Albert Einstein said the definition if insanity is "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."
I think we as a nation have begun doing this habitually and in 2011 we need a new perspective.
We hear today about another horrific death of a baby at the hands of family members, according to stuff.co.nz "Mikara Ranui Jarius Reti died shortly after family members on his maternal side took him from Flaxmere to Hawke's Bay Hospital last Tuesday."
This is a story we have heard far too many times in the past, and one sadly that we will hear far too many times in the future.
It is time to do and say something different about this, I say it's time to look at this issue again with a new perspective and try to figure out why it is happening. Now many right now will just simply say "it's an issue that just needs to stop!" And you'd be right, it does, however this is where I come back to Einstein's theory on insanity, we've been saying that for years...and it hasn't, we've been pointing the finger at Maori and it hasn't changed, we've been talking about the underclass and it hasn't changed. Surely it would be insane to not at least look at some other influences out there that we haven't looked at so far to actually help the issue.
Let me be clear in this, in this hideous crime Maori are over represented, but it is not "almost all exclusively Maori" as people like Michael Laws would have you believe. In fact former Child Commissioner Ian Hassall says “Roughly the same number of Maori and non-Maori children are killed in New Zealand.”
I want 2011 for me to be a year of looking at issues from angles that are currently not spoken about, and while I pray this doesn't minimize the terrible tragedy of children being killed, I think it's time to look at why this is happening. We can continue to bleat, and finger point, and as I heard John Tamihere say today, do "slit your wrist talkback"...but none of that helps the issue.
I do not take away any of the responsibility that has fallen upon the shoulders of the Maori Community to address this over representation in this crime...or any other for that matter, however I, as a citizen of this country, want to see these kinds of problems solved...and what we are doing at the moment is not working.
I want to see research on child abuse in areas of poverty and lack of eduation. I wouldn't be surprised, taking Michael Law's premise, that child abuse is almost all exclusively and issue of poverty and those lacking in education. And because Maori make up the biggest party of the poor and undereducated in this country, of course they are going to be represented highly in these figure.
You don't hear of many educated, wealthy Maori killing their kids do you?
Looking at this from a different angle prompts me to think that if we address poverty and education amongst the most vulnerable in society...maybe this would be a way to address these kinds of problems....maybe.