Today’s topic is one I was hoping I could avoid, since I know that my stance will alienate many of my own supporters. But after I read the comments on this post by Bill Gasarch, and reflected on all the men, women, and children who were dispossessed of their land while the world did nothing, I realized I could no longer remain silent.
Most of you will know what I’m talking about, but for those who don’t: I urge the readers of this blog to join me in severing all academic ties with the settler state of New Zealand, until that state makes complete restitution for its historic crimes against the Maori people. That means no more giving seminars at the University of Auckland. No more reading papers with “ac.nz” in the author’s email address. Indeed, no more involvement with any physics or climate research in Antarctica, the flights to which leave from Christchurch.
Some will say my proposed boycott smacks of anti-Kiwi prejudice. But in reality, some of my best friends are Kiwis. Furthermore, I hope and expect that those Kiwis who care about justice will embrace my proposal, for the chance it affords their rogue state to confront the lies and denial upon which it was founded.
Others will ask: if we’re going to boycott Kiwi scientists over the dispossession of the Maori, then why not boycott Australian scientists over the aboriginals, Chinese scientists over the Tibetans, or American scientists over the Native Americans, Iraqis, Vietnamese, or Guatemalans? I trust, however, that sensible people will recognize this question for the Kiwi diversionary tactic that it is. For what could Australia, China, or the US possibly have to do with New Zealand? Until the Kiwis acknowledge that the issue is them and only them, there is no hope for progress.
Even in a world rife with violence and despair, I can think of no single issue with a greater claim upon our conscience. And that is why I ask again: who will join me in severing all academic ties with New Zealand?