Those that know you only a little would never call you a racist. You appear on the surface to be one able to engage both cultures (Samoan & Palagi) well. You smile nicely at those from other cultures, say “Yes, Yes, Yes!” very well and welcome people into your office regularly and freely. I however know you well. I do therefore dare to exactly that, call you racist, and hasten to explain how your racism is manifested.
Racism is essentially pride. It’s the thing that (in your case) says, “We’re better because we’re Samoan!” or in the negative, “He’s ‘worse’ because he’s Palagi!”
Now when you describe racism in those words you can see VERY quickly how Samoa is a hugely racist country and you, Tui, are at the top of this all, both by nature of your position as Palemia and also because you deliberately take that position – that Samoans and the Samoan ways are the best.
In this balancing act between playing to your local constituency with the “Samoa Mo Samoa” theme and the more encompassing requirements of the Western world who wants to be included to some degree in your Samoan affairs, you will know, as will most Samoans that you lean very strongly into the Samoan perspective. This doesn’t make you racist per se, because you are indeed a Samoan and standing up for your culture is your right, but the real racism that you harbour becomes visible when you DO something that blatantly favours one over the other, especially if it is harmful, wrong morally or legal.
Your evicting me, particularly how it was done meets this criteria. Yes, we all know from my exposure that it related to your fear of an inappropriate’ relationship with Sonja Hunter was the real reason but behind that act was the fear that shame in Samoan circles would come because it was a Palagi that called you to account.
This is a HUGE issue and one that has caused you and will likely cause you for many years to come serious issues because it is the fact the a Palagi has called the leader of Samoa to account; that it is a Palagi that you trashed that causes the greatest embarrassment. As I write I have no idea whether the Samoan people will attempt to brush this disgraceful scandal under the carpet or rise up in arms at your cowardice and immorality and lynch you. In both cases though, the racism that says in its heart, “We’re better” is the same driver – either to try to cover up the shame (which is pride/racism based conduct), or to lash out in anger at their acute embarrassment (which again is pride/racist driven).
In the book Corruption in Samoa, I called racism on your Ombudsman Maiava, even though he is recognised in your society as a “good man” and even though incredibly ironically it is his job to ensure fairness in this very arena! The problem that you have, as with the Ombudsman is that what you both DID (and DO) is clearly racist. He wouldn’t even deign to meet with a Palagi and he knew that by bypassing the normal investigative processes for the Palagi with a genuine beef who came to him for help. There is NO WAY that he’d do that to one of his own. Likewise with you, you know full well that any of your own treated in the way you treated me would NEVER be acceptable.
The bottom line Tui, is that because of this, your racism is exposed, and just like what I said in my previous letter, until you face this racism, your country will forever grovel in the scraps of life, living in a deluded world that “You are better because you are Samoans!” or if you want to put it in the negative, “Palagi are no good. You can’t trust them [or they don’t understand]!”
In my next letter I return to the actual issue that started our entire conflict (your breach of contract over developing a Samoa Day at the behest of your ‘floosie’ Sonja) and I address the incredible costs of lost opportunity that you have brought to your country when your b***s spoke louder than your brain. I know that you don’t care and probably don’t want the world to know this all, but I want not only you but the world to know not only the circumstances but the losses that politicians and bureaucrats cause the little people. Again, it’s not very pretty, but it’s truth.