For some reason Alan hasn’t confronted his own inconsistency and confusion. He has not realised that he is a walking, talking contradiction. As the Apache would say, he speaks with a forked tongue.
Every so often Alan thinks and speaks as if there are absolute rights and wrongs. He speaks with holy anger and passion. No doubt tomorrow his left hand will remove what his right hand put forward today. But that’s a function of his spiritual blindness.
Alan has written a piece declaiming Maori violence–systemic family violence–in New Zealand. We would honour him for his plain speaking, his high morality and principled stance–in these matters. He is responding to the horrific case where two “care-givers” systematically beat a child to death over several days. He writes:
Real Men Don’t Beat Up Kids
We can’t let Moko Rangitoheriri’s death be forgotten – or be a vengeful mob storming the Taupo police cells to lynch Moko’s evil killers.
One of many marches around the country took place in Lower Hutt and there were some brave men who spoke out. I quote Anaru Moke: “I was bashed myself. Who wasn’t?” He says he’s breaking the cycle with his own 11 children. He’s a Mob member. Good on him for speaking out. Here’s Star Olsen: “I knew I had to say something that was at the pit of my stomach. The hardest word for some Maori males to say is sorry.” Including when they just helped torture and murder a child.
It’s a waste of breath to scream that vile punishments should be inflicted on Tania Shailer, 26, and David Haerewa, 46. We’d just be drawn into an endless cycle of violence begetting more violence. But we Maori have to ask why we totally dominate statistics in the killing of more than 200 infants in the past two decades. Why us? The leaders – I mean the cowardly ones staying silent and not joining any of the marches, the ones flying business class to dubious “conferences” overseas – will never do anything to help change the significant percentage of Maori at the bottom of the heap from falling further down into the abyss.
Alan Duff is made in God’s image. He cannot help but think in categories of right or wrong. The fact that he has also chosen to align himself with a world view which strips away any possibility of even the concepts of righteousness or evil is testament to his particular blindness of soul, and his bitter hatred towards the Christ. But he cannot deny being in God’s image–so, he is reacting with visceral anger against the murder of a defenceless child at the hands of adult wickedness.
Alan knows that this will not change, it will not improve until people are changed–from within. There has to be truth, a morality, that arises out of the intellect, the emotions, and the will of men, out of their souls, in order to change. Men have to be reborn. Alan’s solution, to achieve this, is education.
Some Maori have no moral values because they’re not taught them. Violence is perfectly acceptable behaviour, indeed admired; whether it’s king-hitting a stranger in a pub, beating up the wife or partner, thrashing their children.
Families should be issued books on parenting. It must be instilled in everyone’s brains from a young age that certain behaviours are totally unacceptable. Love must be taught as the founding base for a successful family. Education as the way forward. Every act of violence except in self-defence must be socially outlawed, considered a shameful let-down of the entire community.
In this regard, Alan realises that the education he is proposing needs to go way beyond the current school syllabus. It is an education that begins from the time a child is first conceived in the womb, and continues every day at the hands of parents who love, nurture, and cherish. It is an education which socialises children into beliefs and values, into faith, love, and hope. Sadly, Alan’s world cannot provide such families.
Being an evolutionist, he should be challenged to face up to his worldview, and say something along the lines of, “let the degenerate destroy their own children. They are not fit to survive. They will only reproduce their own degeneracy”. Darwinianism teaches that the sooner they die off, the better everyone will be. Survival of the fittest and all that sort of stuff. But he cannot bring himself to live according to his Darwinian commitments. The image of God in which he has been made screams out for a better, a higher, principled way. The best he can come up with is educating children in a different way, in different values–in schools that bravely try to substitute for parents and parenting.
Cultural leaders should review the entire kapa haka syllabus, I believe. I’m sick of the screaming, eye-popping haka. The standard of predictable, simplistic singing should be lifted. In everyday life, my opinion is girls should be brought up like the French are: to be feminine, take a pride in how they dress, walk with dignity and grace wherever they go out in public and always keep the standards. Boys should be taught to respect females.
Every Maori should get to parenting age knowing a whole set of values on how best to raise a child. It should have been burned into their consciousness that sacrifices for your children are not only an obligation, but a sacred duty.
Yes, but which set of parents are going to inculcate these Maori children, line upon line, precept upon precept, life upon life in these values so that when the children in their turn and generation start to bear and raise children they will be able to break the cycle of violence and death?
Meanwhile, our tribal leaders trumpet their business triumphs while staying culpably silent on child abuse. We need an outlook of always encouraging our children. Not discouraging, running the kids’ efforts down. There would be no shame in taking a leaf out of the Chinese book where parents, family members, all work hard to push a few more up into the educated or business-owning bracket. Reading has to be an essential part of that home environment.
Pre-European Maori culture was simple and no blame is attached. But I think it is when this too basic societal model is applied in the 21st century. Adolescent boys – and girls – who admit to violent bullying at school or after school have to be punished. Not physically, but grounded, shamed for a period out of the family group. They must have it burned into their brains that violence sucks.
The vast majority of Maori saw the movie based on my book [Once Were Warriors]. I went from zero to hero in just a few weeks. Why? Because every Maori – most of whom had not read the book – came out of the theatre in a state of shock and said, “Yeah? What’s the problem? That was our life up on the screen.” Everyone had a Jake as a father, older brother, any number of uncles. Some were women.
Why oh why are we pushing this societal model and calling it our Renaissance? It is no such thing. It is simply a perpetuation of a culture that is irrelevant to this age. We need an outlook of always encouraging our children. Not discouraging, running the kids’ efforts down. From day one at primary school, Maori children should be indoctrinated that it is not done to discourage others from having aspirations. And someone has to point out that cultural activities do not get them a job or a mortgage.
I am going to ask our Duffy Books in Homes trustees if we can produce some books on parenting to be given out free to all 100,000 homes on our programme. It just can’t go on like this, waiting for the next headline: another child – invariably Maori – tortured and murdered.
March, Maori, march. And change your ways. Real men apologise. Real men look in the mirror and change. Real men don’t beat up kids or wives or anyone else. Real men love. And their children, wives and society advance with them.
We would add that this is not a Maori problem. It is an underclass problem. It’s just that many Maori are enrolled in that social segment. But we have seen kids from so called middle and upperclass families fall to the bottom of the social heap in months when they got hooked on drugs. And, thereafter, they have exhibited all the behaviours and degeneracy that Alan is declaiming–and, yes, they have gone on to replicate it in the children they have subsequently brought into the world.
What is our solution, then. Our solution is the very one Alan Duff has rejected in cynicism and mockery. Our solution is a Person, the Messiah, Who says to our generation
Truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God. Come unto me all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. [John 3:3; Matthew 11: 28–30], and
. . . How often would I have gathered your children together, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not! See, your house is left to you desolate. For I tell you, you will not see me again, until you say, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.” [Matthew 23: 37-39].