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Poll: Allowing Kava at the Multicultural Festival?

By johnboy - 16 February 2011 26

The Canberra Times has a piece on some hurt feelings in the Pacific Islander Community after their drop of choice, kava, was banned from the Multicultural Festival:

Tongan community leader Siosiua Lafitani Tofua’ipangai said it was discriminatory for authorities to permit the sale and consumption of alcohol at events such as the festival but not permit the consumption of kava.

”It’s like the Government is saying this stuff of the white community or society is okay. This stuff of the black community is no good,” Mr Tofua’ipangai said.

”That’s the message that we got from here.”

Given that kava can only be imported in personal luggage 2kg at a time someone had given up their personal stash to share with the community, so it’s a big step to throw that back in their faces.

Sensible health precaution or just racist?

Kava at the Multicultural Festival

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26 Responses to
Poll: Allowing Kava at the Multicultural Festival?
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p1 6:01 pm 28 Feb 11

Pommy bastard said :

“effecting” = to produce as an effect; bring about; accomplish; make happen.

The most commonly made grammatical error in all my posts.

Pommy bastard 5:23 pm 28 Feb 11

p1 said :

ainira said :

Kava is banned in Europe and the USA as well. Are they racist too?

Well, yes. But that is something else entirely.

The question of whether a policy is “racist” when its end result effects one specific racial group more then others (even when the law applies to everyone), is a question I have heard before. If currently 99 per cent of kava in Australia is consumed by Islanders, then it is clearly effecting Islanders more then the rest of the community. Is this a racist policy?

Pet peave alert!

“effecting” = to produce as an effect; bring about; accomplish; make happen.

CLooLoo 4:49 pm 28 Feb 11

I think it’s crazy to say that it’s banned due to racist or discrimination reasons, but more likely that it’s banned because it isn’t commercially sold or distributed so the Gov’t doesn’t really know what’s actually in it. If they allowed it and then someone had a bad reaction, as per the Gov’t advisory listed by Rawhide Kid, then they sue the Gov’t and then we all pay for it in our taxes! Why do people have to always make everything about racism?

mzih8u 9:20 am 17 Feb 11

What’s the point of multicultral festival if you can’t share your culture? Last year they had Kava there and there were no problems? It’s stupid banning it suddenly on Saturday. The organisers knew they would be having it prior to the day and suddenly they aren’t allowed to have it. They werent selling it, people were giving a donation if they wanted to but they didn’t ask for it. I’d much rather have my husband in there drinking Kava sharing his culture with people than have him drunk walking through Civic with people assuming the worst of him.

Drew9 8:22 pm 16 Feb 11

If you want to drink Kava, go back to Tonga, sunshine! If you want to live in Australia – no kava for you! Sorry about that “bro”….

p1 6:01 pm 16 Feb 11

Erg0 said :

For that matter, are we discriminating against Americans by restricting their ability to own handguns in Australia?

My point was that there is a massive grey area between your example and saying we are going to ban caste marks on women’s foreheads. Just because such a law might be applied to the whole population would not detract from it’s unfair impact of Hindus.

The validity of the stated reason would have to be the measure I think. Personally I don’t know much about kava, but I assume the health authorities consider it to be a significant risk to people, yet make allowances for cultural use because they know the small numbers of users in the population will never produce the kinda stats to cause public outcry.

Once again though, if the stuff is legal for select people to use within culturally relevant situations, then surely a festival dedicated to celebrating that culture would be such a time?

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