14
   

Not coming to Australia now :(

 
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 5 Jan, 2010 11:58 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Interesting.

I've not seen a lot of " aggressive white supremacy from Australia" except from definite neo nazi groups. And they are very horrid indeed. I have certainly felt very threatened physically by them when engaged in anti-racist activities.....goddess only knows what it is like when you are not white...

Can you speak more about that? Your experiences, I mean.

But I suspect it is extremely hard to judge such things from within a country.

I think we all live within little "villages" of like-minded folk in many ways.

I think denial of racism is very counter-productive, as is exaggerating it.

I think we, as Australians, and the Oz government have a lot more obligation to confront our racism than do countries which are more racist, but are not actively bringing racially diverse peoples into our country. We invited them here...we sure as hell better work bloody hard to make them welcome and safe. It's a version of "you broke it, it's yours".

I suspect a lot of the racist backlash is from people who do not feel as though THEY were part of the decision to make Oz a melting pot.

I am not sure what to do about that, except to acknowledge such feelings as valid, and try to work with them...not to label them as evil and unspeakable.

Hell, I suspect we all have them. I know I sometimes do.





dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 5 Jan, 2010 11:59 pm
@msolga,
I get Cronulla.

I am not so sure the Gallipoli thing fits? I had thought that was just a deep sadness thing?

msolga
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Jan, 2010 12:00 am
@dlowan,
Just saw this, Deb.
Will say more later.
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Jan, 2010 12:02 am
@dadpad,
Quote:
I think racism is no more or less endemic in Australia than any other country in the world and is born of and ignorance fear of the unknown.


Xenophobia I am sure is hard wired to some extent.

I do think we suffer from having been established by an extremely racist and nationalist British Empire, though.
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Jan, 2010 12:05 am
@dlowan,
Galipoli was "rediscovered" by young Australians & not too closely scrutinized historically, I might add. For years it had been a pretty potent anti-war focus. The sight of all these young people, draped in Australian flags for the ceremony, on their "pilgrimage" there seems to me to be more about nationalism than respectful remembrance. Something that John Howard plugged into & used, very successfully.
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Jan, 2010 12:09 am
@dlowan,
Quote:
I do think we suffer from having been established by an extremely racist and nationalist British Empire, though.


These days, I think it's much more intolerance of difference, than anything much to do with the British heritage. Or fear of the unknown, of change, as dp said.
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Jan, 2010 12:10 am
@msolga,
Ok. Not sure if I agree....but you are closer to the young folk concerned, so I am very open to contradiction.
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Jan, 2010 12:12 am
@msolga,
msolga wrote:

Quote:
I do think we suffer from having been established by an extremely racist and nationalist British Empire, though.


These days, I think it's much more intolerance of difference, than anything much to do with the British heritage. Or fear of the unknown, of change, as dp said.


Yes?


I agree re the fear of the unknown.

But I am not so sure that the casual British assumption of superiority that Oz was founded in is so irrelevant.

It certainly affected my childhood.
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Jan, 2010 12:18 am
@dlowan,
I'm taking about where I live & where I work, Deb, For most of the (migrant & other) children I deal with, Britain is completely irrelevant. Besides, we don't exactly teach history properly in schools any more! Sadly.
0 Replies
 
dadpad
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Jan, 2010 12:26 am
Quote:
I think we all live within little "villages" of like-minded folk in many ways.

This is what leads us to believe that racism doent occor in Australia. we tend not to associate with people whos views are radically different from our own.
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Jan, 2010 12:41 am
Quote:
His findings also suggested that New South Wales is the country's most racist state.

This was explained by Mr Dunn as due to Sydney's role as the largest recipient of immigrants.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/7641158.stm

That, folks, is a problem.
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Jan, 2010 12:44 am
@dlowan,
dlowan wrote:
I've not seen a lot of " aggressive white supremacy from Australia" except from definite neo nazi groups. And they are very horrid indeed.


My point was that the type of racism that is most commonly manifested in Japan is usually not as aggressive. There is a pervasive and systemic shunning of other races but not as much in way of aggression directed towards them.

The Japanese counterpart to the Neo-Nazi groups is just not as common (can't think of it off the top of my head) despite much more prevalent xenophobia and racism.

Quote:
Can you speak more about that? Your experiences, I mean.


I've had only positive interactions with Australians myself, but I've observed what I can only describe as palpable racial tension between Australians and their neighbors.

There also seems to be different levels of acceptance of racial caricatures when you compare Australia to other Western cultures and my impression has been that Australia's unique situation of being an island of Western culture with vastly differing cultures nearby, it's history of systemic racism (similar to America's history), and the influx of immigrants is causing more racial tension than most countries endure.

I recognize the subjective nature of racism rankings, but among Western cultures I'd put Australia at the more racist end of the spectrum (maybe a distant second after South Africa). On the other hand, Western cultures also have some of the strongest anti-racism (again according to my own subjective impression) around.
Robert Gentel
 
  2  
Reply Wed 6 Jan, 2010 12:53 am
@dlowan,
dlowan wrote:
I think denial of racism is very counter-productive, as is exaggerating it.


I should probably add that I find the travel advisory to be an exaggerated reaction, but those almost always are. I've read some of the U.S. travel advisories about the countries I've visited and they always seemed to paint a much bleaker scenario than I thought was justified.
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Jan, 2010 01:46 am
@Robert Gentel,
Quote:

My point was that the type of racism that is most commonly manifested in Japan is usually not as aggressive. There is a pervasive and systemic shunning of other races but not as much in way of aggression directed towards them.


Do you think that
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Jan, 2010 02:23 am
@Robert Gentel,
Quote:
My point was that the type of racism that is most commonly manifested in Japan is usually not as aggressive. There is a pervasive and systemic shunning of other races but not as much in way of aggression directed towards them.


I don't know, Robert. It seems to me that "a pervasive and systemic shunning of other races" by the Japanese could be just as destructive, if not more so, than what you perceive as "aggression" in Australian culture. I'm not taking about physical attacks here (they are inexcusable in any country), I'm talking about what we might call verbalizing your xenophobia, giving voice to your prejudices. Of course it's not pleasant when it's directed at you, but at least it's out in the open & this attitude could well change over time. As it has. When my family arrived in Australia we were probably called "refos", or worse. "New Australians" (which we were) was a term of derision by the locals. But things can & do change, the locals & the new comers adapt to each other over time. I've seen this happen with wave after wave of migrants here. Personally I'd much prefer this sort of treatment to being a migrant in a country where I'd be permanently shunned as an outsider. That is, if I was even allowed to become a citizen of a country like Japan. Which I doubt.

Interesting that you use that unfortunate "blackface" example from Hey, Hey it's Saturday to demonstrate (I guess) that we are at "more racist end of the spectrum" in Australia. That skit was part of a revival of Hey, Hey .. ... apparently the same skit was performed by the same folk (or the one person, I'm not sure because I didn't see it) something like 10 years ago. It probably wasn't particularly funny then, either. A tired old skit from a tired old program from wayback, having a one night revival show.

On the the sliding racism scale, how would you rate a country which produces & enjoys South Park, which has openly & happily indulged in racism for entertainment, but now?
Rockhead
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Jan, 2010 02:30 am
@msolga,
I'm gonna have to defend Southpark.

you please take that back, ms O.

talk bad on America all you want, but...
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Jan, 2010 02:32 am
@Rockhead,
Ha!

I don't want to talk bad about the US, either. Sorry.

I'm just questioning some rather damning & sweeping comments which I strongly disagree with.
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Jan, 2010 03:24 am
@dlowan,
My only moment of serious doubt about multiculturalism. Thinking back ...

It was the first of my highly populated by Muslim students experiences, in the northern suburbs of Melbourne. (I've since worked almost exclusively in many mostly Muslim schools.) I'd say a good 90% of the population was Muslin, mostly Arabic Lebanese. I mentioned the reaction of the student population to 9/11. It was overwhelmingly one of jubilation, I guess, & quite vocally expressed, that this had happened in the home territory of the "enemy". (Even before the invasions of Afghanistan & Iraq.) But there was much else which caused discomfort. The treatment of women members of staff by some of the boys was extremely disrespectful & confronting, say nothing of the treatment of any students who were not Muslim. One Iranian Christian refugee was attacked in the yard & was taken to hospital by ambulance, concussed from a kick to the head. Then there were far worse episodes, which I'd rather not mention, because the school would be immediately identified. Let's just say these episodes made the news in a rather sensational way. Eventually the school was closed down. Theoretically because the school council decided it was for the best because declining enrollments made it unviable. But in reality, it was because no (or extremely few) non-Muslim students would enroll there, because of its reputation.

As a teacher, the experience certainly had quite a few challenging moments. Luckily I was a part-timer. I don't think I could have coped full-time. There was an in-built, impossible to shift fierce hostility to all things Australian, or "western" which was all but impossible to penetrate. And an "all for one, one for all" mentality amongst many of the students, so if you had a problem with one, you had a problem with many. A very delicate balancing act was required, I can tell you! But I saw some terrible things there, some which were quite heart-breaking & soul destroying. You'll have to take my word for it, the teachers there tried & tried & basically got nowhere fast.

But this was a ghetto of the uneducated Muslim population in the area. Up the road from where I live is a very well known private Muslim school. The students there are princes & princess, honestly. Smile Their parents have dreams & aspirations for them. "M" College, by comparison, was the opposite. Uneducated, traumatized by war, fundamentalist religious parents & families. Who perceived us "outsiders" as the enemy. Racial intolerance can work both ways. This is the only instance I can think of where I saw a school closure as a very good thing to have happened.
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Jan, 2010 03:39 am
@msolga,
That's very interesting.

msolga
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Jan, 2010 03:45 am
@dlowan,
It was very hard. To be completely honest, my reaction at the time (completely opposed to years of strong belief in the virtues of multiculturalism) was "We shouldn't have more of these people here until this group & their parents have adapted & integrated a bit." Luckily for me, I've since had a number of really great experiences in schools with high Muslim population. And I've seen things a bit differently.
 

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