Inescapable racism: Reflections of a ‘proud refugee’


ABC Religion and Ethics

Mariam Veiszadeh

16 Apr 2013

mariam8 In the wake of the latest racist tirade on a Melbourne train and the tragic loss of life when a boat carrying asylum seekers sank off the coast of Indonesia, I copped some unprovoked abuse on Twitter on Friday evening: “Wish your refugee boat had sunk at sea, bitch.”


Once I had recovered somewhat from the shock of receiving the tweet, I checked the @GregJessop1 Twitter profile which, among other things, indicated that he was an Engineer based in Queensland and worked for Rio Tinto (although his profile did bear the standard Twitter disclaimer, “Opinions mine, do not reflect views of Rio Tinto”). Determined not to stoop to his level, my immediate response to him was, “Lucky for you, I came by plane.”

It was perhaps ironic that, only hours earlier, I had tweeted: “If you witness a racist rant on public transport, don’t remain silent. Speak up if it’s safe to do so. Silence condones #racist behaviour.” I was deeply moved by the actions of Mahmood Reza, an Australian Muslim man who stood up to a drunken woman who was racially abusing a packed Melbourne train last week. I found the incident, which was captured on a passenger’s phone and reported to media, deeply disturbing. How many similar incidents occur on public transport throughout Australia, but go unreported?

Not long after receiving the tweet, I (along with many others) tried to contact Rio Tinto by means of Twitter to bring this matter to their attention. Whether the Twitter profile of @GregJessop1 was fictitious or he did in fact work for Rio Tinto was almost irrelevant – surely he couldn’t get away with making such hateful, vile, almost threatening comments and still have references to Rio Tinto in his profile.

There have been countless victims of social media abuse, Charlotte Dawson being a notable example. Dawson’s online tormentors drove her to become suicidal. In many cases, these unidentifiable Twitter trolls are never held to account because they are untraceable. In my case, @GregJessop1 volunteered information about Rio Tinto in his Twitter profile and I used this information as a legitimate means to hold him, and people like him, to account.

@GregJessop1 was clearly rattled by all the attention his offending tweet had generated. He deleted the tweet and then tried to suggest that I photoshopped the screen shot of the offending tweet.


But what baffled me most was his response to someone who questioned how Rio Tinto would feel about his hateful tweets: “at work, I’m on work time and $. If they want me to be respectful, so be it. On my time, i’ll do as I please.”


I was also subsequently advised by others on Twitter that I should have the phrase “proud Aussie” in my Twitter profile, rather than “proud Refugee.” I use this phrase in my profile, not because I am an ungrateful Aussie, but because I want to demonstrate that refugees are educated and active participants in our community. Ultimately, I want to help change perceptions. Moreover, if my actions don’t demonstrate my gratitude, how would a label somehow do the trick? And why must I assert my level of Australianness every minute of the day? Excessive pride and racial hate speech should be viewed in the same manner – both are entirely unnecessary, really.

Since Friday, I’ve been overwhelmed by messages of support and compassion, and indeed by offers from strangers to help me. For every instance of abuse, there are many expressions of compassion and solidarity. Perhaps the one that has meant the most to me was from former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser: “I am deeply sorry you had to experience that, some people are so insensitive and stupid, try not to let worry you.”


Mr Fraser, of course has been especially vocal in recent times and spoken out about the plight of asylum seekers – if only some of our incumbent politicians shared and expressed his same convictions!

Yesterday afternoon, I received a response from Rio Tinto, as well as a call from their media representative, who assured me that they had commenced their investigations on Friday evening. It is comforting to know that an organisation like Rio Tinto would never condone such behaviour.

Irrespective of whether he is a mere Twitter troll or an actual Rio Tinto employee, the attitude of @GregJessop1 is indicative of a deeper malaise in this wonderful country of ours: a high level of low level racism, a form of racism Waleed Aly has described as “subterranean racism.” I used to think that on social media people were more inclined to make irrational and utterly vile comments under the cover of false identities than they would in person, in real situations. But the recent racial rants on public transport which has been reported in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and even Canberra disprove this theory.

But this begs the question: what is the root cause of this type of hateful bigotry? Wherever this bigotry stems from, there is little doubt that the current and thoroughly toxic political debate which wilfully demonises asylum seekers is fuelling it. There have been hundreds of op-eds written by advocates across the political spectrum criticising the character of political debate about asylum seekers, and there is nothing I can recount here that hasn’t been written many times before: that, compared to other refugee-hosting countries, Australia receives a very small number of asylum applications and we are in no danger of being “swamped”; or that we are a signatory to the United Nations Refugee Convention and are in breach of Article 31 every time we load men, women and children onto a bus at Christmas Island and then transport and “detain” them for an indefinite period of time; or that the countless health-care professionals have advised that indefinite detention leads to irreparable mental damage and ultimately, in some cases, to suicide. But we have all heard that before.

Australia’s refugee policy is symptomatic of a political preparedness to pander to short-term electoral interest over tenable long-term planning, much less humanitarian concern. With a federal election looming and an incumbent government needing to pull a political rabbit out the hat, it is hard to see how things could improve – indeed, the likelihood is that the politicking at the expense of asylum seekers will only get worse.

But our politicians’ nonsensical and frequently inhumane remarks about asylum seeker policy are partly, if not largely, based on what they believe Australians want. If the brutal logic of deterrence, of “stopping the boats,” wasn’t a vote-winner and didn’t represent an advantage in the opinion polls, surely the political discourse would be different. We, my friends, are part of the problem. It’s time to become part of the solution.

Mariam Veiszadeh is a lawyer, writer and Welcome to Australia ambassador.


Read more

Check out “Greg Jessop” here

Check out our Twitter feed where “Greg Jessop” has been spending a lot of time

Chris Merrett vs Aborigines, Muslims, University Graduates, Asians, Jews and Indians



i love islam 2

i love islam

merrett abo

merrett abo2

merrett indians

merrett indians2

Ladies and Gentlemen: We present to you – The Master Race:

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Appendix One: Merrett with dribble shirt, dried-piss pants, poking stick and double Ds sitting in outdoor pig-sty showing ‘thinking hard’ ‘hardly-thinking’ pensive expression.

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Appendix Two: Post-man-boobs Merrett outside familiar caged facility modelling freshly cleaned teeth peeved about being denied entry. 


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Appendix Three: Master-Race Merrett shows off impressive constellation encompassing breasts, centre-parted hairy smudge-mullet and freshly fingered fish-mullet.


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Appendix Four: If-It-Ain’t-White-It-Ain’t-Right Merrett showing off finger used to poke nostril and arsehole while admiring framed Ned Kelly bio.


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Appendix Five: I-Wear-My-Sunglasses-At-Night-Corey-Heart Merrett all rugged up for another night under the stars with only friend dim op-shop head torch.


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Appendix Six: Fire Safety Merrett demonstrates the correct way to pass out after six goon sacks with cigarette end aiming away from the eyes/towards generic clothes-bin teen blouse.

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Anne Delauney Muhm: “…over 95% of middleeastern arabs are hermophridites” (sic)

We are constantly despairing at the evidence-free dribblings  of the bogots. Worse still is when they thrash around making up “evidence” to support their rants. We have already met Anne over here during the 2012 Limpdicks As the self-appointed sports medicine expert Anne was rattling on about what we assume were refugees. Not content with addressing dopes in sport Anne has now ventured into gender reassignment and FGM (female genital mutilation). Now we have noticed that the bogots are very interested in people’s bits. One could say “ obsessed” ? admuhm2 We thought we’d better check on her latest lot of fantasies so we contacted Westmead Hospital. After almost choking on her coffee, the doctor there told us there was no such thing as a secret FGM clinic. (cue in tin foil hat music) FGM  is illegal in Australia.No health worker who wants to stay out of prison or keep their registration would do it. Moreover Arabic-speaking people from the Middle East are no more likely to be true hermaphrodites (intersex) (a rare condition) than any other population. Here’s some facts.

here’s an interesting story from the Old Bill


And here’s a new hat for Anne


Don’t Understand Asylum? Can’t be Bothered Researching? Must be a Conspiracy.

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The results of a 2 minute Google search:

“In some cases, a person may not be a refugee, but may nevertheless face significant human rights abuses, such as torture, if returned to his or her country of origin. If an asylum seeker is found not to be a refugee, DIAC will assess whether he or she meets complementary protection criteria – that is, whether he or she is owed protection under the ICCPR, CAT or CRC. If a person is found to be owed complementary protection, and satisfies health, identity and security requirements, he or she will be granted a protection visa.”

“The majority of the world’s refugees live in countries bordering their own. Some refugee camps can hold hundreds of thousands of people, in conditions that are, at best, very difficult. For the six million refugees in what UNHCR classifies as “protracted situations”, the average length of time spent in a refugee camp is 17 years. Food and water supplies are unpredictable and refugees are often not allowed to leave or work outside the camp. Violence, especially rape, is common.

A growing number of refugees are unable to reach refugee camps or seek asylum in areas where there are no camps. UNHCR estimates that more than half of the world’s refugees live in urban areas, while around a quarter live in camps.”

“During mass movements of refugees (usually as a result of conflicts or generalized violence as opposed to individual persecution), there is not – and never will be – a capacity to conduct individual asylum interviews for everyone who has crossed the border. Nor is it usually necessary, since in such circumstances it is generally evident why they have fled. As a result, such groups are often declared “prima facie” refugees.”

“When you “seek asylum” you are asking the Australian government to give you asylum so that you do not have to return home. If you are in danger in your home country you can seek asylum to stay here in Australia by applying for a Protection visa. You are an asylum seeker in Australia if:

  • You are in Australia
  • You believe you are a refugee
  • You are applying for protection to the Australian government so that you can stay here

If you are in Australia and you think that you are a refugee then you can seek asylum by applying for a Protection visa to the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC). If you are not a refugee then you will not be able to get a Protection visa. There may be other visa options which are better for you or it may be better for you to return home. You should get help from a registered migration agent to decide whether you are a refugee and whether to apply for a Protection visa. A registered migration agent can also help you to prepare your Protection visa application.”

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“Refugees from Iraq have increased in number since the US-led invasion into Iraq in March 2003. An estimated 1.6-2.0 million people have fled the country. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees estimated in a report released in November 2006 that more than 1.6 million Iraqis had left Iraq since March 2003, nearly 7 percent of the total population.”

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  • Between 152,280 – 192,550 civilians have died and more will die in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan as a result of the fighting at the hands of all parties to the conflict.
  • The armed conflict in Pakistan, which the US helps the Pakistani military fight by funding, equipping and training them, has taken even more lives than the conflict in neighboring Afghanistan.  The conflict in Pakistan nonetheless receives less coverage in the US news.
  • The United States is at war in Yemen.  During 2012, the Obama administration has quickened its pace of drone strikes in the country with more than 20 US airstrikes over a span of five months.   An increasing number of drone strikes target individuals whom the administration suspects have links to terrorist groups but whom policymakers view as leaders of factions striving to gain territory in Yemen’s internal conflict. [1] According to one very conservative estimate, one fifth of those killed in drone strikes are civilians.
  • Putting together all of the war’s dead, our moderate estimate is that 313,890 have died.  These totals include US and allied uniformed troops, US contractors, national military and police in the war zones, civilians, opposition forces, journalists, and humanitarian and NGO workers.
  • Indirect deaths from the wars, including those related to malnutrition, damaged health infrastructure, and environmental degradation, may far outnumber deaths from combat. While these deaths are difficult to count, a 2008 survey estimates a ratio of four indirect deaths to one direct death in contemporary conflicts. This would put the mortality figure at five times the civilian direct death toll (193,000), meaning that  approximately 965,000 civilians have perished on account of the war.
  • Millions of people have been displaced indefinitely and are living in grossly inadequate conditions.  As of January 2012, the number of war refugees and displaced persons —7,394,248– is equivalent to all of the people of Connecticut and Oregon fleeing their homes.
  • The wars have been accompanied by erosions in civil liberties at home and human rights violations abroad.

Seriously bogans… A 2 minute Google search. How about you continue the search?

Pete McCormick and 24,128 Stupid Australians

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Pete McCormick worked for the Australian Defence Force, and went to the ‘collage’ of hard knocks *snort*, so one would assume that he might have had some amount of integrity. But no. He posted this ridiculous hoax email to Facebook and so far there have been 24,128 braindead morons who would rather share propaganda on Facebook than do a quick spot of Google research.

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This has been debunked a million and one times, even by us:

Refugees get more money than pensioners

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Does this look like a man who really gives a shit

about how people other than himself are doing?

Former UWS Lecturer Publicly Takes Aim at Muslims, Aborigines, Gay Advocates

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Ian Shanahan Lecturer,
Department of Music
University of Western Sydney (Nepean)
PO Box 10
Kingswood NSW 2747

Phone (Home) – (02)9871 4282 ISD 61-2-9871 4282

Phone (Work) – (047)360 877 ISD 61-47-360 877

FAX (Work) – (047)360 166 ISD 61-47-360 166


(details lifted from public web page here)

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From The Age

Tickler loses unfair dismissal bid

July 6, 2004 – 5:05PM

The industrial umpire has rejected a claim of unfair dismissal by a university music teacher who was sacked for lifting up female students and tickling them.

Ian Leslie Shanahan, a part-time music teacher and composer, was sacked by the University of Western Sydney last year for serious misconduct.

A disciplinary committee found he had lifted female students onto his shoulders and tickled them on three occasions in August and September 2002.

He was also alleged to have smacked another student on the buttocks, and told her that “if things don’t work out between you and your fiance, you know where to come”.

The incidents followed several warnings by the university for Shanahan to “maintain a professional distance” from his students, and avoid “inappropriate behaviour”.

Shanahan disputed the committee’s ruling and went to the Australian Industrial Relations Commission (AIRC) demanding to be reinstated.

He denied “lifting and tickling” the students, and the smacking allegation.

But the AIRC this week upheld Shanahan’s dismissal, finding the evidence against him was compelling, and that “lifting and tickling female students” was improper conduct for a university lecturer.

“High standards are required of those in positions of trust,” AIRC senior deputy president Rob Cartwright said.

“Such conduct is, in my view, unacceptable and constitutes serious misconduct…”

He said the other findings of inappropriate conduct by Shanahan compounded the seriousness of his behaviour.

Citing evidence from Shanahan’s psychiatrist, senior deputy president Cartwright said the teacher’s inability to recall the incidents might be explained by a difficulty in recalling events during periods of hypomania.

However, he said he was not convinced this was the case.