Race hate candidates running in Council elections

I was interested to see this report in today’s Sydney Morning Herald detailing a number of candidates contesting the upcoming local elections in Sydney’s Sutherland Shire – scene of the infamous Cronulla riots three years ago – with a campaign message specifically attacking refugees and migrants. Modern day political correctness seems to require one not to use the term “racist” to describe statements that attack others on the basis of their race, but it’s hard to think of a more accurate word.

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  1. Red Crab: not sure if I am understanding you correctly. Are you saying that all citizens are equally likely to have there welfare money garnisheed? As far as I understand it, whether that is potentially posible or ot, the Intervention, and the quarantining of welfare oney is based soelely on the “race” of the person involved. Only indigenous people at the moment, have this happening to them. Cases were cited in the press when it all started of ‘respectable” indigenous people, against whom no word of criticism had ever been raised, whose lives had now fallen into the same net as the most feckless, simply because they are Indigenous.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, please.

  2. Naomi:

    My mother waited 6 months to see a heart specialist, with her appointment having been cancelled twice, probably for more urgent cases.

    It isn’t my fault some people can’t understand fairly ordinary language. It also doesn’t help anyone or anything when you keep treating intelligent people as if they are inexperienced or stupid.

    I know lots of people from other countries. Some work at the nursing home. We treat each other on an equal footing. Only a few months ago, I saved a lady from Cuba from losing her job.

    My new dance class has quite a few young Japanese women. They sometimes walk back with me to the train station, since there is safety in numbers, and it is useful for them to have a chaperone.

    I cannot think of an instance where I was present when someone used a racist slur, unless we are going to count the Chinese woman who treated me as if I was inferior at my dance class last Friday night.

    If someone started abusing one of my friends/acquaintances of any colour for any reason, I would tell the person where to go.

    When I went to an Occupational Health Specialist and showed him where the tendons hurt in the backs of my hands, this is what he said:

    “I had some migrant women (factory workers) come in and show me their hands, but because of their poor standard of English, I couldn’t really tell what was wrong with them. But now that you’ve shown me your hands and told me what you have been experiencing, I know what is wrong with them.”

  3. DOLPHINS – No, you are not wrong. There’s discussion about extending it into WA, but only in aboriginal communities so far. In order to be able to do this legally, the Howard govt stopped CDEP as they couldn’t garnishee income through employment payments, and they also passed legislation to stop the Anti-Discrimination Act, so there would be no legal challenge. Going on past actions of the Howard govt, they probably would have used money set aside in the Budget for the basics needed for aboriginal people, to fight them in the courts anyway.They’d done it several times before to fight land rights cases.

    WA is a boom state, and there’s lots of discussions going on at present in relation to huge amounts of gas (billions $$$)just waiting to be removed? The fact that it requires the probable despoiling of beautiful land, sea, aboriginal artifacts etc might have something to do with it? It could also explain why the Murdoch press in that state almost leads the way in its deliberate racist propaganda. Sounds a bit too reminiscent of Iraq? Propaganda followed by invasion and then oppression, then the stealing of Iraqi peoples’ oil, or in this case, aboriginal peoples’ very soul. We’ll see?

    RED CRAB – Aboriginal people were not recognised as Australian citizens until after the 1967 Referendum (the first time I voted-what a proud day that was). Prior to that they were referred to in the Constitution under flora and fauna – how despicable was that? As they weren’t even recognised as existing, it made it very easy for national govts to ignore them, in every facet of their lives. Why did the campaign for basic recognition take 10 years? Anyone who questions ingrained racism in this country should try & justify that?

  4. Naomi – the history of aboriginal people and citizenship is a bit more complicated than that. As I understand it, what changed in 1967 was their inclusion as part of the population in the Census. According to the National archives, the 1967 referendum did not give Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples the right to vote. This right had been legislated for Commonwealth elections in 1962, with the last State to provide Indigenous enfranchisement being Queensland in 1965. (http://www.naa.gov.au/about-us/publications/fact-sheets/fs150.aspx)

    South Australia was very early (1857) in granting aboriginal people the right to vote, though it may have been inadvertent. That was not changed when women in SA were granted the right to vote in 1894 .. the first in Australia, I believe. http://www.parliament.sa.gov.au/AboutParliament/History/AboriginalAustraliansandParliament/

    The 1902 Commonwealth Electoral Act specifically included a clause banning all “non-whites” from voting, except those who already had State votes. Aboriginal people were included in the definition of “non-whites”. Prior to 1902, some aboriginal people had been enrolled to vote in various colonies (now the states) but no more were to be added. Those extant voters would continue to be able to vote, but if they ever lost the right to vote, e.g. because of being in jail, or, amazingly, dependent on welfare, they could not recover it. There were varous disputes about aboriginal people voting in the states over the years and many lost that right.

    Very sad story … and seen as wrong by prominent people of the time, but insufficent of them.

    We don’t have a particularly proud record of inter-community realtions in this country – I had hopes when I marched across the bridge last century that the new millennium would see change, and it is happening, but sadly the recent anouncements on continuation of the Intervention don’t presage change coming soon.

  5. DOLPHINS – Whoa! I said 1967 was the first time I voted? I know that aboriginal people voted prior to 1967, but did that include Federal Elections? The fact remains, that as they were not recognised in the Constitution, that Federal Parlts took that as not having any responsibility towards them (Howard govt used the same rationale over dental care – and cancelled the dental health care scheme, and refused to accept any responsibility for most of the life of his govt.) they were not eligible for any govt pensions or benefits for example, and as the States were adopting their policies of forced removals etc, they didn’t give a damn about their welfare either. I get really angry these days when people blame aboriginal people for their lack of education in the past – fact was, being illiterate up into the late 60’s was a common experience. Of course there were exceptions to the rule, but if people read the wonderful speech (it’s on the net)given by Professor Mick Dodson the day before that amazing walk across the Bridge (I was there too!) he too was at risk of being made a ward of the state, and removed, after the deaths of both his parents, even though he had an aunt & uncle who were only too happy to care for him. A fight they finally won, and they were determined that he would receive a good education. His grandmother, mother and 2 sisters were removed! I kept his speech; actually, I taped that day’s proceedings, and most of the march the following day. It was Howard’s ‘speech’ that clinched my decision. I was told that with my spinal injuries and other health problems, that it was too far to walk – it was too! I stayed on the waterbed for a week after, but wouldn’t have missed it for anything!

    I find it totally amazing, that the aboriginal population has just reached 500,000. There’s been a lot of progress, but it’s only negligence that’s caused the discrepancy in mortality rates for infants and the 17 yr gap in life expectancy. It’s shameful!

  6. Naomi – “In 1962 Aboriginal people finally won voting rights for Commonwealth and Territory elections. … The 1967 referendum removed the constitutional barrier to the Commonwealth Government’s power to legislate for all Indigenous people.” (http://www.foundingdocs.gov.au/item.asp?dID=57) Seems as if Hasluck’s drive for assimilation may have had one good side-effect.

    I don’t disagree with the spirit of what you say, but until I had to look it up myself I was under the same misapprehension. I should remember, I was very conscious of it all at the time. I remember urging my parents to vote Yes in the 1967 referendum, and since I was only 16, was very conscious of the perils of the referendum process in Australia, having a wonderful History teacher that year who really switched me on to the subject.

    I do think it’s important to get the chronology right … so sad to think that known facts at the time can be disputed today as in the cases of the Stolen Generation.

  7. DOLPHINS Yes, you’re right, and federal govts used this fact to ignore the plight of aboriginal people, they also adopted the ‘out of sight out of mind’ and have been using it to their advantage in many areas ever since. For instance, there were many inquiries into the many facets of aboriginal life, including abuse, several were instigated by the Howard govt, so why didn’t they act earlier, and what motivated them to after the release of The Little Children Are Sacred Report – which was instigated by the NT govt? And then they ignored the most important part – involve the aboriginal people in the decision making processes from the outset. I understand, that no real action has taken place about the horrendous housing problem, and I read recently, that children were being examiined by doctors prior to ‘the intervention’ so the govt engaged in unnecessary duplication in many instances, but what was required was follow up with specialist doctors, eg. ear, nose & throat specialists. There’s a high incidence of kids with ear problems caused by virus related illnesses; the type that also leaves too many kids with Rheumatic fever, which also causes long term heart conditions. If this was happening today to non-indigenous kids there’d be an outcry, as indeed there should, as it can be prevented by improved sanitation and housing.

    “The First Australians” (SBS) is a great program. My 3 youngest grandkids (where I am now) have watched parts and they’re shocked by the evidence coming out. As they’re 10 yrs and under, that’s heartening. Teaching them the true history of white australia’s black history can only be good. I applaud their parents for it.

    DOLPHINS, I went to school in the 50’s and I can’t recall any history about aboriginal people. Living in the central west of NSW I did wonder why aboriginal kids didn’t go to our school.I learned as an adult,that that town had the worst reputation for racism in the state.Black kids swam in the river, not the pools? Shameful

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