Since when did we dislike Pacific Islanders so much? I don’t know about you, but this weird myopic media focus on Pacific Island ‘violence’ after the League games currently playing up and down the country seems bewilderingly racist and vicious doesn’t it?
Look at the headlines, ‘Missiles thrown at Police, 53 arrests‘. ‘Tongan rugby league fans cause problems in Otahuhu‘, ‘Fresh violence erupts between Samoan and Tongan League Fans‘, ‘More street battles between Tongan and Samoan league fans‘, ‘Six arrests in Otara brawl involving 200 people‘.
What the hell is happening? Has a civil war erupted? Do we have simmering racial tensions threatening to unleash sectarian violence upon the sporting stadiums of Aotearoa?
Or has the lazy media picked up on a couple of silly skirmishes that were uploaded onto social media and allowed a heavy handed Police response to legitimise arresting dozens and dozens of Pacific Islanders celebrating a really positive working class sporting spectacle ?
I’m asking this question because when you cast your mind back to the All Black win in 2015, the media reaction to 200 Dunedin students who went on a drunken rampage after the win and started 13 seperate fires was remarkably different in tone to the one the media are using with Pacific Islanders.
From what I saw of the League, you had incredibly excited Samoans and Tongans showing enormous pride and joy in their teams.
Was there some push and shove? Sure.
Did some fans get a tad exuberant? Sure.
Did that justify the race baiting headlines? Well, I’m not so sure about that.
When you compare those headlines to ‘Dunedin students celebrate Rugby World Cup win by torching couches‘ and ‘Rugby World Cup final: Students celebrate with couch fires‘, it starts to look like there was an enormous difference in the way the media looks at this.
It seems that when it’s white, middle class, uni students drunkenly setting fire to furniture and rampaging, the rioting gets described as ‘fun’ and ‘celebratory’ with zero arrests.
When it’s brown people partying, it’s suddenly a race war that demands heavy handed policing.