Tag Archive: racism

I read an interesting article today on the Herald Sun website today by journalist Alan Howe proclaiming the virtues of multiculturalism, and praising Victorian premier Ted Baillieu for celebrating the ethnic diversity of this state.

Alan Howe is executive editor of the Herald Sun newspaper here in Melbourne. He’s not exactly in-line with my political views, and his paper is quite the target of my rage due to its dumbed-down populist right-wing agenda. However, when I read this article, I was converted. I agreed, God forbid, with something written in that rag. It actually gave me hope that not all of the people in this country were right-wing xenophobes who loved to hate people of different ethnicities. That was until I read the reader comments on the article.

Here is a brief yet indicative sample of the hate-filed vitriol that Herald Sun readers dished out to Howe’s attempt to embrace ethnic diversity in our state:

Muslims and Sudanese do not intergrate but segregate themselves from the rest of the population . Politicians sit in their ivory towers whilst white Australians watch the degeneration of Australian culture.

Alan, take a referendum on this issue and I think you will find that the majority of Australians do not agree with you.

i always thought mixing in with the locals was the way multi/c worked,apparently i am wrong!but when whole suburbs are usurped by one nationality or one faith or another i reckon it’s fair to say it aint working

This is where you create problems with ghettos and ‘clash of cultures’ which can lead to terrorism.

It is about time we change interpretation of our multiculturalism where the term would mean to encourage every culture to contribute to our ONE and unique Australian culture.

When Asian gangs are in open conflict with African gangs in your street Alan, and your children are to intimidated to play on their own front lawn after 6pm, let me assure you that multiculturalism does not deliver the beneficial effect on society that you are extolling in this poorly conceived column.

All ethnics work towards their own ethnic ends,sending much money back to the home country, creating whole suburbs with just their own nationalities living there,this is a pot waiting to boil over.Parisites living off us,and the money they make off our country, are what the majority are,On the street level they want to own Australia not be an Australian

The general population know multicultarism does not work. THEY want everything their way…. bad enough….but they want to CHANGE us all and THEY ARE!!! Own swimming pools and so on…we’re on the way down.

…and so on. Basically, apart from a few slightly more level-headed interjections, the tone of the 54 comments left on this article was that having people of different cultures in this country was a bad thing and was ruining society.

What a load of garbage.

I don’t know whether it’s the extreme inaccuracy of those comments made, or the hatred they display to people of different nationalities that upsets me most. While it’d be ridiculously naive of me to assume that there weren’t people like this in our country, still seeing and hearing opinions like that in a public forum denegrates the standing of Australia society as a whole.

Naturally, it is at this point where those to my right would pipe up with the old “freedom of speech” argument that we all know so well. Now I am a believer in the right to express a view free from the threat of persecution or government intervention, but when it comes to being a racist and a bigot, my patience is tested. When I think of attacks on freedom of speech, I think of examples like the Chinese government deleting the Tiananmen Square protests from their history and prosecuting those who dare discuss it publicly. That is the form of freedom of speech I believe in defending, not simply the right to be an uninformed hack who hates coloured people.

Back to the point of multiculturalism itself, while the system and its implementation may not be in every way perfect, I think there is no doubt that multiculturalism has enriched our society. Australia now, more than ever before, is home to a diverse range of cultures, races and religions, all of whom share this great land. I have friends who are Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jewish, not to mention Protestant, Orthodox and Catholic, and probably even more. Despite my being a white agnostic Australian with Croatian and English background, I am friends with and get along well with all these people of different faiths and nationalities. In a mono-cultural society, which is what it seems these opponents of multiculturalism are advocating, I would be denied the opportunity to have met and known all these people. I’d have been denied the opportunity to experience and gain an understanding of how different cultures work.

Again, I’d be shut down by those opposite with the claims that they do not want a mono-cultural society, just that they want immigrants to assimilate and integrate into society. They cite the way the influx of Europeans in the 1950s and 60s became a part of society, and have grown to be accepted by the “rest of us” (I use that term very reluctantly).

An interesting and amusing comparison that one. My grandfather was one of those European immigrants who came over in the late 1950s to flee an oppressive communist Yugoslav government. My grandfather came to Australia seeing it as an accepting place, a land of opportunity where hard work was fairly rewarded. He was at least half right. He has told stories of being assaulted by “Aussies” when trying to apply for work for “stealing their jobs”. He was also routinely refused work by employers for being “a wog”. He built his house in Bell Park, the suburb where a vast majority of European immigrants who came to Geelong lived. He was friends with other immigrants, he constructed a European style garden in his yard, he made is own wine and cured his own meats, he listens to Croatian music, and to this day still proudly displays the Croatian flag inside his home.

Now I’m not painting these things in a bad light at all. It’s just interesting to look at this example, especially when the common criticisms of the Asian, Muslim and Indian immigrants of today are denigrated for “stealing our jobs”, “occupying whole suburbs”, “not associating with anyone outside their ethnic group”, “bringing their country to ours” and “not embracing Australian culture”. Those same criticisms were aimed at immigrants fifty years ago, only they came from a different place.

My grandfather would probably be appalled at me criticising this country so much. Despite the tough time he had when younger, he still regards Australia as a land of great opportunity, and is immensely proud to be Australian (he was naturalised some years ago). He passionately believes we Australians can do anything and are given so much in our lives, and he’s entirely correct. I also have no doubt that the immigrants of today share his passion and love for this land too.

Maybe in fifty years time, these anti-multiculturalists will have moved on from pathetically complaining about the immigrants, just like they have about “the wogs” that came over all those years ago. Though I dare say it’s still a pipe dream to hope that at any point in time the people who made those comments quoted above will accept the migrants that make up this country, and recognise the benefits of being such a culturally diverse nation.


Local Detention Centres

My disappointment with the Australian people has resurfaced once again in the past few days with the response to the federal government’s plan to resettle asylum seeker children and families in small communities outside Adelaide and Perth. It seems all it takes is a few unwanted new neighbours to bring out the worst in some people.

Take for instance the response from some in the Western Australian town of Northam, one of the planned locations for refugee resettlement. At a community meeting in the town regarding the issue, there were concerns voiced about the impact of additional people on the health and education systems of the small town. I can see how they would be viewed as legitimate concerns, and that is not my issue. My issue is when the closet racists take the opportunity to vent some of their normally contained feelings. This is a quote from one of the locals, one that I find disgusting on many levels:

“Three-metre high fence, anybody can jump. If someone jumps that fence, they are going to steal my car, they are going to attack my wife and they are going to race all the way straight to Perth to blend in with their kind”

I just don’t know where to being describing that. If WA ever wanted to promote its backward-thinking mentality, they should send this guy to do it for them. Seriously, what a disgusting thing to think, let alone say and expect to be taken seriously for. Does this man really think that a few families being settled near his area will result in his car being stolen and his wife being attacked? The whole thing stinks of pure and utter racism – launching such an attack on someone because they came from another country – which is exactly what this debate seems to have boiled down to for the most part.

I must admit, I find it really odd in this politically correct society we live in today, that this one topic brings out so many discriminatory views within the community. It makes me think that, because we spend our time trying cautiously not to offend, that we then channel all our non-PC thoughts and feelings out through the vent that is asylum seekers. Either way, I don’t get it, and I most certainly don’t like it. For every move forward (to quote the PM) this country takes, it seems we get something like this pop up that completely negates any progression we’ve had.


While in the shower this morning (the place where I do all my serious thinking), I was thinking about a conversation I’d had with a friend the other night in regards to political views and patriotism. We were discussing how in the US, it appears that not showing blind (and often ignorant) love for every aspect of your country results in you being branded an anti-American lefty hippy communist terrorist, or something to a similar extent. While we had a good laugh about that at the time, it did get me thinking that we here down under aren’t all that much better.

As I described some time back, I regard myself as being patriotic. I love my country and I proudly call myself an Australian. But this does not mean I am blind to its faults. For instance, I think there are times when we (or more specifically, many Australian people, not all) can be as bureaucratic as the British and as ignorant as the Americans (apologies to the efficient Brits and observant Americans whom I’ve just offended). I think there are many things which our government has managed that I am not proud of, and there are many aspects of our society that I am not proud of. Yet it seems if I publicly express my feelings, I too am labelled with the rather unflattering title of “unAustralian”.

I tend to agree with Francis Leach on radio station SEN (of all places), who said that:

Anyone who uses the term unAustralian is, in my view, an intellectual midget.

Nonetheless, there are many people who do use the term, and I guess it’s that patriot inside me who still finds it offensive, regardless of who suggests that I am, and whether their opinion is to be valued in any way.

To those who often dish out the term, to be a “fair dinkum Aussie”, a strict set of criteria must apply. You must be a sport fanatic who worships Aussie Rules (or league if you’re north of the border) in winter, and loves cricket in summer. Tick, anyone who’s met me knows there’s no problems there. You must enjoy downing cold beer while watching said sport, again tick. That beer should be VB – a big fat cross, VB is in my opinion possibly the most vile product to be marketed as beer, and I’d rather stay sober than drink it. You should support Australia in any sport they compete in, regardless of whether you actually care about that sport – tick. You should enjoy wearing green and gold coloured clothing on warm days chanting slogans about the masturbatory habits of a former English test captain – a hesitant tick. But still, in the sporting bogan department of being Australian, I probably pass.

However, when societal issues come to play, I start to fall off the pace. To keep your Australianism up, you must enjoy making fun of others – a tick I guess, I do have a sense of humour that does play upon other people. You must claim not to be racist, but you actually don’t really like Poms, Kiwis, Wogs, Lebs, Asians, Indians, Aboes, or anyone else not of Anglo-Australian descent, and you think they (especially the Asians and Indians) are taking over our country – big fat cross. Yes, we’ve had an influx of immigrants from certain areas of the world, but how that affects anyone here is completely beyond me. I maintain a healthy rivalry with other countries per the sporting discussion earlier, but I don’t dislike a race, or anyone from it purely based on their race.

You believe that political correctness is overrated and taking over, and that you should be able to make any form of disparaging remark about any race or gender – another cross, though slightly more hesitant. I do agree that political correctness can go too far (a black coffee for instance, is a description of the colour of the coffee, not a racial insult). However, too often is the racism and hatred that I mentioned earlier disguised in the form of humour. I don’t agree with the suspension of all rights to make jokes, but I also don’t like humour being used as a vessel for racism.

You think boat people is a massive problem for the security of the borders of this country, and if we don’t lock up all these “illegal queue-jumpers” or send their put-put boats back to where they came from, they’ll take over the whole country – I’m not going to bother answering that one, I’ll just direct you here.

And finally, as much as you pretend that events like the Cronulla Riots were bad, you actually think it was good that those Lebanese bastards got what they deserved for bashing those lifeguards – sigh, I don’t condone what those men did to the lifeguards, but the Cronulla riots disgusted me as an Australian. Watching young white-skinned thugs running around half-tanked bashing anyone who even appeared Middle-Eastern is as bad an example of racism as we’ve seen in this country. Worse yet was them claiming to do it to “protect Australia”, and draping our national flag, the very symbol of this country, over their backs while they did it. That day shook my confidence in this country, and the people within it, like no other.

So, I guess my comments will put me at odds with those “fair dinkum Aussies” who drive their V8s around with those stickers that read “Australia – if you don’t love it, leave”. To them, my criticism of this country’s faults makes me “unAustralian”, and I should probably leave, but let me put it like this. I do love Australia, but I am not blind to its faults. Every country in the world has faults, and ours is no exception. Moreover, why is it such a bad thing that I want to diagnose and repair or remove these faults from our country? Why is it a bad thing that I want the country I live in to be an even better place than it was before? And why is it a bad thing that I don’t think having an exclusively white Anglo-Australian population will achieve that goal?

I didn’t intend this piece to be an anti-Australian rant, like I’m sure some will perceive it to be. I actually intended it to highlight what the term “unAustralian” has come to mean. To me, it should mean anything that goes against the ideals of creating a better and stronger country for us all, yet it seems to have been hijacked by the racist bogans to mean something completely different. It is these people who are, in my view, the ones who are really unAustralian.