It was only after a half hour or so after watching the video footage of the New Zealand killings that I awoke to the fact that the vision had made no impression on me.
Had I become so immune to all the horror of mass murders? The killing of the innocents and the rape of young girls that my mind had been numbed senseless by it all? I had to shake myself from my indifference. I felt ashamed of myself.
Once I had watched an ISIS leader shoot 20 or so old men in the back of the head and kicked them into a deep mass grave. It appalled me, so horrific it was.
The mass killings in New Zealand, because the boot was now on the other foot, have evoked many responses. This was a white man killing brown men. Yes, Muslims.
The fine Australian Waleed Aly on The Project gave a passionate response to the New Zealand massacres in which, without mentioning the Australian Prime Minister’s name, nonetheless implicated him in the criticism of those who have shown anti-Muslim traits for many years. Central to Aly’s criticism was the proposition that Scott Morrison had said at a shadow cabinet meeting:
“What are we going to do about multiculturalism? What are we going to do about concerns about the number of Muslims?”
I unquestionably recall reading about that statement just as I do Morrison’s insensitive one about the cost of allowing other Muslims to attend funerals in which people had drowned. Abbott backed him, of course. And Morrison made it on the day they were being buried.
In a 2011 piece for the SMH Lenore Taylor said that the opposition immigration spokesman, Scott Morrison, urged the shadow cabinet to capitalise on the electorate’s growing concerns about “Muslim immigration”, “Muslims in Australia” and the “inability” of Muslim migrants to integrate.
Whatever is the truth of it, it certainly cannot be denied that at that time and since, the government has been consistent with their endless Islamophobic rants. It has been going on for a decade.
That Muslims have tolerated the conservative dog whistling comments of Peter Dutton and many others is commendable.
“Lebanese Muslim migration program in the 1970s was a “mistake”.
Tony Abbott’s speech in which he said;
“Islamophobia hasn’t killed anyone”.
Tell that to the 50 men, women, and children lying still but coldly calm in a morgue in the land where the silver fern grows.
On Monday in an interview on 2GB former Prime Minister Tony Abbott said:
“All of us need to lift our game,” “We need to get right away from demonising people.
“We should not make anyone who is an Australian feel like a stranger in their own home.”
Sorry, Tony but that staggering hypocrisy is yet another disgusting lie to defend the ones already told. The avalanche of them told by you and your racist party over the past 10 years is simply deplorable.
The hatred expressed by those of the far-right has inexorably been normalised. It’s what I fell for. Say it often enough for long enough and people will become immune to it and be comfortable with it.
And look at the result. Look at what all their words of hatred has produced.
And there is no point denying your xenophobia. Remember the Tampa? What a racist success that was.
So has offshore detention worked? It has enabled you to demonise people to your hearts content. All despite repeated condemnations from international bodies.
Places like Nauru where men and women were kept without dignity and without hope. And most of them were Muslims. They might just be terrorists, you said. And it’s about community safety.
Then we went to Iraq on the basis of a lie. Side by side with the USA. They had no evidence nor did John Howard.
It’s always been about Muslims, so we fight them where we can. Even if we have to go to Afghanistan.
Abbott tells us to be afraid ISIS is coming to get you. Yes, you personally. It’s Muslims once again.
“The wars began with a deluge of propaganda.” Later, the terror threat was leveraged to massively enhance surveillance by Australia’s national security.
Then in December 2005 the darling of the dollar Alan Jones was urging all the fit and abled young Australian white males to get down to Cronulla and throw whatever they could find at Muslims having a picnic on a bright Australian summers day. It didn’t worry Alan his ratings just went up.
The race riots of Cronulla were the genesis for the wearing of our flag on naked torsos to symbolise that we were better that those Muslims.
Now it’s commonplace to wear a flag on Australia Day to put those “Others” in their place. The flag that says little about our past and less about our future flies on Anzac Day celebrating militarism and imperialism.
And at the same time the Murdoch rags and other media outlets monopolises our media market and will keep demonising Muslims so long as it makes them a quid. Or they at least think it does.
Maybe they don’t have the circulation they once had but they still have the influence. They are still the go-to place for the shock jocks and others.
They say that the left is as bad as the right but I have never seen any evidence. Show me the evidence. Show it to me now. Does it compare with the facts I have written? Name me a left wing shock jock.
Do you recall Anzac Day of 2017; an intelligent young Muslim girl by the name of Yassmin Abdel-Magied had the audacity to use the words “LEST.WE.FORGET. (Manus, Nauru, Syria, Palestine…)” on her Facebook page?
She was trying to make the point that suffering was just suffering regardless of the conflict, and that people on Nauru and Manus were also suffering.
Murdoch’s Australian newspaper took offence, condemned her, and over time drove her out of the country.
She is a Muslim.
She escaped their racism and went to London where she described Australia as like an “abusive boyfriend”.
The Daily Telegraph but a year ago was reporting on the white farmers in South Africa. The writing was full of innuendo implying that blacks were murdering thousands of white farmers. In stepped Immigration Minister Peter Dutton suggesting that white farmers might be given “special attention” if they wanted to immigrate to Australia.
Peter Dutton – around the same time was – suggesting that Melbournians were afraid to go out to a restaurant because of African gangs. Melbournians laughed at the suggestion.
Shall I go on? Well, there is still much to be said. There is the case of Senator Anning who made it into the august chamber with just 19 votes on the One Nation ticket and then promptly deserted.
Again this week he came to national attention when he appeared to blame the victims of the Christchurch massacre, and then again when a young protester cracked an egg on Anning’s baldhead. It was a pity the kid didn’t use an even dozen.
Does the reader think that white nationalism is on the increase? Is it just my imagination? After all our Senate in all its wisdom did pass a bill saying that its “It’s OK to be white.”
Only last week the man who once had a brain Mark Latham and the red head with an ultra white complex were suggesting that self-identified Indigenous people be DNA tested before they receive welfare.
Retired former discrimination commissioner Tim Soutphommasane said recently that the government was “campaigning on fear, seeking to incite hysteria about asylum seekers and border security.”
I’m going to stop there not because I cannot produce more evidence of the Right’s decades-long xenophobia and Muslim-bashing. Goodness, I haven’t even mentioned Andrew Bolt.
They all know who they are these politicians and media hacks that belittle those who but seek comfort and safety from Australia.
Do they wonder why New Zealand is more forthcoming with love and compassion?
When we watch our televisions do we discern how naturally, from the old and the young it comes? Do we reflect that we are not like them, those New Zealander’s but we could be and should be?
Let me finish by saying that the language will have to change and also the transparency of it. If politicians and journalists – anyone for that matter – want to use the language of the gutter it will now be called out.
If politicians want to use racist scare campaigns as they have in the past – and no doubt plan to use in the next election campaign- then there will be a price to pay. If they want to change section 18c of the Racial Discrimination Act to open free speech to enter the field of hate speech, I wouldn’t dare.
There are signs that public sentiment has shifted enormously; that all the government’s lies have caught up with them to the point where even their own supporters don’t believe them.
From now on a form of accountability in the form of public opinion will judge them.
My thought for the day
An enlightened society is one in which the suggestion that we need to legislate ones right to hate another person is considered intellectually barren.
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