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Open Letter to Susan Devoy on taking race out of the law

7 August 2014

ACT Party Leader Dr Jamie Whyte

Open Letter to Susan Devoy - Join other countries in taking race out of the country’s law

ACT Leader Jamie Whyte has sent an open letter to the Race Relations conciliator Susan Devoy.

“I am worried that she has misunderstood the purpose of her office and certainly did not read my speech,” said Dr Whyte.

”I am also concerned that she is unaware of the efforts by countries elsewhere to remove race based laws from their statue books.”

Dr Whyte said ”Ms Devoy may not know that the process of removing race from the laws of a country is actively underway in other countries. These countries are concerned by the divisions and injustice caused by laws based on race."

The letter reads as follows:

Dear Ms Devoy:

The Swedish government is intent on removing ‘race’ from its statute books. They do not believe that the concept of race should exist in law.

Can I draw your attention to the following extracts from the News Letter of the NZCPR.com this week ?

The Swedish Immigration Minister, Erik Ullenhag, considers that “the fundamental grounds of racism are based on the belief that there are different races, and that belonging to a race makes people behave in a certain way, and that some races are better than others.” The government rejects these sentiments.”

“The concept of race is included in around 20 Swedish laws, including criminal code, student financial aid laws, and credit information laws. On Thursday the Swedish government began an investigation into how to remove the concept from all legislation, as has been done in Austria and Finland.”

France has embarked on this journey to remove the concept of race from the country’s law books last year. Proponents of the law change argued, The word 'race' has no scientific validity and it has been the basis for racist ideologies. Under the new law, France will not recognise the existence of any distinct race or races.

Closer to home, Fiji removed the concept of race and racial privilege from law in their new constitution in 2012. As a result, race-based electoral rolls and race-based seat quotas were eliminated. Under the new system, all Fiji citizens are now called “Fijians”, irrespective of their origin, and the use of race and ethnicity to define communalism and privilege, is no longer lawful.”

My question to you is do you consider it "grotesque" that these countries are taking steps to ensure that race has no place in their laws ?

When I suggested race should not be part of New Zealand law you said it was "grotesque"

Are these countries also grotesque?

Do you agree with the remark in my speech that “There is no place for race in the law.”

Yours faithfully

Dr Jamie Whyte
Leader, ACT Party

Note: I am indebted to Dr Muriel Newman for extracts from the News Letter of New Zealand Centre for Political Research. www.nzcpr.com

ENDS

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