By JR on Friday, March 03, 2017
Is Australia Racist?
The question above from SBS is absurdly broad. Of course there are some racists in Australia but who are they and how many of them are there? And what do they do? Do they attack minorities or do they just abuse them? And is it only some groups that get abused? But the story below is just a media stunt so none of those questions are posed let alone answered.
There is however no doubt about the group from whom most racism in Australia emanates: The political Left. They are obsessed with race. See their complaints about "white privilege" and their support for "affirmative action" of various sorts. Both those obsessions single out people for discriminatory treatment solely because of their race. Some people call that positive discrimination but there is no such thing. If you give something to one group, you take it away from another group.
There does appear to have been some attempt at science below -- in that a survey of 6,000 people is referred to -- but were those people a representative sample of any definable population? The research desciption is here and it shows that the research is the sort of lazy rubbish that is all too common these days. It is an online survey. In other words, it got answers from computer-savvy people only and even then it heard only from those who were interested in the topic and could be bothered to answer the questions.
And there have been various occasions when such surveys gave very different answers to more labour-intensive surveys. How representative the survey was is therefore unknown. Its figures cannot be relied on.
And they did not in fact sample racist incidents. All they did was ask what people thought. And ever since the work of La Piere in the 1930's we have known that what people think may not be expressed in action at all.
The survey does however draw one conclusion which rings true: Most of the antipathy was towards Muslims and African blacks. There was no data given on (say) attitudes to our large Chinese minority. Since the Chinese don't wage jihad towards up or break into our homes, I am guessing that there was very little antipathy to the Chinese. In short, people have got good reasons to disapprove of the hostile behaviour that emerges from the African and Muslim populations. If people would like to see all Muslims and Africans begone, that is a perfectly rational fear for their own safety.
The basic premise underlying the story below is that we should not illtreat individuals because they come from a problem population. But we do not. A few exceptional white Australians may say critical things towards various minority members but official policy is not to discrimiate at all against members of any minority. But minority members are unreasonable if they expect people to ignore the bad behaviour of the group to which they belong. People are right to be wary of them. In the absence of a mind-reading machine, there is no way to know whether they are one of the hostiles or not.
And because there is no way of knowing that, the only way to protect ourselves from the outrages emanating from these groups is to deport the lot of them, which is Pauline Hanson's policy. There seems little likelihood that it will soon become official policy, though. Australians generally seem to be willing to tolerate attacks on themselves in order to avoid unfair treatment of innocent minority group members. The rise of Mr. Trump may however suggest that the patience concerned is wearing thin.
One notes that there is no mention below of the appalling behavior emanating from the two minority groups concerned: No mention of what may lie behind suspicion of the group-members concerned. One is apparently supposed to assume that Muslims and Africans are disliked purely because of the evil racist nature of mainstream Australians. Such an assumption is itself grossly offensive -- particlarly considering the large number of genuine refugees that Australia has taken in from all over the world
"Where's your f---ing face? What are you hiding from? F---ing Allah?"
These questions were among the abuse caught on shocking hidden-camera footage of a random hate-filled attack on a young Muslim woman by herself in a shopping centre.
A 50-something white male is seen launching into an angry tirade of abuse against the woman, in a prime example of the extent of the bigotry and hate endured by the Muslim community on a daily basis.
Research has found that a staggering 77 per cent of Muslim women in Australia have experienced racism on public transport or in the street.
The hidden-camera footage is one of many incidents featured in Is Australia Racist?, which aired Sunday night and is an hour-long documentary exposing the random, everyday bigotry and racism endured by ethnic groups across the nation.
The documentary kicks off SBS's Face Up To Racism week, which features a series of special programming putting the spotlight on prejudice in Australia today.
The woman in this incident is targeted because she's wearing a niqab – a veil which covers the head and face but not the eyes – in an attack triggered only by the fact she had the misfortune to happen to cross paths with the abusive man.
Unbeknown to her abuser, however, she's a volunteer for the documentary, which follows a number of people of different ethnicities with hidden cameras to reveal the ugly truth of racism on the streets.
It's the experience of the Muslim woman, Afghan refugee Rahila Haidary, that is the most shocking example in the program and a blunt insight into the vitriolic levels of Islamophobia in current society.
The man is seen approaching Haidary, telling her, "You're in my face like that", before launching into an intimidating attack.
"You're in our country because we helped save you from where you came from, from where you've been persecuted and you wear things like that," he shouts.
She responds by asking what should she do, to which he says she should dress like other Australians and become part of the culture.
She asks how Australians dress, to which the man explodes with rage at his lone, diminutive female target.
"They dress with a f---ing face," he says, gesticulating angrily. "Where's your f---ing face? What are you hiding from? F---ing Allah?"
It's a confronting scene as the man, who is much taller than Haidary, continues his verbal abuse.
"Your f---ing Muhammad? You know he's a paedophile," he tells her.
It's at this point that two women passers-by stop and realise what's happening and start to move in to intervene. The man storms off, adding "f--- off"as he goes.
The whole incident is little more than 40 seconds but its impact highlights the damage that can be done in just a matter of moments.
Haidary, who doesn't usually wear a niqab, is visibly shaken by the experience.
"It's shocking to see that sort of hate," she says. "I can't imagine how those women who dress up like that would get along every day."
It is clear the man did not know he was being filmed. Legally, it's permitted to film people without their permission provided it's in a public space where there is no reasonable expectation of privacy.
An SBS spokesman said: "All filming featured in Is Australia Racist? was captured in public spaces and all relevant filming laws have been adhered to, along with SBS's own Codes of Practice, in the making of the documentary.
"The program shines a light on racism and prejudice in Australia today through a series of social experiments capturing racism and the reactions of people witnessing it, through the eyes of those who experience it."
Out of all the poisonous threads of racism featured in the program, Islamophobia appears to be top of the list in current times. The program notes that in 1998, 3 per cent of the population had negative views towards Muslims, now that proportion is 32 per cent.
Worse, as seen in the on-screen incident, the bullying targets women, with 77 per cent of Muslim women in Australia experiencing bigotry in a public place.
Of the 6000 people questioned, it found that one in five people have experienced racism in the past 12 months, with 35 per cent of those surveyed saying they had experienced racism on public transport or on the street.
There are glimmers of hope, however. On many occasions, the hidden footage shows bystanders instinctively intervening when volunteers are targeted in hate attacks.
There's also evidence that the younger generation have much greater support for cultural diversity.
"There are things to be done," says Martin at the show's conclusion. "But it's not all gloomy."