Tuesday, August 11, 2015
Racism in Australia?
Peter Brent, writing below, is truly pathetic. He seems to think that a series of anecdotes expose Australians as racist. But anecdotes cannot do that. I can just as easily recount twice as many anecdotes showing Australians as non-racist. Anecdotes are useful but should not be persuasive except as an illustration of something that has already been established statistically.
So here is some counter anecdotage: Where I go shopping, in an average sort of Brisbane suburb, there are a lot of East Asians, mostly Han Chinese. Yet I have never once seen the slightest manifestation of racism towards them. They treat others politely and others treat them politely. I even see friend-groups of young people that include both Chinese and Anglos. And the number of tall Anglo men with a small Asian girlfriend on their arm is quite a wonder.
According to the classic Bogardus index of prejudice, partner formation should be the area where racism is most manifest, so those frequent interracial couples alone junk Brent's miserable claims.
So in one day, I see more instances of non-racism than all of the idiot's examples put together. As far as I can see, Australia is a prime example of racial harmony. No doubt there are grumblers here and there but deeds speak louder than words.
And Brent's examples of "racist" deeds are absurd. He tells of a female official treating a brown-skinned man in a peremptory way. How do we know the official was influenced by the man's skin colour? We do not. She could have been pre-menstrual or he could have had bad breath or something. There are many possibilities and we have no way of knowing which was at work. Brent has simply paraded his own opinion as fact.
And Brent criticizes John Howard for leaving it to the army to deal with silly behaviour among its ranks. As a former army psychologist myself, I think Howard got it exactly right. Army men are not sensitive souls. They can see as funny things that others would not. If they were sensitive souls they would not be in the army. Training to kill people is not a milksop's job and nothing will make it so.
And his claim that feminist Julia Gillard saw arch-conservative John Howard as a role model will surely surprise everyone who knows anything about Australian politics, including John Howard and Julia Gillard. Brent sees things that are not there -- psychiatric delusions?
The one statistic the sad soul refers to is the poor state of Aborigines. And there is no doubt that the state of Aborigines is appalling by white standards. But why are they so different? If Asians and Anglos both do well in Australia, why do Aborigines do so badly? Most urban Aborigines even have English as their native language, an advantage many Asians lack.
And is white society responsible for the state of Aborigines? Mainly under Leftist influence, all Australian governments, State and Federal, seem to think so. The number of projects and programs that have been initiated to help Aborigines are legion -- with just about nil results. Paternalism has been tried. Permissiveness has been tried. Nothing works. The problem is in Aborigines themselves, nobody else. The state of Aborigines does not prove Australian racism. If anything, it shows the racism of people who cannot accept that Aborigines might simply be different.
Brent's nickname is "Mumbles". He should stick to mumbling. I can't imagine what he got his Ph.D. in. Modern dance?
"Do you want to lose that?!", the Immigration Department employee screeched at the young South Asian man in Perth Airport's customs line this week.
She was forty-ish and blonde and was pointing to the mobile phone he held to his ear. She had earlier signalled that he should put it away but he hadn't understood. So now she scolded him like a five year old.
Looking surprised and a little shaken by this little Hitler in a uniform, he quickly hung up.
I've emailed the department asking about this rule banning the use of mobile phones in customs queues. Is it a new thing? Or did she just make it up so she could bully the dark guy? Either way, it's difficult to imagine she would have spoken to a white person like that.
Well, I don't know the woman, maybe she would have.
But it was a very Pauline Hanson welcome to Australia.
Visitors to this country sometimes report a jarring preponderance of casual, everyday racism. British-American comedian John Oliver found Australia "a sensational place, albeit one of the most comfortably racist places I've ever been in. They've really settled into their intolerance like an old resentful slipper."
We can protest all we like that they don't understand us and our situation. That's what Apartheid South African whites insisted. Did they have a point? Possibly a small point, overwhelmed by the larger one.
The question is not: "is Australia racist?" Racism seems to pollute the human condition everywhere and seems woven into societies' fabrics around the world. Children aren't born resenting and distrusting people not like them, but usually learn to.
Racism often forms part of the collection of preconceptions people have about others. Humans can recognise these inclinations and attempt to transcend them.
The situation with indigenous Australians is a particular one, because they were here long before the rest of us. Many countries, including some Asian neighbours, have similar dynamics at play with indigenous minorities. A mixture of guilt, impatience at an apparent unwillingness to assimilate, and prejudice. But we occupy the extreme end in Australia: all those gaping statistical discrepancies in health outcomes, life expectancy, suicide, incarceration rates, general indicators of misery - and corresponding mainstream attitudes.
It's more complex, a lot more complex, than simply believing that if mainstream Australia would stop being racist everything would be fine. But there is a lot of racism embedded in the Australian psyche.
Racism lurks in communities around the planet, but it's true what the visitors say: Australians are relatively comfortable expressing it.
I largely blame John Howard. I'm serious, I do. Two decades ago Australia did not particularly stand out in the pack. (Again, I exclude the position of Aboriginal Australians.)
It was quickly forgotten that Howard's 1996 "comfortable and relaxed" line was predominately aimed at all that Keatingesque hand-wringing about past injustices to Aboriginals. And in government his, and his advisers', model for re-election included picking at seething resentment towards minorities.
Howard was wont, particularly when an election was on the horizon, to reflect that one of his proudest achievements was that Australians now felt freer to express themselves than under Labor.
He meant, of course, on matters of race.
Every so often Howard would deliberately utter something inflammatory, upsetting the usual suspects, just to keep his hand in. If someone was publicly under fire for a racially tinged misdeed, Howard would usually rush to their corner - or at least equivocate.
(One typical incident, a 2007 Youtube video of drunken soldiers in Ku Klux Klan garb, was met with these prime ministerial words:
"I have some understanding of the disposition of people in these situations to let off a bit of steam. Let the military deal with those things in their own way. People get into a lather of sweat and so on ... Let's be sensible about this.")
Eventually this tendency of Howard's was celebrated in the political class as crucial part of his political genius, a method by which he had (supposedly) eaten into the ALP's working-class base.
And it's true what they say: when you change the government, you change the country - perhaps not what's in people's hearts, how they feel able to express themselves, because people in power set norms of behaviour.
It is all entwined in the hot issue of "border protection", which most believe decided the 2001 election.
After winning government in 2007, Labor remained captured by the myth of Howard. Julia Gillard in particular seemed to see him as a role model; her language about migrants upon becoming prime minister in 2010 had a decidedly Howard-like tinge.
Ask Sol Trujillo, born in America to Mexican immigrants, who was Telstra boss from 2005 to 2009, if we're racist. He told the BBC that racism in Australia "was evident in a lot of ways with me personally but more importantly with others."
References to "amigos", "tortillas" and "enchiladas" abounded in mainstream media and among politicians during his tenure. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, when asked to comment on Trujillo's departure, simply said "adios".
And recall the 2009 Hey Hey It's Saturday's 2009 black faces furore. (Gillard as acting prime minister gushingly defended the program.)
Oh, that's just us, you say, having harmless fun. Only self-loathing elites have a problem with this sort of kind of behaviour.
Don't go changing Australia.
Leftist antisemitism again
Antisemitism, or, more precisely, "Judenhass" on the Left goes all the way back to Karl Marx himself
Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leadership candidate, wrote a letter of support for a vicar who was banned from social media after suggesting that Israel was responsible for the 9/11 attack on the twin towers.
The Reverend Stephen Sizer used his internet accounts to spread ideas which were ‘clearly anti-Semitic’, the Church of England said. He was banned by Church authorities for six months in February. Corbyn argued that Sizer was 'under attack' by a pro-Israeli smear campaign.
The controversy arose in February after the vicar posted an article on his Facebook page which attempted to connect wealthy Jews to the 9/11 attacks. ‘Is this antisemitic?’ Mr Sizer commented under the link, adding ‘It raises so many questions.’
The Bishop of Guildford, the Right Reverend Andrew Watson, said that the vicar’s campaigning on the Middle East was ‘no longer compatible with his ministry as a parish priest.’
The bishop said: ‘By associating with or promoting subject matter, which is either ambiguous in its motivation, or, worse still, openly racist, he has crossed a serious line. I regard these actions as indefensible.’
He conceded, however, that 'I do not believe that his motives are anti-Semitic; but I have concluded that, at the very least, he has demonstrated appallingly poor judgment in the material he has chosen to disseminate, particularly via social media, some of which is clearly anti-Semitic.'
Corbyn wrote to the Church authorities at the time, suggesting that Sizer had been victimised because he had 'dared to speak out against Zionism'.
'Reverend Stephen Sizer seems to have come under attack by certain individuals intent on discrediting the excellent work that Stephen does in highlighting the injustices of the Palestinian Israeli situation,' Corbyn wrote.
This was far from the only instance that Sizer has been accused of anti-Semitism.
In 2014, the vicar flew to Iran to attend a 'New Horizons' conference intended to 'unveil the secrets behind the dominance of the Zionist lobby over US and EU politics', and delivered a speech on the 'Israeli lobby'.
The conference, which was hosted by the Iranian regime, attracted a number of alleged Holocaust deniers and conspiracy theorists. The French comedian Dieudonne M'Bala M'Bala, whose 'quenelle' gesture was judged to be anti-Semitic, reportedly attended.
One session was devoted to examining 'Mossad’s role in the 9/11 Coup d’Etat', and another examined '9/11 and the Holocaust as pro-Zionist public myths'.
Sizer has also appeared frequently on a Hezbollah television channel called Al Etejah. In a programme called 'Enlightenment: Escaping Auschwitz', Sizer said: 'Israel can get away with it because they trade on the Holocaust'.
He has also toured South Lebanon, and was pictured (above) apparently meeting Nabil Kaouk, a top Hezbollah official and militant commander. He also was photographed (above) meeting Zahra Mostafavi, the daughter of Ayatollah Khomeini, in Iran.
Bizarrely, Sizer also appeared in a 2014 promotional video for the Syrian tourist board, in which he praised the Assad regime and blamed the unrest in the country on 'foreign interference'.
Corbyn's support for Sizer raises serious questions about the Labour contender's judgment, following the emergence of a video in which he described Hamas and Hezbollah as his 'friends'.
Concerns have been mounting since MailOnline revealed that Paul Eisen, the self-professed Holocaust denier, gave Corbyn his support in an extraordinary blog post in which he said that he has been close to the Labour leadership contender for more than 15 years.
Eisen, who runs a pro-Palestinian pressure group, also claimed the Islington North MP attended 'every single' one of his annual anti-Israel events and has even donated to the group, Deir Yassin Remembered (DYR).
'One evening 15 years ago I cycled over to see [Corbyn],' he wrote. 'I was just beginning to establish Deir Yassin Remembered in the UK and I wanted him to join. 'I'd hardly begun my feverishly-rehearsed pitch before his cheque book was on the table.
'From that day on, without fuss or bother, whether DYR was flavour-of-the-month or the maggot-at-the-bottom-of-the-food-chain, he attended every single Deir Yassin commemoration.'
DYR focuses on controversial allegations that Jewish soldiers killed about 100 Arab villagers in the run-up to the war of 1948, and seeks to promote its remembrance at annual events.
Eisen's open Holocaust denial has made him a toxic figure among many pro-Palestinian activists.
'I question that there ever was an official plan on the part of Hitler or any other part of the National Socialist Regime systematically and physically to eliminate every Jew in Europe,' Eisen has written on his blog.
'I question that there ever existed homicidal gas-chambers… Deny the Holocaust! For my money, a child of six can see that something's not right about the Holocaust narrative... For me, "Holocaust Denier" is a label I accept.'
The alleged relationship with Eisen will be particularly embarrassing for the Labour leadership contender as the Holocaust denier believes Corbyn stood by him when he felt ostracised.
On his blog, Eisen recalls a period when he felt 'despised' by mainstream society, and only Corbyn refused to shun him.
Homosexual supremacism rejected
Americans reacting to the Supreme Court's approval of same sex marriage desire a truce between religious freedom and gay rights, but if pushed, overwhelmingly side with protecting the liberty of their faith by a margin of 4 to 1, according to a new national survey.
The degree of their fierce support for religious freedom and liberty jumps when given this choice:
"Suppose a Christian wedding photographer has deeply held religious beliefs opposing same sex marriage. If a same sex couple wanted to hire the photographer for their wedding, should the photographer have the right to say no?"
A huge 82 percent said yes.
The poll was conducted by Caddell Associates and shows both sides of the debate over gay rights and religious liberty. On the one hand, Pat Caddell said in a memo provided to Secrets, 71 percent of Americans want the nation to produce "a commonsense solution that both protects religious freedom and gay and lesbian couples from discrimination."
But by a margin of 4 to 1, they will pick religious freedom and liberty over gay rights in a "cultural war."
"When asked which was more important, by a 4 to 1 ratio, voters said protecting religious liberty (31 percent) over protecting gay and lesbian rights (8 percent)," said Caddell, who added that most of the rest said both are important.
The potential for a war is great, since a top Obama official suggested during the recent same sex marriage case that the administration could force groups opposed to gay weddings on religious ground to buckle under. There have been several standoffs and legal cases pitting businesses against gay rights groups.
On that issue, Caddell found very little support for the Obama administration's meddling in the affairs of religious-affiliated groups and businesses.
Catholic Diocese in North Dakota Severs All Ties With Boy Scouts Over Gay Adult Troop Leaders
The Catholic Diocese of Bismark, North Dakota, is “formally” severing its churches, schools, and other institutions from the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) because of the latter’s decision to allow openly homosexual adults and employees to work in the Boy Scouts.
The BSA’s executive committee voted to lift its century-old national restriction on “openly gay adult leaders and employees” on July 27. The Catholic Diocese of Bismark, headed by Bishop David Kagan moved swiftly to disassociate itself from the now pro-gay BSA.
“[E]ffective immediately, the Catholic Church of the Diocese of Bismarck and each and every one of its parishes, schools and other institutions, is formally disaffiliated with and from the Boy Scouts of America,” said Bishop Kagan in an August 3 letter.
“If your parish sponsors a troop, your priest has been asked to inform those persons associated with the BSA of this action and to inform the BSA itself of this decision,” he said.
The Catholic Church teaches that homosexual persons are “called to chastity” and that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered” because they violate the natural law, the teaching from Scripture, and they “close the sexual act to the gift of life.” The Church, in its Catechism, further states that “under no circumstances” can homosexual acts “be approved.”
“I regret my decision but, in conscience as the Chief Shepherd of the Diocese of Bismarck, I cannot permit our Catholic institutions to accept and participate directly or indirectly in any organization, which has policies and methods, which contradict the authoritative moral teachings of the Catholic Church,” said Bishop Kagan.
In his Aug. 3 letter, Bishop Kagan listed several “acceptable alternatives” to the Boy Scouts and to the Girl Scouts. These include American Heritage Girls; the Little Flowers’ Girls Clubs; the Federation of North American Explorers; the Columbian Squires; and Trail Life USA.
The Diocese of Bismark was established in 1909 and serves about 66,400 Catholics in 23 counties in western North Dakota. Bishop Kagan was selected to head the Bismark Diocese by then-Pope Benedict XVI in October 2011.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.