Did racism play a part in a controversial murder case?
Concerns are being raised that racism played a part in the police investigation of a controversial murder case. Rex Haig was convicted in 1995 of murdering Mark Roderique, a crewman on his fishing boat, and served 10 years in jail before his conviction was quashed.
“He was ruthless. He was the man that wouldn’t have a conscience. I don’t like to say, but he’s part Asian. They seem to treat life a bit differently to the rest of us, in that life seems to be, in Asian countries – is cheap.”
Haig’s father was Chinese and arrived in New Zealand in 1928. Haig’s mother was European, and Haig was born in Dunedin in 1947. He never met his birth father. Haig was adopted at three weeks by Joyce and Vern Haig and grew up in Otago and Southland. He only visited China once, as an adult.
One of Haig’s daughters, Angela Haig-McAuliffe, says Hewett’s comments show “racism. That’s insane, just insane. It’s quite audacious, really, that he’s prepared to say those sorts of things publicly. Imagine what he says to friends and family. When people say those things – and it’s now 25 years later – they’re obviously trying to go, ‘we got the bastard and I’m really proud of that fact.’
“He’s got no idea what he’s talking about. Dad was a charmer. People would gravitate to him. He was easy-going and amazing with [my] kids. The kids just loved him.”
Haig died late last year, still fighting for compensation for the years he spent in jail. A North & South investigation (see the full story in the current issue on sale now), raises serious concerns about the witnesses who helped convict him, and the possibility crucial documents were withheld.
Haig lawyer concerned about detective’s bias in other cases
Haig’s appeal lawyer, Jonathan Eaton QC, describes Hewett’s comments as “extraordinary” and says he is “flabbergasted” Hewett would make them.
“When you look back at the Haig case there’s always been a question mark as to why the police became fixated with Rex, in the face of what we considered and described as a significant body of evidence suggesting he ought not be the proper, and certainly not the sole, focus – and perhaps you’ve uncovered the answer.”
Eaton stresses he has no problem with experienced investigators using “a bit of gut instinct”.
“But his instinct is flawed on so many levels – putting aside the most offensive of them. To what extent did he let that shape every aspect of the investigation? And how many other people have been convicted as a result of this detective’s instinct, based on his own inherent prejudices and biases? It’s a worry, isn’t it?”
Hewett, now retired, served more than 36 years in the police, was awarded a Queen’s Service Medal for Public Service in the 2006 Queen’s Birthday Honours, and received a Commissioner’s Commendation for his service, in 2009. He is perhaps best known for the conviction of Jarrod Mangels for murdering Arrowtown woman Maureen McKinnel. Mangels was arrested 15 years after the crime thanks to advances in DNA analysis. Hewett later said he would contact two other men who had been the investigation’s prime suspects, one of whom reportedly moved back to Australia because of being wrongly suspected.
Stapleton Famous Dave’s Responds To Claims Of Racism From Church
A Famous Dave’s restaurant in Denver became the site of a rally against racial insensitivity on Sunday.
In June, New Nation Church placed an order with the restaurant to cater their Father’s Day dinner. The group picked up their dishes and said two of the tin foil covers had the words “Corn Bread Black Negro” written on them.
On July 12, Rally organizers say the church’s pastor tried to talk about the situation with the manager on duty at the restaurant in Stapleton, and was reportedly told “this is what we do.”
The church says the restaurant manager was not apologetic, and the pastor reached out to their corporate office.
“We came up here and she was offended that we were offended. She told us that we’re calling her a racist, that she’s not a racist, she couldn’t be a racist. We did not get any apology, we did not get any kind of sensitivity, because that’s all we wanted to do,” said Pastor Arthur Porter.
Famous Dave’s then responded to the situation through a Facebook post on Saturday saying in part:
We’ve apologized for the misunderstanding and offered a full refund on several occasions. Now we are offering a public meeting to openly and transparently discuss everyone’s concerns in an effort to come to an understanding.
Every catering order at Famous Dave’s BBQ is assigned a random color to help the kitchen and delivery staff ensure each guest receives the correct food items that they ordered. In this case, the catering order for New Nation Church in Aurora was randomly assigned the color black. Every pan of food that is intended for that catering is then labeled with the color assigned to the catering.
Each pan then receives a colored sticker that correlates with the color assigned to the catering. On this particular day, the restaurant ran out of black stickers, so the word black was written on the pan of food that was intended for their catering. A Spanish speaking kitchen employee, then translated the English word black into the Spanish word negro, meaning black. The complaint which suggests this was intended something other than a regular internal process to ensure a properly executed order doesn’t align with the facts.
Famous Dave’s BBQ maintains they want to talk with church leaders, but no meeting has been set.
Racism will not be solved by there being more mixed-race children
A shop assistant smiles as I enter a store with my kids. The three-year-old and I are discussing her favourite colour. So far the shortlist is purple, red, yellow, white, silver, gold and green. The shop assistant comes over to ask if we need any help. I shake my head. “We’re fine, thank you,” I say. “If you need me, just give me a shout,” she says. She pauses. “Gosh, mixed-race children are just so special aren’t they? So special.”
“What do you mean?” I ask, returning her smile. “Just that we’re…” she pauses. “They’re the future of this country.” “Thanks,” I say.
What I want to say is this: mixed-race children aren’t going to end racism. If anything, they’re going to make it more complicated. I’ve seen this rhetoric a lot. A lot more since Meghan Markle, and since the #riversoflove hashtag a few months ago. That the thing that will end racism will be a bunch of people of different races shagging, having kids, and those kids existing in a new post-race utopia where everyone is mixed. This kind of thinking is dangerous, and kind of silly. “Beige Britain” won’t be the utopia we want. It’ll be the same country it always was, but with a significant demographic change. The whole “mixed-race kids ending racism” feeling is a nice thought that doesn’t change anything. It doesn’t look at divisions in the country right now. It doesn’t interrogate problems we have. It doesn’t end inequality.
It’s in the same camp as “I don’t really see colour.” Again, it’s a strange reaction. I know that just by writing this I’m opening myself up to being called a racist, because we’ve been told from a young age that even speaking about race makes you racist. We’re taught that acknowledging someone’s ethnic background is racist. This isn’t true. Talking about race isn’t automatically racist. Judging someone, insulting them or denying them rights because of that race, that’s racist.
Someone might say, “I’m not racist. I don’t see skin colour.” Which seems silly. Because you do see it. What you mean is, “I am choosing to not treat you as a stereotype relating to your stereotype. I am choosing to treat you as normal.” Which is great, until we start to look at what counts as normal. Acknowledging people’s skin colours and the differences between us allows us to see that there perhaps isn’t such a clearcut thing as normal. All this stuff is rarely talked about across races and because it isn’t, with any conversation about race in the UK, when it comes to a person of colour and a white person, there is a level of defensiveness and a level of unwillingness to admit there is a problem.
None of these problems would go away if suddenly mixed-race people made white people the minority in this country. “What about the indigenous English?” I’ve heard people say. “We’re made to feel minorities in our own country.” What I find interesting about the word indigenous is that I’m not sure it even applies. Who here counts as a native? I was born here. I have a British passport. I pay taxes. I vote. I queue in an orderly fashion. Am I not indigenous?
We need a vision of the future that works for everyone, and that vision of the future needs to start now. We need to work on a collective vision of the citizens of the UK. What do we look like and how do we celebrate the things that make us different and how do we celebrate the things that unify us? How do we ensure that the myth of a meritocracy can become a reality where everyone has equal access and opportunity? Maybe we need to think about all these things before assuming that a bunch of people across races shagging and having babies is going to bring about a utopia that is post-race because we’re all the same colour.
I don’t say any of this to the shop assistant. I look at my kid and I say, “I think it’s OK to have seven favourite colours.” My daughter thinks for a second and says, “I like orange too.”
I like orange too, I think. I really like orange.
“Papa John” Schnatter’s ouster shows zero tolerance for racism means zero tolerance
It wasn’t Schnatter’s first race-related blunder. Last year, he came under fire for comments about the kneeling protests of NFL players—he blamed them for falling football rating and sluggish pizza sales—and as a result stepped down as CEO of the company he founded in 1984.
The irony is that Schnatter’s most recent comments came in a call arranged to help him avoid making racist remarks. Papa John’s contracted Laundry Service, a marketing and communications company, to coach Schnatter for future public appearances. It was in a role-playing exercise that he used offensive language, including the n-word. In the same call, Schnatter downplayed his NFL comments by comparing them, favorably, to lynching. According to Forbes:
Schnatter also reflected on his early life in Indiana, where, he said, people used to drag African-Americans from trucks until they died. He apparently intended for the remarks to convey his antipathy to racism, but multiple individuals on the call found them to be offensive, a source familiar with the matter said.
It’s possible Schnatter thought that the call’s purpose made it a safe place to discuss even retrograde attitudes toward race. But as the CEO of a prominent company, he should have known that anything he said in a conference call had the potential to become public. Given his charged history, it’s surprising he wasn’t more circumspect.
Schnatter’s ouster is the further indication of how little tolerance there is in corporate America for the misbehavior of executives. While crude or offensive comments might once have been ignored or waved off with an apologetic press release, executives are now being held to account as companies become increasingly sensitive to the perceptions of customers and employees, both current and potential.
A similar incident led to the firing of Johnathan Friedman, a communications executive at Netflix, who was canned by CEO Reed Hasting for his use of the n-word in conversations about racism and, later, his use of the word itself. Hastings explained in a memo to staff that “for non-Black people, the word should not be spoken as there is almost no context in which it is appropriate or constructive (even when singing a song or reading a script).”
Once, executives might have thought their status earned them the benefit of the doubt, or placed them above the scrutiny given rank-and-file employees. No longer. In this new era, everyone is on notice.
Alleged assault after dispute over goat pie and racism
A “drunken dispute over goat pie” led to a man allegedly being punched in the face during a busy weekend for Queenstown Police.
Two men got into an argument outside Night ‘n Day on Camp St, Queenstown, on Saturday morning about 4.20am.
A 47-year-old New Zealand man was accused of being racist by the other man after he allegedly said goat pie could only be bought in an Asian shop.
Police alleged the man who made the accusation was then punched in the face, leading to the other man being charged with assault. He was due to appear in court today.
Police are looking to speak to the couple shown in this CCTV footage (below) about a theft in Queenstown. The incident took place between the evening of Friday, July 6 and early morning on Saturday, July 7.
Two other alleged assaults were reported to have taken place in Queenstown.
A taxi driver got into a dispute with a passenger he was driving home shortly after 3am yesterday about him eating pizza in the car.
The 32-year-old man, of Queenstown, was arrested and given a pre-charge warning after he allegedly punched the taxi driver in the face during the row.
A 23-year-old man was charged with assault after an argument broke out on Dart Place over uninvited guests being brought home by his housemate.
Sergeant Steve Watt, of Queenstown, said one of the unwanted guests was allegedly pushed over, causing him to “hit his head and suffer a concussion”.
Queenstown Police also responded to number of other incidents in the town over the weekend.
A 23-year-old man, of Queenstown, was arrested and charged with wilful damage and unlawfully being in a building shortly after 1am on Saturday morning.
Sgt Watt said the man was “extremely intoxicated” and broke the doors at the main entrance to O’Connells Shopping Centre, before running around inside the mall.
Security officers apprehended him and police were called to the scene to arrest him.
Two teenage girls, of Alexandra, were charged with driving with excess breath-alcohol in the early hours of Saturday morning after crashing into a hotel sign on Frankton Rd.
Sgt Watt said the vehicle drove off after hitting the sign and was stopped by officers further down the road.
He said the driver and passenger had swapped seats after hitting the sign and that when breath-tested, both blew readings above the legal limit.
An 18-year-old girl blew a reading of 658mcg and a 19-year-old girl blew a reading of 982mcg.
Both had their driving licenses suspended for 28 days.
A police officer was involved in a crash after being called out to a vehicle driving complaint in the town at 3.40pm on Saturday.
The male officer attempted to do a U-turn and crashed into a car being used to service fire safety equipment.
Australian basketball has slammed ‘immensely distressing’ racism allegations leveled at Boomers
Philippines coach Chot Reyes has conceded he didn’t hear any Australian Boomers racially abuse his players during last week’s ugly brawl in Manila.
In an interview on SportsCenter Philippines, Reyes was asked if Australia’s players used derogatory terms to describe the Philippines players.
“No, I can say honestly that’s fake news,” Reyes said.
“I didn’t hear or didn’t have any notion that they were calling our players those terms at halftime, so I didn’t see it.”
This Reyes’ statement occurred before racism claims were made by freelance photojournalist, Winston Baltasar.
In an interview with Australia’s ABC Radio program The Ticket, Baltasar said Australian players called Gilas Pilipinas players “monkey” during the game and before the fight.
Baltasar, however, could not identify which Australian players he heard using the racial slur.
The Australian Basketballers’ Association (ABA) and Basketball Australia released a joint statement on Sunday slamming the claims Baltasar alleged were made during the fight-marred game between Gilas Pilipinas and Australia at the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan on July 2.
“We take these allegations against our players extremely seriously and are deeply disappointed the ABC should choose to publish them, Basketball Australia Chief Executive Anthony Moore said in the statement.
The fight resulted in 13 ejections. The Philippine and Australian basketball federations are awaiting further disciplinary action from FIBA.
AMNESTY LAUNCHES CAMPAIGN TO FIGHT DISCRIMINATION AGAINST ARAB ISRAELIS
Amnesty International Israel launched a new website on Wednesday calling for an end to discrimination against Arab Israelis, via a platform aimed at facilitating the reporting of cases of discrimination and taking part in various activities against it.”
The Israeli branch of the human rights organization established the website due to its perception that Arab Israelis, or “Palestinian citizens of Israel” as the organization refers to them, are undergoing a “severe attack” and need to operate in an organized and collective manner to fight for their rights as a minority in Israel.
“The Israeli government severely violates the freedom of expression and freedom of association of Palestinian individuals and organizations in Israel,” Amnesty International said in a press release. “These are fundamental and important freedoms in every democratic state, and in Israel they are fundamental rights of special protection, and the violation of them is a serious violation of Israeli and international law, which necessarily leads to a reduction and threat to the existence of Palestinian civil society in Israel.”
The campaign is focused on stopping the “silencing of Palestinian activists and organizations in Israel” as well as incitement against them
With this view, the organization will gather testimonies and information on any incidents of this kind, and will monitor legislation and bills it deems discriminatory or as violating or restricting freedom of expression, freedom of association and freedom of demonstration.
Amnesty seeks to stop such discriminatory actions using various tools, one of which will be its new Hebrew-Arabic website.
Via the website, Amnesty Israel encourages members of the public to join its activities to stop discrimination, which includes: raising awareness among Knesset members and other public officials about discrimination, incitement to violence and racism against Arab Israelis; holding conferences and public debates on the subject; fighting bills they view as racist or discriminatory; and organizing large protests in response to discrimination, incitement, violence or racism led by elected officials, civil servants, and government agencies.
Racism Kept Connecticut’s Beaches White Up Through the 1970s
Lebert F. Lester II still remembers his first trip to the beach. It was the late 1970s, and he was 8 or 9 years old, the eighth in a family of 11 children from a poor and mostly African-American neighborhood in Hartford, Connecticut. The shore of Long Island Sound lay less than 40 miles away, but until that weekend Lester had only ever seen the ocean in books and on television.
“I was really excited,” Lester says, recalling how he and other kids from the neighborhood spilled out of their bus and rushed down to the water. They had been equipped with sand pails and shovels, goggles and life jackets—all donated by an anti-poverty organization that had organized the trip. Lester set to work building a sand castle, and he was soon joined by a young white girl who wanted to help.
“I’m talking to her about how we’re going to do it, we’re working together, and I’m not sure how long it was, but I look up and I see a man—I guess it was her daddy—and he snatches her away,” remembers Lester, recently reached by phone at his Hartford barbershop. Reasoning that it was simply time for the girl to go home, he kept on building. Then the girl came back. “She says I’m nice, why don’t I just go in the water and wash it off? I was so confused—I only figured out later she meant my complexion.”
It was his first experience with racism, but Lester still remembers that beach trip, and others that followed, as highlights of his childhood. And although they weren’t aware of their roles at the time, Lester and his friends were also part of a decade-long struggle for beach access—a campaign that aimed to lift what many called Connecticut’s “sand curtain.”
Launched by a white, self-avowed class warrior named Ned Coll in 1971, the effort unmasked the insidious nature of bigotry, especially in the supposedly tolerant Northeast, as well as the class and racial tensions that lurk beneath the all-American ideal of seaside summer vacations. It’s a story that still resonates today, argues University of Virginia historian Andrew Karhl in a new book, Free the Beaches: The Story of Ned Coll and the Battle for America’s Most Exclusive Shoreline.
The insidious link between racism and depression
In June, Janet Jackson revealed to Essence magazine that she spent her 30s battling “intense” depression. Reflecting on those “difficult years,” the singer ticked off the forces behind her struggle: low self-esteem, failing to meet “impossibly high” standards and — “of course” — racism.
While depression can be triggered by several biological and environmental factors, the link between racism and depression “is undeniable,” Suzette Speight, a psychology professor at the University of Akron, tells The Post.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, African-Americans are significantly more likely to report major depression than whites. Speight, who’s done extensive research on black mental health, says that study analyses “consistently find a link” between symptoms of depression and “experiences of racism.” Those span everything from race-based micro-aggressions — the subtle snubs people of color routinely face out in the world — to racially charged verbal harassment and physical assault.
trying to calm myself down. I was crying a lot and not functioning. I couldn’t get through things without going down this whole rabbit hole of, ‘You’re a piece of s–t.’”
Looking back, he says, the typical stresses of moving to a new city and establishing a career were compounded by racial anxiety.
Even in his best suit, Hardy and his dreadlocks stood out in Panama’s capital city, where less than 10 percent of the population is black. “I got questioned a lot,” he says. “It kept me constantly on edge — getting those looks, getting stopped by the police to show my passport papers.” That plus trying to do “too many things at once” pushed him over the edge: During a phone call with his parents, he confessed, “If I don’t leave, I’m probably going to kill myself.” Two weeks later, he was back stateside, on a therapist’s couch.
Hardy was lucky: He had a good support network, and landed a helpful counselor right away. But that’s not the norm for many African-Americans struggling with depression.
“There is still a large stigma related to mental-health conditions in the black community,” says Joy Harden Bradford, an Atlanta psychologist and the host of the “Therapy for Black Girls” podcast. She believes many depressed people of color suffer in silence because of that, and research backs her up: Multiple studies have found that African-Americans are less likely than whites to seek treatment for mental-health issues.
Immigrant football unites Sweden against World Cup racism
Jimmy Durmaz, who is ethnically Assyrian, was a victim of racial abuse from his countrymen after being blamed for the team’s loss to Germany, but Assyrian Swedish footballers are not uncommon.
Sweden’s route to the World Cup knockout match with Switzerland saw the team having to unite against racism aimed at one of their own players.
The abuse against Jimmy Durmaz, an ethnic Assyrian, came from their fellow countrymen.
Durmaz received racial insults and death threats after the World Cup match in which he was blamed for Germany’s winning goal.
Professional immigrant teams in Sweden are proving a powerful weapon against prejudice.