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We cannot let racism decide

Racism is:

“… the process by which systems and policies, actions and attitudes create inequitable opportunities and outcomes for people based on race. Racism is more than just prejudice in thought or action. It occurs when this prejudice – whether individual or institutional – is accompanied by the power to discriminate against, oppress or limit the rights of others.”

Please have patience before I get to the point of my piece.

I once asked on these pages what the difference is between the purpose of life and the reason for it. It was a few years ago, and many people attempted an answer.

My answer was that, on the one hand, the reason for life was procreation, the continuation of the species. On the other, I concluded that the purpose must be that there isn’t any. Well, nothing specific.

I received answers from all manner of people: Folk of different ethnicities, standards of learning and backgrounds.

Sadly, the answers were wrapped in predictability and needed to provide me with what I sought. However, what stood out in their predictability was just how much of our thinking is influenced by our backgrounds.

Racism, for example. Our culture, family, leaders, religion (or lack thereof) and society we live in. Our work and education. Our wealth or lack of it. Our country of origin. All these things impact or even control who we are and what we think. They are more often than not passed on to us but can easily be acquired by any of the means mentioned above.

So shaped are we by all these behaviours that the question “What is the purpose of life?” is an impossible quest but fascinating, nonetheless.

Or the answers one does get are always interconnected to one or some of these persuaders. Mainly though, it is passed on. Somewhere in those baffling thoughts, which are just as mysterious, lies the question of why people are racist. The Bible tells us that it is because of the sins of the Fathers.

Indeed, it’s a sad day for Australia when an opposition leader plays the race card to prevent our First Nations people from being included in our Constitution and, secondly, from having a voice in the Parliament.

This rejection can be seen in many ways, but overwhelmingly, it is racist. We are often told, mainly by our politicians, that we are the most successful multi-racial country in the world. I think the USA should receive that title but let’s move on.

In Australia, conservative politicians have never hesitated to abuse those seeking asylum if it suited their purpose or those who originally occupied the earth they walked on.

We occasionally allowed the former to die, and the latter we have murdered or permitted to die in custody.

We have used any means to oppress those seeking a better life.

Lying, misinformation, lying by omission, subliminally implied suggestions, straightforward propaganda, deliberate scare campaigning and any form of untruthful communication have become the norm in how conservative politicians and the right-wing media converse with the public.

So typical and long applied has this form of racism become that we are now unquestioning of it.

Regardless of the facts, playing the race card is now everyday practice for the Liberal/National Parties. Remember, Peter Dutton said African gangs were wreaking havoc” in Victoria. Sudanese particularly. With his election as leader of the Liberal Party, he brought many accusations of racism. He had form, as we say.

Do you recall Andrew Bolt’s tirade against Adam Goodes? I think I wrote convincingly, pointing out the writer’s factual errors.

Robert Brown wrote in a letter to The Age on the 13th of June:

“Does Peter Dutton realise that “defeat for the proposed establishment of an advisory body means a lasting setback for reconciliation”, and does he accept his responsibility to the First Nations people and the reputation of the country if this was to be.”

Writing for The Guardian this week, Peter Lewis said that:

“Since then, the Hard Nos have brewed up an ungodly gumbo of fear and loathing: Dutton’s disingenuous demands for detail, alarmist accusations of apartheid, the “look what you are made me do” Stan Grant pile-on, anything to shift focus away from what the upcoming referendum is actually about: recognition and respect.”

At the time of the Goodes’ controversy, I wrote many words on racism and its effect on society. I pointed out the lies Bolt told in reporting the incident at the MCG and the claims by several politicians that violent African gangs were “wreaking havoc” in Victoria.

I shared my own experience of confronting racism at a football match and at basketball matches.

At the time of the accusations, gangs were “wreaking havoc” in Victoria, Waleed Aly reported in a video piece many statistics that placed question marks on recent claims by several politicians that violent African gangs were wreaking havoc on Victorian society.

I have asked many times on social media what specific Australian values are not universally held by other social democracies. I have never had an answer.

Perchance, in London, at the time, Multicultural Minister Alan Tudge, in a speech to the Australia/UK Leadership Forum, suggested a “values” test to fend off “segregation.” The Government was also considering adding the values test for those considering permanent residency to protect its “extraordinarily successful” multicultural society.

“Segregation!?” I dislike the word intently for the images it places before one’s eyes. Still, nevertheless, it is something we have practised for as long as racism has existed and is as crude as life itself can be.

When the Italians came to Melbourne they gathered together in Brunswick, the Greeks in Carlton and the Vietnamese in Springvale, and the Chinese are now in Box Hill. And Indians, well, they are everywhere. Then over time, they will rust into the mechanics of general society.

Some of the challenges to social cohesion today are made less easy by politicians with heinous motives and racist hearts.

Propaganda aims to make you feel good about the wrongs being perpetrated on you.

A decade of LNP governance resulted in a suitcase of conservative bigotry and racism that they have never unpacked and show little effort to do so.

Australian politicians currently have a low trust rating. When people in the LNP who are not necessarily racist deliberately play the race card, they shame themselves and the nation.

Growing up as a small boy in slummy Brunswick, I witnessed this thoughtless small-mindedness. I was told not to walk to school on the side of the street where the Jews lived, but I happily sought their friendship when I arrived.

I lived through the period of Italian and Greek immigration when most Australians, through their ignorance, looked upon them with disdain. Later they celebrated the marriage of their sons and daughters to them, even overlooking a religious divide.

I celebrated as Australia began to absorb the breathtaking contributions of these nationalities that saw us grow as a nation.

Along the way, there were tensions, but they never stopped the Advance of Australia fair.

I observed the advent of Asian immigration and all the recycled hatred, only to see it vanish like the Greek and Italian animosity.

Now 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 entire thrust of minorities xenophobia. As 99 per cent of Muslims want peace, so do 99 per cent of Australians.

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 those things beyond our comprehension.

I have been privy to history’s recording of these matters. I am angry with the stupidity of Pauline Hanson. I loathe the inhumanity of Dutton, who would seek to deny our First Nations people the most minor steps toward reconciliation.

Sitting on the platform at Flinders Street Station and watching the passing parade of ethnicity, I can only admire a country I could never envisage from the same seat in the 1950s, even with its rampant racism.

My thought for the day

One side of me wants to hate human beings like Peter Dutton. The other wants to forgive them, for they know not what they do.

 

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32 comments

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  1. New England Cocky

    Australian society took a steep nose dive when it elected the COALition misgovernment for nine (9) years of regressive policies in all areas. The Albanese LABOR government has been blessed with stupid ego-driven Greens MPs on the cross bench who are dedicated to replace LABOR rather than build an egalitarian society for the benefit of all Australian voters. Australian political history is against the Greens at this time and only sensible politicking behaviour in Parliament & policy matters may redeem them in the future.
    .
    Now it is time to take action to rebuild the important institutions destroyed by the COALition & its political donors, like the integrity of the ABC, building social housing and controlling the flood of foreign ”black money” into Australia that is one factor inflating residential real estate prices as it is laundered, and stopping the COALition backed USUKA sub fiasco that will add millions to Liarbral party funds.

  2. Terence Mills

    Last night (Friday night) the Senate sat well into the night debating the Referendum legislation which when passed would signal the run-up to the referendum on the Voice.

    The Liberals and the Nationals spoke loudly and in some cases with vitriol opposing the Voice to parliament. But in most cases they applauded the concept of recognising first nations in the Constitution but they considered that allowing a small number of aboriginal activists to have a constitutional right to push their sovereignty agenda would only lead to parliamentary havoc and clogging the High Court with never ending disputes.

    Some of them were also signalling a new apartheid if the Voice legislation passes but they all dismissed notions that their opposition was based on any form of racism yet some of them say that the Voice does favour a minority based on ethnicity.

    Very confusing !

    Ethnicity
    noun: ethnicity; plural noun: ethnicities

    the quality or fact of belonging to a population group or subgroup made up of people who share a common cultural background or descent.

  3. Bob Ramsden

    Unfortunately I believe that Pater Dutton and his ilk do know what they do But seeing how it is an advantage to them carry on with it antway

  4. wam

    Glad you mentioned Goodes, in the racist context, lord, because the vehement denial of racism by the booers highlights the special place Aboriginals(notice the proper noun, cuckoo?) have in society. For most of our life they went unseen by Australians, the vast majority of whom had never met an Aboriginal person. In my town urban Aboriginals had to deny their Aboriginality to live like me but that had no effect on the institutional racism. Especially as soon as a public servant realised the racism in the system they had finished their 2 years and were replaced by a new racist from south and the re-education process began again.. Anyone who came from north, already armed with racism, were quickly inducted into the system becoming both victims and culprits. The latter, following the rule of self respect resting on someone being worse off, diminishes the former.
    Your thought stirs up an easter scene? But it is warming after the pool.
    Its religious message methinks shows the 40% of Australians who are sexist, racist and homophobic and the attempts of the ‘no’ mob and lidia will not influence enough of the 60% of us for the referendum to fail.

  5. Phil Pryor

    The evil bastardry of the intermingling of capitalism, government, parliaments, neoliberalism in action, all means that every hour of every day, there is pushy politicking, lobbying, cronyism, donorism, patronage, favouritisms, insiderisms, fellow congregation or communal or old school or club or professional association push…yet now there is some resistance to the idea of a proper representation, openly, of our first peoples whose ancestors resided here before the European intruders and occupiers. Nothing at all is the possible outcome of indigenous representation, or at least nothing much. But some of the maggots and leeches, the crooks and crims and crawlies who siphoned off funds in the past may, just may, vanish. All other similar nations with imperial backgrounds and indigenous group suppressed have some treaty system. We could learn something, and improve on it, by observing N Z, Canada, many subsections of political revision which have aimed at revision and redjustments for past wrongs.

  6. New England Cocky

    I have been underwhelmed by Senator Lydia Price until this Van assault matter, and her response on ABC RN outlining her concerns for ”the sovereign Aboriginal nations”.
    .
    Price has a point that may exercise the High Court of Australia. Meanwhile the Voice seeks to remove the racist clauses from the Australian Constitution as they impact upon Aborigines, however, when will Colonial Australia /White Australia acknowledge that Aboriginal sovereignty was never ceded, simply ignored by the English?
    .
    The proposed changes to the Constitution could have been handled as a separate matter to correcting the years of systemic genocide and racism against Aborigines by all levels of government and government services. How many years after the NSW Police in Redfern were clearly demonstrated on ABC television to be undeniably racist in attitude and actions that results in Aboriginal persons now being about 30% of the prison population will any political party take action to remedy the complex causes of this population imbalance?
    .
    Meanwhile COALition politicians rort the Parliamentary Allowances Scheme with impunity, corporate executives get paid huge bonuses for profit making by price gouging and ”black money” flows into Australia to inflate the lucrative residential real estate market.
    .
    Who are the bigger criminals?

  7. B Sullivan

    Once again a discussion about racism that ignores the scientific fact that there is no such thing as different races of people. All this talk about racism serves to avoid discussing the real reasons why people don’t like other people. You are hooked on racism. You just can’t get enough of it as an excuse to vent your spleen over those cultures of which you disapprove, or as an excuse to defend your own cultural prejudices.

    Stop blaming non-existent racism for the cause of your hatreds. It is not racism, it is stupid irrational hatred relying on a fallacy for justification. We have just witnessed a white woman stand up in parliament and claim that her complaints were ignored until another white woman stood up and made the same complaints. This she claims is evidence of systemic racism. Actually it is evidence if systemic stupidity and ignorance. She might as well have said it was evidence of systemic sexism. When a woman makes a complaint she is ignored, but if a different woman makes a complaint it is taken seriously. Proof positive of systemic sexism!

    The perception of racism is just that – a perception and a false perception at that. Yet it is systematically promoted as a reality. An artificial fantasy that is permitted to be manifest as a dangerous destructive force for social manipulation.

    If you stop blaming racism you might wake up to the real reasons why there is so much disparity and discord between humans. It has nothing to do with the colour of your skin any more than it has to do with the colour of your eyes. It is more likely due to the colour of your money.

  8. Michael Taylor

    B Sullivan, walk into the front bar of the pub in Coober Pedy with an Aboriginal mate and tell me that there’s no such thing as racism.

  9. Andrew Smith

    Good article, and we’ll continue to bump along despite the efforts of RW media cartel, fed talking points by particular think tanks/NGOs and past two decades of post white Oz dog whistling; that demographic moment has passed, leaving the LNP & ON desperate to leverage the last of the dominant skip or Anglo/Irish heritage vote curated by Howard, now floundering.

    It’s not just racism and imported ‘freedom & liberty’, it’s evidence of the neo eugenics (of class) & Malthusian movement hiding behind faux environmentalism targeting immigration and/or population growth, along with ‘freedom of speech’ to denigrate the ‘other’; it’s more nativist authoritarianism observed with Brexit and Trump/GOP.

  10. leefe

    NEC:

    I think you mean Lidia Thorpe. Price is a very different kettle of fish.

    B. Sullivan:

    That would be the same science that tells us about global warming and the upcoming climate catastrophe we face, warnings that are generally ignored – or mocked – by a certain cohort of people?

    It doesn’t matter if race exists or not; people who want to discriminate will always pick easy targets, and physical dissimilarities such as skin colour or ethnic clothing make certain other groups easily identifiable targets. Something doesn’t have to actually exist for people to use it as a basis of discrimination, oppression and/or violence. Human history has shown that (yes, religion, I’m looking at you right now).

    Racism is about feelings and beliefs, and there is all too much evidence – as Michael has succinctly poiinted out – that those are feelings and beliefs that result in extremely unpleasant and damaging behaviour.

  11. Geoff Andrews

    NEC (and wam).
    Your slagging off at the Greens is a weird attitude to take.
    They are closest philosophically to you and, I would dare suggest, the majority of its voters are ex Labor voters unlikely to return if they perceive that comments such as yours reflect the party’s thinking.
    Many of your members of Parliament are there because of Green second preferences. Sneering at the Greens in the Senate might be clever if Labor had comfortable majorities in both Houses but pretty stupid (your word) in the current circumstances.
    You state that the Greens are against “build(ing) an egalitarian society” when the current dispute is about the Greens wanting MORE money for public housing! And you can expect a negative reaction from the Greens if Labor tries to implement their weird election promise to give (egalitarian) tax breaks for the rich.

  12. Canguro

    Sully has a significant scoreboard (within these pages) of off-the-bell-curve observations wrt the human phenomenon, not that that in itself should discount his right – per the views of such defenders of freedom of speech as John Stuart Mill, Edmund Burke, Voltaire (purportedly), and even our very own George Brandis – to have his say, but speech at the boondocks edge of consensus carries its own risks, and promulgating a position such as the non-existence of racism is a prime example; ergo, it’s bound to give rise to reaction.

    I’d ask, where has the author been, all these years, assuming his life span somewhat synchronises with the general tenor of his audience? In this era of mass communication; television, printed material, along with movies & documentaries, it’s somewhat difficult to avoid being confronted with the worst aspects of humanity at play in this vicious and contested field of racism; mano-mano, black v. white (ala USA since settlement), wogs. v whiteys (ala Cronulla riots), Australian Aboriginals at the bottom of this society, refugees (global) being treated as if they they were an existential threat to the so-called structural sanctity of the societies from which they seek acceptance and accommodation far from the terrors that they flee; the long and undisputed history of white-skinned colonialism & exploitation of countries populated by yellow, brown & black-skinned peoples, in many cases genocidally so.

    Correct me if I’m wrong but if that’s not racism then what is?

  13. wam

    Dear Geoff, Almost all politicians are elected on preferences and all greens are elected on non-labor preferences. The3ir policies are made with no hope of being enacted so are invariably aimed at getting votes from poorly educated labor supporters. My family has been associated with the Tassie wilderness movement for 70 years and have trekked to the original Lake Pedder. Over the years, I have met some of the tassie ‘pre-greens’ and they were dedicated, strong and praiseworthy people. Many, like me, wanted parts of Australia left without human access but all were economic loonies. Senile Bob was in pommieland in the 70s before coming to tassie and his vote with the coalition against a carbon price was loonie. The bandit is not a loonie and arguably not even a green but an opportunist who has no hesitation in using the perception of the original greens to con cash out of labor voters and using climate fear to take labor seats with enough silly labor giving the greens enough cash votes to get infront of the libs whose preferences go to the loonies..

  14. New England Cocky

    @ leefe: Thank you for the edit. I do mean Lidia Thorpe. Senior’s moment.
    .
    @ Geoff Andrews: An interesting analysis. Upon consideration, perhaps it is that I am disenchanted with politics in general since there is no longer a drive to build the nation through major public infrastructure projects that provide jobs and other economic opportunities for Australian workers.
    .
    Instead we have Parliament fallen to grifters and self-serving politicians pre-selected for their allegiance to similar minded persons who are funded principally by foreign owned corporations only motivated by profits for export to overseas shareholders.
    .
    Following your support for the Greens, does this imply that really we are at a time in our political history where the extremism of the FRWNJs of the LIARBRAL party and their component (American inspired) religious zealots has to be met with equal extremism to ”restore the balance” in policy making?
    .
    Certainly the apparent intransigence of the Greens over housing policy has produced $2 BILLION for immediate distribution to state government for social housing, now to see if the same tactics can remove the Scummo Stage 3 tax breaks for the wealthy.
    .
    The Scummo USUKA sub fiasco may be more difficult given the number of former LIARBRAL politicians prepared to pander to the American NE military industrial complex by
    surrendering national sovereignty and turning Australia into just another vassal state of the USA (United States of Apartheid).

  15. New England Cocky

    @ Geoff Andrew: This poetic offering possibly expresses my ideas.

    With Apologies to ‘Banjo’ …..

    When the shearing sheds are silent, and the stock camps fallen quiet,
    When the gidgee coals no longer glow across the outback night.
    And the bush is forced to hang a sign, ‘gone broke and won’t be back’,
    And spirits fear to find a way beyond the beaten track.
    .
    When harvesters stand derelict upon the wind-swept plains,
    And brave hearts pin their hopes no more on chance of loving rains.
    When a hundred outback settlements are ghost towns overnight;
    When we’ve lost the drive and heart we had to once more see us right.
    .
    When ‘Pioneer’ means a stereo and ‘Digger’ some backhoe,
    And the ‘Outback’ is behind the house; there’s nowhere else to go!
    And ‘Anzac’ is a biscuit brand and probably foreign owned;
    And education really means brainwashed and neatly cloned.
    .
    When you have to bake a loaf of bread to make a decent crust,
    And our heritage once enshrined in gold, is crumbling to dust.
    And old folk pay their camping fees on land for which they fought,
    And fishing is a great escape; this is until you’re caught.
    .
    When you see our kids with Yankee caps and resentment in their eyes,
    And the soaring crime and hopeless hearts is no longer a surprise.
    When the name of RM Williams is a yuppie clothing brand
    And not a product of our heritage that grew off the land.
    .
    When offering a hand makes people think you’ll amputate,
    And two dogs’ meeting in the street is what you call a ‘Mate’.
    When ‘Political Correctness’ has replaced all common sense;
    When you’re forced to see it their way, there’s no sitting on the fence.
    .
    Yes, one day you might find yourself an outcast in this land.
    Perhaps your heart will tell you then, ‘ I should have made a stand!’
    Just go and ask the farmers, that should remove all doubt.
    Then join the swelling ranks who say, ‘ Don’t sell Australia out!’
    .
    Please keep this going – Australia is in real trouble!
    .
    Author credit- Chris Long
    Far North Queensland from a little homestead that raised a large 10+ family back when Australia was Australian Owned

  16. Konn

    Geoff, Greens spokesman, Max Chandler-Mather, is the only one pushing for affordable shelter. Labor’s recent pivot to fund $2B in ‘new build or upgrade existing stock’ has the hallmarks of the 2009 ‘Building the Education Revolution’ program where Labor spent $5B to paint school halls.
    The ongoing ‘shelter’ scam has a new facade of ‘fixing things’ – ‘Build to Rent’. A sheep in wolves clothing, it’s an attempt to slowly destroy individual home ownership and is setup to advantage mainly foreign investors. Our tax system is designed to accommodate the parasite class. It seems B2R investors will be taxed @ 50% less than local individual investors.
    Home-ownership is not a core value of Labor or Libs. In fact, ‘every new owner of a home is one less renter’.
    I actually saw that argument offered up on ABC Breakfast show last week. An unbelieveable attitude, but then it was the ABC.
    It’s all about managing expectations. Why offer potential home buyers any real hope? Better run promos for ‘tiny homes’ – essentially over-built caravans you can’t tow to a caravan park unless you hire a tow truck and possibly a permitted escort vehicle. Land release authorities push the boundaries on how small a building block buyers are prepared to spend the rest of their life paying off.
    It’s all a part of a plan.
    WEF parrot, Klaus Schwab, said it best – ‘You will own nothing and be happy’. Seems he thinks most people are either enlightened and have transcended attachment or are dumb enough or defeated enough to agree with that philosophy. Why else would he say that?
    In his defence, there is such a thing as ‘owning nothing and being happy’. Look at the original Aborigines and how they lived in this country. They never ‘owned’ the land, they were connected to it. The parasite class could learn a thing or two if they looked at history. But are too busy pushing a divide & conquer strategy, including an element of racism, as it suits their agenda.

  17. New England Cocky

    @ Konn: After 40 years in the residential housing arena, I think you may have understated the complexity of the residential housing market. The too many tax concessions have made residential housing a magnet for investors because for many high income earners, especially professional persons, it is a ”money for jam” decision. Reform of this financial aspect of housing policy must occur soon or else my grandkids will be life long renters.

    The government policy attracting North Asian investors having $5 MILLION to invest and 160 days over four (4) years to reside in Australia is another factor inflating the residential market to the disadvantage of young Australian house seekers & renters. Again, the government ”incentives” are far too generous, especially government assistance to obtaining Australian citizenship.
    .
    In regional centres we have seen financial corporations building residential housing for renting because of the enormous tax benefits make it the best financial return in a low interest economy.
    .
    Naturally, any ”black money” would be aware of these financial opportunities and exploit them, resulting in excessive cash floating around without a home, and so inflating residential housing prices to produce a profit as the cash is laundered with impunity.

  18. Konn

    NEC, all too true. I cited only a couple of factors that drive prices up. I didn’t want to run out of ink on the computer screen. To hell with the ink! I don’t care if this post ends mid-word. I’m over Labor, Libs, msm, Councils & RE/Bank lending lobby pretending to solve the very problems they collectively cause.

    Foreigners hiding cash offshore in trophy houses, how does that help affordability? Obviously it doesn’t, but all govs fail to act.

    So many targets, so little time, another couple:
    Houses that sit idle for years as ‘land banks’, and our gov salary-takers do next to nothing.
    AirBnB is low hanging fruit ripe for changes, but like all other things RE, it’s a sacred cow.

    I sometimes watch 10 mins of msm, Q&A etc to see what narrative is being peddled. This is it basically: land prices must double every 10 yrs, tax rules should never change to favor the working class. As you say, more families are tipped into the permanent rental camp.

    Over time that voting block will increase until there is a tipping point.
    Socialism is looking like the default ending of this story.
    Funny thing is everyone thinks they will be a winner, the losers will be others.
    Good luck with that theor

  19. Geoff Andrews

    NEC, even those egotistical, extremist, greedy (a nod to wam in passing!), “we’re coming to get ya” Green swine agree with the sentiments of Mr Long’s lament. The argument is about how to repair the damage.

  20. Geoff Andrews

    wam, your admission at 10.30pm last night that you and your fellow travellers would rather give your second preference to the LNP or One Nation rather than the Greens, is an illuminating insight into your cohort.
    So, you’d rather be in opposition rather than form a hung parliament. A bit like cutting off your nose to spite your face?
    How depressing it must be every election night to hear Anthony Green tell you that, “Labor will just fall over the line in this electorate on Green preferences.”
    You will find it strange but I always give a loud cheer. On the other hand, I imaging you groan at the news that The Greens have just taken an LNP seat?
    But the real reason for your anger is the money! The m-o-n-e-y!!
    All that money lost that is rightfully Labor’s every time someone gives their first preference to the Greens.
    And your continued use of “bandit” and “loonies” and other insults is eye rollingly boring & juvenile.

  21. Clakka

    I could rant on about housing and rental and so forth and so on. I could go on about the deliberate or inadvertent housing choke-points of land, resources and skills mostly ignored or at least taken for granted whilst successive governments have allowed, or encouraged by omission, the arrival of foreign ‘dirty money’ into our property market. All until the systematic attacks on education and training and the prevailing inequities and self-interest of the last decade and the pandemic burst like a fester upon us all.

    Since time immemorial, it’s always been about survival and the bounties of the land, until it became a competition of capital (in whatever form) vs labour, an acquisitive power trip that recruited the hungry by inculcating a fear of the badness of ‘others’. Fundamentally that capital has always been rooted in land. And the more land acquired, the more the hungry come to feed from the bounty, by servitude to work it, or alternatively by enslavement. And then that process of inculcation became institutionalised via Church and State – a rapacious convenience to their deceptions. I can only wonder whether that is how the term ‘accommodation’ arose!

    I am reminded of the expedience of labour in the quest for capital, to name but a few, the English Enclosures Acts, the slave trade, and the Scottish Clearances (where people were less valuable than sheep.

    Of course, piracy and colonialism globalised the process that relied upon the myth of human ‘otherness’ being the benchmark of good vs bad – “you’re either with us or agin us”. It provided an excuse for invasion, dispossession, theft, corralling and murder. Across the world so called ‘free settlers’ were lied to, told that the land was there for the taking (as long as they made good use of it and paid taxes). They were not told of the First Nations’ inhabitants. Once arrived, they were entrapped into ‘opening up’ the land as agents of the powerful, and for the undertaking of ‘Frontier Wars’.

    Inevitably, science moved on to prove that (good vs bad) human ‘otherness’ is a complete myth and nonsense. Yet the entrenched generational bitterness of being dragooned into inhumane processes by more than a millennia of lies by the (land) capitalists remains, in many cases misdirected at the victim ‘others’. And for many other ‘elites’ as beneficiaries of the process, it remains as a shameful silence. In relatively modern times this has become what is known as racism, and over the last 50 years, and increasingly lately in the divisive ‘culture wars’, has become one of the most despicable devices of the uneducated, the narrow-minded, the embittered and the greedy. It is they that have made racism real.

    Unquestionably, the gutter-level LNP and its conflict seeking media flunkies are using nonsense ideological contortions to leverage the bitterness and shameful silences in seeking only a political win over Labor in the referendum. Why? Because in the first place, they are capital-power hungry, and have no respect for labour, and second, they have less respect for the First Nations or country, regarding them only as an expedience.

    Across the brutality that is Oz, that ‘front bar’ bitterness, and closeted shameful silence is significant. Nevertheless I think ‘YES’ will get home.

  22. wam

    Dear Geoff Andrews,
    You are correct with eye rolling and boring, but wrong with votes.
    My cash goes to the candidate, I think would best represent me.
    Over the many elections that choice has not but once, been a green.
    In fact, until Luke and Malarndirri, has rarely been a labor candidate.
    ps
    a good read clakka there are pollies in canberra who are of like mind to those pommie in history

  23. Geoff Andrews

    wam, what a fascinating voting history. In say, fifteen Federal elections, but once voted Greens(?) & twice for Labor so I owe you an apology for assuming you were a rusted on Labor voter but if you were, you wouldn’t have been the only Labor supporter, with whom I have had contact who holds the Greens, weirdly, in contempt as if they are the enemy and not the LNP. Talk about the the lion being afraid of the mouse! Your assertion that the Greens policies are aimed at poorly educated Labor supporters may have an element of truth in it because one of their major policies of the last election was housing for the poor so it’s pleasing to see them sticking to their guns in the current bun fight. However, the electors of Ryan, Griffiths and Brisbane, none of which are blessed with a significant number of poorly educated Labor voters, all returned a Green Member, defeating a sitting LNP Member.

  24. B Sullivan

    Michael Taylor There is no such thing as races in the species Homo sapiens. Racism is the belief that the human species is divided into races. People who believe in races are racists. Sooner or later racists use their belief that races exist to justify denying other humans their common rights on the grounds that they do not share our common humanity. People who believe in races inevitably decide that some races are superior, some are inferior. Instead of seeing us, they see them. But no matter how much faith racists have in their belief it will never make it true.

    Modern genetic science has revealed that there is no such thing as different races of our species. We are all descended from a group of Homo sapiens that originally evolved in Africa. The earliest remains of our species date from 300,000 years ago and were found in North Africa. Those people were genetically the same as modern people. The earliest known English homo sapien/modern human was black! One race, and we are all descended from that one race. Over time natural selection and cultural selection has produced local varieties of different shaped and colour co-ordinated humans but they are still all the same species and not different races.

    So, there is no genetic basis for racial discrimination. So, stop pretending that there is, like those idiots in the bar. Try to think of what it is you don’t like about each other instead of judging people by what they cannot help looking like. Racism has to be taught, so look to the culture. Cultures are not genetically transmitted. You can change your culture, you can’t change your genomes. Criticise cultures, not other people of your own race. Recognise that some cultures just might be superior or inferior. That cultures have a lot to answer for, and a lot to be praised for.

  25. Canguro

    Sully, well said, sir! Quite the diatribe. Somewhat akin to the village priest hectoring a bumpkinly yokelish parishioner on the need to acknowledge the truths of the written word. Looking forward to further contributions.

  26. Florence nee Fedup

    I agree there is only one race. I have never been able to understand why we so-called white people believe we are better than all others.

  27. Terence Mills

    According to the scientists we (homo-sapiens) originated in Africa some two hundred thousand years ago and we started to move across the planet in a most amazing migration that continues to the present day.

    According to anthropologists the Aboriginal people of Australia spread into this continent some fifty thousand years ago through land-bridges and island hopping via India and the, Indonesian Islands in the West and via modern day Asia, the Philippines, New Guinea and other island groups in the East.

    We are all related and our differences are purely superficial : we all have the privilege of occupying this beautiful planet together as one race, the human race.

  28. Harry Lime

    Delete’occupying’ insert ‘destroying’

  29. leefe

    Sullivan:

    No, racism is not simply “the belief that the human species is divided into races”. It is the belief that not only do races exist, but that they are indicative of deeper and more important differences than the obvious minor physiological features, and that that justifies different – negatiive, oppressive and discriminatory – treatment.

    It is a reality that people choose to discriminate purely on the basis of certain minor aspects of physical appearance. They call those differrences “race” and “ethnicity” and, sometimes, “nationality”. Race having no actual scientific meaning in relation to Homo supposedlysapiens is not relevant; the physical characteristics that are considered to denote it are the factors that are used to target prejudice and discrimination. That makes racism very real, even if race is not.

  30. Canguro

    leefe, I suspect one is banging one’s head against the wall in the prosecution of this argument; our protagonist’s perspectives are so far so clearly out of synch with the common generic understanding of the terms under discussion that finding common ground or Venn diagram overlap seems a fool’s errand akin to Twitter-man’s mission to find life on Mars. Best to partake in the spirit of witness of or immersion in the theatre of the absurd.

  31. leefe

    Canguro:

    Oh, I know; some people you simply cannot communicate with because they have no concept of the possibility of being even the slightest bit mistaken in anything.
    But the occasional bit of bashing-head-against-concrete-wall is good for the soul (if not the head or, indeed, the wall). Must be my masochism getting loose.

  32. Michael Taylor

    B Sullivan,

    If there is no such thing as race because we’re all Homo Sapiens, then by your logic there should be no countries as we are all on the same planet.

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