Whether it’s the media and the stories we are told about the nation, or the senior leadership of just about all our major institutions, pause for a moment and you get the message that the place is still run by a particular section of society, defined by its whiteness (largely male). While almost a quarter of the Australian population has a non-European or Indigenous background, only 3 per cent of the country’s chief executives have such backgrounds.
It’s what explains why too often, white Anglo-Celtic and European Australians feel entitled to determine who truly counts as Australian. Whiteness, thus understood, is systemic and institutional. It’s not necessarily exercised with conscious knowledge. It’s something that operates in the background, part of the unspoken norms and unwritten rules that guide how society operates.
Think Andrew Bolt, KAK (ODT)
Whiteness becomes an active hatred, however, when it’s channelled as anger. When anger is directed at people like Adam Goodes or Yassmin Abdel-Magied — people turned into figures of hate — it’s because some find it intolerable for an Aboriginal Australian or a person of colour to question aspects of the national identity. Hate is when an opinionated member of a minority comes to be regarded as an uppity ingrate who doesn’t know their place.
hate poisons trust. When Pauline Hanson infamously declared in 1996 that Australia was in danger of being “swamped by Asians”, this amounted to a direct assault on people like me and my family. The damage, though, wasn’t confined to how Hanson’s language invited others to label us “gooks” or “slopes”. The feeling of exclusion and humiliation didn’t have to come from outright abuse. Others may have refrained from racist epithets or heated rhetoric, but when they said, “Pauline has a point”, the effect was the same, if not more troubling.
Well, ScoMo – as we’re all encouraged to call him – saw something ugly. Not just ugly, but “one of the ugliest things I’ve ever seen”!
What was it?
The testimony of those abused by that Royal Commission we didn’t need? No, not the one into the banks. The one into sexual abuse of children at the hands of institutions. Remember the Liberals were dragged kicking and screaming into that one, too.
Or was it the sight of children in detention? No, that’s a deliberate policy. It’s a deterrent. I mean, if you have children self-harming and suicidal that should put people off coming to Australia without their au pair papers in order.
Was it animals dying in the drought? Of course not.
It was, of course, a union official who photographed his kids. Yes, John Setka. tweeted photos of his kids holding a sign telling the Liberals to fu#k off and catch real criminals. He acknowledged that it was a mistake and took it down.
So, if that was one of the “ugliest things” Scottie’s ever seen, I would suggest that he doesn’t get out much…
A gang of predominantly white males has been threatening our way of life and making people feel unsafe in their jobs. The IPAx gang has instilled fear in a great many Australians but our current Federal Government refuses to admit that there’s a problem, in spite of the fear that they instill in many people. For example, the ABC are so intimidated that they frequently invite them onto their programs, claiming that they do so in the interests of “balance”, when we all know it’s simply so their presenters don’t have to be afraid of going out to dinner with the PM.
Hotel Coolgardie, a documentary (shot in 2012) that’s been compared to 1971’s nightmare thriller Wake In Fright, follows two young Finnish backpackers, Lina and Stephie, as they’re plonked in the middle of the desert by a company that recruits women like them to engage in temporary bar work servicing towns that don’t attract many long-term residents (and certainly not many – if any – young women).
FOI documents reveal the Australian Government has deliberately sat on its hands in the case of Julian Assange.
Tuesday marks Australia Day, when we stream down to the beach or the pub. We slip, slop, slap and slurp. There are barbecues with harbour views, and the cloudless sky echoes with 80’s rock and the sound of leather on willow. But it’s not all smiles and sunshine on January 26. There are many voicesMore
Age columnist and author Martin Flanagan this week delivered a very personal lecture at the University of Portland in Oregon. This is an edited transcript.
Source: On being Australian
Senator Jacqui Lambie has at last formally quit the Palmer United Party. She will remain in the Senate as an independent. It was hardly a surprise. Last week her party leader, Clive Palmer, publicly accused her of lying to Parliament. Over the weekend he suggested she’d been deliberately “sent in [to the PUP] by someone to disrupt” it, and raised the possibility that Lambie had rorted the Disability Support Pension while she was campaigning before last year’s election. None of this was said under parliamentary privilege, but it’s unlikely Lambie will want to engage the deep-pocketed Palmer in a legal dispute.
Lambie’s chief of staff, Rob Messenger, said yesterday that Liberal Party members had been urging Lambie to stay with the PUP, and it’s easy to understand why. The Abbott government’s task of finding six of the eight cross-benchers to vote with it just got even more difficult – especially as Lambie has now given a “100 per cent guarantee” that she won’t vote in favour of university fee deregulation or the $7 GP “co-payment”. The co-payment seems to be on ice, though Education Minister Christopher Pyne and the Go8 universities are hoping to get the legislation through in the next fortnight – the last of the sittings before Christmas.
The government now faces the real prospect of returning next year with its legislative program in tatters. The Mid-Year Economic & Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) is due out in December and will confirm a worsening budget position. The government’s low polls are unprecedented so soon into a first term. And the government’s media cheer squad is becoming increasingly frustrated, with Alan Jones, Andrew Bolt and the Australian‘s editorial laying the boot in during the last week.