PM unable to say sorry or racist.

"But I’m not going to put a general tag [of] racism on the Australian community, I do not accept that there is underlying racism in this country." – John HoWARd.

Really. Even in the wake of one NATION‘s  popularity. The findings of the Palmer report. The hatred of middle-easterners. Issa’s harrowing experience where the mob accused him of having a bomb.

As someone who is other (although born here), has antecedents who are other, lives with people who are a different other – I disagree.

This event has shattered Australia’s idyll. I now understand my father’s protection (and fear) for us.
I wonder where/if this will end? Or will we always have the fear of this racist violence being just behind the next wave.

and numb 

Image from here   

Update: PM’s avoidant behaviour escalates.   

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10 Responses to “PM unable to say sorry or racist.”

  1. leftvegdrunk Says:

    Spot on. I heard Howard last night saying that he won’t use the word ‘racism’ because he has “a more optimistic view of the Australian character”. In other words, he doesn’t want to admit it. Better to stick to the cricket-playing-lifeguard-boxing-kangaroo-digger image and ignore these other difficult problems. Let’s not “over-complicate” this…

  2. Australian Centre for Democracy and Justice’s Blog » Blog Archive » Riots and Fielding Says:

    […] Firstly, the race riots in Sydney. This is really upsetting stuff. Some people are saying that this is just Australia showing it’s true racist colours. I’m not sold on that myself. However what is needed at the moment is strong leadership. This makes Howard’s comments reprehensible and provides unsettling parallels to the Hanson Debate. There are some nice quotes about Howard’s attitude towards race in the latest Quarterly Essay which I recommend reading. […]

  3. David Collett Says:

    I don’t know why the riots are happening in Sydney.

    I think factors include the climate of fear that’s been breeding since 9/11, and the destruction of the Community which started with economic rationalism. Fear leads to anger and aggression. Lack of community means that anger has no way to be released or managed, and spills over into violence.

    I don’t know. I don’t know enough. I can only guess.

    I can agree with the statement that what we need some strong leaders at the moment. Both inside and outside politics. Strong in the sense of people who are insightful, understanding, empathic and possess the strength to care for others.

    I want leaders who will bring people together, rather than divide them. Damn it, I want leaders who will solve problems rather than seek to gain from them by prolonging them.

    Can modern Australia produce and sustain these sorts of people, and give them the power they need. I don’t know. I hope so.

  4. Suki Says:

    I too want so much more.
    I want my girlchild (at 20) to be able to explore her heritage and weave it into the rich fabric that being Australian is.

    More than that, I want to feel proud of my country and its leaders – not ashamed.

  5. weezil Says:

    David, I know a cunt who can explain a fair bit of why this is happening in Sydney…

    I just wonder if the DPP or ACA can be moved to accept that racism starts somewhere and can be fanned into extreme violence by talkback radio race-baiters, who turn our community’s grief into fat pay packets for themselves.

    Alan Jones should be paying for a great spanking chunk of the damage to property since last Sunday down in The Shire.

  6. David Collett Says:

    Suki – I also have a sense of shame – about who Australia is becoming, where we are heading. I hate feeling ashamed. I would like to feel proud again.

    Or move to South America.

    Weez – Trashy populist media has so much to answer for.

    When thinking about the main stream media, I’m reminded of something I learned in history (I didn’t learn very much there, but I learnt this).

    The invention and spread of the radio gave rise to nationalism and facism – because for the first time in history a single message could be transmitted through an entire country. My idea is that we are still living in these times – but that television instead of radio, is delivering a single message of consumerism, capitialism, greed. It’s no longer politics, it’s consumerism, we are all being force feed.

    I’m hoping the internet – with it’s blogs, alternate news services and people connecting directly to each other – will allow diverse voices to be heard and understood. I’m hoping as the internet rises, the sun will set on the mainstream media and our consumerist, racist, crappy fervour which it breeds in us will ease.

  7. weezil Says:

    David, sensationalist abuse of mass communications is a bit older than radio.

    However, instead of heading for the hills, I’d encourage you to stand your ground. Our situation of shame won’t go away by itself.

  8. David Collett Says:

    Stand my ground?

    At what point does one acknowledge that the ship is sinking, the captain and crew are blind, and most of the other passengers are arseholes.? At what point does one realise the system has become so not me, that I have become so powerless, and that the situation is beyond repair?

    I do not doubt that there is a line I haven’t crossed yet, below which I will choose to cut my losses and go. It has happened with jobs, with friendships. I can’t see why it can’t happen with countries.

    No doubt it is a decision not to be taken lightly, but one that is always there.

  9. mars Says:

    The differences between TV/Radio and the net/blogs are that the former requires no tech experience, is totally passive, is accessible almost everywhere at any time and has “credibility” as far as the masses are concerned. The net is a very different medium. It provides comfort for those who have already decided which side they’re on. Unlike TV/radio it does not TELL THEM what side to be on.

  10. David Collett Says:

    I’ve been thinking about weez’s point about sensationalism existing before radio.

    I’ve started to see radio/media as merely a medium. Yes, an extremely powerful medium. But a medium which is neither destructive nor creative by itself. It is only when placed in the hands of the irresponsible, it becomes a destructive force. Sort of like, guns don’t kill people, people kill people, but instead radio doesn’t start riots, people start riots.

    I’m thinking the mainstream media’s strength as a tool comes from being able to project a viewpoint across an entire nation/world and in to the minds of a passive audience (as mars pointed out).

    I’m hoping blogs, the internet, will both dillute the strength of the medium, by providing alternative voices, and also encourage participation, rather than passive uptake of others viewpoints.

    Perhaps this is progress? Of course, I may be seeing the internet too optimistically. I don’t know.

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