Brian Edwards Media

Did you hear the one about the Irishman and the Maori?

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01I don’t want to take sides in the Andy Haden versus the Crusaders debate. Much, it seems, can be said on both sides. But I was interested in a comment Haden made to the effect that racism related less to the words people said than to what was in their hearts. I think that’s right and it is nowhere more true than in the area of humour, of what we call ‘racist’ jokes.

                      To illustrate the point, here are two jokes:  

1) An Irishman, an Englishman and a Scotsman are marooned on a desert island. One day they find a curious lamp on the shore. When they rub the lamp a genie appears. He is so grateful for his release, he offers the group 3 wishes, The Englishman wishes to be back in his local pub in Essex. Whoosh – he’s gone. The Scotsman wants to be having a pint with his mates in Glasgow. Whoosh – he’s gone. The Irishman looks dejected. ‘What’s the matter?’ asks the genie. “Sure it’s awful lonely here without my two friends. I wish they were still here.” And whoosh – they were.

2) Rangi gets a job felling trees up North. At the end of his first day, the foreman comes to check on his work. Rangi has felled only one tree. “What the hell’s going on here, Rangi? Only one tree felled in a day.” Rangi says, “This bloody saw’s no good, boss. Doesn’t cut at all.” The boss says, “Here, give us a try.” He starts up  the chainsaw. Rangi looks startled. “What’s that noise, boss?”

The first joke says that the Irish are incredibly stupid. It’s ‘an Irish joke’. Most Irish jokes say that the Irish are incredibly stupid. There are millions of Irish jokes. You hear them everywhere. You hear them on the radio, you see them on TV, you read them in newspapers and magazines.

I’m Irish and that’s fine by me. I like Irish jokes.

The second joke says that Maori are incredibly stupid. There are a lot of jokes about Maori and they say a lot of different things – that Maori are stupid, lazy, unemployed and often in trouble with the law. (The Irish cop all of that as well.) You hear Maori jokes everywhere.

Hold on a minute! No, you don’t! You don’t hear Maori jokes on the radio, or see them on TV, or read them in the papers. Publishing or broadcasting a joke that suggested Maori were stupid, would get you in trouble with the Press Council or the Broadcasting Standards Authority or the Race Relations Office.

There’s a double standard here. It’s OK to make racial jokes in public about the Irish. But it isn’t OK to make racial jokes in public about Maori.

How could you justify such a double standard? 

You might argue that Maori are an endangered species. The argument would go something like this: Maori are a minority race. They live in a hostile environment. Their numbers are depleted. They have little social or economic power to survive. Therefore they must be protected from attack. This includes attack by ridicule.

If I were  Maori, this argument would make me angrier than any joke. It demeans me, by implying that as a Maori I’m a racial wimp, that I can’t take it. And it’s patent nonsense.

You might argue that there is something sacrosanct about being Maori. Maori are a deeply spiritual people, imbued with certain ancient cultural and religious values which they revere. To make a joke about Maori is therefore in bad taste, offensive and probably sacrilegious as well.

This argument will also serve to eliminate jokes about the Irish,  the Welsh, the Indians, the Jews, the Chinese and, I suspect, almost every race on earth. It would have come as particularly bad news to Dave Allen. It’s also patent nonsense. Where humour is concerned nothing is sacrosanct and nothing ought to be. Those who see themselves as beyond ridicule invariably attract the most ridicule. And rightly so. They are the funniest people on earth.

What’s left to justify the double standard? Very little, I think. You might argue that Maori get upset when jokes are made about them, that they ‘can’t take a joke’. Out of kindness and consideration we should therefore not make Maori jokes. Pretty patronising, eh?

It’s a viewpoint that fails to distinguish between a racial joke and a racist joke. A racial joke depends for its effect on our accepting that Race X has certain amusing or unflattering characteristics. They may have these characteristics in whole, in part or not at all. It really doesn’t matter. You can still make an Irish joke without actually believing that the Irish are stupid. The purpose of the joke is to amuse, not to theorise.

A racial joke becomes a racist joke when its purpose is to denigrate rather than to amuse. It’s the perspective of the teller that makes the difference. Racists tell racist jokes. The rest of us tell racial jokes. The distinction is between good-will and ill-will.

That’s why there was general agreement that it was OK for Billy T James to tell Maori jokes. He was Maori. I regard that view as a copout. We should all be able to tell Maori jokes, whether we’re Maori or not. I don’t say that Maori shouldn’t be able to tell Irish jokes. That’s censorship and I’m against almost all forms of censorship in a free society.

The real reason why Maori jokes are taboo may be found in the argument that the self-image of Maori is already so damaged that it cannot stand further assault. I believe that argument underestimates both the resilience of Maori and their capacity for ironic detachment – to stand back and laugh at themselves.

And even if it were true, suppression wouldn’t help. The racial joke that is suppressed in public becomes the racist joke that is expressed in private. Humour is one of society’s best safety valves. In Sophie Tucker’s immortal words: ‘If they can’t take a joke, let them make love elsewhere!’  Or words to that effect.

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33 Comments:

  1. The intent of the joke is what matters. A spiteful joke intent on demeaning the other is bad news. It is like sarcasm. But a clever joke which could be shifted to almost any other group, and which leaves the laughter at the joke rather than the person is OK by me. A good comedian leaves the laugher feeling amused rather than feeling mean.

  2. Hi Brian.

    As a matter of interest, do you know of any occasion when an Irish person (or anyone else) has complained of an Irish joke in the NZ media, and do you have any idea how the BSA, Press Council or Race Relations Office would react if someone did? My limited understanding of these three bodies (largely based on 30 second website scans) is that they all strictly react to complaints, and if there are no complaints then probably nothing will happen.

    • As a matter of interest, do you know of any occasion when an Irish person (or anyone else) has complained of an Irish joke in the NZ media, and do you have any idea how the BSA, Press Council or Race Relations Office would react if someone did?

      I’ve never known an Irish man or woman complain about Irish jokes. The organisations you mention exist to deal with complaints. They have no mandate to initiate complaints themselves. I have to say that the BSA appears to take such a liberal approach to complaints that it is in danger of becoming useless.

  3. I think you may have hit the nail on the head. I would feel distaste at hearing a white south african make black jokes, or hearing a joke about jews in a gas oven. But it would be the heartlessness or divisiveness that I would take offense too, not merely a racial theme.

  4. I still repeat the best Irish Joke ever which you taught me. The one which ends ‘ah, its lonely here widout dee udder teh, I wish dey were back!

    • I still repeat the best Irish Joke ever which you taught me. The one which ends ‘ah, its lonely here widout dee udder teh, I wish dey were back!

      Perhaps we should let people in on the joke. An Irishman, an Englishman and a Scotsman marooned on a desert island. One of them kicks something in the sand and a genie appears. He offers them 3 wishes. The Scotsman wants to be back in Glasgow supping a pint of beer in his local pub. Whoosh! The Englishman longs for a gin and tonic with his wife and family in Kent. Whoosh! The Irishman says, ‘Sure it’s terrible lonely here now. I wish my friends were back.’ Whoosh!

  5. Maori lectured to by a white immigrant about why white people should be able to tell “jokes” about Maori? You risk becoming the joke here. All we have to do is go back to your idiotic illustration:

    ” To illustrate the point, here are two jokes:

    1) How do you get into an Irish submarine at 5,000 feet? Just knock on the door. 2) Why do Maori put on white gloves to eat Moro Bars? To stop them biting their fingers.”

    The second isn’t a joke:
    a) because it is not funny, and
    b) because it is entirely premised on skin colour.
    That makes it racist. And you prove that point when you say:

    “The second joke says that Maori are incredibly stupid.”

    So – to you – it is funny because Maori are made out to be “incredibly stupid”. The colour of their skin is the whole basis of this “joke” – and yet you do not seem to acknowledge this. The stupidity aspect and the skin colour aspect usually go hand in glove – as it were – with racist “jokes.” But for all your lecturing in this post you don’t seem to understand it.

    Perhaps if it was reversed you would understand? Is it still funny – to you – now:

    “Why do Pakeha put on black gloves to eat Milky Bars? To stop them biting their fingers.”

    Hilarious isn’t it. Is it equally hilarious to you, as your Maori “joke”? It must be. It has to be. Because if it isn’t…

    There are funny jokes about Maori, of course, but yours sure ain’t one of them.

    I’ve come to refer to these so-called “jokes” – these anti-Maori jibes – as “the Pakeha handshake” because it’s the first thing a white person (usually a man) says to another white person in New Zealand in order to establish rapport. It is a simple act of race solidarity that cuts across class, religion etc., identifies a mutual enemy, and serves to lift the self-worth and esteem of the parties by denigrating that race enemy. That is the social purpose of the racist “joke”. That is what it is like in this country – and I’m glad that it is slowly disappearing; though with no help from you.

    • Maori lectured to by a white immigrant about why white people should be able to tell “jokes” about Maori? You risk becoming the joke here. All we have to do is go back to your idiotic illustration:

      I was disinclined to read beyond the words ‘a white immigrant’. You really need to be careful when accusing others of racism, not to use offensive, racist language yourself. However, I did read on.

      And first, I accept your point. The Moro Bar joke is not a good example and it can be seen as being racist because the humour does relate to colour. I will find a better example and insert it in the post.

      I would not be offended by the Milky Bar version. But I accept that it’s unlikely anyone would make such a joke in the first place.

      The Moro Bar joke does say that Maori are incredibly stupid. The Irish joke, like almost all Irish jokes, is based on the supposed stupidity of the Irish. Similar jokes are made about the Poles and various other races. Americans love to make jokes about Canadians, the French about the Italians, the English about the Germans etc. In Hogan’s Heroes, the Germans are portrayed as bumbling idiots; In ‘Allo ‘Allo the Italians are portrayed as cowards and the English as idiots. Are these racist programmes and should they be banned?

      As for your last paragraph, I have no idea what it means and no experience of it. As a matter of fact, I don’t think I have ever made ‘a Maori joke’.

      You don’t know me or anything about me, but your comment effectively casts me in a racist stereotype on the basis of what I agree was one ill-chosen example. To get a better perspective on my relationship with and attitude to Maori, you might like to talk to the people at Maori Televsion who know me very well.

      I will print any further comments you wish to make. But will not reply to them. On the basis of your first comment, I doubt that any dialogue would be helpful.

  6. If anyone tells an Irish joke around me it had better be funny. Some years ago the Irish ambassador to the Court of St James held a St Patrick’s Day banquet and an English MP got up and announced “I am sure no one will mind if I tell an Irish joke…” to which the ambassador replied: “And I am sure you won’t mind if no one laughs” and made the bloke tell a joke to an utterly stony reception.

    And I do have a soft spot for the one my daughter told me recently: How many potatoes does it take to kill an Irishman? None.

    • If anyone tells an Irish joke around me it had better be funny.

      I’m not with you on this one, Don. The ambassador’s comment strikes me as graceless, precious and calculated to embarass the MP. If you go to the Saint Patrick’s Eve banquet here in Auckland any year, you’ll hear the Honorary Irish Consul, the wonderful Rodney Walshe, tell a string of Irish jokes and everyone loves it. Your ambassador took the very position that I object to – we can make jokes about ourselves, but nobody else can. Move on!

  7. Don – it has been a very long time since I’ve heard a joke that good!

  8. I wonder if the Welsh view Andy Hadens appointment as an ambassador to the Rugby World cup as a joke.I was astonished to find he was seen fit to represent NZ in this role,and more astonished at the silence from the NZ public.I suppose it is naivety on my part;I assumed an ambassador in this area would to have displayed attributes such as integrity,honesty,diplomacy….however after reading Mr McCullys comments on the matter I am now more enlightened-diplomacy certainly isnt a requisite!Our most famous sporting cheat is doing well at “connecting business and tourism investment programmes with relevant people”.Sign of the times.

  9. Hello Brian,

    Just two random observations:

    – my in-laws, both Northern Irish, have lived here for decades but still endure mean comments and ‘jokes’ about their accent, culture etc. Fortunately, these now occur much less often than back in the 1970s, when they arrived here. Many NZers seem to think that it’s okay to tell a racist joke at the expense of a white person, that somehow it “doesn’t count”.

    – I understand that the phenomenon of poking fun at a culture considered to be somewhat inferior to one’s own, is actually a worldwide one. I’m told that in mainland Europe, “Polish jokes” are the norm. And no doubt in other continents, the finger of mirth is pointed at the citizens of some unlucky country.

    Cheers,
    Kate

  10. Just because I can … I’d like to do a lateral flip onto semantics (and go right off the topic). What really intrigues me is our use of language in describing/employing jokes to explain behaviour:
    – The Germans (e.g. Hogan’s Heroes…) are ‘bumbling idiots’, rather than disorganised employees filling job positions they’re not trained for.
    – the Maori are ‘stupid/lazy…’ etc rather than often naive, marginalised, excluded from equal opportunities.
    – the Irish are incredibly stupid, as opposed to naive and lacking life experience.
    However, ‘children’ (our sacred cows) are always ‘innocent’ rather than ‘ignorant’, so we don’t make up derisive jokes that position them as the fall guy …
    If one assumes that we may all be children in areas where we lack expertise, it might be reasonable to assume that if someone knocked on the door of a submerged submarine that any loitering child might well ‘open the door’.
    If we relocate a Pakeha in place of the Maori in the ‘racial joke’, would it seem so ‘funny’?
    Would it be reasonable to assume that our use of ‘humour’ in racially specific ‘jokes’ oils the racial tension among racially dominant bullies?
    While I might laugh at the imagery the joke conjures, I admit, I still feel shame.

  11. In America, it’s cool for an Afro-American to address a fellow Afro-American, “Yo, nigger!”. But, if a white guy says it, he gets to eat the black knuckle sandwich.

    Self-ridicule is OK amongst those of the same ethnicity. A sort of bonhomie, a recognition of a shared cultural identity. But the same thing, coming from outside that race, is seen as insulting.

    Best be aware of someone’s sensitivities and your own sensibilities, if you’re going to crack racial jokes.

  12. Brian, thank you for inviting me to make a further comment, even if you do not wish to enter into a dialogue. I guess you would give the same advice to your clients – stop digging. So I will address this brief analysis of your reply to your readers and not to you directly:

    “I was disinclined to read beyond the words ‘a white immigrant’. You really need to be careful when accusing others of racism, not to use offensive, racist language yourself. However, I did read on.”
    – The term “white immigrant” is offensive? Racist!? It is an accurate description of the writer in the context of the issue he himself has raised. It is ironic in the extreme for him to assert this.

    “And first, I accept your point. The Moro Bar joke is not a good example and it can be seen as being racist because the humour does relate to colour. I will find a better example and insert it in the post.”
    – It was his example though, it was held up as an illustration, and that is telling. Surely some thought would have gone into it? Racist jokes don’t just make themselves up. A point he raises:

    “I would not be offended by the Milky Bar version. But I accept that it’s unlikely anyone would make such a joke in the first place.”
    – Begging the question, why? As I attempted to explain in my last paragraph the purpose of these jibes is not really about humour. The reason jokes about white people are not usually made – at least in NZ – is almost certainly because the people who make racist jokes are invariably white and the social purpose of composing them, saying them and circulating them is not primarily to make someone laugh per se, they are designed to mock and denigrate non-white people and thus preserve a sense of racial superiority within the white community. Contrast this to Maori jokes about Pakeha – if you know of any. As a PhD in sociology (isn’t it?) I thought he may have seen the merits in discussing this.

    “As for your last paragraph, I have no idea what it means and no experience of it. As a matter of fact, I don’t think I have ever made ‘a Maori joke’.”
    – As a matter of fact he had to change his own ‘Maori joke’ at the centre of this post because it was r… possibly a bit ra… might have been slightly rac… because of the skin colour and stupidity aspect. When he says he has no experience of it it may well be because he also says he has no idea. If he isn’t aware that his jokes – and the jokes of others – are racist then it will not be surprising that he both makes them and hears them without any comprehension of their derogatory nature.

    “You don’t know me or anything about me, but your comment effectively casts me in a racist stereotype on the basis of what I agree was one ill-chosen example. To get a better perspective on my relationship with and attitude to Maori, you might like to talk to the people at Maori Televsion who know me very well.”
    – I do know about Brian Edwards: I’ve enjoyed watching him on TV for decades, I’ve listened to him on the radio for years (and was very disappointed when his ‘Top ‘o the Morning’ show was discontinued) – and I read this blog. I don’t usually disagree with what he says on most topics, but from this post it is fair to say he is a classic stereotype – right down to the utterly classic ‘some-of-my-best-friends-are-Maori’ line. It simply does not get more stereotyped than that. The quick answer to any questions about perspective would be to ask him if the next time he’s down at MTS will he be regaling them with his Moro “joke”?

    And if not, then will he tell it somewhere else? As he says:
    “The racial joke that is suppressed in public becomes the racist joke that is expressed in private.”

    So, did you hear the one about the Irishman and the Maori? Yes, you have now.

  13. @ Tim Selwyn: Mate, you’ve over-dissected your critique of the author’s response, waay too much. You know about boiling soup bones to make a good stock? Well, it seems like you’ve over-reduced your stock, to the point that there’s only a charred mess at the bottom of the pot.

    It’s OK to write with a breathless candour. But you’re hyper-ventilating, with your holier-than-thou indignant righteousness. And that has me very worried, about the effects on your heart.

  14. “Move on!”

    Ah would that I could. I spent 10 years in London being addressed as “Oi, thick Paddy” and having to put up with jokes being told to me as a test to see whether I could take the mockery in the workplace. I don’t intend ever going through that bullying shite again and I am still sensitive about being labelled stupid by people who haven’t the brains to blow their noses. Maybe I’m too precious, but I resent people assuming I’m thick or assuming that I won’t mind if they infer that I am thick.

    • Ah would that I could. I spent 10 years in London being addressed as “Oi, thick Paddy” and having to put up with jokes being told to me as a test to see whether I could take the mockery in the workplace.

      Fair enough. You’ve been there. This joke may help. An Irishman in London goes looking for a job as a chippie on a building site. The English foreman looks at him with contempt. “So you’re a chippie, Paddy. You Irish are so stupid I bet you couldn’t even tell the difference between a joist and a girder.” The Irishman thinks for a moment. “I can indeed. Joyce wrote Ulysses and Goethe was a metaphysical German poet of the Romantic period.”

  15. Excellent. Even better than the old one about why Irish jokes were so stupid – so the English could understand them.

  16. Oh how simply, divinely, precious we all are. So thin skinned, so fragile and delicate in our estimations of ourselves.
    A “racist/racial” slur only becomes a problem when you accept it as one.
    Life is not fair, or equal, and does’nt give a rats arse with regard to your cultural and racial insensitivities.
    People are going to make comments that are unkind, racist, racial, or whatever. What is important in this issue, is how you react.
    Perhaps you need to view your culture/race, from the outside-in, rather than the inside-out.

  17. I do enjoy Tim Selwyn’s stuff. Partly it is because he is so earnest but also for the unusual effect of a European NZer being so radical on issues of race relations that he makes Hone Harawira look like a typical red neck late night talk back caller.

    I’ve got a good Irish joke for you.

    Three Englishmen were sitting at a table in a bar when they noticed a lone Paddy sitting by himself nursing a Guinness.

    They have a chat amongst themselves and decide they will test the notoriously short Irish temper and start a fight with him.

    The first Englishmen goes up and say’s ‘Hey Paddy, I hear that St Patrick was a card carrying queer as anything Transvestite’

    The Irishman looks up from his drink and says ‘Is that so. Very interesting’

    Deflated the first Englishman sits down whereupon the second Englishman get’s up and approached the lone Paddy with the line ‘St Patrick liked little boy’s a girl’s alittle too much, if you catch my drift’

    ‘Fascinating stuff’ say the Irishman.

    The second Englisman sits down with a look of utter dejection on his face. At this point the third and final Englishman states confidently that he knows what will get him going.

    He moves over to the bar, leans over to the Irishman and, raising his voice so everyone in the bar can hear, states ‘I have it on very good authority that St Patrick was actually an Englishman’

    Without missing a beat the Irishman replies,

    ‘Yes, so your two friends were telling me’.

  18. Tim Selwyn and his ilk are everything that’s wrong with the New Zealand Left today – a bunch of politically correct hand-wringing cry-babies.

    Go back to your hugbox Tim.

  19. The Irishman is offended when called a ‘white immigrant’ while the maori isn’t allowed to be offended when called a ‘choco-darkie’ (or whatever that joke is supposed to imply).

    ahahaha – hilarious if it wasn’t so typical.

    Tim Selwyn – your commentary is spot-on.

    • The Irishman is offended when called a ‘white immigrant’ while the maori isn’t allowed to be offended when called a ‘choco-darkie’ (or whatever that joke is supposed to imply).

      You really have missed the point. Mr Selwyn’s objection to the joke was that it was based on colour and therefore racist. On reflection I agreed with him and took the joke out. He then describes me as a ‘white immigrant’. Though he wants to argue – disingenuously in my view – that this is merely a statement of fact, the reality is that it was intended as a putdown based on colour! My colour has nothing to do with the argument.

  20. In case you didn’t know Brian, Tim Selwyn is the dickhead who put an axe through Helen Clark’s electorate window.

    He is a white guy with some Maori ancestry who has deep psychological issues. For example he believes there is a ‘Pakeha conspiracy’ to keep Maori down.

    It’s ironic someone like him would comment on a post about jokes.

  21. Is this the same Tim Selwyn who writes xenophobic diatribes on his website tumeke?

    Sorry Tim, but you have absolutely no credibility when it comes to racism, and no right at all to claim some moral high ground.

    Apologies for writing this here on your blog Brian, but Tim also has a bad habit of deleting responses that are in any way critical of him.
    He asked people to respond to your comments on your blog, and so I have, just not they way he wanted.

  22. 22

    Maori jokes were most prevalent in my youth.
    I remember coming home from school when I was all of 6 years old and asking my dad “Why does it only take two men to carry a Maori’s coffin? Because a rubbish bin only has two handles.” He was most offended, and at the time I couldn’t understand why. My wife has memories of other extremely offensive jokes that she heard when she was only young, including “What is the difference between dog poo and a Maori? Eventually the dog poo will turn white and stop smelling.” These were jokes that we learned as small children in primary school. They are EXTREMELY offensive. All they did was instill racism in children at a small age.
    My son comes home from school with jokes nowadays but none of them are racially offensive. More along the lines of “What do you call a cow eating grass? A lawn mooer.”
    I believe that the change to non-acceptance of racial jokes is a very good thing.
    I do think that it is acceptable for people to make fun of themselves in a self depreciating way, for example a maori person telling a maori joke. They obviously don’t mind this kind of humour, as they are telling the joke. If a Pakeha tells a Maori joke, then he is just assuming that maori people will not be offended.
    Irish jokes are just as offensive as Maori jokes.

  23. ‘You really need to be careful when accusing others of racism, not to use offensive, racist language yourself.’

    How is the term ‘white immigrant’ offensive and racist? We have some obvious examples of offensive and racist comments above and the term ‘white immigrant’ is not in the same league. You are being disingenuous yourself in choosing to take offense here. Perhaps this is a good way for you to escape the argument in that it gives you a reason to ignore your opponent.

    Afterall – your argument is just a shambles. As you say yourself – ‘Racists tell racist jokes’. You have now admitted to telling a racist joke, leading one to the logical conclusion… And what do we have to learn from a racist about racist jokes? What – that he quite likes them and so should everyone else?

    • How is the term ‘white immigrant’ offensive and racist?

      Crap! Read the original post, my acceptance of the proposition that the Maori joke in that post was racist, the revised post and the subsequent comments from me and others on the topic. You should have done all of that before writing this unthought our piece of mindless and totally unfair rubbish.

  24. Of course I read your original post, comments etc.

    Anyways BE – here is are some interesting points made about the difference between ‘racial’ and ‘racist’…


    1. There is a difference but it may not matter. Damage is still done whether one intentionally says racist (believes one race is superior to another) things or whether one racializes (makes remarks that disparage a person based on race). Yes, some people do think that certain races are better than others. Other people may not think their race is better but still buy into stereotypes that disparage another race in general.
    2. Racialization may in fact be more damaging and more insidious because it makes the surface look fine (its not my heart, I’m a good person) but continue the legacy of hatred just the same. Ask some African Americans and they will tell you that they’d rather live with open racism than with pretend equality that really isn’t.

    http://wisecounsel.wordpress.com/2007/04/12/racial-vs-racist-is-there-a-difference-does-it-matter/

    I think it may be a generational thing (as Carlos Ropehana alludes to above) – the younger generation are far less tolerant of racism then the older generation. For me your whole post boils down to offering excuses for racist behaviour. Folks of your generation need to learn some manners – like how to treat people of other races with respect and decency. Not calling people ‘darky’ would be a good start.

    Honestly – these old people today – tsk, tsk.

    And I still think its hilarious that someone who enjoys a good racist joke should take offense at a remark as harmless as ‘white immigrant’ while arguing that others should not be so easily offended.

    • And I still think its hilarious that someone who enjoys a good racist joke should take offense at a remark as harmless as ‘white immigrant’ while arguing that others should not be so easily offended.

      I’ll assume that all this agist ocndescension is ironic. I have of course never said that I enjoyed a racist joke. And you continue to deliberately miss the point that what Tim Selwyn took exception to in the Maori joke was its reference to colour. He then wants to define me as a ‘white immigrant’. You have a fixed mindset which I’m not going to be able to change. There’s no dialogue here.