Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Newsflash: racial attacks not racist

Australia, land of sunshine, land of peace loving people; coastal beaches surround her and lush green forests populate her soil; multiculturalism and religious tolerance make her a haven... No, no, no! I'm reading the wrong script - I must have accidentally picked up a copy of John Howard's, 'Australian fantasy 101.' In reality, Australia, just like every other country in the world, is a racist country, and for Howard to claim as he did yesterday that: "I do not accept that there is underlying racism in this country," can mean only one of two things: 1) Howard is an out of touch idiot, who has no idea what is happening on the ground or 2) he was deliberately deceiving the Australian public because a component of his vote is derived from those very racist elements that he claims don't exist (let's not forget how he manipulated the public's xenophobic fears via the children overboard scam).

Howard's comment related to the violence that broke out on Sydney's Cronulla beach on Sunday. However, being as the violence was aimed at those of Middle-Eastern appearance; when racist slogans such as 'who let the wogs out?' were chanted; and when members of the Patriotic Youth League, which is considered to be a neo-Nazi group, were visible amidst the mass of 'protesters', it seems obvious that racism had a large part to play in proceedings. But, as Suki points out, how can you expect our Prime Minister to call racism when he sees it when, in fact, our Prime Minister is racist himself.

John Howard has scorned repeated calls to say 'sorry' to indigenous peoples on behalf of the nation, an apology much needed in the face of Australia's historically recognised semi-genocide of its Aboriginal population. I'm hard pressed to see how John Howard can make any assessment of what is racist and what is not in light of this constant refusal.

Personally, I don't think that John Howard should say sorry. I think that he should crawl from Canberra to the NT begging Aborigines forgiveness for two hundred years of theft, murder and rape; maybe he could stop in at Cronulla on the way and tell a Lebanese person that their bashing wasn't racially motivated.


suki said...

The latest news tells us that despite the PM's best efforts to deny the unrest in Cronulla (and surrounds) is racially motivated - people are apologising for their racism.
By and large the rest of the government (including the opposition) are deafeningly silent. Clearly in an effort to not upset the constituency they attracted when one NATION fell over.

I thought Beazely would at least speak out for the family in Perth.


Don Quixote said...

Bastards indeed, Suki, bastards indeed. Sometimes I feel their bastardness is insurmountable - then I have to retreat away from the news for a few days. At least I have this blog into which I can vent from time to time.

Gregory said...

There was obviously a racist component to the riots and even to the revenges subsequently perpetrated, but I'd be inclined to give the benefit of the doubt to the population at large: they're not racist, just prejudiced. Most of the "Howard's battlers" I've met are the more insidious latter type than the overt former. That doesn't excuse them, but it may be a more accurate (or charitable, anyway) description of what Howard's saying.

Don Quixote said...

I understand where you're coming from, Gregory, however I think that making a distinction between prejudice and racism borders on semantics. It is definitely more noble to see the good in people - or at least not to see the ultimate bad - I'll grant you that, but, from my personal experience, there is a fair bit of racism out there.