Fear of a non-white planet

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The Indian political psychologist Ashis Nandy has suggested that Australia’s tendency to see itself as a colonial power, when in actual fact it is a colonised society, means that there has been an ongoing struggle for our supposedly rightful status as ‘a European colonial power with a civilizing mission.’ This struggle has fostered a fear that ‘even faint streaks of yellow, black, or brown detract from Australia’s nationhood’, which in turn has promoted the active denial of cultural space to others.  This anxiety is now a feature of Australian political culture, playing out in electoral battles and other ideological contests concerning, for example, our acceptance or rejection of asylum seekers.

Page 32 of Sarah Maddison’s “Beyond White Guilt”

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