With 60% of our newsrooms now female, the lens of woke identity seems to be all that matters.
Today’s latest example however takes that lens of woke identity and has instead manufactured our first ‘Purity of Identity’ journalism.
I’ve argued and have used example after example of how the woke newsrooms covered Carmel Sepuloni’s rise as Deputy.
I’ve noted how every single one of them glossed over her appalling record as Minister for Welfare to instead sing praises of her win from purely an identity perspective.
There is no reflection whatsoever on her time as Minister presiding over the very weak and vulnerable that those woke newsrooms profess to care about, because when we do that, the gloss strips away very quickly.
Now let me be clear, I love our Pacific Community, and they should celebrate a Pacific Island appointee after the decades and decades of loyalty they’ve shown the Labour Party, but by only viewing her appointment through the middle class identity politics lens, The Spinoff, Stuff and NZ Herald have miss the real story an do their readers a terrible disservice.
For the woke, diversity and representation are the only currency, meritocracy is a heteronormative white male privilege and nothing matters more than identity.
Which is deeply problematic because a critical analysis of Carmel Sepuloni’s time as Social Welfare Minister highlights how shallow The Spinoff, Stuff and NZ Heralds ‘journalism’ is.
The Minister refused to implement any single one of the 42 key recommendations from the Welfare Expert Advisory Group…
None of the 42 key recommendations of the Welfare Expert Advisory Group (WEAG) have been fully implemented almost three years after the report release, with 22 minimally or partially implemented, new research by the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) has found
….The Minister threw 4000 disabled beneficiaries off welfare…
The Labour Government has cut the benefits of around 4000 sick, injured of disabled jobseekers in the last five years because they weren’t preparing to return to work fast enough.
…and most appallingly, the Minister gutlessly acquiesced to State Services to remove the Children’s Commissioner from overseeing Oranga Tamariki which will see vulnerable children in State care made even more vulnerable.
Carmel Sepuloni is a Labour Party Social Welfare Minister, in her time she has implemented no recommendations to make life easier for beneficiaries, she has thrown 4000 disabled beneficiaries off welfare and she has made the life of vulnerable children in state care far more dangerous, and yet as far as the female journalists at Spinoff, Stuff and NZ Herald are concerned none of that matters because hashtag feminism, hashtag diversity.
This celebration of Identity above all else is warping our news media and the issue is far wider than coverage of Carmel Sepuloni, it extends to the perception of poverty as well.
Back in November 2021 when we were chasing vaccination rates, there were 159, 810 Māori unvaccinated, 42, 183 Pasifika unvaccinated and a staggering 317, 544 Pakeha who are unvaccinated!
By constantly screaming vaccine hesitancy was a Māori and Pasifica problem, we let 317, 544 Pakeha off the hook!
I fear we’ve done the same thing with child poverty.
There are 156,700 children in poverty in households with less than 50% median equivalised disposable household income before deducting housing costs (BHC), 53,600 identify as Maori, 72,600 identify as pakeha.
There are more white children in poverty than Māori children and that might be difficult to visualise because the focus is almost exclusively on Māori children.
Yes, proportionately these stats hit Māori hardest, but by allowing that to decide the entire focus of the debate we ignore the far larger numerical problem of those issues impacting poor White families and that allows an escape to scrutinize what’s really happening.
By constantly blaming Māori we can’t see that this is a failure of neoliberalism that cascades across race. Look at the chart above, the poverty rate soared post Rogernomics!
It’s not an identity issue, it’s a class issue exacerbated by a neoliberal economic hegemony that purposely rigs the system!
Identity politics journalism is seen as activism first, journalism second and it is missing the far larger questions and context, and by doing so divides rather than builds.
There are numerically more white people in poverty than Māori and some Māori led organisations see more Pakeha from their community than Māori!
By ignoring the material wellbeing and pain of white communities, we plant seeds of spite, that’s why Universal Left Social Policy is essential to this debate.
It’s about the economic well being of everyone utilising well funded public services that subsidise the cost of living by taxing the mega rich.
Increasingly having independent opinion in a mainstream media environment which mostly echo one another has become more important than ever, so if you value having an independent voice – please donate here.
If you can’t contribute but want to help, please always feel free to share our blogs on social media