Just a shameful day at the beach
Monday December 12th 2005, 8:47 am

image: smh.com.auI wear some really strange shoes. I’m about as white, English speaking, blonde and blue-eyed as you can get, but I’m also a migrant to Australia.

It really was only hours after I got off the plane in Sydney in 1996 that I started to be fed crap about "wogs and abos" and yet strangely expected to commiserate with this racist tripe. It didn’t help much that one of my first addresses in Australia was in Sutherland Shire, an unusually insular and parochial part of the greater Sydney area, populated mostly by Anglo Aussies.

Last Sunday in Cronulla, the usually whispered undercurrent of racism went nuclear after a couple of surf lifesavers were bashed in the preceding week, reportedly by some young Lebanese-Australian men. The mainstream media and talkback radio were all but in bed with Australian neo-nazis in raising public ire about this attack. Most of the news items on last Friday and Saturday did not openly condemn the potential for violent reprisals from locals in the Shire. That’s as good as a green light to raise hell.

Not until the violence had spread to other popular Sydney beaches like Maroubra did the SMH and News Ltd papers start running items openly condemning the yobbos. Talkback radio absolutely failed the greater Australian community by fanning the flames of racial resentment. A female news presenter this morning on Channel 9 had the distinct lack of sense to suggest that the riots might "keep beaches safe."

While protection of our volunteer surf lifesavers should indeed be paramount, NSW Premier Morris Iemma did precisely the wrong thing by first suggesting that people attacking surf lifesavers should be sentenced to 25 years in prison, instead of shaming those who would mount vigilante reprisal attacks against anyone who looked vaguely middle-eastern.  Well, Morrie got exactly what he bargained for– a less than tidy little race riot.

Advance fair Australia.


23 Comments so far
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Gail was crying, And I feel ill! I lived in the Shire as well. Why am I afraid I might know some involved. The Stupid is coming out in droves. And where was hoWARd and Beaz? Nowhere. Saying nothing is an endorsement!

Comment by foxman 12.12.05 @ 9:04 am

Foxie, it’s worse than that. Talkback radio and Channel 9 News are all but enciting to riot. In this case, if you’re not openly opposing the racist mobs, you’re supporting them.

Comment by weezil 12.12.05 @ 9:08 am

this is disgusting. i can barely believe it, then again it’s not that surprising.

This whispered stuff – it’s nearly as dangerous as skinheads with baseball bats, only difference is that it’s like a covered pot about to boil violently over, instead of just having it out regularly in debates, openly, naming names and just having it out using WORDS as opposed to fists and weapons.

btw, i appreciate your referring to the white aussies as anglo-aussies since normally anyone of “white” descent gets to be aussie while all the others get to be (insert parent’s homeland here)-aussie despite having been born and raised australian.

Comment by rainy 12.12.05 @ 9:18 am

[…] Weez has wasted no time; The Race Riots in Cronulla From Machine Gun Keyboard […]

Pingback by 12thharmonic Blog » Shame Australia! Shame! 12.12.05 @ 9:27 am

I could feel it when I lived there. I always hoped it would stay down. The “Race War” fliers all over the shire!
Of all those so-called “Real Australians” are…
Pronunciation Key (b-rj-nl)
1. Having existed in a region from the beginning: aboriginal forests. See Synonyms at native.
1. Of or relating to aborigines.
2. often Aboriginal Of or relating to the indigenous peoples of Australia.
also Aboriginal An aborigine.

Comment by foxman 12.12.05 @ 9:39 am

Thanks for your comment, rainy.

Kinda begs a number of questions- What exactly IS ‘Australian’? Like Foxie says, if you’re talking about being ultimately Australian, you best be snacking on witchety grubs.

I got an email over the weekend from a rabidly nationalist Anglo Aussie which suggested that anyone who didn’t like Australia being a christian country could leave. Funny, I didn’t have to declare my religion of choice when I got my wattle tree.

The same email said that Australia’s national motto is “In God We Trust.” Oops, wrong continent, you moron…

Australia has no official national motto, much, MUCH less the one used by the Americans on their currency and coinage…

Comment by weezil 12.12.05 @ 9:51 am

I wonder if Jim Saleam, who was down there handing out pamphlets, told everyone about his heritage.

Comment by Flashman 12.12.05 @ 11:31 am

Flash, we both know the answer to that.

Comment by weezil 12.12.05 @ 11:36 am

Weez, looks like the wave might be coming in our direction!

» Spoke to some people, well alot of people about doing the same thing in parra and castle hill… you’ll probably see the same thing in parra in a week or two…

Violence begets violence y’all.

Comment by Rooster 12.12.05 @ 12:20 pm

Rooster, thanks for the comment.

I can only hope the people out west have more sense… However, as long as John Howard won’t decry the behaviour in Cronulla as “racist” and the local MP for Cronulla says he supports the rights of locals to protest against what he describes as “years” of anti-social behaviour by Lebanese gangs coming into the area (audio from ABC: Real Win MP3) I’m not gonna hold my breath waiting for peace to break out.

Comment by weezil 12.12.05 @ 2:08 pm

Jennifer and I watched the Mundine/Green fight last night at Franklin’s pub last night. Oooo-boy-kins..talkin’ ’bout my yabbo-ration, there were guys..mostly guys.. in there cheering for Danny Green (a great fighter, by the way) because he WASN”T Mundine. And why do they hate Mundine so much? ‘Cause he’s a re-al Australian? Noooooo. Because, he’s black and he’s proud.

Granted Mundine plays that part of the spectacle up. Like Ali, he knows how to tweak the racist “vote” in order to garner the greatest possible market share. But these people, last night, the ons in Challenge Stadium who threw garbage at Mundine as he left the ring, were basically showing what white-trash can do in Aussieland, or as Jennifer sometimes refers to, “Ozaryia”.

Connection to the beach violence. I think so. There is a racist undercurrent in Australia which needs tamping down. I suggest making fun of the ignorance of it all.

But be clear, nobody likes seeing anyone attacked because they’re “white” either. Maybe the life guards were such a colour. Maybe the attackers thought, “We’ll take our frustrations about …blah, blah times we’ve been sneered at on these fools.” Well, too bad chuckers, you’re just mirroring white-trash shit.

Comment by Mike B) 12.12.05 @ 6:23 pm

A vile display of racism in Australia.

Comment by Kate G 12.12.05 @ 6:28 pm

About the email said that Australia’s national motto is “In God We Trust” and that anyone who didn’t like Australia being a christian country could leave…

The really pathetic thing about that message is that it is a {badly} editted verion of a racist American rant. True. You can google it.

The bloody idiots who spread this stuff don’t even have the brains to be original. They just parrot the crap from the yank rednecks.

Comment by mars 12.12.05 @ 9:05 pm

If the rednecks can use the unremarkable bashing of two lifesavers to muster thousands of violent thugs, what would happen in the aftermath of even a minor terrorist attack?

Comment by mars 12.12.05 @ 10:28 pm

ATM, its a bunch of idiots making trouble….but later? We all know where these things can go, and if not taken care of, its nowhere good. Peace first, mate, habib, darling. Howard not butting in until it suits him….the further it goes, the more likely he will butt in. No state of emergency powers in truely local conflicts, but later….skys the limit.

Comment by Kayelene Murphy 12.13.05 @ 12:29 am

Go Back to Where You(r Great-Grandparents) Came From

Two weeks ago, if you’d asked me what Cronulla was best known for, I’d have said for not having won a flag in the Sydney/Australian rugby league competitions, despite forty years of trying.

But now, Cronulla has topped the ladder worldwide. Amazi…

Trackback by The Bartlett Diaries 12.13.05 @ 12:57 am

grew up in the shire and lived there for 23 years before I got out. i’m fair skinned, of swiss and dutch extraction, but that didn’t stop me being labelled a wog at every opportunity. these riots are sad but not surprising to me. i’ve heard it all before…

Comment by fernando 12.14.05 @ 1:19 am

I don’t consider myself an aussie — I think too much outside the parochial box.

Comment by Jennifer 12.14.05 @ 10:23 am

Jennifer, I can sense your disgust, but I’m an Australian citizen and I’m not going to let a handful of racist hatemongers (Howard, Ruddock & Alan Jones in particular) take that away from me.

Bloody oath, I’m an Aussie, mate- and I’m willing to stand up for what I believe that to be. Top of the list is a fair go for all Aussies.

Comment by weezil 12.14.05 @ 10:30 am

Good for you! I’m a citizen of the world, promoting righteous humanism.

Comment by Jennifer 12.14.05 @ 10:08 pm

Word up Jennifer! Human beings with brain don’t need identities 🙂 ->[Cosmopolitan Antifascism]

Comment by Secular Blasphemy 12.15.05 @ 1:38 pm

Beings with brain develop their own identities — individually, not as group think. 🙂

Comment by Jennifer 12.16.05 @ 7:39 am

Enlightened beings recognise that that they do not exist on their own or as part of a group and thus their identity is a manifestation of their imagination, somewhere between what they think they think and what they think that others think.

Comment by Kayelene Murphy 01.10.06 @ 2:59 pm

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