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Be careful crossing road, homophobe author Duff told

Thu 27 Oct 2005 In: Comment

Homophobic author and Books In Homes project founder Alan Duff has lashed out at gays and disabled people, saying he's sick of hearing about the rights of minorities. "Is someone going to finally stand up and say: who bloody well cares about the rights of minorities? How about the rights of the majority? How about the rights of the children? Who cares about gays? Who cares?" he told National Radio this morning. Duff, celebrated for his book Once Were Warriors, says those in minority groups, such as disabled people, should get used to the idea that life is unfair. He defines political correctness as a power trip carried out by those who believe in social engineering. Philip Patston, Billy T Award-winning comedian and founder of the International Guild of Disabled Artists and Performers, is both gay and disabled. He responds: “I would say that, at best, Alan Duff's words only prove is that he is a typical self-centred man who cares about no-one and nothing but himself and his own interests. At worst, they suggest he has hypocritically renounced the collective philosophy of his own culture, while conveniently buying into – and benefiting from – its sexism, homophobia and abilism. I would also point out that he is guilty of the very crime of which he is accusing minorities – that of making rash and bullying generalisations about the superiority of his own kind's agenda. I am reminded of the more enlightened words of Confucius, who said, “The superior man makes the difficulty to be overcome his first interest; success comes only later." Issues such as racism, homophobiaand disablement in society are difficulties that limit the success and evolution of humanity in general, not just those who experience their effects directly. If people like Duff were to open their bigoted eyes wide enough for long enough they might see that people they know – and even care about, if they are capable of compassion – are needlessly impacted by discrimination, ignorance and the misguided belief that we are separate from one another. The radical anti-PC lobby is as misinformed and deluded as the fervently politically correct. Any sensible, intelligent and responsible socially inclusive policy will always benefit everybody, not just the unreasonable few that Duff accuses of demanding rights. Ramps assist parents pushing prams; civil union legislation offers an alternative to marriage for heterosexuals; and fluency in more than one language creates an enhanced understanding of culture and traditions. Inclusiveness is not a matter of social engineering – it is an exercise in social logic. Perhaps Mr Duff – or any of his right-wing contemporaries – would volunteer to let me run them over so that they spend the rest of their lives in wheelchairs, unable to access buildings and are subject to the same intolerance that they dish out. Perhaps then they might realise that life is only as unfair as the majority chooses to make it. Yes, I may be disabled and gay, and life is undoubtedly unfair, but I still drive a car. And Confucius also say, "He who once were warrior and say dumb things had better be careful crossing road." Chris Banks, Philip Patston - 27th October 2005    

Credit: Chris Banks, Philip Patston

First published: Thursday, 27th October 2005 - 12:00pm

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