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The racist Immigration Minister

Sometime in 2014, journalist Rob Burgess interviewed former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser and discussed refugee policy. During the discussion, apparently Fraser made a prediction. Burgess recently wrote an opinion piece for The New Daily discussing Minister Dutton’s recent claims about South African farmers and recalled Fraser’s prophecy

The cruelties of the offshore detention system, he said, made it look, “from outside Australia … as if the white Australia policy battles are still raging”.

There was no way, he said, that a boatload of “white South African farmers would be treated that way if they sailed into Fremantle harbour” – a sentiment he also expressed to the ABC in 2012 [during the term of the Rudd/Gillard ALP Government].

They were prophetic words, because this week 2GB’s Ray Hadley asked Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton if he was planning to help “white South African farmers who are facing violence and land seizures at home”.

Mr Dutton replied: “I’ve asked the Department to look at ways in which we can provide some assistance … potentially in the humanitarian program, because if people are being persecuted – regardless of whether it’s because of religion or the colour of their skin or whatever – we need to provide assistance where we can.”

In the past couple of weeks, Dutton has demonstrated the Australian Government’s refugee and immigration practices are racism pure and simple. At the same time as we as a nation hold people who have proven themselves to be refugees in detention centres across the South Pacific in less than humane conditions, the Australian Government’s Minister for Home Affairs (and pretty well everything else) Peter Dutton is openly discussing allowing white farmers from South Africa, who claim they are subject to violence and land seizures at home, to be granted priority help and assistance from a ‘civilised country’ like Australia. As reported on Fairfax news websites

“If you look at the footage and read the stories, you hear the accounts, it’s a horrific circumstance they face,” Mr Dutton told News Corp on Wednesday.

“We have the potential to help some of these people that are being persecuted.”

He has directed the Home Affairs Department to explore whether the farmers can be accepted into Australia through refugee, humanitarian or other visas, including the in-country persecution visa category.

Dutton is quoted as saying

it was clear the farmers in question wanted to work hard and contribute to countries like Australia.

“We want people who want to come here, abide by our laws, integrate into our society, work hard, not lead a life on welfare,” he said.

“And I think these people deserve special attention and we’re certainly applying that special attention now.”

Greg Barnes of the Australian Lawyers Alliance, writing in a South African paper (reported by the ABC in Australia) suggests that

Mr Dutton’s choice of the word was intended to shore up support among the right-wing voter base in Australia, and is an extension of his “African gangs” rhetoric.

Barnes also claims that Dutton

is appealing to the racist element in the Australian body politic that doesn’t mind immigration so long as those landing on Australia’s shores are white and middle class,”

In his The New Daily article, Rob Burgess quotes 2GB radio announcer Ray Hadley as saying there were

“reports that one white farmer is murdered every week”.

And suggests

That’s a terrible statistic, if true, but there are far worse reports coming from the “crisis on our doorstop”, as the Greens call it.

Medecins Sans Frontieres reports more than 10,000 Rohingya have been killed in the past six months – close to 400 people a week.

They too have been forced from their land, and their homes and villages destroyed.

It seems that in Dutton’s mind at least, one alleged South African murder a week is worse than 400 confirmed Rohingya murders in the same timeframe. There is no other word to describe this than appalling.

Dutton’s justification that South Africans would come here, abide by our laws, integrate into our society, work hard, not lead a life on welfare and others (the implication being refugees from South Asia, the middle east or central Africa) wouldn’t is clearly not confirmed by even a cursory examination of the facts.

Four years ago almost to the day, The Political Sword looked at the contribution refugees and their descendants have made to Australia from the end of World War 2 until now. And you don’t have to be well-known like Tony Abbott, Julia Gillard, Kylie Minogue or Dr Munjed Al Muderis to have made or be making a contribution to this country that we have all adopted at some point in our family trees. The doctors, dentists, shop assistants, cleaners, bus drivers and car sales people you see as well as the office workers, carers, researchers and so on that you don’t can quite easily be people who either were refugees or their descendants. Most if not all of them pay their taxes, purchase goods, educate their kids, aspire to better things regardless of their skin colour, belief systems or country of origin. Just as the South African white farmers would if they did come here or the Rohingya people that Dutton won’t let in to the country would do if given the chance.

While we’re at it, the refugees or their descendants that are driving your bus, looking at your teeth, caring for our sick or reconstructing your skeleton aren’t taking jobs from ‘ordinary Australians’ either. In the first place, Australia has been the adopted home of significant numbers of people from all over the world for all of the last century so the definition of ‘ordinary’ has to be pretty loose. The ‘Asian’ who is selling you a car or checking your teeth may be part of a family that has been here for a lot longer than yours has, as Asians have been immigrating to Australia since the Gold Rushes of the 1850’s. The ‘middle eastern’ cleaner at the shopping centre or deciphering your CT scan might be celebrating the granting of a permanent residency visa next week or they could be mourning the loss of their grandparents who were descended from the famed central Australian Afghans of the 19th Century.

With the headline national unemployment rate approaching the economists theoretical benchmark of ‘full employment’ (which is around 5% unemployed), the argument that someone who ‘looks different’ to your perception of an ‘ordinary Australian’ has always only recently immigrated to this country and will take your job really doesn’t make much logical sense.

While generalisations can be incorrect, a significant number of the alleged dispossessed South African white farmers identify as being Afrikaans, who have a history of practising discrimination within South Africa that goes back over a century.

In the late 19th century, the British governor of the Cape Colony Sir George Grey and imperialist Cecil John Rhodes carried out what they considered to be a “civilising mission” to convert Africans to Christianity, give them a Western education and encourage them to adopt the Western way of life.

A few decades later, the policy of “civilised labour” was used in South Africa to justify policies of preserving certain jobs for whites only.

By the mid-1940s, Professor EP Groenewald of the Dutch Reformed Church argued apartheid was needed for the survival of Afrikaners so that they could take responsibility for acting as guardians towards the less “civilised” people.

“When the apartheid state took over in 1948 the term acquired a racial tone, being used to separate whites [the civilised] from blacks [the uncivilised races],” Mr Ngcukaitobi said.

South African prime minister Hendrik Verwoerd — known as the architect of apartheid — went on to rely on the concept when he responded to UK prime minister Harold Macmillan’s “Wind of Change” speech to the South African parliament in 1960.

“They [white men] are the people … who brought civilisation here, who made possible the present development of black nationalism by bringing the natives education, by showing them the Western way of life, by bringing to Africa industry and development, by inspiring them with the ideals which Western civilisation has developed for itself,” Dr Verwoerd said.

Are Dutton’s claims of persecution of Afrikaners even valid? According to The Guardian

Gareth Newham at the Institute for Security Studies, one of South Africa’s leading authorities on crime statistics, said there was no evidence to support the notion that white farmers were targeted more than anyone else in the country.

“In fact, young black males living in poor urban areas like Khayelitsha and Lange face a far greater risk of being murdered. The murder rate there is between 200 and 300 murders per 100,000 people,” he said. Even the highest estimates of farm murders stand at 133 per 100,000 people, and that includes both black and white murder victims.

Estimates of the rate of white farm murders are fiercely contested. “It’s a difficult question to answer because we don’t really know exactly how many white South Africa farmers there are,” said Newham.

“All these methodologies are hugely flawed because if you start ring-fencing certain people because of their race you are missing out on the bigger context of how violence and murder takes place in South Africa. I wouldn’t say that white farmers are more likely to be murdered than other groups, we don’t have enough evidence of that,” he added

While it is true that South Africa’s Parliament did recently start a process which may allow for the expropriation of land, and if it is ever enforced it is likely that white farmers will be affected to a greater level than others,

no farms have yet been seized, nor is there any immediate plan by the government to do so.

According to the November 2017 Land Audit Report, 72% of agricultural land is owned by white farmers. White people make up 8% of South Africa’s population.

The inequality in land ownership is a legacy of apartheid in South Africa, and all major political parties agree on the need for extensive land reform. The current land reform policy is based on the principle of “willing buyer, willing seller”, and has largely failed to result in meaningful transformation.

Last August when Turnbull’s leadership of the Coalition Government appeared to be on shaky ground, we looked at Dutton and observed that he plays politics [with] hatred and spite rather than equity, equality, morals, ethics, compassion or betterment for all Australians. Dutton, like a number of other politicians, claims to lead a life based on Christian beliefs. In September 2014, The Political Sword published an article entitled Jesus was a refugee where we asked

Who demonstrates the morals and ethics of their chosen religious text better? Is it the conservative political leaders who stand by and watch people starve or suffer ill health or the Sisters of Mercy and other religion-based organisations that actively channel profits from provision of services to help those less fortunate? Is it those conservatives who suggest that ‘stopping the boats’ is a worthy aim or those that suggest that Jesus was a refugee and accordingly we should assist and care for those that have felt the need to make the refugee journey? Is it the conservative people who invade a country and impose a rule of law or those with religious beliefs that go about their daily lives and attempt to help someone in need?

By bending over backwards to offer ‘help’ to potentially dispossessed white Afrikaans farmers while ignoring the plight of others, probably based on skin colour or differing beliefs, demonstrates yet again the warped view of morals, ethics and claimed values shared by conservative politicians such as Dutton.

What do you think?

This article by was originally published on The Political Sword.

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17 comments

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  1. Cool Pete

    The conservative so-called “Christians” are moralists who attempt to justify racism and discrimination through their beliefs. Dutton is nothing more than a shocking racist who must be condemned.

  2. Cool Pete

    And I had the same argument with my mother, when I made the decision to change from her conservative white doctor to an Asian doctor. I told her that it was no different to buying a Holden or a Ford and finding it wasn’t as good as you thought it’d be and trading it in on a Toyota or Nissan.

  3. babyjewels10

    Dutton continues to make me ashamed to call myself Australian. How shameful and embarrassing our government is. They seem stuck in the 1950s, set on turning Australia into another Alabama.

  4. diannaart

    I am understanding why Dutton refers to Australia as “civilised” – he doesn’t mean civilised as in compassionate, humane, caring and respectful of all life… not that kind of civilised. Dutton means Christian, as in ‘Australia is a Christian country’. Not that Australia actually is a Christian nation – this is simply Orwellian speak for “Because I said so and I am minister for everything.”

    Dutton favours South African farmers for their whiteness (as in because they are white they are being persecuted – nothing to do with land rights), Christianity (because we know Dutton is a pious Christian as he voted against equal marriage) and farming skills (because Australia needs more farmers?).

    Anyway, if Dutton gets his way and he most likely will, being in charge of everything, I posit that these (white) South African farmers will be living somewhere in Dutton’s electorate, as I understand he holds this seat by a very small margin.

    I do hope these South Africans don’t scare the locals by being so very, very white and walking outside in gangs of one or more, thus preventing restaurant patronage as did not happen in Melbourne.

  5. Pierre Wilkinson

    The Libs are now blatantly adopting the Nazi methodology:
    repeat a lie loudly enough and often enough and it comes to be perceived as truth..
    any opposition is clearly traitorous and anti patriotic which are both terminal offenses…
    control the media – oops, in our case rupert controls them
    control the judiciary with your own followers placed in positions of authority
    and give a raving poorly performed sociopath control over border security and immigration…. only we went one step better and allowed this lunatic power over our police and spy networks

    sigh<

  6. New England Cocky

    Uhm … my travels in Sydney taxis have been very interesting because the drivers have frequently been “new immigrants” often with post-graduate qualifications from their national, or other universities, who have been unable to practice in their area of expertise because the Australian professional societies refuse to recognise their “foreign qualifications”.

    Australia had the same policy after WWII when the European and English refugees flooded into Australia and turned our diet towards tasty food. On one occasion, my late mother visited an Austrian dentist who explained that he had no practicing certificate but had the equipment, expertise and found many of the accepted dental practices in Australia to be out-dated.

    If he wanted to practice in Australia he would have to qualify in Australia. He had been practising in Vienna for 30 years.

    Discrimination against refugees from anywhere coming to Australia does not stop at the border; it continues with the prohibitive practices of vested professional interests ensuring any possible competition is disadvantaged.

  7. longwhitekid

    Before we even get to how refugees are treated, which flouts the international human rights covenant Australia is signatory to – There’s nothing ‘civilized’ about a country that continues to treat the indigenous population the way this government does, the way we do. All you have to do is take a hard look at the facts and figures on life expectancy, poverty, literacy and numeracy, unemployment, and addiction. Dutton is delusional in his psychopathy.

  8. Zathras

    Take a bow Dutton, you’re now regarded a hero in white supremacist circles. You’re up there with Hitler, Himmler and Mussolini – other small-minded thugs.

    This African farmer story recently came from News Corp via Miranda Devine and Caroline Marcus, who picked it up from supremacist sites like the Nazi group Stormfront, who have been talking about this for about 10 years as part of the “White Genocide” campaign.
    The Far Right in the USA is also making similar noises and no doubt there will be more to come (once they get around the shi!thole country problem).

    By jumping onto this particular bandwagon Dutton has officially confirmed his racist status to the world and in doing so, implicated the whole country by association.

    I’d like to add (in his own words about his critics) that he and his Party are “dead to me”.

  9. Ted Henry

    He is an exactly idiot and treated himself as an indigenous chief but he forgets himself is a migrant of generation. Such a dumbass could be the Minister of Immigration? Why Turnbull has not dismissed him?

  10. Terry2

    We are told that Dutton intervened to allow two young women to enter Australia on tourist visas even though they had admitted they would be working as nannies or au pairs and Border Force had planned to cancel their visas and not admit them to Australia – one phone call by one of the girls had that decision reversed.

    What’s the betting they weren’t from the Phillippines or other Asia countries : I may be wrong but I’m thinking they were probably white and from European countries .

    I must be turning into a cynic in my dotage !

  11. helvityni

    We have accepted few Syrians here, yet even the well educated ones who have good English language skills find it hard to get jobs…

  12. Frank Smith

    I would not be at all surprised if the “white South African farmers” that Dutton is attempting to promote as “victims” would be Afrikaner Resistance Movement farmers who were led by such Nazi flag-waving fascist radicals as Eugene Terre’Blanche and Steyn von Rönge. Thankfully, I understand that very few SA farmers now identify with such abhorrent right wing nationalist groups.

  13. Blair

    Who actually benefited fro Dutton decision? To whom was the phone call made to get a visa on short notice? Who knew whom to get a favourable decision? Dutton is dead to me.

  14. jimhaz

    Why just farmers? There are about 6 million white africans. How could one accept farmers, but not others in the white population.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_C2R12xQDDE

    Dutton has already negatively affected SA politics and will have an ongoing affect. There have been renewed calls from black radicals in their parliament to take farms.

    I read a comment in the SMH that inferred SOME of the farm killings were retaliation killings for current very poor treatment such as beatings. I’ve no idea if that comment was valid or not.

  15. Kyran

    “abide by our laws, integrate into our society, work hard, not lead a life on welfare”
    Hmmmm, where do we start? This clueless git is in charge of ALL of our immigration. The 457’s and the recent changes, where the immigrant is obliged to follow our law while our government continuously changes it, and the employer regards it as a sort of blackmail scheme. The tens of thousands of ILLEGAL arrivals or over-stayers (by plane, so there is no threat to our security?) integrate really well into our society (if they don’t, they get detected and thrown out). Those granted TPV’s are allowed to work, but first they must endure the debasement of the Bridging Visa schemes, which specifically exclude you from working. As for not leading a life on welfare, well, this clueless git has it all worked out.

    “The cuts to the Status Resolution Support Service program, announced at the end of last year, will take effect from Sunday.
    The government has outlined its rationale that asylum seekers judged to be “work-ready” will be required to be working: those who are seeking work, but are unable to find it, or who are studying for work qualifications or to improve their English, will not be eligible for assistance. Many have received letters informing them they have been cut off.
    The SRSS allowance it provides to asylum seekers awaiting the confirmation of their refugee status in Australia is about 89% of the Newstart allowance. That equates to $247 per week, advocates say.
    Department staff reportedly verbally told non-government organisations contracted to deliver the SRSS that eligibility changes would be made to wind back benefits.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/mar/26/cuts-on-1-april-will-leave-asylum-seekers-homeless-advocates-warn

    Make it someone else’s problem. If the government stops the support, it becomes incumbent on everyone else to chip in. The obscene part of this is that the government says they have saved money.
    I was working on this great spiel about unemployment, refugees, the lack of recognition of overseas qualifications, all sorts of things. Then it reality hit. Paul Karp updated the Guardian live feed with an insight into the coalition party room meeting.

    “The coalition party room had a lot of ra-ra about Labor’s dividend imputation policy and opposition to company tax cuts.
    One interesting flashpoint was on Liddell. Tony Abbott and Barnaby Joyce asked why the government did not attempt to facilitate a sale of the plant to Chinese group Shandong Ruyi.
    The energy and environment minister, Josh Frydenberg, has just addressed the issue on Sky News. Essentially, AGL owns Liddell and the government can’t make it sell the plant to anyone any more than it can make it stay open.
    Another point of interest is that seven backbenchers spoke up about South African farmers, warning about the violence against white farmers and defending Peter Dutton against claims of racism for wanting to give them “special attention”. These included Andrew Hastie, Andrew Laming, Craig Kelly, Jim Molan and Luke Howarth.
    Kelly suggested everybody, including Coalition leaders, should have done more to defend Dutton. Laming expressed concern that the trickle of information out of South Africa made it difficult to substantiate reports of increased violence.
    There was concern the fact that white South African farmers could move to cities and be free of persecution might nullify claims to refugee status. Responses from Malcolm Turnbull, Julie Bishop and Dutton allayed these concerns – because Australia has two streams and can grant humanitarian visas even if people don’t qualify as refugees.
    Bishop stressed the consistency of her stance with Dutton’s because both agree that South Africans would qualify under existing visa rules.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/live/2018/mar/27/politics-live-turnbull-shorten-coalition-labor-tax

    There are two seriously troubling points here. First being that that was the level of discussion in the ‘party room’.
    Secondly, and far more importantly, this is all about securing our borders, deciding who will and won’t come in, about an informed ‘leadership group’ making informed decisions.
    Yet these clueless gits can’t even secure their own ‘party room’. Why try and argue about a racist minister when the ‘party room’ is trying to work out calibrations of racism?
    Is he racist? Is he really racist? Is he really, really racist?
    As long as that is the conversation, there is no need to worry about those that are about to be tossed out on April 1 (on-shore), those that are going to remain in confinement on our ‘island prisons’ (off-shore), those affected or effected by the decisions of this unruly cabal.

    There can be no doubt that Dutton is racist. The problem is that the level of discourse at the most elite national level is so paltry, that it is focused on how racist he is. All the while arguing about making our borders safe, whilst they can’t secure one room.
    Thank you Ad Astra and commenters. It’s all about perspective, isn’t it? Take care

  16. Helen

    (The Afrikaans speakers of SA are called Afrikaners by the way). Oh yes some farmers have been killed, but the blacks suffer a far higher rate of murder. SA is a violent society , and as in Zim its rich live in gated communities.

  17. Will

    The clown watched a doco then pulled the trigger on the starting pistol, they haven’t asked for help. Unlike people on manus and narou. Who he’s deaf to. His hypocrisy is staggering.

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