Home / Culture and Society / Spirituality / Who’s Racist Now? Australia In An Age Of Racism

Who’s Racist Now? Australia In An Age Of Racism

Please Share...Print this pageTweet about this on TwitterShare on Facebook0Share on Google+0Pin on Pinterest0Share on Tumblr0Share on StumbleUpon0Share on Reddit0Email this to someone

After a second night of violent rioting in suburban Sydney, Australian Prime Minister John Howard has stated to the media, “I think it’s important that we do not rush to judgement about these events,” and “I do not accept there is underlying racism in this country. I have always taken a more optimistic view of the character of the Australian people.”

I accept the fact that the leader of any country must present an optimistic view of political events – we see evidence of that in all kinds of instances, and, on occasion, we see the benefits of it, do we not? Nevertheless, shouldn’t leaders also exhibit more of a sense of realism than Mr. Howard has displayed in the above statements, given the fact that riots appear to be worsening, and spreading throughout vast areas of suburban Sydney? After all, it’s clear that there are serious problems right now in Australia, just as there are problems in any country that has large groups of immigrants trying to create new lives for themselves in established communities.

Here’s the basis of my objection and the reason for writing this. Racism is not new in Australia. Indeed, it’s no newer than it is in France or the US or Britain. Racism, even in subtle forms, seems to exist everywhere. If we pay attention, it’s amazing what we see. Look, for example, at The Sydney Morning Herald‘s report on the riots this morning:

Sydney erupted in a second night of racial violence last night as Middle Eastern mobs fired shots into the air, attacked women and smashed shops around Cronulla, while up to 600 young men – armed with guns and crowbars – prepared for a battle.

Note that the Middle Easterners are described as mobs and the others – presumably Anglo men (and possibly women) – are described as “young men.” Since they arrived in dozens of cars, armed with baseball bats, I’m not quite sure just how gentlemanly these young men were! This, by the way, is Sydney’s premier newspaper and that is its lead story. May I say that, as an almost fifty year-old woman, who is partly of Italian descent and who spent my first twenty-eight years in Australia, none of this comes as a total surprise.

That’s why I was astonished to read the following, from the latest AP report:

Australia has long prided itself on accepting immigrants — from Italians and Greeks after World War II to families fleeing political strife in the Middle East and Southeast Asia. In the last census in 2001, nearly a quarter of Australia’s 20 million people said they were born overseas.

However, tensions between youths of Arabic descent and white Australians have been rising in recent years, largely because of anti-Muslim sentiment fueled by the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks in the United States and deadly bombings on the Indonesian island of Bali that killed 202 people, including 88 Australians, in October 2002.

Is that so? I thought. That’s simply not the picture I have in my mind of suburban Sydney from when I was growing up in the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s. I was born in Cronulla, the suburb where the riots are taking place this weekend. My family shopped in Caringbah and my best friend lived in Brighton-le-Sands. They’re suburbs to which the riots have now spread. My Italian great aunts lived in Redfern, the inner city suburb where Australian Aborigines rioted in 2004 after an Aboriginal teenager was killed in police custody. They are all areas I know well in this extremely widespread city.

Several years younger than my big sisters, I came along in the mid ’50s, when my parents could afford to buy a house in the new southern suburbs that were built after World War II. By contrast, my sisters were born in the more crowded neighbourhoods of inner Sydney, for a time sharing the home of my Italian grandmother. I was lucky to grow up among big families, to have a big backyard, to live on a street on which we could all play ball and ride bicycles, to live near the school bus that drove us all to the local public school together, and to even have a swimming pool around the corner from our house. Cronulla, that beautiful beach suburb where the riots are now taking place, and where I was born, was a short train ride from our home.

It sounds idyllic, I hear you saying, and to some extent it was. But here’s the problem. Until I was about nine or ten, besides another family which was of German descent, we were the only ones who were not “Australian,” which meant White Anglo-Saxon Protestants (another Italian family arrived then). My mother actually was an Anglo Protestant – which is probably how we came to be reasonably well accepted in the neighbourhood. My father, now ninety years-old, played cricket and lawn bowls (very English), and never ate pasta or anything remotely Mediterranean. The only thing he did, very quietly, I should add, was go off to church at 6am on Sunday mornings.

But none of this stopped the slurs toward the kids of German descent and me. “Come on you Wogs!” we’d hear all the time (“Wops” was the word reserved for people of Greek descent, which I heard when we went into the inner city to visit some of our relatives).

My favourite expression aimed at me to this day was: “You’re not a Catholic; you’re a ROMAN Catholic!!” indicating a minimal awareness of my heritage but an absolute ignorance of my religion.

When finally it was time to go to high school, I remember begging my parents to send me to an Anglican girls’ school, rather than the local high school, which I think they initially found strange (since I never told them about any of this) but finally they agreed to, mostly because my best friend was going there and I think they thought she was a good influence upon me.

There, among approximately four hundred Protestant girls, I was one of two Catholics. The other girl, Gail, was of Maltese origin. She and I were not allowed to go to the weekly religious classes, but instead used to go to the library, which made us perfectly happy. Even then I was amused by the fact that each day, school opened with an assembly where we said the Anglican version of The Lord’s Prayer, and yet, Gail and I were not excluded from saying it, Catholics that we were.

Does the story end there? If so, mine would possibly be considered a fine example of subtle racism, the kind that indicates the fear of difference that people all over the world demonstrate and experience.

It doesn’t, however. I left Australia in 1985 and have since returned only intermittently. Nevertheless, each time I’ve been struck by the comments that I’ve heard from different white Australians all over the country:

* about Aborigines: “they’re all on welfare”; “they’ll never change”
* about Asians: “those Japanese are coming down here and buying up all our good real estate, pricing us out of the market”; “those Vietnamese carry knives!”
* about Middle Eastern people: “you can’t trust them”; “they never speak English”; “who’s to say they won’t do to us what they did to the Americans?”

I hate to say this about my country, a country that I love very much, and recognise as merely sharing the same problems as other places. I won’t lie about it, though. If we do that, then we don’t face facts and recognise that something has to be done to challenge people who think that they’re better than others because of where they were born, the language that they speak, and the colour of their skin.

Powered by

About Lynn Schibeci

  • john smith

    navamn Your welfare There is nothing to be ashamed of getting welfare. IT IS A RIGHT.not a charity. Besides you cant live on welfare . the money is too small.You will do it hard. You shoould be more ashamed of the BLUDGING HIGH FLYING EXECUTIVES ON 5 to 6 Million dollars a year doing very little for their money. They are the real FUCKIN BLUDGERS OF AUSTRALIA. They bludge on the rest of us working hard being paid crumbs.

  • john smith

    Australians only ever give jobs to the indians and never to wogs or ethnic australians such as myself. Australians must really love indians. I have been abused pushed and harassed by Indians in australia. They are very RUDE they will bump into you and never say soory. Aussies how about giving us WOGS a fuckin JOB and noit only to indians.

  • john smith

    to robz I fully agree with you. The only PLace I get hassled by customs is in australia. I havent been hassled anywhere else . May be is ti because I am an ethnic australian or a fucking wog? is that why. Out of over 400 people on a jumbo plane I am THE ONLY ONE THEY WILL CHECK. No one else. austrlaia really sucks

  • HSS

    I am an Iranian and have lived in Australia for many years. If I had a dollar for each time myself and my wife was verbally abused or mistreated or being rude to by white Australians, specially women, I would be very rich now.

    I have found from the first day I arrived that these people are racists. Some pretend to be nice on your face while you can feel that they’re hiding something against you. Others will let their feelings known load and clear. It is not pleasant to come accross one of the latter.

  • John

    All I can say is that racism is criminal. It hurts, maims and kills. To be a racist is to walk with something worst than murder in your mind and heart. It only leads to bad consequences and ramifications.

    It has to be stopped, it has to be treated as a deeply moral and criminal offence in much the same way rape, murder and assault.

    I have been randomly targetted throughout my life in work, on the street and in the education system. I’m of a Southern European background but have been attacked because I have a relatively dark complexion and this has acted as a lightning rod for racists. I’ve been called an “abo”, “paki” etc….. whatever a racist’s pet peeve is.

    It has taken a heavy toll on my life.

  • Peter

    I don’t understand what Jaye’s issue is
    I know i’m late here but I had to reply to this.
    Negro is a word used to describe african americans here it always has been its not considered offensive here and so remember your in a different country with very different cultures and views
    so you need to learn this as australia isn’t america or anything like it and never will be.

  • STM

    Oh, now I see it: Australia is a nation of dribbling-at-the-mouth welfare recipients.

    And of course, it is because of this that they have been unable to build a harmonious, multi-racial, stable and democratic society based on rule of law that has the world’s best-performing economy and one that didn’t even go into recession during the GFC.

    Obviously, there’s a reason: you simply can’t do such a thing in a place that is a continent-sized trailer park where everyone has an IQ of 80 and a swastika tattoo.

  • navman

    Australia is one of the most racist countries, the government does not want to admit this but it is the truth. The major factor which attributes to this factor is because most immigrants become more successful than Australians because back in their country life is a competition and you need to succeed. On the other hand Australians are laid back people who depend on welfare (lol) only the bogans do. So as you can see australians just get jelous of the immagrants success and turn it in to racial hate which is wrong. PS
    The health crisis is all the governments fault there is about 6000 specialist doctors willing to work who have met australian practing requirments but do not have a “citizenship to allow them to work.” most of australian people rule but fuck thier government to hell

  • RVP

    Australia is a land of contrasts…..beautiful scenery, ugly-minded people. The country’s insularity means they enjoy all the material comforts of the 21st century while remaining stuck in a backward 18th century mindset; while giving lip service to modern PC sentiments, Anglo Aussies are secretly convinced of the innate superiority of their ‘race’.

  • Philippe Halsman

    Australia has a long history of racism. After wiping out most of the indigenous blacks human beings on the Australasian continent, they continue to fail the concept of fairness and justice. Aborigines are okay for selling tourism but they best not expect any real rights. And those Jamaicans best not look for jobs outside of sport. And as for those hard working Asians… they best not expect to be paid. This is Australia.

  • STM

    Rationalist: “Probably got something to do with the fact that average white Oz have an IQ less than 80, where as Indians have average IQ of 120”.

    Lol. Sh.t. I’ve always wondered what our issue was; so THAT’s the problem, then … we’re a nation of complete imbeciles.

    No wonder we send all our call centres over there. If you were to try to talk to an Australian, they’d be barely capable of answering of you.

    At least they wouldn’t call at dinner time though, because with such low IQs, multi-tasking would be beyond them.

    But it’s food for thought. If 80’s the average IQ figure for white Aussies and we’re way less smart than those bright and clever Indians on 120, there must be some REALLY, really low scores.

    Next time I go out I’m going to look for all the white people dribbling at the mouth.

    And to the traveller who only gets hassled in Oz for “random” checks, join the club mate.

    They get me every time at Sydney airport, without fail … even when I’m travelling with my family.

    Did I mention I’m a white, anglo-Irish Australian, with silver hair and blue eyes and no criminal record.

    But those customs folk get me every time I land back in Oz. Might be a bit of sterotyping because I’ve got long hair, but still …

    Nothing racist about that. They’re just doing their jobs (although only having IQs of 80 probably explains a lot; perhaps they’re mistaking suntans for natural skin pigmentation).

    I’d be a bit bummed off if they weren’t stopping people randomly, since my taxes are paying their wages and they get paid to keep this country safe.

  • Rajiv Tewari

    Racists will eventually tear Australia apart. Racism is as much a threat to the Australians as TALIBAN is to Pakistan. This monster will eventually affect Australians the most. The Australian Police is not realising that the little monster they are shielding will one day attack their own citizens on similar grounds. Pakistan too thought that TALIBAN is a frient. Hope the Australian Govt wakes up and catches the guilty instead of giving meaningless statements to media.

  • The Rationalist

    Australian whites are still very racist and uncivilized. They are inferior humans who could not become civilized even in the 21st century in spite of all the land and resources they now have in their conrtol. Probably got something to do with the fact that average white Oz have an IQ less than 80, where as Indians have average IQ of 120. If survival is of the fittest, I wonder where we will be relatively as humanity crosses to the 22nd century?

  • HateRacists

    Why is it that every Aussie that denies Australia is racist then spews a bunch of white supremacist filth about such-and-such group. Are Aussies really this dumb they DON’T KNOW how racist they sound? That’s why I call Oz “The Trailer Park Down Under.” It really is the waste product of England.

  • mim

    After staying in melbourne for two and a half years, I thought racism was just something you read about in the paper or something you watch on tv. But today, I endured this type of racism from a sober, decently dressed white woman. She got mad when I brushed off the crumbs she was flicking in my direction. Told me I wasn’t “that clean” and added “there are f****ng monkeys everywhere”.

    While I don’t believe the entire Australia is racist, it does remind me that racism exist. I also agree with one of the commenters that some people from asian backgrounds do look down on other asian groups. Not all but it does exist.

  • Davron

    I think the people who find Australia friendly are those who truly put aside their cultural differences and co-operate amongst all people. Colourblind. That’s the key. With that in mind anyone of any cultural background is free here to have their own fun as well as partake in other cultures. Of course, having a sense of humour about it is a bonus. Where certain people go about seriously weeding out and pin-pointing at the difference races / ethnicities, eg try to categorise it all, or what they do, here that can quite easily call on a lack of perspective about Australia, and the racism tags start flying about.

  • Sumit

    I’m an Indian immigrant and found Australia in general a very welcoming country. Except for the fact beautiful Australian women are pretty much racist when it comes to going out with guys like me. I’m good-looking and tall but feel rejected in the dating game only because of my ethnicity. Except of course, the ugly and fat women who’re always available. There was this volleyball game where I met this hot blonde chick who seemed who seemed genuinely interested in me. We were flirting for nearly half an hour then she asks me where I’m from. I say, “India”. She immediately lost interest and walked away! She must have thought all Indian men look dark and must smell. Which wasn’t true in my case.

  • Danny

    It’s useful, after stating the salient fact, to say ‘full stop’. Australians are racist cunts. Full stop.

  • CaptainReality

    Don’t abuse Muslims dear, They are similar to you, i think better than you because they don’t blame others like all of you

  • Robz

    was traveling by air from Melbs to Brisbane didn’t get checked by the “bomb squad” Although got told i should have been by the person doing it….on the way back I got checked, told the ladys who “RANDOMLY” picked me that i wasn’t tested on the way there they both GASPED in shock… WTF stupid ignorant white people (but i guess not the smartest of the bunch get to work at the security section). Australias the most racist country in the world…maybe you should stopped and be checked for being a descendant of a criminal. or Get smarter non narrow minded,ignorant people to run the country not descendants of a criminals who and took over.

    1. I’m not religious grew up in aus love my bbq’s surf n sun. have hepsa mates from various backgrounds.
    2. Hold a Aus Passport
    2. I’m not of Mid Eastern,African,Asian descent
    3. I am tanned
    4. I travel quite a bit and the only place i get hassled is in AUS.

  • International Student

    Australia is a racist country!!!!
    I’ve been treated unfairly by all of those white australian everywhere because I’m an asian.

  • STM

    Well, to be fair captain, despite the problems, you are generalising a bit.

    It’s a small group of young men of middle-eastern descent – the New South Wales police estimate there are only about 300 of them causing the problems.

    When you consider how many Lebanese Muslims there are in Sydney going about their lives in a normal manner and embracing their new home, that’s a pretty small number.

    Granted, the gangs and their hangers on are causing a lot problems.

    But the kind of generalising you’re engaged in is what led to innocent people getting smashed down at Cronulla. One was an Italian, and another a Greek – both Australia born.

    I’d take umbrage with anyone who suggested that the Lebanese-Australian boys who renovated my bathroom were anything but good blokes.

    These are criminal issues we are dealing with, not race issues. Best left to the cops, who believe it or not, ARE making inroads.

  • CaptainReality

    Lebanese Muslims are horrible. They’re the cause of all the problems.

    The funny thing is, in Sydney, everyone hates them. The whites hate them. The Chinese hate them. The Indians hate them.

    The Lebanese Christians left Lebanon to get away from these animals. Unfortunately, Australia foolishly let them in during the 1970s.

    The issue isn’t that Australians are racist. The issue is that Lebanese Muslims are obnoxious, bigoted, violent, ill-educated fools, and everyone’s sick of it. Combine that with a useless police force that refused to enforce law and order, and you have the makings of a riot.

    There were Chinese people and Maoris at the Cronulla riots; you don’t see photographs of them in the media because that would show the ‘racist white Australia’ media message to be a lie.

  • Lewis

    Trust me racism got nothing to do with race
    my jewish workmate prefer to work with anglos and married only to a jewish as usual
    so even jewish can be racist
    and my TAMIL neighbour doesn’t like east asian but the funny thing is he called east asian ASIAN but he himself is ASIAN. He thinks in AUS he is not ASIAN and indians have become the biggest ethnic group in AUS. Why I always see ASIAN women with white dudes these days and also african males with white women. Even all famous mixed people are the product of black dads and white moms recently: jo wilfred tsonga. Racists of all races prefer caucasians look ?

  • bm

    I’m afraid I see a lot of immature denial in all the comments above,

    “Racism? What Racism? Where –er who?? You mean us?? How?”

    Let’s get some things straight.

    Australia _is_ a part of Asian Economy — like it or not.

    Australia’s future existence could turn out to be as a collection of inward looking collection of unskilled & uneducated supremacist luddites (white, wasp or otherwise) — driven increasingly to isolation by its prosperous and more industrialized Asian neighbours.

    Or it could turn out to be an enlightened group of mature cultural pragmatists — interacting with and leading its Asian neighbouring countries in every social and economic arena.

    Which shall it be? Australia’s leaders must decide –firmly and now. The past pattern of impotent and indecisive leadership (cowtowing to cheap popularity from the lowest common denominator) can no longer be pragmatic policy for the longer term.

    A culturally ignorant nation in a multicultural world — even if majority WASP — is unqualified to lead — unless by force. And I don’t think the latter is an option anymore.

  • Forrester

    And I want to add that racism is not related to age or race.

    Many Indians Srilankans look down on orientals especially vietnamese/chinese because they think oriental asians can’t speak english or could be newcomers. Even though from what I see orientals are already in Australia long before south asians or africans. Most Srilankans came mostly in the mid 90s after the civil war. So this shows many racists are refugees and immigrants as well, young or old. Immigrants look down on another immigrant group is a reality, regardless of race, wealth and age.

  • STM

    Nah, people just choose people they like. It’s got nothing to do with anything except who you fall in love/like/lust with.

    I don’t buy the race card on this.

  • Silver Surfer

    Actually, Lynn, I did suffer a bit of discrimination when I first started high school but it had nothing to do with my catholic background. My parents lived overseas and I spent a few years at school in England and another few in the middle-east (at a British school). So I came to high school in Australia with an English accent.

    Therefore I was a “pommy” (I’m Australian) and automatically marked out for regular smacks in the mouth and big – “there you go, mate, how was that?” – crash tackles on the rugby field.

    And you thought you had it bad down there at Cronulla getting called a wog …

    And when I said bollocks, I meant it with respect – you are as entitled to your opinion as anyone 🙂

  • Silver Surfer

    And Lynn, what a load of bollocks. You’ve been out of the country since, what, 1985??

    And the SMH story – the passage you quoted about Middle Eastern mobs: the 600 were not a different group, but the same group.

    As for your nonsense about aborigines and catholics. I’m a catholic and went to an Anglican school. My mother was a Catholic and suffered no disrimination at all.

    I suffered no discrimination at all. My son (who is part-aborigine and an Anglican), went to two Catholic boarding schools and suffered no discrimination at all. The most stick he got from his schoolmates related to the fact that he’s always considered himself a Queenslander rather than a New South Welshman, as most of my immediate family are from Queensland.

    And it wasn’t vast areas of suburban Sydney – it was two beach suburbs (at last count, there were about 100 of them, if you count neighbouring areas from where you can walk to the beach).

    You don’t write this with any authority, and you had to be here to really understand what was going on. And obviously, you weren’t. You’ve had a look at a few news reports on the web. Naughty, naughty …

  • Silver Surfer

    Al, you are right … and I stand by my earlier comment – Australians today are largely colour-blind.

    What makes people stand out is their “unAustralianess”, and it has nothing to do with colour.

    It’s about not integrating, not being part of what Australians see as the modern Australia – a multicultural melting pot that if not quite paradise, is as damn well close to it as you’ll get on this planet – and I’ve been to plenty of other places around the world so I think I can speak with if not authority, at least some knowledge.

    Even people who have been in Australia a few motnhs can fit in without a problem if they demonstrate a willingness to fit in (and fitting in doesn’t mean being stereotyped or robbed of your original cultural identity).

    Hell, even Americans can now hold dual US/Australian citizenship. Punch-ups at the beach notwithstanding, there’s more racial/cross-cultural harmony here today than anywhere on the planet.

    In fact the punch-ups at the beach probably served a purpose – the majority of Australians became angry with both groups, and both groups ended up pulling their heads in.

    Since then, and it’s two years ago now, there haven’t been any dramas of note.

    One of the postive things to come out of it was a decision by the Surf Lifesaving Association, in a bid to have more muslim kids join its ranks, to actively recruit within the muslim community – and it doesn’t come much more “Australian” than being a lifesaver.

    I’ll offer as evidence: the SLSA hired a designer to come up with a light-weight “burkini” that allows religious muslim girls to serve at the beach without being uncovered.

    Those girls who have joined are ecstatic – and report a sense of real belonging. That’s where Australia goes when this shit happens – it tries its hardest to make good on any wrongs. Today, that even applies to past treatment of the indigenous community, although we hope when the new government comes in after John Howard’s defeat at the polls there’ll be more and better on that score, too.

    That’s why it is a near Paradise. Trust me, I wouldn’t leave this place for a million bucks. I had the opportunity some years ago to move permanently to the US, and I weighed it all up, everything – and stayed here.

    The only way I’ll leave is in a box, and considering how much surfing time I’ve still got in this getting older older but still-happy body, I hope that’s a long way off :).

  • Al

    ‘I have been here in Adelaide for sometime and I have seen only two white men with Asian women…I have not seen any black africans with white girlfriends, here in Adelaide, in Sydney, Melbourne or anywhere else in this country.’

    Please tell me you are joking right? Australia is one of the most multi-ethnic countries in the world. I have been to all three cities stated and have been surprised at what a beautiful mix of cultures, religions and definitely race that surrounded me.

    I have a very diverse family. I am currently dating a black South African and he has really opened up my eyes, looking at all the different cultures that are mixed into Australia. My brother is married to a Japanese woman and my sister is dating an American-Indian man…and we all live in Australia. So in just one family there are three different cultures/races/and religions.

    I think it is time for Australia to move on from being so segregated and become ONE…(cliché, I know sorry) There are so many different cultures that are mixed with one another to make Australia…we can make it a whole lot better and not based on colour or origins…

  • Lynn

    Thank you all for your comments. Please note, I do not suggest that racism is more of a problem in Australia than anywhere else, and I agree that a lot of younger people are colourblind. Nonetheless, racism exists around the world, sometimes even in Australia, and often among young people (I’ve witnessed it with my own eyes). Therefore, I wanted to write that piece when those problems erupted in my hometown. With all due respect, I believe that there was nothing wrong with my writing that piece at that time.

  • STM

    There are some racists in Australia. But from where I stand, the vast majority are not. They tend to be largely colour-blind, but if you don’t “act or sound Australian”, that’s a different issue.

    Skin colour is largely irrelevent in Australia for the generation of children born in Australia to migrant parents.

    Let’s not make more of this than there is.

  • George

    My questions to you would be:

    “Were the Japanese buying up Australian assets when their economy was booming?”

    Why shouldn’t they? Weren’t the white Aussies buying up Thai and Malaysian assets after the Asian crises? Same nonsense. People are selfish. They would like to buy assets in other countries but would like to deny people from other countries from buying assets in their own. Just like the anti-immigrant groups want to protect Aussie jobs but they have little or nothing to say about Aussies taking jobs in Singapore. Plain selfish!! I will supoort the anti-immigrant movements if they denounce Aussies taking jobs in other countries.

  • George

    “if australians are all racist how come I see so many black africans with white women girlfriends and white men with asian girlfriends”

    Oh really? I have been here in Adelaide for sometime and I have seen only two white men with Asian women, with of course the white women and girls gawking at them. I have not seen any black africans with white girlfriends, here in Adelaide, in Sydney, Melbourne or anywhere else in this country. Pray tell me where in Adelaide I can find these couples in large numbers.

    “but not that many black women with white men or asian men with white women though.”

    I have not seen a single white woman with a non-white male here in Adelaide or elsewhere in this country.

    “it seems racism is also generated by the colored people themselves by refusing to date within own race.”

    But, will the whites not pass comments if the so-called colored people date whites? I know for sure many white dont even like white men dating Asian women, which is a big change from Hawaii or California.

  • Dave

    if australians are all racist how come I see so many black africans with white women girlfriends and white men with asian girlfriends

    but not that many black women with white men or asian men with white women though

    it seems racism is also generated by the colored people themselves by refusing to date within own race

  • Jaye

    I read your comments and find them interesting because I am American (born and raised) and I lived in Australia and New Zealand after I finished college back in ’01. I was down there working (on a work permit) after college getting some experience overseas. Spending time in both of those countries has to have been the single worst overseas experience I have ever had. Why? I have lived in France, Switzerland, and Canada and I had wonderful experiences in those countries. But I couldn’t wait to exit Australia and NZ when I had the chance. I found the W.A.S.P.’s in both countries to be extremely ignorant about other cultures, possessing a very narrow world view, arrogant about being white, and living psychologically in an 18th century mentality as far as how they seem themselves in relation to other ethnic groups. I am African-American and when I was down there I was called a ‘negro’ more than once, which is hostile and offensive. No one in the U.S or Canada refers to Blacks as Negroes, that is the equivalent of calling someone a ‘nigger’. I have traveled all over the world and have never been treated as badly as I was in both Australia and New Zealand. Most of the people I encountered made ignorant stereotypical statements about Black people (even though they had never met a Black person in their lives). I feel like Australia and New Zealand have a very 1950’s separatist Jim Crow mentality when it comes to relating to ethnic people. I felt like I was in Hick/red-neck territory in the 1950’s southern states….but no I was working and living abroad in both Australia and New Zealand. It was and still is a shocker. It is disgusting. I ended my work contract early and came back to California because I was exhausted and disgusted from my experience. I am not the only person that feels this way, one of my friends from college who is Filipina-American married a Vietnamese-Australian and she told me the same thing. That she doesn’t like the way white-australians treated her while she and her fiance (now her husband) were there. She was called a ‘little brown monkey’ by many people. That’s horrible. In the U.S. we have our own racial issues that we are working on, but I think because it has been out in the open and because of the civil rights movement in the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s and because we have ALOT of renowned ethnic celebrities (i.e. Jennifer Lopez-Puerto Rican, Beyonce-African-American, Lucy Lui-Chinese, etc, etc.) and alot of famous influential ethnic white people (Jewish and Italian communities), some of the things that are an acceptable amount of racism in Australia wouldn’t be tolerated in the U.S. When I was living in France when I was in college there were some racial issues with the people who were first-generation arab-French, African-French and the ‘native white-french’ but in my opinion it isn’t as exaggerated and crude as it is in Australia. I say the same thing for Switzerland too. I think that Canada is the most tolerant and accepting country. They are always voted in the top 5 places to live by the U.N. each year. There is a reason for that. Two of Canada’s major cities Toronto and Vancouver have almost 50% foreign born. It isn’t a perfect country (but what country is?) but I think that Canadians really work on cultural communication and racial harmony. Whenever I visit Canada, I see more interracial marriages/interethnic marriages than anywhere else. I suppose that Canadians have less prejudices. And why is that? I would like to visit Australia and New Zealand again someday (the two separate countries are beautiful, but the people are racist) but not if I am going to be treated like a criminal.

  • Acelya

    It is very hard to be honest and non-biased all the time. Sometimes, people’s experiences can lead them to develop certain idealogies that they know are incorrect but just cant help feeling. I was born in Australia, my parents are both Turkish, i moved overseas when i was about 7 years old, i’ve lived in Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Turkey and many more due to my father’s job requirements. Once my dad retired, we moved back to Australia, i must say, the 5 years that i spend there, were the most depressing times of my 20 year life. I am in awe how anybody in Australia can be racist, when in true fact, the only real Australians, are aboriginals. Would it be correct to say to a white Australian ‘your ancestors were convicts’? So what right do they have to judge anyone. I found that basically all the people i came accross my age, were uneducated and had no intention of constituting some self development. It is always easier to stereotype than to look at the bigger picture. I find that the 5 years i spent in Australia as a teenager have made me in a way racist towards them. The only difference is, i can admit that it is wrong to have any thoughts like that in the first place, whereas some people think they are justified in speaking and acting the way they do.

  • who cares

    first this ethnic war ,,racist is what ive been reading in history books at school and anyways theres no end to it …dont care yu white ,black , dont care yu christian ,moselm , jew,parsi…thing i care is yu dont hit a women when shes just walking down the street yu sure dont want aussie mate to have a 911 keep doing racist slogans its just started…good things come to those who wait,,,wait and see then brag 100 aussie pride politics are a jokers wild card to fool people ……

  • Elysium

    Lyn, I certainly didn’t mean do demean your personal reflections but in this instance the two are unrelated. I will say however that the Italians have made an overwhelmingly positive contribution to Australia and along with other ethnic communities now make up an inherent part of a richer Australian culture. I believe it is the Italian’s (and Greek) ability to laugh at themselves, respect for others and family and not take things or themselves too seriously which has enabled this relatively smooth transition (and not just in Australia). I only just wish the same could be said of other migrant groups whose antagonisms brought over with them and handed down through generations affect not only the so called WASPs in this country but all Australians. Things can’t be allowed to go on as they have been (especially in Sydney) as there is too much to lose. I strongly feel this means ending the predominance of tribe inducing Multiculturalism, not only supported but insisted upon by succesive governments of both persuasions and trained self serving bureaucrats and intellectuals.

    Give me a multi-ethnic society that respects each others differences but strives together within a common framework, than one built on ethnic divisions and tribal hatreds which unfortuanately Multiculturalism like most ‘-isms’ ends up promoting above all else.

    Best wishes and don’t be afraid to come home, it’s not so bad but certainly could be better.

    Elysium : )

  • I note that there’s a comment above stating “Personal attacks are not allowed. Please read out comment policy.” The reason I state this is that:

    1. I am very happy to read all of these comments and appreciate hearing what you all have to say. If the media wrongly reported the story, I don’t think you can blame me for that.

    2. I am not a “Liberal,” which is why I’m happy to listen to your comments and read these links, many of which are long, which is why it might take me a while to give you a more thorough response than this one. The point is that I expect the kind of fair treatment that many of you are suggesting that the Liberal media doesn’t provide.

    3. I am reported my personal experiences, not advancing biased opinions. I have no doubt whatsoever that there’s blame to go around but that doesn’t mean that my account is based upon fiction or isn’t relevant.

    It’s related mostly to what I was called because of my Italian heritage and what I saw growing up and on subsequent visits to Australia, where I witnessed plenty of fights among people because of racial differences.

    4. To answer those questions briefly:
    – In the past, Aborigines would have been, but increasingly, they are getting better educated, with many more of them gaining high school and college degrees.
    – Yes, Japanese were doing that, but so, too, were Americans and British, and no one ever mentioned that.
    – Middle Eastern people are/were no less likely to speak English than Greeks or Italians in 1940s/50s Australia. My grandmother barely spoke a word of English, but she loved the country and never even visited Italy again after she set foot on Australian soil. Indeed, when she remarried after my Sicilian grandfather died, she married an Australian and we used to wonder how they communicated (no kidding!)
    – It’s not racist to speak the truth, I completely agree. Does that mean it was fine, then, to call me a wog? Was that the truth? Is it fine to say *all* Vietnamese carry knives? Some do, of course, just like some white men carry guns or murder their wives, but they don’t all do it, do they?

    I hope that clarifies my viewpoint and why I was disappointed by some of the things I heard people say when I lived or visited there. Now I’m going to read some of your interesting comments and urls. Thanks. Lynn

  • tommyd

    Elysium, fantastic post. Thanks for those links. Soon enough though, more and more people are not going to be afraid of the smears of “racist” anylonger and will get more vocal about what’s really happening in the West.

  • Elysium

    Very interesting…except that the “..600 young men – armed with guns and crowbars..” were also “Middle Easterners” (Lebanese muslims) while the surfy thugs were armed with beer bottles and fists charged with alcohol and frustration at inept policing and PC politics (not that it’s an excuse but context is everything). I’m not surprised that the SMH would obscure this fact as all our leftist media (indeed all leftist media around the world) are doing this. Sept 11 and the terrorist attacks in Bali (where incidently 4 local girls died) are a small part of the pent up frustrations of enduring a long and enduring violent trend which includes indiscriminate violence and rape preying on predominantly young white Australians by Lebanese muslim gangs.

    If you or your readers are truly interested with the truth I would suggest reading the following links to articles by Tim Priest, a retired dective with the NSW police. It will give a far clearer and objective idea of what is occurring and why.

    The first is very prescient and is from Jan 2004. I recommend it highly, although I warn that it may challenge your prejudices. The second is from the 12th Dec :

    The Rise of Middle Eastern Crime in Australia
    Tim Priest

    Tim Priest: Blame race riots on police force neglect

  • tommyd

    Racial riots in any country that was once 95% White race, but now have surrendered their nations over to the Multiculturalist Liars who flooded these White people’s countries with undesirable Aliens and brainwashed Whites into accepting such a disatrous scheme by Mass Media enforcement, is no surprise to me.

    Nor should this surprise anyone else, even the most [Deleted] Liberals who’ve promoted such suicidal policies like Multicultarlism. Racial realities and differences have been ignored for way too long and are forbidden in the Mass Media discourse. Well it’s time for change. I am, however, happy to see White Australians fighting for their rights. God Bless them.

    Remember, “don’t take down a fence until you know why it was put up in the first place”.

  • RedTard

    My questions to you would be:

    Are the aborigines disproportionately on welfare?

    Were the Japanese buying up Australian assets when their economy was booming?

    Are Middle Eastern immigrants less likely to speak English?

    I don’t understand why it is now “racist” to speak the truth.

  • Gabrielle Sims

    I agree totally with your skepticism, and this is part of the reason I never managed to make a home for myself in that country, though it could be called my home in some ways. But the preponderance of narrowmindedness, the fixity of opinions about any kind of difference (accent, lifestyle, education are some especially delicate aspects of the general Australian defensiveness and scorn), these things were immediately noticeable to me after returning from years in the US.
    As for my identity and lifestyle choices, it took me a while to understand why your father would choose to essentially bury his Italianness (and even more because Sicilian). I thought, what a shame! And went on to consciously revive that part of our character in myself, to explore it, celebrate it, and live it almost completely. But moments like this one in Australia, and your stories of your own experiences with racism when you were growing up, your stories of your father’s experiences, these force me to recognise racism as hardly a thing of the past, hardly a thing that happens elsewhere, and hardly believable in its continuing fervour amongst people my own age, in their twenties, people who have not lived through mass migrations, or major wars, people who should know better because most of their grandparents were probably themselves immigrants at some point.

  • Aaman

    Excellent post – you’ve brought out all the key points that make this a critical issue for the ‘western’ world to consider – the uneasy coexistence of multiple cultures has never worked out yet – primarily because of the jingoism derived from regionalism.