Girt by Sea: Australia, the Refugees and the Politics of Fear.In a chapter titled “What Dare Not Speak Its Name”, I asked the forbidden question: was our prime minister, and by extension his government, actually racist?
John Howard already had form: he had amended the Native Title Act to enact the Wik response that favoured farmers over Aboriginal traditional owners, he had called for a slowdown in Asian immigration, and the entire basis of his 2001 election campaign – “We will decide who comes to this country and the circumstances in which they come” – was one of jingoism if not xenophobia.
But did it go the whole way to outright racism? I offered the observation: “It is hard to believe that, had those rescued by the Tampa been white Zimbabwean farmers fleeing the brutal regime of President Mugabe, they would have been treated as hostile invaders and denigrated as economic migrants, illegals, and finally potential terrorists.”Then I waited for the government or one of its many media boosters to offer a rebuttal. Deafening silence – until at last, some 16 years later, the emergence of Peter Dutton, blatantly and shamelessly demanding that white South African farmers should be encouraged to jump the queue in favour of those already languishing in the various camps – including, of course, those sponsored by Australia in Nauru and Manus Island.
It is worth noting that while the South African farmers may feel discriminated against by legislation that may take away some or all of their property, thus qualifying them as economic migrants, it is a big stretch to claim that they, as a class, let alone a race (as Dutton seems to define them) are facing deliberate political persecution.Certainly, there have been murders in South Africa – far more black deaths than white, if that matters, which it obviously doesn’t to Dutton. But much of South Africa is violent, though not a lawless, society. To declare that the 74 farm murders between 2016 and 2017, which Tony Abbott effortlessly ramps up to 400, were all political reeks more of propaganda than of evidence.
Dutton is more than dog whistling; he is quite overtly promoting his own version of White Australia, in which all but unquestioning preference is to be accorded to whites who want residence, and the rest can rot away in whichever gulags they can find – we will decide. ( Mungo M)
ANZAC DAY NOT A DAY FOR ABORIGINE DIGGERS ON BRIBIE ISLAND
A car decorated with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags was denied entry to this week's
Anzac Day parade on Bribie Island.
A vintage yellow car has driven Aunty Susan Dean and other Aboriginal community members in the Anzac Day parade on Queensland's Bribie Island for the last two years.
He said the SES member told him the vehicle wasn't registered for the event. But this was news to Mr McCarthy, who said he called up in the days prior to the parade to confirm its place.
Robert Hazelwood, Vice President of the Bribie Island RSL Sub Branch and Bribie Island's Anzac Day parade commander, told NITV News the issue wasn't that the car displayed large Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags.
“That particular vehicle was disruptive to last year’s parade,” he said.
“This is a very sacred event to us, it’s a day of remembrance for people who were killed in action."
Howeve,r Aunty Sue said they were well received last year.
"Nothing was said and everyone was cheering and waving at us and, you know, giving us the thumbs up and all."
Asked if he would be concerned if parade representatives were suggesting the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags were not allowed in the Anzac Day events, Mr Hazlewood said: "I suppose I would be."
But after parking the car, Aunty Sue said they were again stopped by an SES member when they tried to walk past the security gate leading to the ceremony.
"Myself and the kids were carrying hand-held flags - the Aboriginal, the Torres Strait Islander and the Australian flags we were carrying - and this lady from the SES comes over, 'Excuse me, you cannot take that in there'."