‘Time to call out the haters,’Says Mandy Hager

‘I don’t know about you, but I’ve reached the point of feeling deeply concerned about the hateful, dangerous threats and abuse against vaccinations and public health measures, politicians (particularly our PM) and health officials, says Mandy Hager.

Mandy Hager

‘A glance at Facebook, Instagram or Twitter reveals a toxic waste dump of misinformation, blatant lies and ghastly personal attacks from anonymous people who feel empowered to say whatever the hell they like with little consequence. It’s truly ugly.

From death threats aimed at the PM, to fake complaints, self-absorbed whining, outrageous comparisons to Nazi Germany, and Trumpian grandstanding, often posted by people who either identify as ‘patriots’ or crypto-currency fans (and often citing their Christianity when, in fact, Christ would hate the uncharitable way they act),

Who is driving all this…’

I think it’s time we stopped humouring these haters and started asking some very hard questions about who is really driving all this rhetoric and why.

I have no doubt there are people out there who genuinely believe the misinformation they’ve been fed — and that’s sad, and needs to be addressed with patience and compassion.

But more and more it seems there are extremely bad-faith players who know exactly what they’re doing, stirring up suspicion and discontent for nefarious reasons that have nothing to do with our health response.

‘Trying to upend the democratic process.’

Many come from overseas and, in my estimation, are trying to upend our democratic processes by empowering the very worst of our society.

These are the people who don’t like to share resources, power or wealth, don’t care about human rights and equality, and who are desperately trying to prop up the toxic fossil-fuel-driven capitalism that’s led us to such a terrifying climate abyss.

These are the people who hijack groups like Groundswell and poison them. These are also the people whose hateful rhetoric is unleashed on women, people of colour, immigrants, refugees, LGBTQ++ communities . . . which makes their claims about our PM, for instance, being a Nazi utterly ironic, given their obvious white supremist het-male agenda.

Then there are the cynical grifters like self-styled ‘Bishop’ Brian Tamaki, who uses this as a means of gaining tithe paying members to enrich him and pump his overinflated ego, or Cameron Slater and his ilk, whose agenda is to undermine Labour at whatever cost.

Mr Brian Tamaki

Or those responsible for editorial decisions at the NZ Herald and Mediaworks, who actively undermine our public health response, spreading conjecture and misinformation and fomenting discontent. I honestly don’t know how they can look themselves in the eye.

I think the time has come to very vocally challenge them at every opportunity — all of us, all the time — so that the voice of the majority, who are grateful for our relative safety, health and freedoms, drown out this hateful divisive crap.

If we don’t, there may well be no coming back from this . . . and with climate change disruption starting to bite now, we need, more than ever, a whole society solution if we’re to survive.

Yes I agree Mandy and there are others who do as well. I posted this comment on Twitter last week, – I’m increasingly distressed at the vile comments, incoherent and illogical being levelled at PM Jacinda Ardern, and our scientists. I’m openly thanking them for their role in keeping us safe, for their unstinting leadership and their stoicism. Thank you. Bravo.’
And there have been over 800 likes and still counting.

Thanks so much for this Mandy. I vacillate about whether to participate in the antivax debacle/debate that’s been going on in Paekakariki – rational comment draws such badly spelt nonsense! I know it’s important to make a stand locally..as indeed with climate change

Finally, after so many, and now increasing provocations to our Democracy and public institutions, someone says what has to be said. Bravo!

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