I think we will see a titanic clash of ideas at the election within Māori politics between the Māori Party’s Malcolm X vs Labour’s Martin Luther King approach to interacting with the Crown.
Malcolm X’s righteous separatism and Martin Luther King’s moral assimilation were two of the most important political arguments in 20th Century America.
Malcolm X argued that the system was abusive and racist and demanded a rejection of it while empowering African Americans to have their own services and institutions.
Martin Luther King argued a moral America that lived up to its promises of equality for all was the best way forward and that fighting for acceptance by assimilating into those values was better than separatism.
Those two dynamics will be very apparent this Election.
The Māori Party’s anger and bewilderment at the atrocious racism spat at any Māori progress will find fertile ground amongst many Māori who are now demanding By-Māori-For-Māori services, while the Labour Māori Caucus will point to the unprecedented $3.5Billion extra in Māori funding over the last 5 years as proof positive that working within the system can generate real tangible benefits for Māori.
This debate will be set against a political backdrop of vile race baiting as National and ACT jockey for who can most harvest reactionary pakeha anger.
With such a threat looming from the political right, it may be far smarter for both strands of Māori political thought, demanding self sufficiency from the Crown vs engaging with the Crown, to join forces to work together to deliver for Māori while saving New Zealand from the self inflicted bigotry of an ACT/National Government.
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