The right pulls the race card

Traditionally the race card is something left wing progressives like to use whenever they are losing an argument with social conservatives. But times are a changin’ and today the economic right is increasingly using the race card to shut down progressive or populist debate on free trade, immigration and globalisation.

In New Zealand there’s currently a debate going on about the sale of large farms to Chinese investors. This policy is actively promoted by the mainstream centre right but opposed by a loose coalition of environmentalists, socialists and populists. The right has responded by labeling their opponents as “xenophobic racists” opposed to the idea of large-scale Asian investment. While the sale of large blocks of land to foreigners may or may not be a good thing from an economic point of view, there are indeed serious questions about whether it’s a good idea to sell large amount of land to investors from non-western countries. As well as the issue of corruption there is also the issue of whether such land buy-ups will result in increased pressure for the importation of Chinese labour to work on such farms. After all, low-wage third world labour from the Philippines and Melanesia is already being widely used on dairy farms and vineyards, with numerous reports of sub-standard wages and work conditions.

However, the economic right is not prepared to debate these issues and instead is resorting to the race card to try and shut down the debate altogether. If opinion polls are anything to go by this policy is clearly backfiring. Calling refugee-loving liberals “racist” sounds desperate and pathetic, and will only serve to further alienate social conservatives who are already feed up with the mammon obsessed policies of the mainstream centre right.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Asia, Left liberalism, Racism, right liberalism, Uncategorized

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