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Never allow racism to disguise itself in the cloak of nationalism

Thursday 16 August 2018

I don’t think there is a greater societal problem in the world today than that of racism.

When a person declares inwardly using self-deceit or ignorance that he or she is superior because, certain factors, such as skin colour make it so, then they are racist.

When a person declares outwardly using self-deceit, ignorance or just blind hatred that he or she is superior just because of the colour of their skin, ethnicity or the faith they follow then they are racist.

Their racism has probably been handed down to them by the sins of the fathers. They are not born into it.

Such racist thoughts were expressed in the maiden speech of Queensland Senator Fraser Anning who called for a “Final Solution” to immigration.

His speech has been widely criticized for its obvious Nazi overtones and blatant racism. The “Final solution” was the phrase used by Hitler for what he called the Jewish problem. It called for the extermination of an entire race of people to satisfy a crazed mind.

To say that Anning’s words were insensitive would be an oversimplification.

Anti-Semitism or the practice of it can be traced back to medieval Europe. Jews were banned from many countries because they refused to practice the faith of their conquerors.

They were also hated because they loaned money and charged interest, which was forbidden in the Christian faith.

In the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, Jews were expelled from France, Germany, Portugal and Spain.

Josh Frydenberg was one of many MPs who were upset by Anning’s speech saying that at least 1.5 million children were killed in the Holocaust.

“Fraser Anning is a father,” Mr Frydenberg said.

“Let alone the 10 million people that were killed by the Nazis, of which six million were Jews.”

Mr Frydenberg said his comments were completely unacceptable and extremely hurtful.

He has no excuse and needs to quickly apologize.

But Anning’s speech wasn’t just about anti-Semitism. It was about trying to save a world that has long passed us by. About trying to save a faith that the facts show will die out in the next 20 to 30 years. About restoring an image of the average Australian of the 50s. About white authority and superiority. About Nationalism and not internationalism.

Men of Anning’s and Bob Katter’s background and vintage, I’m sure, walk through each day singing “Click go the Shears” while the rest of us concede the contribution that immigration has made to the culture of our country and that culture and values are but a work in progress that never gets completed.

And for all the imperfections that must by nature come with it, we just work our way through them.

I mention Bob Katter because during my lunch break I tuned into News 24 to see Bob give Fraser a grouse round of support.

He is the quintessential Australian Ocker who should be cracking his whip in the outback where the crack of his tongue can do no harm.

His press conference was full of factual errors and exaggerated nonsensical talk that, when the camera pulled back, revealed that he may as well have been talking to himself. Which was probably a good thing. Three very young junior journalists constituted the press conference.

We are confronted with yet more odious loathing. This time it is directed at those from Africa. It doesn’t matter what their country of origin if they are Muslim they will suffer the full thrust of minorities xenophobia. Just as 99 per cent of Muslims want peace so do 99 per cent of Australians.

In my piece We cannot let racism win I wrote:

“We have a long history of finding fault with things we don’t understand. At various times we have blamed communists, Jews, women, the devil, indigenous people and witches, even God, for all manner of things.

I have been privy to the ignorance that history has recorded on these matters and I am angry with the likes of Pauline Hanson, Peter Dutton and our Prime Minister who would seek to deny Australia of others who desire to, not only seek their personal freedom, but also the opportunity to give of themselves to the advancement of this great nation.

When I sit on the platform at Flinders Street Station and watch the passing parade of ethnicity I can but only admire a country I could never envisage from the same seat in the 1950s.”

My thought for the day.

Never allow racism to disguise itself in the cloak of nationalism”

PS. Senator Hinch probably best summed up the speech when he said he sat through the speech by Senator Anning. Said he believes in free speech. But it was the most racist, hateful, spiteful diatribe he has heard in 50 years in journalism. “excruciating” and “Pauline Hanson on steroids”.

23 comments

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  1. New England Cocky

    “[Fanny Anning] is the quintessential Australian Ocker who should be cracking his whip in the outback where the crack of his tongue can do no harm.”

    FA would not survive in “the outback” because he is soft bellied city pussy.

    I am reminded that Tony RAbbott’s family escaped unreconstructed Britain in the 1950s as a “boat people refugees” seeking sun and opportunities in Australia. About 25% of English migrants returned to the UK after the two year contract period. This was the largest group of returnees in the system.

  2. Peter F

    “About 25% of English migrants returned to the UK after the two year contract period” … by which time things were starting to improve.

  3. jaq

    Josh Frydenberg jumps up and down re Jews in the Holocaust, the LNP hug and kiss each other and say- we cant let this happen, while all the while allowing their colleague Dutton to allow rape and deprivation of liberty to people who have suffered the same fate as Jews did. Persecution. These people- on Nauru- genuine refugees- languish in an Australian concentration camp, and goodness knows how many more have had their boats turned back at sea by our Navy, and very possibly have drowned. But oh, we didn’t say it out loud- did we Turnbull and Shorten?Talk about the highest form of racism.

  4. Kyran

    “When I sit on the platform at Flinders Street Station and watch the passing parade of ethnicity I can but only admire a country I could never envisage from the same seat in the 1950’s.”
    Firstly, may I express my dismay and outrage that a seat has not been replaced after some 70 years. It goes a long way to explaining how you could have a ‘burr in your saddle’ (albeit an errant splinter in your sphincter) for such a long time.
    It seems almost silly to note that we, the people, have dealt with change associated with welcoming new and different cultures at a local level quite successfully for decades, yet our leaders have so much trouble with the concept, if for no other reason than their own political expediency.
    People of poor character, when allowed to hide behind a pseudonym (on line) or a cause (religion or ideology), are enabled to shout in other people’s faces whilst hiding their own face. The tendency to be a jerk is born of poor character and such people are easily emboldened by ‘leaders’ interested only in their own self-promotion. ‘Mob rule’ is not new, yet we talk of trolls on the internet as some sort of recent phenomenon enabled by social media. The only successful answer to the question of mob rule is education, in my experience. Not the three r’s variety, but the education of constant questioning.
    Anne Aly threw away her prepared speech yesterday in parliament and spoke ‘off the cuff’. She spoke of being tired of having to have the same fight, day after day. Of all the snippets produced yesterday, that one resonated well with me.
    Most live with the hope that tomorrow will be a new day, with all the promise of a new light being cast on our concerns, with all the prospect of effecting change. After a while, you get struck with the reality that it’s the same miserable day all over again, with the same miserable, shallow vacuous gits inciting the same fear and division amongst people of poor character.
    There are many historical examples of addressing these ignorant premises of superiority, whether it be gender, race, religion, colour, whatever. It is a measure of my ignorance that I fail to see a distinction between MeToo, Black lives matter, Muslim lives matter, etc, other than lives matter.
    The Magna Carta has come and gone, as has the UN Declaration of Human Rights. These documents and the sentiments contained therein do not suit the ruling elites. That is an outrageously simplistic evaluation, but I believe it is apt.

    Preamble
    Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,
    Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people,
    Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law,
    Whereas it is essential to promote the development of friendly relations between nations,
    Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,
    Whereas Member States have pledged themselves to achieve, in co-operation with the United Nations, the promotion of universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms,
    Whereas a common understanding of these rights and freedoms is of the greatest importance for the full realization of this pledge,
    Now, Therefore THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY proclaims THIS UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction.

    http://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/index.html

    Until these fools masquerading as our leaders understand that any discussion of a person’s rights can not be conducted to the exclusion of any other persons rights, we will continue having these circular conversations every day.
    The UN has long been gutted and is now merely a stage for our new emperors to display their new clothes. Our parliament is nothing short of a disgrace, an insult to any sense of decency. As you posted the other day, it now becomes incumbent on any decent person at a local level to stand beside their brothers and sisters as they are vilified by characterless sods, newly emboldened by this current shower of wasters.
    Like Ms Aly, I’m tired. But I’ll beef hooked if I’m going to lie down just yet.
    Thankyou Mr Lord. Take care.
    PS. Seriously. Dude. Put in a complaint about that seat.

  5. John Lord

    Thank you Kyran. A most impressive response.

  6. Carol Taylor

    John, I would completely disagree that Anning is the ‘quintessential Ocker who should be in the Outback cracking his whip’. John, have you actually been to the Outback? This comment is highly offensive and resembles the racist comments that Aboriginal people have to endure..that because you’re an Outback person that this means that you’re stereotyped. I personally find that Anning is more like an inner city latte sipper trying to garnish support from people who have never been within cooee of the outback. Your racist comments concerning the Outback and equating them with Anning are not appreciated.

  7. Keitha Granville

    The parliament should introduce the blue eyes brown eyes experiment in an effort to make some of them understand the creeping disease of racism. (look it up if you don’t know of it)
    It should also be a compulsory class in every school at an early age. As you say, children are not born racist, but they learn it quite quickly from parents and friends. Stamp it out at the start before it has time to take root.

    Fraser Anning is a disease, we need to eradicate his ilk asap. I am ashamed that most of the Senate stood and shook his hand. Gutless.

    Thank you JL for another great piece

  8. John Lord

    Carol.

    Others who are familiar with my writing would not read into it what you have but naturally you are entitled to your opinion.It was just a figure of speech. Pardon my brevity but I have never been called a racist before.I’m a bit taken a back. I was of the view that I am the least racist person I know.

  9. helvityni

    …it was interesting to watch Dutton’s face when all those people were airing their dislikes, hurts, upsets about the Anning speech…

    If Mal is upset about it as well, why has he been adding to the to Sudanese crime debacle, and why has he not made any captain’s calls when so many of our asylum seekers have been mistreated, or when they have been very sick…

    The world has been shocked , but not our PM…

    And Pauline has been equally racist, yet she has been often used to help the Coalition to get their legislations through…..Hypocrisy much?

  10. John Lord

    I noticed this in today’s New Daily.

    An adviser to Fraser Anning has quit after the Queensland Senator used the Nazi phrase the “final solution” in a controversial speech on Muslim immigration.

    Richard Mcgilvray resigned just hours after Australian Party Senator Anning delivered his first speech on Tuesday night.

  11. helvityni

    Good post Keitha, I too was alarmed by the friendly handshaking…

  12. Michael Taylor

    John, Carol never called you a racist. She said that the “comment is highly offensive and resembles the racist comments that Aboriginal people have to endure” and she also said “your racist comments.”

    I do not see where she labelled you as a racist.

    I can hold a cricket bat and I might even hit the ball now and again, but I’d hardly think I could be called a cricketer.

    You are cherry-picking.

  13. Stephen Fitzgerald

    As a kid I spent time with the local Koori – They taught me to make boomerangs, live off the land, dot paint, catch snakes and run like the wind. They also taught me respect – Respect for the elders and respect for the land. I carry that with me. A respect for all people from all walks of life and my belief is that we all come from the same place. If you go back far enough, we all had the same grand-mother, so at a stretch we are brothers and sisters.

    Unless you are Koori we are all immigrants to this country. In fact, everyone is an immigrant to their country. Africa excluded. My issue is not immigration. My issue is the lack of transparency from Peter Dutton’s office. There’s a fine line between keeping the unemployment rate steady and flooding the workforce.

    When the unemployment rate is low, labour is in demand, and from this point you can negotiate better wages and conditions. When the workforce is saturated there’s competition for jobs and wages and conditions stagnate. That along with casualising the workforce is impacting Australian working families and Australian society.

    It has already been established that the Turnbull government believes they have a mandate to give corporates whatever they want. If that’s half a million unskilled labourers then, that’s what they’ll get. So how do we sneak unskilled labour into the country without some moron suggesting we put up a wall to keep them out?

    Let’s see – I’ve got it… Put out the word across the land – Come to Australia as an unskilled student and you can do 20 hours work per week and be given citizenship after 4 years. You can all do the same accounting course, that’s incidental. It’s your labour we want not your brains.

    Mr Dutton please, all we want is transparency. How many skilled immigrants over what time span and what’s the projections. Also, and more importantly, how many unskilled student workers over what time span and what’s the projections. There are 3.5 million Australians living in poverty, wages and conditions have gone backwards and casualisation has hit 50%. It’s a train wreck and train wrecks need to be investigated from all angles.

    All we are after, Mr Dutton, is some open public debate on the pros and cons for Australian society in relation to unskilled immigrant labour coming into the country as working students? You see, it’s not racist and it’s not nationalist – It’s a desire by Australian voters to know what’s going on? It would be nice to see the facts and figures and understand your master plan and then Mr Dutton, since this is a democracy, you can take it to the next election.

    Lasagne tonight or prawn laksa, maybe tandoori chicken or falafel – I love them all.

    SteveFitz

  14. John Lord

    Michael. Its not an issue with me. Forget it.

  15. Zathras

    Persecution of Jews goes back much further than the 14th and 15th Century. Many were pilloried as far back as Ancient Greece in the 4th Century BC.

    The reasons (and they were not just the Jesus aspect) ?

    They don’t assimilate, they place their religion above nationalism so have no loyalty, they form enclaves and ghettos, they don’t share the same cultural values, their religion describes non-believers as “human cattle” and so on.

    Placing them outside “normal society” makes them a convenient target for scapegoating and any attempt to “wrap themselves in the flag” makes them appear insincere and suspicious.

    They are ultimately in a no-win situation and there have always been some non-Jews who use this position for their own advantage.

    It sounds vaguely familiar.

    It’s strange that “swamped by Asians and aboriginals on welfare” Hanson now complains about “swamped by Muslims and welfare abusing immigrants” comments.

  16. helvityni

    Zathras, she is very fair, she dislikes us all equally…

  17. Verny

    The pity of it is that Fraser Anning said many things about Australia that were right. The infrastructure deficit due to neoliberal debt-fetishism and the fraud of austerity; the undeveloped nature of this land due to the banks’ stranglehold on capital and the gutlessness of our politicians who do not dare to challenge foreign financial powers keeping Australia as a quarry and a plantation. The profoundly criminal banking system and its parasitism on productive businesses and industries … and much else.
    What a shame this fool didn’t know when to shut up, and leave us in the dark about the poisonous racist crap he mixed in with his accurate ramblings. This stupid man’s ambition to make a contribution is now a write-off. Bob Katter’s idiot approval of Anning’s rant may scuttle his introduction of a Glass-Steagall bill in parliament, which will be seriously harmed by his endorsement of race prejudice and religious bigotry.
    I’m reminded of Pauline Hanson’s initial platform of public-owned banking and tariff protection — policies pinched from the Citizens Electoral Council, who also wrote Katter’s Glass-Steagall bill.
    This may not be a coincidence. The major parties are bi-partisan in the neoliberal dogma of austerity, debt-fetishism and privatisation that is ruining us, along with their reluctance to discipline our criminal banks. Hanson ran away from her reformist ideas after narrowly escaping jail over electoral matters, sooled on her by T. Abbott. She chickened out. These Queensland numbskulls are diligently cruelling their few worthwhile ideas by mixing them with toxic rot and Neanderthalism. Where else to look?

  18. sdrawkcaB

    I think this article takes liberties.

    For starters, the author has taken it upon himself to redefine racism. I would suggest his second and third paragraphs are describing intolerance or prejudice.

    A faith based superiority can’t be racism as faith is not a race – it is not Caucasian, Negroid, Polynesian, etc.

    That aside, an aspect I often wonder about with multiculturalism is ‘did its success change from the 1990’s onwards?’

    Before the 1990’s, our multiculturalism was really monoculturalism with multi strands. In general, immigrants were derivatives of the Roman/Latin culture of 100AD The significance is the great work of the Western Canon applied to all. We were all raised under the same set of overarching principles.

    Since he 1990s, Asian and Eastern immigration took off and their great work is not the Western Canon but something different. So we have only really had multiculturalism since then.

  19. SteveFitz

    Pauline Hanson spent nearly 3 months in jail before the Queensland Court of Appeal quashed her 3 year conviction. There is no other way to look at this, she was a political prisoner for daring to challenge the political status quo. She is someone the Liberal Party and their MSM machine will always persecute and drag down along with any-one else who challenges them. They were trying to make out Bill Shorten was stupid before the federal by-elections. Who ended up with egg on their face? So don’t get sucked in.

    Pauline’s been battered and bruised in politics, but she hangs in there, and she does that for good reason. She does that so that there is a balance in the federal senate and she is prudent about how she uses that power. She does that to look out for the best interest of Australians. O.K. she’s not perfect, she’s a bit extreme, she’s up and down, good and bad, black and white, ying and yang, and smart and stupid just like the rest of us damaged humans. Well, like me anyway.

    What she did do though, was block the Turnbull government from handing the top end of town $80 billion in tax concessions. Turnbull was just about to plunder Australian society on behalf of the financial elite. So, that’s 80 thousand million dollars that Australian tax payers get to keep from their hard-earned wages for schools, hospitals, infrastructure and hopefully a bit to the ABC. Thank you Senator Hanson, I will always remember all that money being taken from the rich and given to the poor.

    To me at least, she’s not all that bad and her heart’s in the right place, most of the time. Pauline Hanson has proven her worth in the senate and has brought a bit of colour to the Australian political landscape. If Peter Dutton came clean on immigration I don’t think we would be having all these nationalist and racist issues driven by ignorance. Because we wouldn’t be so ignorant.

    SteveFitz

  20. Cool Pete

    I would say that F*ckwit Anning belongs not in the outback, but in a soundproof padded cell where he can talk to the walls! Racism is a belief that one is superior on account of one’s features. All religions are equal and religious freedom is enshrined under the constitution. Contrary to what the far-right spouts, we are not in danger of losing our identity!

  21. Harry

    Verny: I agree with you about the debt and deficit obsession, the financialization of our economy, the supine behaviour of our politicians towards capital, needless cutbacks to social programs, the refusal/failure to run the economy at full employment, (no, 5%+ is NOT full employment). These are factors that have led to resentment and a surge in the hard right.

    Not the only factors of course!

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