Sometimes, the offensiveness of my mum’s random racist blurbs astonishes me.
On TV, New Zealand was playing against some other team in the Hong Kong Rugby Sevens.
Dad thought out loud, “Who do you think will win?”
I said, “New Zealand.”
Mum said, “I’d go for New Zealand too. Coz they’ve got those people…..”
“You mean the Maoris?”
“Yes, them. The lazy people.”
“They’re lazy. They don’t work and all they do is rob people and steal stuff and they all get away with it.” She wasn’t complaining, nor was she exclaiming. She was just stating what seems to be a fact.
I was too shocked. Before I can think of something to say, mum has moved on: “Well then, do you want some of these eggs I bought this morning?”
I thought about my Maori hockey coaches, who are brilliant people, played in the Olympics, people I have great respect for, and wonder what they’d think of this.
A week or so later, perhaps as karmic reply to mum’s nonsense, we were at training when a ball flew out of the pitch. A kindly passersby picked it up and lobbed it back over the fence for us just as one of the coaches walked by outside. He shouted at me through the fence:
“Did you see that?”
“DID YOU SEE THAT?! AN ASIAN MAN THAT CAN THROW!!!”
I just about fell over myself.