Salient. Victoria University of Wellington Students' Newspaper. Volume 31 Number 15, July 9, 1968
Sir—My first reaction to Mr Kelly's letter was to take it as a vicious joke. Everybody gets attacked and criticised around University so why not Asian student. Besides, it is so blatantly charged with prejudice; the archetypal hate-letter, calculated to provoke the expected indignation and nationalistic furore among the Asians, just for laughs. But I hear he is on the level, and is, indeed, quite self-righteous about the issue. In which case, I will not give him the satisfaction by appearing all nationalistically wound up and yelling for his blood. But rather demolish his claims to any clear thinking.
Anybody, with any humanistic principles would look beyond colour to verify his objections to the presence of Asian students in the University. Mr Kelly tried to graft Government apathy on to the apathy he sees among Asian students therein jumping on the popular bandwagon of anti-government sentiments. Cheers, he is "with it"—how about some support? But in his 3½ year at Varsity, he still has not found out that not all Asian students at University are under Government sponsorship? Even if they are, his primary objection to their presence is not based on their apathy, but rather on colour preiudice. What liberal-minded person will deny another person a chance at higher education, when they apply with the necessarry qualifications in hand? Mr Kelly's rabble-rousing is, therefore, based on a false premise, and his pathological aversion to Asians can only stem from ignorance. He must be incredibly bigoted to object to the using of University facilities by Asian students. Why may certain group of similar "aliens" chatter in French or German, and are said to be "charming", provoking no comment, but why may not an Asian slip back into a more relaxing speech habit, and yet succeed in offending? He betrays a considerable lack of understanding for the basic problems of language communication and enviromantal adjustment. In a strange country, it is natural to seek companionship with people of less frozen aspect and monosyllabic conversation habits.
As a colleague of Mr Kelly I am surprised that he has not approached me for a "serious minded" discussion of his pet hate. Perhaps he prefers to maintain his "pukka sahib" stance, lest he be disarmed by mere commonsense. I regard the letter as an individual, hide bound opinion. His viewpoints are based on uninformed general impressions, and on his vague intimations at klansmanship. Such people base their aversions on petty incidents. They seek no clarification, have no sympathetic insight at all, and are righteous through a twisted sort of logic. They make a mockery of their so-called liberal education at University.