Blatant, dumb-arse racism

Medical students at Otago University have a Maori Entry Pathway for Maori who are committed to improving the health of the Maori community.? Maori student eligibility is dependent on them meeting the following criteria. Quote.

Meet the minimum grade requirement, can identify their M?ori heritage through whakapapa, and complete an essay showing their commitment to giving back to M?ori communities, make it through.? End of quote.

It’s great that Maori recognise their health issues and want to fix them. But these first year Maori medical students are meeting resistance from potential students who missed out on a first-year place simply because places in Health Science are limited and highly contested, and Maori are getting priority because they have a very low bar to jump over.

At the end of their first year Maori Entry Pathway Students do not have any advantage over other students in progressing to the second and subsequent years.

While it is admirable that Maori students recognise the problem and are putting up their hands to help the Maori community who lag behind in many health areas, it is racist to give them an initial advantage.

Third year medical student Tiana Mihaere. Photo credit Newsie.

Third-year medicine student Tiana Mihaere has been told on many occasions the M?ori Entry Pathway is wrong and unfair. Quote.

“I remember being in the dining hall one time and some girl was having a moan about how unfair the pathway was and it was just real blatant, dumb-arse racism.? End of quote.

I agree with the moaning girl in the dining hall that the Maori Entry Pathway is racism. It is not fair to give an advantage based on race. The blatant dumb-arse racism occurred when the pathway was set up in the first place.

Why wasn’t the pathway made available to any race who wants to work in the Maori community? That would be the appropriate way of dealing with the problem and avoiding the race issue altogether.

The Maori community would benefit from doctors of any race who are committed to improving their health. Racism already exists, if in fact the Maori communities only believe Maori doctors can improve their health.

Mihaeree talks about further racism at the Medical School. Quote.

?But it is a big problem. Every M?ori student that does Health Science will have experienced some form of racism during that year.

She said it?s a lack of understanding about the state of M?ori health, and the need for M?ori in the health work force that leads to attitudes like this.? End of quote.

The big problem exists in the heads of Mihaere and other Maori who regard criticism of the pathway as racism. It is not, it is a valid criticism of a racist policy and is just free speech and open to debate.

It does make you wonder about Mihaere?s mindset and definition of racism that she is unable to recognise the obvious racial advantage to Maori though.

Putting in place special conditions and advantages for Maori is simply ingraining racism, and it has to stop if we expect to end racism.