Archive for the ‘immigration’ Category

Fear of a non-white planet

August 18, 2011

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”


Julia Gillard and the red and yellow peril

April 14, 2011

Lots I should be writing here, about the Australian Defence Forces Academy scandal(s), the Larissa Behrendt twittering thing, about Julia bloody Gillard and her speeches.

But for now, I’ll just cut and paste this below, from a comment by one Fran Barlow, on a Larvateus Prodeo post

Gillard may not be a Christian, but she utters the culture of someone who sees humans in highly moralistic terms –”work” as an ennobling thing, horror at “queue jumpers” for welfare and outer-urban angst at foreigners coming in and changing the neighborhood. As tempting as it is to assume this is for her simply reflexively parochial right-wing cant she has been uttering this stuff for so long it’s not clear that she doesn’t actually believe it. In any event, it doesn’t matter.

She is quite clearly a manifestation of the ignorance and backwardness that remains the legacy of white Australia. She can attempt to distinguish herself and the party she leads from the Hansonites all she likes, but the reality is that Hanson, Abbott and Gillard are directly and indirectly the creatures of Australia’s existential fear of red and yellow peril, of guilt at being the beneficiaries of the occupation of Aboriginal land and the overlay of Christian moralising that supplied it with the moral warrant to accept it all and move on. (emphasis added)

Unlike the ALP, we Greens and those to our left have confronted the legacy of white Australia and have determined that we can and must be otherwise. It is the ALP, who over decades abandoned not only socialism but any meaningful iteration of equitable community in their mad chase after what is now seen as the neo-liberal rubric who now feels the pressure to reassert that deep down, after all, they understand community whereas we Greens do not. This is guilt written in terms that Gillard hopes the tabloids will propagate because it comes with the maudlin tabloid tropes all over it.

Then and Now: Australia and Multiculturalism

April 6, 2011

In the 80s I remember hearing that while Greek/Italian etc immigration had been okay, these Asians (Cambodian, Vietnamese) were different. They didn’t speak the language, they didn’t want to integrate, they didn’t pay their taxes, they didn’t understand Western values of democracy and free speech.

I left Australia in the early 90s, and have come back periodically. I’m here now on a longer stay, and I hear of the Muslim immigrants (from various countries, including Iraq and Afghanistan) that they don’t speak the language, they don’t want to integrate, they don’t pay their taxes and – most of all – they don’t understand Western values of democracy and free speech.

I think you can see where I am going with this…

Who knows, maybe it IS different this time round. Maybe Islam is Different enough for folks not, in a generation or so, to be changed (diluted?!) by Australia. Maybe I am being complacent, a woolly-liberal unable to see Islam for the Implacable Death Cult that it is (TM Andrw Bolt). But hearing the same arguments from the same people, who seem gloriously unaware that they are repeating those same arguments, make me wonder…

Australian cultural divides

February 11, 2011

Andrew Bartlett nails it in a post called more shameless hate-mongering from some political ‘leaders’

Of course, the most obvious way to create the sort of division, separation and isolation which facilitates extremism is blatant, pig-ignorant hate-mongering from political ‘leaders’. However, some people clearly think chasing (and trying to expand) the bigot vote is more important than maximising community cohesion and the benefits to be gained from diversity.

The only so-called ‘cultural divide’ which is problematic in Australia is not between Muslims and others, it is between those who promote bigotry, ignorance, fear & hate versus those who promote Australian values of pluralism, democracy, cooperation and respect.

“Pave the cities” or “Make Room, Make Room”

January 25, 2011

This from the front page of The Australian, 25 January is something I’ll have to pursue:

Urban sprawl threatens lifestyle
by Ben Packham
Julia Gillard’s vision for a sustainable Australia is under threat from immigration-linked urban sprawl that will more than double the size of the nation’s capital cities by 2050.
Research for the Department of Immigration and Citizenship has warned of dramatic effects on quality of life and cuts to food production unless migration levels are cut.
The National Institute of Labour Studies report finds that Sydney and Melbourne will each require more than 430,000ha of new land for housing if net overseas migration remains above 260,000 a year….

Make Room, Make Room“, as the book that became Solyent Green went…

See other DownUnderstanding posts with the “population” tag for further links…

This lot are different, they refuse to assimilate…

December 27, 2010

I’m old enough to remember the whole “Asians are different, they won’t assimilate” thing. So this paragraph from Tim Flannery’s “Beautiful Lies” rings very true…

Yet somehow the argument is still being put that the latest group of immigrants is different. Thoughts like “the Chinese never mix” or “Muslims will always be different” are whispered or secretly pondered countless times each day around the nation. Past experience seems to make no dent on these views; it is as if they are products of the reptilian brain, these knee-jerks of prejudice. Such nonsensical, such abysmally pessimistic and ungenerous manifestations of human blindness are deeply depressing, all the more so because history has already proved them so abundantly wrong.
Page 23-4 of “Beautiful Lies: Population and Environment in Australia”
Tim Flannery
Quarterly Essay Issue 9