15 February, 2007

A Briefe Historie of Recent Racism in Australia, or, "John Dubya Howard Un-masked".

Members of FunkyPix2 protest about blind ignorant Racism in Australia. Flags, patriotism, and nationalism have always been used as a 'legitimate' cover for Tribalism and Racist rhetoric.

Gentle Reader,
Were it so that John Howard be a true liberal, I fain would proclaim it loud across the land. But Alas and Alack! He be not at all liberal, but instead joined The Liberal Party, the most un-liberal of all. T’is a Strangely duplicitous Countrie, the Antipodes, those remote colonial outposts where a gentleman may say one thing, yet meane quite another.

And so it be with John W. Howard, the Compleat Liar, such that voters in Australia still remain enchanted by his devious smoke and mirrors (but not your Goode SELFE, of course, Dear Reader). The world now believes Aussies to be racist, gullible, overwhelmed, foolish, self-absorbed and cowed: too weak to read between the Lies and to NAME Howard Ducklips as the Great Fragmenter, the destructive Worm which Weakens the very Woodwork of Australian society. Racism is Rotten in the state of Australia, and Thy name is John (McCarthy?) Howard: historians will be less forgiving.

Howard mouthes anti-racist platitudes,
...but anyone with eyes can Read Between The Lies.

Australia's record on Racism obviously goes back to the settlers' (Boat-people's) genocidal regime after Invasion Day on 26 January 1788 (for which there has been embarrassingly little acknowledgement yet, let alone the 'S'-word from arrogant Johnnie Dubya Ducklips).

But for now let's fast-forward to the late 20th century....

Howard's track-record on Racism? He has always criticised Multi-culturalism, before the 70s and even during its heyday. In the 1980s he publically criticised attempts to challenge South Africa's apartheid laws. During the 1990s he deliberately stirred anti-Asian immigrant sentiment (from behind the smokescreen conveniently provided by Pauline Hanson) to the point where the Bangkok Post wrote "Australian Prime Minister John Howard may moan and whine about how he personally abhors racism, as he did this week, but few people will believe him". Next came refugees (some from Iraq and the very war which Ducklips co-started), media demonisation of Muslims, Detention Camps, Tampa, the sinking of the Siev-X, the heartless Goebels-esque Pacific 'Solution', and the silence of the lambs in regard to David Hicks, Howard's perfect sacrificial scapegoat. (With Hicks, Howard is playing the game called "How-can-I-be-called-racist-when-I-arranged-to-get-that-Muslim-bastard-Mamdouh-Habib-off-the-hook-first?")

Now it's a blatantly racist attack on Senator Barack Obama, significant precisely because Howard has neglected to mount similar attacks on any of the white American republicans who have mouthed precisely the same anti-war rhetoric as Obama.

But wait!! - all is not lost! Greens candidate Sylvia Hale, for one, can spot naked Emperors a mile away ...and has the courage to say it out loud. What she said this week in the Australian Parliament is worth repeating here. She may as well have got her words direct from FunkyPix2:

"Racism has preoccupied this House and the community over the past week. It is pertinent now to re-examine the Prime Minister's contribution to the rise of racism in this country. John Howard's primary political strategy has been to divide and rule this nation. He has consistently pitted one section of the community against the other, whether it be wharfies, Aborigines, the unemployed, refugees, academics, welfare recipients or trade unionists. By identifying a minority and telling the majority that they should fear and loathe it because it is a threat to the way of life of the majority, the Prime Minister has had electoral success, but he has also created the social division that we all now confront."

"Undoubtedly," Hale continued, "the most destructive aspect of the strategy has been his pandering to the fearful, racist element in the Australian community. John Howard consistently denies that he does so but, as in so many other matters, when you examine the facts you see that the Prime Minister does not speak the truth. Examine his record and his message becomes clear. During his first term as Opposition leader, John Howard saw potential electoral advantage in playing racial politics. His comments in July 1988 promising a reduction in Asian immigration if he became Prime Minister established his credentials as a politician willing to play the race card if he thought it would win him votes. He was widely condemned for those comments and forced to withdraw them, but the lesson he learned was not that this sort of politics is destructive and wrong. Rather, he learned that his appeal to racism had to be more subtle."
When a supporter of the prime minister interrupted Hale with a point of order that attempted to shut her up, she was ruled to be entirely in order. Hale finished by explaining that
"I am accusing the Prime Minister of fostering a situation where racist tensions can increase".

Sylvia Hale's spot on the money and would get my vote. I'm ashamed to be the owner of an Australian passport, especially given the humiliating treatment I've sometimes experienced at the Customs gate in Australian airports (and I'm white!):

In particular, I'm fearful for the future of Australian attitudes to other races - an entire generation of voters has never known anything but Howard's Right-wing extremism. Un-liberal indeed. Dubya Ducklips speaks glibly of 'Tolerance', but Tolerance is a word loaded with fear and mistrust. What we need is 'Acceptance'. Howard knows the difference, but prefers his racist stance.

It takes a long time for a large ship to perform a U-turn... australians will have to re-invent Compassion and Social Justice virtually from scratch. To the world, Australia now smells bad: I can smell it all the way from Asia.

Howard accepted the term "ethnic gangs" when applied to Lebanese youths, but not when applied to racist yobbo Aussie gangs armed with beer bottles. Double standard, yes/no?

Stereotyping is too easy a fallback excuse, and media-savvy Howard knows precisely how to exploit it to the hilt. In the above photo, members of FunkyPix2 hold up a poster of an ethnic gang of youths of Australian Appearance armed with bottles, bashing a Lebanese youth. The spiritual mentor of racist ethnic gangs like the one in the poster is none other than John W. Howard. This is no different than Bashir being the spiritual mentor of Jamaah Islamiah. To distinguish them is to be bigoted at least, or racist at worst.

(Oh do excuse me - I momentarily fell back into stereotyping. Damn.)

Howard was correct to chip the Mufti over his "cats and exposed flesh" sermon. It did offend many australians, but unfortunately it has given him more voter credibility and therefore electoral traction to pursue his more sinister underlying racist agendas.

Anyone who imagines racist hatred is not being sanctioned and fostered by the Australian and US governments is politically naїve.

Cronulla was Australia's Soweto. Memories, unfortunately, will be long. Knocking down a house is quick (just ask Pauline Hanson), but re-building it takes much longer.

Jesus was a Jewish dark-skinned person of middle-Eastern appearance who spoke Aramaic, not English (Aramaic is to Arabic what Latin is to English). In all likelihood Jesus had black hair, probably curly. The name he responded to was Jeshua ('Jesus' is only the Greek name later ascribed to him by St Paul). Jeshua's parents were political refugees.

In our biased European mythology, however, Jesus is transformed into a tall blond European who spoke English just as fluently as St Paul spoke Greek, despite the fact that English as we know it did not exist 2000 years ago.

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