Australia Racism for Immigrants
From The Melbourne Age:
‘Racism on the rise in Australia: migrants report cultural shift. Dealing with prejudice is a way of life for many Australians. Cosima Marriner and Natalie O’Brien spoke to a range of people about how they have risen above discrimination.
It is being harassed on public transport, constantly being asked, ”Where are you from?” when you’ve lived here most of your life, not getting a job interview because of your Middle Eastern-sounding name, or missing out on a rental property because of your skin colour.
This is how racism looks in Australia today – and it is becoming increasingly prevalent.
The latest Mapping Social Cohesion survey by the Scanlon Foundation found 19 per cent of Australians were discriminated against because of their skin colour, ethnic origin or religious beliefs last year – up from 12 per cent in 2012. It was the highest level since the survey began in 2007.
Experts attribute the rise in everyday racism to economic uncertainty, events like the surge in asylum seeker boat arrivals and the current political leadership that wants to weaken parts of the Racial Discrimination Act.
The government has sought to water down the act after conservative commentator Andrew Bolt was found to have broken the law in an article about ”fair-skinned Aboriginals”.
When Attorney-General George Brandis defended the proposed changes by declaring in Parliament that ”people do have a right to be a bigot, you know” he gave the 30 per cent of Australians who feel uncomfortable with cultural diversity tacit approval to air their prejudices. His powerful assertion cut through the legalistic debate about scrapping section 18C of the act, which makes it illegal to offend or intimidate someone because of their race, colour, or national or ethnic origin.
Fifteen years ago, immigrants said the best thing about Australia was its welcoming and hospitable people. In 2013, immigrants ranked that last out of 10 attributes, with lifestyle now topping the list.
Migrants say the worst things about Australia are the high taxes, cost of living, and the racism and discrimination.
Certain groups are bigger racial targets than others: the Social Cohesion survey found more than 40 per cent of people from Asian countries suffered from racism last year, with Malaysians the most affected, followed by Indians and Sri Lankans. Australians are most likely to be prejudiced against people of Middle Eastern background. Yet, given Australia has the largest immigration program per capita in the world with one of the most diverse cultural mixes, Markus says it is to Australia’s credit that we do not have more ethnic tensions.
”We’ve done very well with a very difficult and challenging task,” he says.’
Thin analysis, would be of interest to hear feedback from Anglo Celtic or European immigrants?
There have been various factors at play for past fifteen years which has seen return of a proxy ‘white Australia’ policy including negative reaction to Hawke and Keating’s closer socio-economic relationship with Asia in 1980s, plus Pauline Hanson and John Howard effect or reaction to it e.g. ‘culture wars’.
Nowadays this includes, ageing electorate of predominantly conservative ‘white Australian’ voters, baby boomers following influences of their parents, impact of neo con or white nativist groups from the USA via Birrell at CPUR Monash University and Quadrant; exemplified by ‘proxy’ concerns about identity, values, ‘black arm band’ history, immigration, refugees, English language skills, while nowadays ‘population growth’ and its impact upon infrastructure, environment, property prices or need for ‘sustainable population’.
This is spread or dog whistled by other advocates including politicians and media, with the latter lacking diversity and being managed and presented as monocultural, by monochrome Australians.
However, as former Governor General Bill Hayden said decades ago, the average Australian in future will be most handsome with light cocoa colour skin.
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