Noted with pleasure
1. Home-grown values a multicultural triumph – Tim Soutphommasane.
“When I was in high school, a local councillor by the name of Chris Bowen, still in his 20s, became the mayor of Fairfield City.
Scott Morrison has form as a cheap populist, but his latest outburst is deeply harmful to the national interest.
SCOTT Morrison, the Liberal frontbencher who this week distinguished himself as the greatest grub in the federal Parliament, is the classic case of the politician who is so immersed in the game of politics that he has lost touch with the real world outside it…
This week it was race. Morrison decided to see if he could win some political points by inflaming racism and resentment. More specifically, he zeroed in on some of the most vulnerable people in the country for political advantage. Indeed, is there anyone more vulnerable than a traumatised, orphaned child unable to speak English, held in detention on a remote island?
Morrison publicly raised objections to the government’s decision to pay for air fares for some of the survivors of the Christmas Island boat wreck to travel to Sydney for the funerals of their relatives.
Some were Christian funerals, others were Muslim. But all of them were foreigners, all of them were boat people, all of them were dark-skinned, and to Morrison that made them all fair game. Unable to tell the difference between the Coalition mantra of "we will stop the boats" and his emerging position that "we will vindictively pursue boat people suffering tragedy" he went on radio.
As the survivors were gathering to mourn their dead, Morrison said that with the government paying for the 22 air fares, "I don’t think it is reasonable. The government had the option of having these services on Christmas Island. If relatives of those who were involved wanted to go to Christmas Island, like any other Australian who wanted to attend a funeral service in another part of the country, they would have made their own arrangements to be there."…
What a grub!
As a matter of personal record during all the years I lived in The Shire (where I grew up) I voted Liberal, and had I been in Cronulla in more recent years I probably would have endorsed Morrison’s predecessor, one of the country’s most admirable (former) pollies.
BRUCE Baird did 20 years as a Liberal MP, in Macquarie Street then Canberra. In 2007 he retired as the member for the federal seat of Cook, which takes in Cronulla and much of what the locals like to call The Shire. People will remember him as the NSW minister in charge of Sydney’s 2000 Olympic bid. Baird was a voice of decency in the Liberal Party, one of the so-called gang of four (the others were Petro Georgiou, Russell Broadbent and Judy Moylan) who had the guts to take on John Howard in 2005 in the hope of moderating the cruelty of his asylum-seeker policies.
That did him no good. His successful ministerial career in Macquarie Street cut no ice with Howard, who viewed him as a trouble-making Costello supporter and kept him in the outer darkness of the backbench. Come the 2007 federal election, Baird found that Liberal Party branches in Cook had been stacked against him, with a sudden influx of 400 new members. He saw the writing on the wall and at the age of 65 finally pulled the pin.
What a shame that his successor in the seat has plunged into the sewer. Scott Morrison, Tony Abbott’s feverishly ambitious spokesman on immigration, is the man who disgraced himself and his party this week by whipping up that furore on the cost of the asylum-seeker funerals.
It was filthy politics, initially supported by his leader, of course, although public disgust eventually forced the two into a backdown for going, in Abbott’s weasel words, ” a little bit too far”.
But the stench lingers. As the Herald’s national affairs correspondent, Lenore Taylor, revealed on Thursday, Morrison was pushing the Coalition shadow cabinet to adopt an anti-Islam line as long ago as December. And he has no shortage of support. Abbott’s recent proposal to cut $448 million in funding to Islamic schools in Indonesia was another blast of racist dog-whistling.
Kevin Andrews, the dolt who brought you the Mohammed Haneef fiasco, was bleating the other day about ”ethnic enclaves” in Australia. Last week the ACT Liberal senator Gary Humphries tabled a petition in Parliament calling for a 10-year moratorium on Muslim migration to Australia.
Then there is the South Australian Liberal senator Cory Bernardi, a persistent Muslim-baiter, with his demands to ban the burqa and a recent tirade against the halal slaughter of animals. ”I, for one, don’t want to eat meat butchered in the name of an ideology that is mired in sixth century brutality and is anathema to my own values,” he said. (Bernardi will get a shock if he is ever invited to a bar mitzvah, where the kosher meats will have been prepared in exactly the same way.)
This is One Nation stuff with a Liberal Party blue ribbon wrapped around it. As Bruce Baird said when I called him on Thursday: ”There’s no doubt the party has shifted to the right. It seems like One Nation is calling the tune. They are going for the blue-collar, right-wing vote. Moderate views in the federal party have largely disappeared.”
Not quite. Joe Hockey spoke up for decency on the asylum-seeker funerals but then, for his pains, found himself under savage attack from a blog run by a Bernardi staffer. Baird rang me back to assure me that Julie Bishop, too, is on the side of the angels. But that’s about it. We now have a federal opposition so shamelessly unprincipled that it will play the card of racist fear and hatred to claw its way back to power.
Yes, that’s Mike Carlton, who does annoy me at times, but in this case I am with him 100%.
People like Morrison ARE termites, and in their voraciousness not the least of their destructions has been that of the Liberal Party that once was but is too often no more.
But I still say he is not a racist.
“Racist” has become a generic term of abuse, much as “fascist” did before it. It’s time to restore the word.
This is racist:
The Negroes of Africa have by nature no feeling that rises above the trifling. Mr. Hume challenges anyone to cite a single example in which a Negro has shown talents, and asserts that among the hundreds of thousands of blacks who are transported elsewhere from their countries, although many of them have even been set free, still not a single one was every found who presented anything great in art or science or any other praiseworthy quality, even though among the whites some continually rise aloft from the lowest rabble, and through superior gifts earn respect in the world. So fundamental is the difference between these two races of man, and it appears to be as great in regard to mental capacities as in colour. The religion of fetishes so widespread among them is perhaps a sort of idolatry that sinks as deeply into the trifling as appears to be possible to human nature. A bird’s feather, a cow’s horn, a conch shell, or any other common object, as soon as it becomes consecrated by a few words, is an object of veneration and of invocation in swearing oaths. The blacks are very vain but in the Negro’s way, and so talkative that they must be driven apart from each other with thrashings.
The author? Immanuel Kant.
This is racist too – or rather, what it references is:
The Beginning of Racial Classification
Though he did not believe all the concepts concerning the Great Chain of Being, Charles Linnaeus still did believe in a set hierarchy of organisms. In General System of Nature, published in 1735, he placed man in the order of primates along with the other mammals. However, he did believe that the one characteristic that distinguished men from the apes was the former being’s ability to use the facility of reason. But distinctions in that order did not cease to be merely with that classification. He stated that variations within the Genus Homo sapiens existed as a result of varying cultures and climates(2). The four main categories of the Genus that he proposed were the following:
1. Americanus. Native American males were supposedly red; had black hair and sparse beards; were stubborn; prone to anger; "free"; and governed by traditions (3). Thus, this form of Homo sapiens was definitely inferior and uncivilized.
2. Asiaticus. The male Asian was said to be "yellowish, melancholy, endowed with black hair and brown eyes…severe, conceited, and stingy. He puts on loose clothing. He is governed by opinion." Thus, like the aforementioned type of Homo sapiens, the Asiaticus could only be a mediocre prototype (2).
3. Africanus. The male of this subset, according to Linnaeus, could be recognized by his skin tone, face structure, and curly hair (2). This kind was apparently cunning, passive, and inattentive, and ruled by impulse. The female of this kind was also apparently shameless, because "they lactate profusely." (3)
4. Europeaus. The males of this subset were supposedly "changeable, clever, and inventive. He puts on tight clothing. He is governed by laws." (2)
In addition to these categories, Linnaeus also suggested there were some more miscellaneous ones that occurred: "’wild men,’ dwarfs, troglodytes [cave dwellers], and ‘lazy Patagonians’ [South American hunter-gatherers]." (4) Therefore, being the most civilized of the Homo sapiens, the Europeaus was obviously the most superior type in Charles Linnaeus’s view (2).
Before Linnaeus proposed the ideas mentioned above, "race" had been used to distinguish between different nationalities. But after he proposed the system above, Europeans began to identify themselves with a larger group: "white" people. Now the ideal physical standards were those of classical Greece. The further one’s physical traits were from that notion of perfection, the less Caucasian one was. Numerous authors began to publish books to prove that Europeans were at the top of the racial hierarchy they believed in, alluding to some evolutionary theory or the other. And then, the British Empire selected one of its naturalists to study different species around the world (1).
Both predate Charles Darwin, showing that “scientific” racism was in the air long before racists co-opted “the survival of the fittest” for their own purposes.
And yes, WE DO HAS RACISTS!
Morrison is probably not one of them. Islamophobe? For sure! Fear monger? Absolutely!
Prick willing to exploit irrational fears for mere political gain? Very likely.
But not racist.
** Do read my 2006 A debate on race and Multiculturalism — Caleb Rosado: PRACTICAL DO-ABLES FOR UNLEARNING RACISM.
Meanwhile, in the UK and Europe: Clamp down on imaginary Islamisation, says Torygraph – an older post by Indigo Jo, sane Muslim blogger.
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