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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 11 February 2017
24 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 11 FEBRUARY 2017 DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM For the record, Australia’s racism, like America’s, remains intact, with no default position GERRY GEORGATOS Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. PHOTO: AAP VIA AP/ROB GRIFFITH. Many argue that Australia is “better” than the racism that mires it knee-deep. As a nation, we are not better than the sum of the diabolical racism that sees Australian society fractured, and many from within the fracture at odds with each other. The majority of migrants and children of migrants − of the ‘diaspora’ − retreat into a heads-down commitment to a circle of concern and to doing what they can for their small circle of concern because they are overwhelmed by the racism that stands in the way of aspiring and working to positions and stature that AngloCeltic Australians near monopolise. Racism is both ugly and vicious, but for many it is subconscious in prohibiting ambition for culturally and linguistically diverse Australians that should be indistinguishably inalienable for every Australian. If racism is to be done in, then one must first understand that there is unfairness and discrimination. Despite the fact one in four of Australians were born overseas and that Australia gets off on selling itself as one of the world’s most successful melting pots, the nonwhite Australian has an arduous uphill battle, steeped in discrimination. The institutions of the nation, including the peak body – government – are monopolised by white Australians, predominately Anglo-Celtic Australians. The demography of this nation is not reflected in our parliaments. More than 85 per cent of our federal parliamentarians are white Aus- tralians – the majority of Anglo-Celtic heritage. This firmament of institutionalised control continues the racial divides, the ‘us versus them’, the oppressor and oppressed dichotomies. White Australia is threatened by the idea that black, brown and yellow Australians should pick up the number of parliamentary seats that would more fairly reflect the makeup of Australia. They scream out anathema such as claims of “ethnic branch stacking” during the preselection of political candidates who are non-white but in electorates significantly populated by non-whites. It is hypocrisy, due to the fact that every day since federation, white Australia is the one that has stacked the numbers at preselection meetings to exclude non-white Australians. Racism is not only limited to the conscious, to the hate-filled ignorance by many whites of culturally and linguistic diverse peoples. It is also subconscious. Racism can also be predominately subconscious when people exclude or rail against someone because of the colour of their skin, or because of their accent, or because of the cultural content they carry. Subconscious associations are made, after having soaked up from the cradle the nuanced negatives of everyday propaganda dished out, this more to do with xenophobia as opposed to misoxeny, but playing out as if misoxeny. As a nation, we talk an awful lot about celebrating diversity, but in fact the majority of white Australia fights it at every twist and turn. There are increasingly sig- nificant numbers of successful entrepreneurial migrants and some who have managed their way into top end of town business institutions. But it appears that this is as far as they can journey, or as far as white Australia will allow. Take, for example, Asian Australians who have contributed significantly to Australia during the last century. There are many Asian Australians mixing it with the big end of town, but their presence in the makeup of Australian government is negligible. They are nearly as negligible in presence in mainstream media with the exception of SBS. Mainstream media is nearly as profound in defining the Australian consciousness – and the subconscious state – as our governments – they are the nation’s two peak authorial institutions. If a nation is racist, or whatever it is, it is predominately the cumulative work of governments and media. Racism is a signature piece, it does not just happen, it is an imprimatur of our governments. In 2005, after 11 years as a conservative Liberal parliamentarian, Greek-born Petro Georgiou railed against his own party, who were incumbent as the government of the day over their cruel policies on refugees. This led to rumblings from many within the Liberals, and there was an attempt to do the numbers to unseat Georgiou at the 2006 preselection, but he clung on. On 22 November 2008, Georgiou announced he would retire at the 2010 election. In his farewell speech he slammed both the major parties regarding mandatory detention of refugees and of their other callous policies on refugee immigration. Xenophobes have a fear of others and that is of the perceived stranger, and misoxenists hate the stranger, the foreigner. It is not fear that we battle and need to reduce and eliminate. There is a hate-filled warring and this is what we need to beat. The Cronulla riots were not brought about by a fear of others – the riots were hatefilled. Our nation is haunted by misoxeny as opposed to the softer version of xenophobia. The refusal to share power perpetuates power imbalances, culminating viciously in levelling the regressive impost of assimilate or perish, and has led to veils and layers of racism, to narratives of misery and hate and to the abominable diminution of others and of the self. Without a positive self, the individual is vulnerable to one trauma after another, to a constancy of traumas and suffering. Racism is a massive hit on the psychosocial self. You must understand what racism means to the oppressed, to its victims. The victim is subsumed by feelings that they are perceived as distinctively different. Their values and humanity are open to judgment, irrespective of the presumption of inalienable rights and our humanity. From an early age the victim, can be absorbed by the idea that they are inferior because those who judge perceive themselves as superior, or believe they have the right to dominate others because they enjoy the right to rule, and in line with the white privilege that our parliaments, in their makeup, have reflected without interruption. Racism is pernicious and it is the most divisive issue between human beings. It not only cobbles together inequalities but also a sense of inferiority. There is no other more pressing issue for humanity, for each nation to address than racism. Racism is the most powerful propaganda weapon by any dominant culture that peddles on the surface its ideologue but despite any ideologue seeks to turn people against others in order to secure an ulterior motive. The history of humanity, but even more so modernity, has been polluted by this diabolical ploy. Many believe that anger at establishment politics in the so-called ‘western world’ led the marginalised who vote and led significant numbers within the working and middle classes to reject the so-called established political parties and their narrow corridor of discourse. People are used to betrayed expectations, and that constancy has always been and will continue. The rejection has been coming for a long time – the numbers of the so-called disenfranchised building over time – but they have been built on the back of racism and not on correcting some sort out of control political machinery or repairing the world order. Even the muddle-minded know that this is not likely to ever happen. What is happening is all about a desperate sense of self borne of the tangibles of selfishness and hate as opposed to the presumption that we can repair the political machinery. The pollsters and so-called political commentators do not have their eye on the ball; they carry on about economics when it’s about racism. The people who carried Trump across the line, and who brought on Greece’s Golden Dawn party, and JeanMarie and Marine Le Pen and France’s National Front Party, and Australia’s One Nation Party, are predominately people who buy into racial superiority, racial divides, racism as terror. In the United States, millions who had never voted before went to the polls driven by a feeble-mindedness and sick voyeurism to flicker the prospect of the making again of an America that once was. The Ku Klux Klan found a candidate, the long- suffering feeble-minded of the Bible belts also turned out. These souls are the product of both xenophobia and misoxeny and voted because of threats to their authored selves, to their citadels, threats to their muddle-minded limited order of things. They did not turn to vote because of the neoliberal project and globalisation disproportionately looking after the wealthiest. Socialists and the right-minded do not vote for the Trumps and the One Nation Party. Every nation that does not stand up to the peddling of misoxeny, that does not invest in educating the nation to come to understandings of one another, in appreciating diversity instead of seeking to extinguish it everywhere but on paper, with assimilate or perish doctrines, well, they pay the price in hate-filled divides.
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