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The Forum > Article Comments > Australia racist? Well, der! > Comments

Australia racist? Well, der! : Comments

By Bill Collopy, published 30/8/2010

Australians like to think we left xenophobia behind with the days when we couldn't buy bok choy at the supermarket.

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Yes, Australians are racist .. no big surprise there.

All the people who come to Australia are as racist as the original inhabitants. Probably the most demanding of special treatment and rules and who cares about anyone else are the original inhabitants, they certainly do not seem to want any competition in that regard.

The articles I see here and elsewhere all tend towards white angle saxon types, being the racists - that's a really out of date concept, since WWII many other whites and non-whites have moved here and do not have an anglo saxon background.

it's convenient to blame it all on those people, but really that just avoids then examining the reality which is the free for all that is racism in Australia.

Mulitculturalism doesn't work here, we tend to cluster where we are comfortable and if someone moves in next door from another group, it fractures our neighborhood. Oh you can be friendly, but mostly people just pretend they are not there.

People I know tell me where they grew up in Australia, all your neighbors were friends, but they were also culturally similar, not any more.

I see this racism all over the place, someone pointed out to me recently that you never see a non Chinese working in a Chinese restaurant, is it because they eliminate anyone non-Chinese sounding before the interviews, do they ever interview anyone non-Chinese? Could they be .. racist?

It's unacceptable to employ on race grounds int his day and age, surely? Or is a blind eye turned, because they are not white anglo saxon background? Imagine if McDonald or like tried to employ that way .. oh the outcry!

Just an example of course, but as valid as the author's example I'm sure.
Posted by Amicus, Monday, 30 August 2010 9:31:14 AM
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A much more compelling case can be made for Australia being one of the least racist countries in the world. China, India, the US, Japan, South Africa, France, Switzerland, UK, Russia. Australia is better than all of them.

In several countries even the locally born people are discriminated against because they are in the wrong caste or from the wrong tribe or wrong part of the country. Maybe Bill's next article will reveal how Queenslanders hate New South Welshmen and call them cockroaches in a special sacred ceremony on three Wednesdays each winter.

When we say that Australia is a rich country, we think about the average Australian, we don't tell an anecdote about a homeless person who doesn't have any money. When we say that Australia has a good education system we think about the Average Austalian and a 99% literacy rate. When we talk about racism, though, we always pick the worst case and then imply that although we don't think so we are all really just like that worst case.

Racism is a complicated and difficult issue and Australia does damn well.

I couldn't read a couple paragraphs on page 3 that were blocked by an IBM ad.
Posted by ericc, Monday, 30 August 2010 9:42:45 AM
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"Australia's multicultural experiment remains a work in progress, relationship by relationship."

I'm tempted to say "der" but instead I have a question. I hope posters will take it seriously.

Can a multi-cultural nation be stable IN THE LONG TERM?

The auguries are not good. One thinks of Lebanon, Yugoslavia and Cyprus. Turkey is fighting a low level civil war against its Kurdish minority.

If posters answer I hope they will do so dispassionately taking the world as it is, not as they would like it to be.
Posted by stevenlmeyer, Monday, 30 August 2010 9:52:34 AM
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Well said ericc. Shrill and angst-ridden claims of inherent Australian racism ignore the many positive aspects of this country when it comes to relationships between races and often just push people further apart. Barack Obama's speech regarding race during the last U.S election remains the most compelling, convincing and adult analysis that I have heard or read.
Posted by Dick, Monday, 30 August 2010 10:14:25 AM
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"I see this racism all over the place, someone pointed out to me recently that you never see a non Chinese working in a Chinese restaurant, is it because they eliminate anyone non-Chinese sounding before the interviews, do they ever interview anyone non-Chinese? Could they be .. racist?"

And on the other side of the coin, walk past a Chinese restaurant, see non-Chinese people working there, and feel your reaction: ďIím not eating there, the workers aren't even Chinese!"

People judge whether to eat at Asian restaurants on how many Asian customers are eating there. 'It has to be good/authentic if people of that particular race are eating there'

It's not racist to recognise that the best Chinese food is often cooked by Chinese people, and not racist to recognise that customers prefer to eat Chinese/Indian/Mediterranean/Thai etc food served to them from a person of that race, it makes us feel like it's authentic and home made.
Posted by Elise, Monday, 30 August 2010 10:29:04 AM
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I donít know that you can judge the prospects for the long-term stability of Australia by the experience of countries like Lebanon, Yugoslavia and Cyprus. They were and are the product of specific historical circumstances which are different from Australiaís history.

The three countries you mention are variously the product of the break-up of historically multi-ethnic empires in the 19th and 20th centuries, colonialism and the machinations of European power-brokers, the rise of ethnic-based nationalism, the exploitation of unresolved tensions and past conflicts by unscrupulous politicians, demagogues, military coups and dictatorships to name some of the factors.

Inter-ethnic conflict seems usually to be the result of systemic discrimination by ruling majorities in countries where there is marked economic, social and political inequality and a failure to adapt to change in inclusively constructive ways.
Posted by tonyf, Monday, 30 August 2010 11:15:20 AM
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