So, you still think Australia doesn’t have a problem with racism? It’s time we took a good look at some evidence to the contrary, the most recent of which can be found in the Bonds Australia’s Cutest Baby Competition. It seems that when a child of Eurasian decent is included, she’s not good enough to be called Australian by some.
Pippa Taylor was floored when someone posted a comment on a picture of her Eurasian daughter Lilli, saying “Bonds Australia not Asia”. Daily Telegraph, 3 March, 2011.
I bet the same faceless commenter would consider a black Aboriginal child the wrong colour. But wait a minute, what about an Asian child mentored by an Aboriginal family? Well, PTT certainly seems to see no distinction between our Indigenous people and Asians. To him, they are equally deserving of hatred, derision and marginalisation. Now remember, THIS IS A CHILD. Since when, is it acceptable to attack children in a debate (civil or otherwise and PTT’s comment have all been otherwise) about race, culture, politics or equality? Children “require special protection” and should be entitled to “their development and education in conditions of peace and security”. UN General Assembly, 20 November 1989
I will bide my time and work quietly when adults are involved, but turn your focus on a child and I become very, very angry. The attitudes of people such at the commenter in the Bonds competition and PTT indicate that if you are not of British heritage, if you have almond shaped eyes, yellow or black skin tone, a large nose or thick black curly hair, you a likely to be stereotyped as “different”. “Different” may be benign, but when the word is associated with exclusion, of not meeting a Aryan standard, the word becomes much more sinister.
Racism is a malignancy in any state. It must be cut out and as with any malignancy, the margins must be clear, lest you invite the disease to take hold again, to regrow and to metastasise to other parts of the body. There can be no tolerance for racist attitudes. Colour, creed, race or sex are irrelevant. What matters is the content of your heart and if you espouse denigrating, hurtful and stereotypical comments about others whom you do not understand and for whom you show no respect, then you are the cancer that Australia needs to eradicate. If others share a similar ideology, but remain silent because they are too afraid of the consequences to their own standard of living, then they can expect to be next in the line of marginalisation. Worse, they are complicit in the oppression and perpetuity of the very systems that allow the sorts of behaviours being exposed by Blak and Black, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty and other local and international defenders.
The worst part of all this is the inaction of the police. Why have the police not investigated the identity of PTT? Why have they not looked at the comment on Facebook where a David Mortars has indicated that he is the author of the comments by PTT? Why have they refused to investigate and ‘misplaced’ or been ‘unable to find’ documents relating to not only the former Commissioner for ACT Revenue, but Frederick Martens, wrongfully jailed because of, at best, poor police work.
What PTT/David Mortars and the commenter on the Bonds forum purport is Racial Hatred and that is a crime in Australia. It is distinct from Racial Discrimination, in that the former pertains public expressions of racism, such as those mentioned above; discrimination is a more personal attack/act on an individual because of their race.
I am appalled by the inaction and lack of concern by the police and our politicians for the issues being raised by Mark at Blak and Black. I am sadden that the country in which I have been raised and grown to love, has shown that it is not able to live up to its proud boast of ‘melting pot’. I am ashamed of the attitudes of people who call themselves my countrymen and women and yet fail to acknowledge that there is a basic inequality between the living standards of our Indigenous people and non-Indigenous. Our prisons are massively over-represented by Indigenous inmates, their life expectancies are substantially shorter, they still suffer diseases such as trachoma that the average Australian eradicated many years ago and their job prospects are ridiculously limited, especially once they have been subject to an unbalanced legal system that confers harsher judgements upon those of colour.
Get up Australia! If you want to be seen as a truly welcoming and open country, if you truly do not accept racism, then get up and say so, out loud, in person. Have balls for God’s sake!