Australia loses its shit

December 16, 2005 / Certainly there’s hatred, probably fear; but despite what the politicians are saying this xenophobia is anything but mindless…

From the Australian Democrats on December 12th:

Australian Democrats Multicultural Affairs spokesperson, Senator Andrew Bartlett today condemned the weekend violence in Cronulla as mindless racism cloaked as a distorted form of nationalism and called on the Government to do more to promote multiculturalism as a way to end such violence.

“Now more than ever we need to highlight the principles of multiculturalism. Respect for each other and a solid understanding and acceptance of our differences are essential to ensure that we don’t let mindless thuggery win in this current climate,” Senator Bartlett said.

“We are hearing reports of white-supremacists being involved in the fracas, the fear of an attack on ‘our’ way of life and the fear of a non-white Australia as motivators in the violence but it was no more than mindless hatred and fear that fuelled this incident,” Senator Bartlett said…

I agree with Bartlett’s rejection of the attacks here but I don’t understand why he minimises the sociological component. Why is it “no more than mindless hatred and fear?” And why is it “mindless?” Judging from the footage I saw on the BBC there was certainly hatred, probably underpinned by various kinds of fears, but some of the expressions of xenophobia picked up by the news cameras were anything but mindless—in fact one participant stated quite lucidly, to anyone who cared to listen, his message of exclusion. He did not provide a justification, but he was not incomprehensible either.

If we are going to dignify the attempts to condemn racist representations, and especially coordinated violence, then we need to come up with something better than the old “mindless” excuse. When public figures employ the language of “mindlessness” they are often invoking a class distinction. This is an analytically weak response to an organised public demonstration. The terrible order underlying the weekend’s violence is where the problem truly lies.

2 responses

  1. Ancient

    In Sysney there had been a WOG fight, the name WOG is a slag made to drescribe a certain group of people in Europe consisting of the Greeks, Lebanese and Italian. This fight at the Bondi beach in Sysney and there was thousands of WOGs and Australian fighting over the beach or some sort of reasons.

    There has also been anti-Vietnamese recently due to what Howard said about Australian are yearning to Asia. The Australian chose to discriminate this Vietnamese ethnic group and often abuses them of losing the war to the VietCong even with the help of America, French and English etc.

    There also a anti-Americanist who ask a random American after regonizing their accent and discriminate them afterwards because of the American war agaisnt the
    Afghanistan, Irag etc

    If you are either one of these ethnic people and you feel unsafe living in Australia then leave immediately because the discrimination and verbal harassment will never stop, it will go on and on forever until it drive you crazy.

    Example: My friend told me that his Vietnamese friend had been beaten up and arressted by the polices for driving the same car as a suspected criminal (not: most cars are the same, they are made from the same company). After they released him and call it a mistake he deliverately trying to sue them but they constantly trying to stop him and cover it up.

    November 20th, 2007 at 5:34 pm #

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