But I tell you who I really hate, and that’s those racists

July 26, 2006

Many people label teachers, in fact anyone involved in education, as hopelessly politically correct and lacking any ability to ever say anything that anyone might take offence at (unless they are “mainstream”, in other words heterosexual white men). 

Not so, as this recent episode from the staffroom will show. 

I was pretty unwell at the end of the last term, just general tiredness and lethargy as commonly caused by working too much and too hard for too long.  Usual teacher problem towards the end of the winter term. 

So whenever I was in the staffroom I would leave my game face at the door and generally dissolve into an exhausted lump trying to ingest coffee and biscuits to keep this sad hulk going for another few hours.  My contributions to conversations whizzing around me, even about matters I cared passionately about, were minimal.  Silent munching and slurping was my modus operandi from about Week 7 onwards.

But this damn reliever, he riled me.  He got under my skin so deep that I couldn’t just sit there.  I couldn’t say anything either, I was so upset by his epithets and dazed from the sheer unrelenting unending term, but I couldn’t put up no protest at all.  So I stood up to leave, saying “I don’t want to listen to this anymore.”  He turned on me, taking out his anger on me personally, threatened by my challenge, so I used a term that isn’t often uttered in the staffroom, or at least not loudly enough for anyone to hear.  It wasn’t very inventive, but I felt better for spitting it out at him.  Those who remained in the room after I left told me it had the desired effect; he felt quite shocked and stopped his rants for long enough for other saner types, more capable of sparring with him than I was, to put him right.

What was said that so upset this author?  What PC rule did this reliever break?  What could possibly cause me to quite lose my composure and curse him in a manner that I usually reserve for the drive home from school, when no one can hear me but the beaded car seat cover?

He was talking about the Kahui twins and began by generally slagging everyone who has ever been reliant on a benefit, but particularly those women (because it’s always just women apparently) who wallow around on the Domestic Purposes Benefit.  I sat silent through this, trying to speed up my hands as they delivered biscuits and coffee to my mouth, quite unfit to challenge this neanderthal.

But he was unstoppable.  No one else was really saying anything either, but you couldn’t;  his froth knew no end.  I decided, addled as I was, that he would run out of steam soon, and be lucky to get another day of relieving work at our school in the future.  I just had to get through the next few minutes, until I’d refueled enough for the rest of the day, and then I’d not have to encounter him ever again, with luck.

However this dolt hadn’t finished yet.  He’d only run through two of his many prejudicies (beneficiaries and women), and there was one big one still on his To Do list for the day.

He said, and I quote:

“But I tell you who I really hate, and that’s those Maoris.”

That’s when I stood up.  That’s when I got attacked for standing up.  That’s just before I left the room, biscusits unfinished.

How can anyone have as much education as this man and hold such moronic views?  How can he think it’s ok to hate people based on their race (or their sex, or the form of their income when it’s not something actually destructive like drug-dealing or gun-running)?  How are we producing people in our society who think these things?

I don’t know about all this stuff about Ahmed Zaoui and the SIS, but if I had a choice about who got to live here and who didn’t, I know who would get the first plane ticket to the other side of the world.  That reliever had better hope I never get that power.


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