. I dunno ’bout that. I’ve been a teen-aged boy, I’ve been around them, I’ve watched them grow up and observed the critters close-up. I truly disbelieve they became ’emotional wrecks’ as a result of some sad meanies having a go at them from behind their several slime-flecked gadget screens.

Thirdly; as in the ’emotional wrecks’ quote above, the hyperbole accompanying the series (yes; series) of articles surrounding this tiny incident is, frankly, ridiculous. They talk of ‘devastating’ the lads. For heaven’s sake; the fire-bombing of Dresden was devastating, the Spanish-flu pandemic was devastating, the Christchurch earthquake was devastating, anonymously criticising a group of adolescent footballers over perceived flaws in their public performance of a native dance may be bad manners, it may decidedly disappointing, it may be one of life’s myriad and miniature perils, but it is not devastating. Can we all get a grip, please?

Lastly, the wink became a nudge in the saga’s latest incarnation:Quote:

Asked if the way haka had become embedded in P?keh? culture was an appropriation of the M?ori war dance…End quote.

Well, well; ain’t that what the story’s dog-whistle was all about from the get-go? That the Rangitoto boys are predominantly non-Maori was the focal point of the criticism? Just for balance the reporter also asked if the way football had become embedded in Maori culture was an appropriation of the Pakeha pastime. Nah, just joking, they didn’t ask that.

To the Rangitoto lads; tell all your supposed diss’ers to go have a merry time in hell, to stick their criticisms somewhere the sun doesn’t shine, to visit a taxidermist urgently, if not immediately, to just go and get themselves thoroughly and completely stuffed then mount themselves on their own mantelpiece over a plinth engraved with the words: The Supercilious and Uncharitable Boar.

Do your haka; boys. Go for it. Don’t let the (illegitimate offsprings) grind you down.


by idbkiwi