Offence VS Freedom Of Speech.

ramio1983

Australian Sports presenter/journalist Scott Mcintyre recently got sacked by his Television Network SBS for making some “offensive remarks” about ANZAC soldiers and general comments about World Wars 1 and 2. The Journalist took to his Twitter account to make a series of tweets that were Anti-War, Anti Anzac Day and Anti glorification- voicing an opinion that is controversially “different” to the general take on the Australian and New Zealand war Veterans and their roles not only in Gallipoli, Turkey but numerous other locations during International war campaigns.

The Australian Channel SBS is known for its “diverse” and “alternative” take on news and current affairs and it is a channel that prides itself from presenting –other than– mainstream views on a variety of topics. Some people saw his sacking as justified whilst others have pulled into question the supposed freedoms of “Freedom Of Speech”.

People that know me might notice…

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Monday is Punch an Indian Day!

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This page administrated by Kieran O’Rourke of Port Lincoln is supposed to be about selling and swapping Holden auto parts. Instead it is often a hotbed of racism.

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Australian Defence Force eh? Sigh.

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Australia Day Hoax Sparks Anti-Gillard Citizens Misogyny

Well the rumour is doing it’s rounds once again. It usually starts a couple of months out from Australia Day, January 26th. Apparently Julia Gillard is single-handedly going to change the name to ‘Citizens Day’. Apparently. Despite no evidence in the slightest, the bogans pick it up and run with it.

In a month where misogyny has been the hot word, if nothing else there seems to be a sharp increase in it on social media. Sit back and shake your head at the inbred hicks who have joined the page ‘Fuck Julia Gillard’.

I’M NOT A RACIST, BUT…

By Jessica Rowe                                                                                                                        January 20, 2012

Racism is one of Australia’s worst-kept secrets.

ThongsIf you scratch a little deeper beneath our white sand and easy-going attitude you can find ugly, hateful feelings of resentment from otherwise seemingly ordinary people.

How many times do you hear, “I’m not racist BUT…” Or how about, “Some of my friends are Middle Eastern, Vietnamese, Chinese, Italian BUT…” What follow can be the most absurd statements arising simply because of someone’s nationality or religion.

Australia has a reputation for being laid-back and generous. However all is not what it seems in this land of plenty. For a country that prides itself on having a ‘no bullshit’ attitude – we are hopeless at having an honest, and sometimes painful, discussion about the level of racism in our community.

And it doesn’t take much to get the debate going.

Legendary neurosurgeon, Dr Charlie Teo, has got the conversation started in the lead up to Australia Day. Dr Teo, who is the son of Chinese immigrants, is giving the New South Wales Australia Day speech.

I heard him explaining on radio that he ran his original speech by his family. His initial premise was that racism is no longer such an issue compared to when he was growing up in Australia. However his daughter disagreed. She told him she no longer goes down to Bondi Beach on Australia Day.

This sunny young woman had been in the mood to celebrate our national holiday, so she went to the beach proudly wearing those Aussie flag stickers on her cheeks. However, she had been abused by a group of people, who told her to “go back to where she came from”. She wonders where that might be – given she is a born-and-bred Aussie.

The good doctor discussed this with his colleagues. One of his registrars, who happened to be of Indian descent, had told him that he had been spat on at the bus stop because of his colour.

Such bigotry is shocking. And it makes me feel like I need to apologise and say we’re not all like this.

All well and good to apologise but it’s impossible to deny that racism is a real problem in our country. I’ve heard usually sensible people say, “well other countries are more racist than we are!”. Does that make what we do right? No. Such an explanation doesn’t make any type of racism okay. And besides why can’t we be better than the rest of the world in how we treat one another?

Recently I was enjoying my comfortable middle-class existence in one of my local cafes. I got chatting with Mario, the gourmet food supplier. He had a delivery of sensational olive oils, pasta and cheeses. Here was a trivial, but tasty benefit of living in a multicultural society.

Now despite living in Australia for over 40 years, Mario still has the thick accent of his mother country. He tells me that life is good in Australia; he had his children here and now his grandchildren are getting ready to start university. But he’s getting out of the food industry because “the Indians are now taking over the kitchens”. Huh? That is simply not true.

I’ve also heard from a number of politicians who represent electorates with large ethnic communities that earlier migrants have racist attitudes to newer arrivals.

Often we fear what we don’t know, or we fear something new…

Human rights campaigner Samah Hadid is passionate about breaking down the fear we have of the unknown. This young woman, whose parents are Lebanese Muslim migrants, lives in Bankstown in Sydney’s Western suburbs. She has also experienced racism as a young girl growing up in the suburbs, where judgements were made about her Muslim faith.

She has experienced racism in the workplace. Such unfortunate experiences mean she’s highly qualified to bring the discussion about racism out into our bright, harsh sunlight. She says the issue is like “the elephant in the room”.

She points the finger at our politicians, claiming they don’t want to acknowledge the racism in our community.

Why? Well, Samah believes its part of the collective guilt we hold about our past, that shameful part of our history of how we treated the original inhabitants of this land.

But before I sound holier than now, I also have had to recognise that I too have been racist. I have made unfair judgements about people based on their appearance. My champagne socialism and activism was challenged when I travelled through the United States as a naïve but pretending-to-be-world-weary student.

During that time I’d been active in student politics at uni, and spent my days and nights having impassioned discussions about how to change the world. I wasn’t ‘one of those people’ who judged others… Oh, noooo, not me. But, oh yes, I was…

My privileged and sheltered world was shaken when I found myself avoiding young black men on the subways.

I thought I would be mugged and worse. I was sure they were gangs waiting to draw a gun on me. Looking back, rather than boyz in the hood, these men were probably students, musicians or maybe adventurers just like me. And it makes me feel ashamed that I had felt such prejudice. Such irrational judgement took me by surprise.

Samah Hadid says it is human nature to fear the unknown.

She says we are all “a bit racist” because of the perception we have of “others”. And that racism exists in every society. The trouble really begins when those fears are exploited by one group to exclude another group and it becomes politicised. A perfect example of this is the image of asylum seekers and refugees.

Samah says at the heart of asylum seeker policy is racism, and that no-one on the left or right of politics wants to acknowledge it. Interestingly she says many Australian find it confronting to see images of ‘foreigners arrive by boat’ because we’re an island and we have this idea of being taken over and swamped.

Our geographic isolation means we are sheltered from the rest of the world and perhaps it’s not a stretch to say this also feeds into the ‘us and them’ mentality.

So what is the way to deal with our guilty big secret?

Change is in the air if women like Samah have anything to do with it. Samah says we need to listen seriously to minority groups’ experiences of racism and not dismiss their stories as trivial and un-Australian. We are a demographically diverse country so how about we see that on our television screens and in the corridors of power. Let us applaud our politicians if they take the high moral ground.

It takes bravery and courage to get our heads out of the white sand but I’m game if you are…

Jessica Rowe*Jessica Rowe is a broadcaster and writer who, in a career spanning 20 years, has worked at all the major Australian commercial television networks. She is has written the best selling book, Love. Wisdom. Motherhood as well as co-authoring The Best of Times, the Worst of Times with her mother Penelope Rowe. Follow Jessica on Twitter @msjrowe or visit her website at www.jessicarowe.com.au

**Jessica is an ambassador for welcometoaustralia.org.au

Source

*Image of Australian flag on home page via wazoologist.blogspot.com

Ex-cricketer’s anti-Muslim Tweet

We are all used to the bogot losers’ ignorant and vile comments which we regularly feature here.

But in a fortnight which saw anti-gay comments by former tennis great Margaret Court pilloried by most of the community and the media we expect better from other retired sports greats.

Not so. Retired cricketer Rodney Hogg gets his little dig in on Twitter.

Rodney Hogg anti-Muslim comment

Do us a favour, former sports stars. For the sake of Australia, unless you are talking about your sport or wish to add positively to social cohesion in Australia.

SHUT THE FUCK UP!

Happy Citizens Day! Sorry, ‘Australia Day’…

Since way back in 2009, the bogots have had their panties in a twist over proposed changes to Australia Day. A chain email went around telling people that the Government was going to change the name of Australia Day to ‘Citizen’s Day’. Of course, the natural bogot reaction was to immediately believe a chain email and not to do a little bit of research to validate such an outrageous claim.

The closest we ever came to a change in anything Australia Day related was back in ’09 when Australian of the Year and Indigenous academic and activist Mick Dodson suggested that it seemed a little morbid that we celebrate a day of invasion and dispossession of the original inhabitants of the land, the Aboriginal people. Prime Minister at the time Kevin Rudd’s response? “…a simple, respectful, but straightforward no.”

The day when Australia came into existence as a country was January 1st, 1901. But we already have a public holiday on that day so why bother replacing it, right?

The power of the British Parliament to legislate for Australia was not legally removed until the adoption of the Australia Act in 1986.  This Act came into force on 3rd March, but I think that’s a bit too obscure for most people to want to claim that as Australia Day.

On the 27th of May, 1967 a referendum was passed enabling Aboriginal people to be counted in the National census for the first time (ie. become recognised as actual humans and citizens of our country). But to pander to the Abos would be outrageous according to the bogots who rose up against people like Ron Barassi for lending support to the notion.

It seems that Australia Day has become little more than a public holiday where Aussies are encouraged to get as drunk as they can and fill themselves to breaking point full of BBQed meat. It’s a day where we see the Australian flag draped over sweaty bodies and dragged through the dirt, and then held in front of non-whites to kiss. And the slightest hint that we should be reflective of the contributions of all Australians regardless of their origin or religion is screamed down and laughed at by the small bogan population who long for the olden days where non-whites were refused entry because of imaginary perilous diseases and women were restricted to the kitchen and the bedroom.

Mitch Fing isn’t racist as he has Samoan and Tongan friends. But he thinks they should probably ‘get back on the boat’.

Ouch… Wouldn’t want to offend those guys.

Longing for the blokey back-slapping, circle-jerking, testosterone and alcohol fuelled day of rioting in ‘nulla…

Non-racist Mitch Fing agrees and offers to start some riots in Macquarie Fields!

And where else would you expect to find raving lunatics discussing so called changes to Australia Day? Stormfart of course! Note: 2010 origination of post:

More comments and groups made back in 2010 agonising over a proposed change that was never even proposed. Is it so hard for these melodramatic failfucks to do a bit of research?

Anyway, celebrate the day however you choose. And wave the damn flag as much as you please as long as you don’t act like a fuckwit and bring our country’s reputation into disrepute as you do it.

Some light reading to finish with:

Study shows racist views link to car flags

Professor Farida Fozdar
Monday, 23 January 2012

People who fly Australia Day flags on their cars tend to express more racist attitudes than others without flags, according to research findings at The University of Western Australia.

UWA sociologist and anthropologist Professor Farida Fozdar and a team of assistants surveyed 513 people at last year’s Australia Day fireworks on Perth’s Swan River foreshore.

One in five said they had attached flags to their cars to celebrate Australia Day.

Professor Fozdar said 43 per cent of those with car flags said they believed the now-abandoned White Australia Policy had saved Australia from many problems experienced by other countries, while only 25 per cent without flags agreed.

(Non-Europeans were barred from migrating to Australia until after World War II, when immigration restrictions began to ease.)

A total of 56 per cent of people with car flags feared their culture and its most important values were in danger, compared with 34 per cent of non-flaggers.

And 35 per cent of flaggers felt that people had to be born in Australia to be truly Australian, while 23 per cent believed that true Australians had to be Christian, compared with 22 per cent and 18 per cent respectively for non-flaggers.

Professor Fozdar said her research also revealed clear differences in how people with car flags felt towards minority groups.

Only 39 per cent of flaggers expressed a positive view towards Aboriginal Australians compared with 47 per cent of non-flaggers, 19 per cent of flaggers felt positive towards Muslim Australians compared with 26 per cent of non-flaggers; seven per cent of flaggers were positive towards asylum seekers compared with 24 per cent of non-flaggers, and 27 per cent with flags felt positive towards Asian Australians compared with 48 per cent of non-flaggers.

Three survey questions sought views on Australian cultural diversity: 64 per cent of people with car flags agreed that it was good for people from different ethnic, religious and racial groups to live in Australia, compared with 75 per cent of non-flaggers.

An overwhelming 91 per cent of people with car flags agreed that people who move to Australia should adopt Australian values, compared with 76 per cent of non-flaggers.

A total of 55 per cent of flaggers believed migrants should leave their old ways behind, compared with 30 per cent of non-flaggers.

However majorities of both groups – 60 per cent of flaggers and 73 per cent of non-flaggers – also felt that it was best to respect and learn from each other’s cultural differences.

Professor Fozdar said there was no clear link between education, gender, ethnicity, citizenship, voting pattern or income and flag flying, although her survey showed a slightly higher likelihood of younger rather than older people adopting the practice.

In terms of nationalism, 88 per cent of those with Australia Day car flags said they thought it showed they were proud to be Australian, while only 52 per cent of those without flags thought so.

Some thought the increased popularity of flying Australia Day car flags was due to increased patriotism while others said it was simply peer pressure to follow the trend or avoid seeming unpatriotic.

Many said it was due to marketing and the cheap availability of car flags, while some thought it was a response to loss of culture due to multiculturalism, immigration, invasion and terrorism.

“What I found interesting is that many people didn’t really have much to say about why they chose to fly car flags or not,” Professor Fozdar said.

“Many felt strongly patriotic about it – and for some, this was quite a racist or exclusionary type of patriotism – but it wasn’t a particularly conscious thing for many.

“Very clear statistical differences in attitudes to diversity between those who fly car flags and those who don’t, show that flag waving – while not inherently exclusionary – is linked in this instance to negative attitudes about those who do not fit the ‘mainstream’ stereotype’.”

Professor Fozdar said fewer people said they flew Australia Day car flags last year – one in five – compared with 2010 when it was one in four.

Source

And Nine Network’s A Current Affair featured this coverage of Professor Fozdar’s research.

Except

Flying aussie flags on your car means you are racist.

Real Australians rule the Lucky Country myth

Australia Day

A beachgoer poses during Australia Day celebrations. (Paul Kane: Getty)

ABC The Drum

17 January 2012

Clementine Ford

 

Australia. It’s the Lucky Country, the land of the fair go. A fair dinkum place defined by mateship, honour and a masculinity so raw you could chuck it on the barbie and feed your working family for weeks.

We’re a country populated by battlers and diggers; honest, hard working folk who just want the opportunity to buy a four-bedroom house to cater to our future children, bask in the sanctity of our heterosexual marriages and enjoy the superior benefits of the kind of peaceful, economically sound democracy that comes with the arbitrary inherited privilege of birth.

Sure, we have to contend with the occasional latte swilling, bleeding heart leftie who’s out to destroy our way of life – but no-one said life in the Lucky Country would be all beach cricket and handsome fashion statements constructed out of flags.

From their nefarious outland known as ‘Inner City’, these cultural terrorists work in cluster cells to erode the very values our great nation was built on. Values like our right to enjoy the occasional joke about the blacks and the bum bandits, or threaten women on national radio, or wear witty and politically insightful t-shirts declaring ‘AUSTRALIA – WE GREW HERE, YOU FLEW HERE’.

But we prevail, as all great civilisations staring down the barrel of oppression must. After all, we’re Australian. We stormed the shores of Gallipoli. We held the Brisbane Line. We drove trucks into our nation’s capital to protest the highway robbery of the ‘carbon’ ‘tax’ and to listen to Alan Jones shout a lot. It was just like the intervention, but even more important because of how a carbon tax would drastically affect the lives of real Australians.

You know. Real Australians. Just like you and me.

And therein ends the jest. Because the problem with Real Australia is that everything about it is constructed on a precarious sausage stack of mythology, and we are in the fierce grips of denial about it.

We’re in denial about the reality of Australia and exactly how we wrestled the Lucky Country away from its traditional owners and declared dominion over it. We’re in denial about how fiercely (and hypocritically) we defend our own rights to exist as a nation of people free from the ‘thieving’ hands of what we see as ‘illegal’ entry and occupation. We’re in denial of the overwhelming privilege that comes from simply being born white and heterosexual in a peaceful democracy like Australia. And we’re in a state of utter and absolute denial about the fact that most of us actually don’t feel lucky at all, but entitled – almost as if we’ve done something to deserve this great fortune and thus have the right to scrutinise outsiders’ actions to see if they’ve earned that slice of the pie they seem perilously close to snatching from us.

The Australia that exists in our mythology is exactly that – a myth. We throw around words like ‘mateship’, ‘fair go’ and ‘battlers’ as if Australia were one giant mining town straight out of the 50s, with a cohort of good ole’ boys led by Chips Rafferty and the occasional speaking role for a woman chucked in to advance the romance subplot.

But in reality, the last decade has seen us become a nation of suspicious misers, greedily hoarding privileges we presume to be ours alone and gifted by the divine honour of Being Australian. We who chance upon privilege so easily and so arbitrarily often seem to be the most vehement and duplicitous in protecting it from others.

Asylum seekers are rewritten as ‘illegal boat people’, jumping the queue instead of waiting patiently as we presumably would do in the same circumstances. Gay people are dystopian rebels, forcing their lifestyle down our throats and undermining the sanctity of marriage as dictated by a God most of us don’t believe in. Feminists concerned about the objectification of women should go to the Middle East and thank their stars they only have to endure a bit of light-hearted, red-blooded larrikinism. Climate change is the Greens’ way of trying to rob us all blind.

And so forth.

Despite the enormous amount of diversity in Australia – cultural, sexual, racial, political – we still like to perpetuate a very limited construction of our nation’s identity. The ‘us’ of our consciousness is a result of 15 years of conservative governance encouraging an uncivilised human instinct to hoard power.

We have no social vision as a nation, preferring instead to ask of any initiative, “What’s in it for me?” We have somehow lost the ability to rationally see our situation as more fortunate than others, reasoning that our deservedness partly comes from the fact WE were careful enough to save our money in order to put down a mortgage on a house while those bloody queue jumpers think they can just get one given to them for free!

We don’t stop to think that while we were busy negotiating mortgage repayments with a (mostly) fair and reasonable bank, these objects of our scorn were worrying that their houses might be razed in the middle of the night, the men killed, the women raped and the children rendered orphans.

We don’t consider what it must be like to be told that someone else’s partnership undermines our own, therefore it’s only fair they have less of the pie.

While hand wringing about the inevitable Muslim plot to overrun Australia and destroy our way of life, we don’t think about how it actually must feel to have someone steal your land, destroy your culture, disempower your people and then tell them all to get over it because it happened ages ago and they have nothing to apologise for.

We are not, as a rule, particularly benevolent or generous to people different from us. But we are so wedded to our denial of all of this that the myth continues. The Lucky Country. The land of the fair go. A fair dinkum place defined by mateship and honour, Vegemite and white people on the TV.

Australia’s the lucky country, yes – lucky for all those who happened to be born here as white, middle class heterosexuals. But if we addressed the politics of our own denial, Australia could be better than a lucky country – it could be a great and bold country.

We are very good at forcefully demanding everyone else to be better… but we never seem to demand it of ourselves. Our answer to any kind of criticism of the culture that occupies the status quo is the obstinate, ‘IF YOU DON’T LIKE IT, LEAVE’.

And if you get tired of yelling it, fret not. That one comes on a t-shirt too.

Clementine Ford is a freelance writer, broadcaster and public speaker based in Melbourne. Follow her on twitter: @clementine_ford.

Source

OMG R U Serious??

Australia Day is changing its name to Multicultural Day. Okay, well it’s not, but let’s not let that get in the way of making up stories to stoke the patriotic xenophobic fires. Add a little bit of ‘why do they say it’s racist to take pride in our country’, when the people who call you racist don’t do so simply because you’re proud of your country. We all are. If we weren’t proud of our country, we wouldn’t care so much about booting turkey slaps like these out of here. They give the rest of us a bad name.

On a side note, January 26th might be a significant part of our history, but it’s important to remember that it represents invasion and land occupancy to our Indigenous people. Having a national day of celebration for the anniversary of when Aboriginal people were given the vote and counted as Australians in the census, or the National apology would be certainly worth embracing if anything were to ever happen to Australia Day…

But’s that’s enough blaspheming.

Aboriginals Slam Australia Day

A 93 year old grandfather was horrified that Aboriginals would harbour any sort of resentment for ‘Australia Day’. Huh? What? Wasn’t he told about the hundreds of thousands of Aboriginal people killed, raped and separated from their families from the 26th of January 1788 onwards? He was obviously alive for a good chunk of the 182 years where Aboriginals were treated as sub-human and refused entry into society as well as the right to vote. He was definitely alive for the 69 years of the White Australia Policy and he was babbling on about the people who fought in wars that were all happening during those years of mistreatment and racism?

His ‘main beef’ came out of the misconception that the Western world has the same ‘love’ for the land as the Aboriginals – but love doesn’t necessarily equate to respect. If you’re reading this, and you believe that love and respect for the land is felt equally between the Indigenous people and the white settlers, then you are a fool.

At some stage, it would have been a good idea to tell him that the diggers weren’t fighting for the Aboriginals or for their land rights.

Hey, Mr. Soderblom: “Australia”! He he he.