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The Forum > Article Comments > Embracing diversity > Comments

Embracing diversity : Comments

By Stephen Hagan, published 27/8/2008

Australians, including Indigenous Australians, should be more accepting of cultural diversity.

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Great essay, and one of the first I have seen that takes on this issue that embracing diversity is not to be selective but includes all of us, there can be no exceptions.

We all hope the newer arrivals settle in to a lifestyle that fits in with other arrivals, recent or ancient, eventually.

I do wholeheartedly agree with the comments on diversity of food, a particular fondness of mine, that has enriched our lives.
Posted by rpg, Wednesday, 27 August 2008 10:03:34 AM
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I canít remember being taught that ďAborigines were murderers, thieves, rapists, idle minds and could not be trusted.Ē

I think thatís a furphy.

I was taught about the Roman empire, the Greek empire, the French empire, the Spanish empire, the Russian empire and so on.

There could some truth in the concept of expand, or be conquered by someone else.

It is not clearly known who was in Australia before the arrival of Australian aborigines.
Posted by HRS, Wednesday, 27 August 2008 2:08:39 PM
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Stephen,
I don't know where you received your education, but mine was in NSW public schools during the late 40s and early 50s. We were never taught about "...British colonianalist conquering and civilizing hostile natives...." or that "Aboriginals were murderers, thieves, rapists, idle minds and could not be trusted"

You must have dreamed that. We certainly did not learn much about aboriginals or their cultures, but nothing like the above was ever mentioned.

Also you claim "Australia was founded on the White Australia Policy" and then admit it came into being in 1901, which is over 100 years after settlement. It was introduced to protect Australian workers from an expected influx of chinese which threatened their jobs. It had nothing to do with aboriginal policy or our attitude to aborigines at the time.

I do not think the vast majority of Australians have a problem with diversity in our population provided there is mutual respect. Ask Tom Calma to tell that to the Lebanese muslims, who want us to accept their culture but show no respect for other cultures, race or religion. Perhaps we should accept that some cultures simply will not accept or respect others and not import those cultures.

The ideolagy of multiculturalism split people into ethnic groups rather than united them. It is good to see that era quietly passing.
Posted by Banjo, Wednesday, 27 August 2008 8:30:56 PM
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Another good post,Banjo.I seem to be your most ardent fan!

I too agree that we are acquiring an exciting cultural mix that is making Australian community vibrant.
I love to see the West Indians,Africans, Indian, Burmese,Thai and Chinese and Vietnamese sharing our streets and public places like our shopping centres arm in arm with white men and women,completely at ease. I do feel threatened by the hooded enigmas drifting about.I can never know if there is a man or a woman in the shroud.They choose to be sepratist and unsociable. Only those born and broughtup in secular demorcacies abroad are accepting of our political and social fabric.The other sort want more than we need to give them eg sharia law,right to treat girls and women in any way they see fit.They brook no interference from us. Its going to be a hell of a long time before I ever feel comfortable amongst them.try living in parts of Britain where they have formed ghettoes and are in the majority.No whites ever want to go anywhere near them. Those are parts of the UK that are lost forever!! I have experienced it first hand. Recently three are on trial for planning to assassinate the Royal family. Just where will they stop.

socratease
Posted by socratease, Wednesday, 27 August 2008 9:53:04 PM
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I really enjoyed the article. A few comments, though:

The Immigration Restriction Act was one of the first pieces of legislation passed after federation. Thus it was one of the founding principles of the Australian nation. What the colonies did before that was entirely up to them (provided that the poms approved) and varied greatly from colony to colony.

As recently as the 1980s and 1990s, I learnt about the brave colonists conquering and civilising the natives. That our history began in 1770 when I was at school in NSW and in 1616 when I was at school in WA speaks volumes. I also remember the outrage I felt when the 'friendly natives' - a major drawcard for the Swan River Settlement - turned out not to be so friendly. I never found out why they were so hostile - were they mean-spirited, or were they provoked?

The point I am trying to get across is that I, for one, did have a 'white' education, at least in primary school. Aboriginal culture was taught in the same way as neolithic life - something people did before they knew better.
Posted by Otokonoko, Wednesday, 27 August 2008 11:52:31 PM
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DIVERSITY....in

-Food..
-Some mutually acceptable customs.
-Compatable Family structure.
-Language
-Religion
-Ethnicity/Skin color

are all ok within very serious limits.

Philipino's can enjoy Balut as much as they like.. and I don't care if they sell it here.. but I sure won't be eating partially formed duck embryo's.

Mutually acceptable customs are where the host group can recognize, without being either coerced or 'told' that some aspect of a non host culture could be beneficial to them...and..they embrace it.

Family Structure. I for one embrace the 'extended family' structure where Grandparents brothers and sisters offspring and their offspring are regarded like first cousins... makes for great family re-unions and can also be a kind of mini 'mutual benevolent society' for the whole clan.

Language... I think we can all benefit from learning and using at least one foreign language. I've got 3 besides english. But English is the language of State and Education.

Religion. This is generally a non issue. If the "religion" is like Buddhism which is a kind of glorified self help system.. no biggy, but I've written enough 'volumes' on a certain other religion which is characterized as seeking and working toward world domination in a political way. To my mind such religions have no place here.. at all.

Ethnicity/Skin color.. never a problem for me, black white or brindle.. doesn't matter..I care about the values the person holds more than their skin color or race.

CONCLUSION. As long as diversity is not a threat to an established order or culture, and is always absorbed by osmosis rather than any active promotion by governments or political parties.. then it's fine.
Posted by Polycarp, Thursday, 28 August 2008 8:12:59 AM
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