Thursday 23 November 2017
Recently one of my friends accused me of writing negatively about people of the right. In return I said that it is a fascination to me as to why the right attracts so many bitter people. People who hate better than most or are bigoted and negative disentists who oppose everything. Anyway, I told him that we need to remind people of just who they are … weed them out so to speak.
It is the fear of difference that turns most normal men into racists. Two such men are Peter Dutton and Scott Morrison. It is no easy thing to call a fellow human being a racist. I do so with a sense of uneasiness. But it must be done.
If the definition of racism is the prejudice that members of one race are intrinsically superior to members of other races and it manifests itself in discriminatory or abusive behaviour towards members of another race, then surely these two men are racists.
As I said, most people either inherit their racism or because they fear difference find it in their own weakness. They are to be pitied for their lack of enquiry.
But those who use it for political gain should be loathed. The practice of conservative politics in this country, in recent times, to do just that, comes both naturally and is inherently calculated.
Do you recall when Morrison told the Liberal Party Room that they weren’t getting enough mileage out of the despair of asylum seekers, or when he wanted to deny families attendance at the funerals of people drowned at sea because the taxpayer would bear the cost?
When you reject a proposal like the Malaysia Solution that may have benefitted people, purely for political gain, that’s racism. When you are responsible for incarcerating people because of their ethnicity indefinitely, simply to deter others from seeking asylum, it’s not only cruel but xenophobic.
When in December 2014 the surly and often angry Morrison was seeking unprecedented powers by using children to blackmail a bill through parliament, in effect saying, ”I will release the children only if you do what I demand,” he was using children of Middle Eastern background to do so.
In his maiden speech to Parliament Scott Morrison said that:
“From my faith I derive the values of loving-kindness, justice and righteousness, to act with compassion and kindness, acknowledging our common humanity and to consider the welfare of others.”
“We expect Christians … to be those who stand up for the truth, to stand up for justice, to stand on the side of the poor and the hungry, the homeless and the naked, and when that happens, then Christians will be trustworthy believable witnesses.”
“My vision for Australia is for a nation that is strong, prosperous and generous… generous in spirit, to share our good fortune with others, both at home and overseas, out of compassion and a desire for justice.”
His actions when Immigration Minister were anything but compassionate. They were full of prejudice, bigotry, xenophobic bias, racism and discrimination.
When Peter Dutton criticised Malcolm Fraser’s migration intake of the 1970s it was yet another example of his racist remarks. Last Thursday’s interview with Andrew Bolt covered many aspects of migration. Bolt blamed Victoria’s alleged outbreak of crime on “Young men of African descent, particularly from Sudan which partly is true”. At the same time Victoria was experiencing riots by white youths at a detention centre. They failed to mention that. The consistent over concentration on black or middle Easton folk of Islamic belief is a sure indication of racism. Only 20,000 people have settled in Australia from Sudan.
In question time Bill Shorten asked him to be more specific about which groups he was talking about said, ”The advice I have is that out of the last 33 people who have been charged with terror related offences in this country, 22 of those people are from second-and third generation Lebanese-Muslim background.”
He could not bring himself to say they were in fact Australian. Dutton was the only MP who refused to attend Kevin Rudd’s apology speech to our indigenous people.
John Menadue was asked on the ABC’s AM program whether Australia was, in fact, now paying for Malcolm Fraser’s mistakes:
“No, we’re not. I think Malcolm Fraser was probably, I think, together with Ben Chiffley – at least in the post-war period – the most successful prime minister in managing refugees and migration into Australia … I think that the contribution that Malcolm Fraser made has strengthened this country. It broke the back of ‘White Australia’.
We brought 250,000 Indo-Chinese to Australia: that was over a period … But every migration program, every refugee program has its problems from time to time. Malcolm Fraser was aware of that. And in the department I was with him for three years.
We took action to ensure that the integrity of the migration and refugee programs were ensured … And that means coming down like a ton of hot bricks where criminals occur, malpractice occurs. And he was very conscious of that and I was … But that’s not to say there weren’t problems: but they were addressed in a fairly rigorous sort of way.”
When Malcolm Turnbull came to power and was looking for a replacement for the dour refugee basher Morrison he had a ready replacement in the former copper Peter Dutton. A man of similar or worse disposition. He settled in the job showing that he could be more racist than his predecessor.
Peter Dutton has a history of it. In an interview with Sky News on May 17, Dutton said:
”They won’t be numerate or literate in their own language, let alone English. These people would be taking Australian jobs, there’s no question about that.”
Edmund Rice Centre director and Refugee Council president Phil Glendenning described the comments as a blatant attempt to appeal to the lowest common denominator of society – prejudice and bigotry.
“Not only are these comments inaccurate, they are deeply offensive to the hundreds of thousands of refugees who have come to our country over many generations,” Mr Glendenning said.
“Peter Dutton’s comments are simply contradictory – if refugees are illiterate, innumerate and ‘lurking about on unemployment queues’ how will they ‘take Australian jobs’?”
“As the saying goes, never let facts and logic get in the way of a scare campaign.”
“The fact is Australia can and should take more refugees – in 1949 alone we resettled 90,000 refugees.”
“Refugees and their children have gone on to become successful business people, doctors, academics, actors and sports players.” All research indicates that refugees provide an economic benefit to the nation.”
Dutton never puts forward evidence to support his claims. He is content to smear the Fraser government. It is truly remarkable just what this government finds to blame others for. Even their own. He also leaves open and plays on the perception that Fraser was wrong to accept Vietnamese refugees.
On the same day Dutton made his racist remarks the UN’s special rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, François Crépeau, ended an 18-day investigative visit to Australia. He said:
”Politicians who have engaged in this negative discourse seem to have given permission to people on the street to act in xenophobic ways and to allow for the rise of nationalist populist groups.”
John Hewson the former leader of the Liberal Party said that Dutton’s attempts to link Malcolm Fraser’s 1970s immigration policies to criminal gang activity and Islamic radicalisation in Australia today.
“Cheap political arse-covering”.
“But, why make this point continually” Is this a cheap attempt to appeal to the anti-immigration, anti-refugee movement?”
And so it has been since the time Philip Ruddock demonised asylum seekers by calling them illegals. People have been vilified to further a political aim. Pandering to the ultra-right Hanson’s of society who think they run immigration policy.
There are hundreds if not thousands of stories about immigrants from all over the world who have succeeded in Australia and made wonderful contributions to our society. I have no doubt that people like Morrison, Dutton, Bolt, Bernardi, Hanson and Abbott who continually criticise them do so for racist political reasons.
My thought for the day
“When you see a bumper sticker with the words ‘F**ck Off, We’re Full’. You will know that you have been exposed to the underbelly of Australian politics. Thanks Tony, thanks Scott and thanks Peter.”
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