Monday, November 26, 2007


Is Australia the last bastion of racism in western democracy

While there are many compassionate and spiritually aware Australians it is universally accepted throughout the democratic world that Australia is the last bastion of racism in the so called western global civilization. Racism remains an accepted part of Australian culture perpetuated since federation some 200 years ago, and successive Government’s in this country of all political divides have sought to manipulate for political gain its citizen’s xenophobic fears. Australia’s inherent racism was initially born out of its geographical isolation and the nation’s collective insecurity caused in part that its historic cultural roots were founded upon the background of its first colonial settlers who forcibly removed the first Australians from their ancestral lands to establish penal colonies for deported criminals from Britain. As soon as white settlers landed in Australia they began a program to exterminate the countries original inhabitants. Tasmania is widely regarded by international genocide scholars as "one of the world's authentic cases of genocide" in the 1820s and 1830s. While Australia’s program of aboriginal extermination and genocide was not completely successful because the British motherland passed laws to prevent this, irregardless, Australians have continued throughout its history to discriminate against and dispossess its blacks. The final result of this 200 year holocaust has left these people a fallen culture without means to elevate themselves from the despair of their history, and the collective feelings of hopelessness caused by death of their aboriginal identity. In short, if you kick a person or group to the ground for long enough, they will evolve a genetic response that will prevent them from raising themselves up to any sense of dignity and self-respect! On the question of the historic plight of aboriginal Australia, this is essentially a heinous crime against humanity that must be reconciled.

Last Saturday on the 24th November 2007 Australians finally removed from power one of its post wars most extreme fanatical right wing Governments since the ultra conservative Robert Menzies declared war on socialism, lent Australia to the British so that they could test their atomic bombs and sent Australians to go fight America’s lost cause, the Vietnam War. Kevin Rudd and the Labour Party won comprehensively in last Saturday’s general election. The question of new leadership is whether much will change in Australia especially on the subject of whether the new Government will improve the plight of its degraded aboriginal people. Will Kevin Rudd attempt to restore Australia’s blighted reputation which in part caused by its denial of global warming issues, its involvement in the Iraq debacle and its continuing degradation of its indigenous folks?

The recently deposed Australian Prime Minister John Howard and his Liberal party have been in power for 11 years ( 1996- 2007), having comprehensively won 4 consecutive elections; two electoral victories won in true conservative style by Howard’s Liberal coalition cleverly milking Australians inherent xenophobia and historically held racist paranoia. In white Australia today Islamophobia is now entrenched within the Australian psyche; blatant racism against Muslims on a daily basis now stands as a national pastime alongside of aboriginal and Asian bashing. The Australian government under Howard has been widely criticized internationally for its mistreatment of refugees arriving from war torn countries and manipulating their plight for political purposes.

Because of the Howard Governments clear anti Moslem agendas Australians have now become prime terrorist targets the world over and declared so by the world’s most abhorrent terrorist groups, including Al-Qaeda. The targeting of Australians in Bali in 2002 and 2005 by Jemaah Islamiyah was a direct reaction to the countries racist neo cons foreign and domestic policies. It’s is only a question of time before a group of these murderous terrorists thugs breach the security cordon and strike at mainland Australia. According to the terrorists who bombed the Australian tourist strip in Bali in 2002; their prime objective was to target Australian civilians as payback for their Governments manipulation of the Islamaphobia card which helped Howard win re-election in 2001. Howard’s unconditional support of American foreign policy and the Iraq war which has seen a million people killed and further millions end up as refugees, also contributes to fanatical Islam’s rage against Australia.

Australia’s new PM Kevin Rudd and the Labour Party have pledged to withdraw Australia’s combat troops from Iraq, and to publicly at least officially apologise to the aboriginal peoples for 200 years of the most heinous crimes against them. (The recently deposed Government appealing to the huge volume of racists in the country has refused to offer the aboriginal people any kinds of official apology.) Even though Rudd during his election night speech declared for the International media that he will Govern Australia for its indigenous peoples too, there are many who believe that on the question of Aboriginal affairs Rudd will do little, rather business as is traditionally usual in Australia with little changing for aboriginal rights. The day before the election Rudd declared that a proposed referendum on aboriginal reconciliation and a separate aboriginal treaty would not occur in the first term of his Government, if at all. This bought about a reaction from Noel Pearson a noted aboriginal lawyer and human rights spokesman who declared that he felt betrayed and said that he thought that Rudd and Labor talk with forked tongues on indigenous policy. Pearson accused Rudd of “an absolute betrayal” of indigenous people. Noel Pearson went onto to say quote, “This is a repetition of my history with Mr Rudd. My involvement in public life goes back 17 years with Mr Rudd when he first dudded us on land rights here in Queensland when he was the director general of the Goss government. We had our bitter disputes at that time, and I though after a decade and a half he had a more mature attitude towards indigenous policy questions. This kind of off-the-cuff tossing of the aboriginal policy over his shoulder has once again reminded me of the contempt in which this bloke views indigenous people and their affairs. This is a gross betrayal of indigenous people.",25197,22809264-601,00.html

On climate change Rudd has guaranteed to immediately ratify the Kyoto agreement, which the former government following America’s standard has refused to do when John Howard stood alongside environmental denialists like the US and George Bush.

Kevin Rudd a local Brisbane boy won an emphatic victory last Saturday. Rudd’s rapid rise through Labour Party ranks to leader of his party and now Australia’s current PM has been unprecedented, if not remarkable, given especially that he has not even held a shadow cabinet position in the Labour Party. Rudd a former career diplomat and Director-General of the Office of Cabinet for the Queensland State Government, has been a member of parliament only since 1998. Rudd is a centre right-wing Christian of the same Christian religious background as Blair- Bush and Clinton. Although Rudd still remains relatively an unknown, I don’t expect much to change under his leadership, except that his style appears to be a lot softer around the edges than John Howard’s. However if history is anything to go by then perhaps one should beware of rightwing Christian conservatives riding upon the mantra of a political parties that were founded upon the socialist premise of justice, equality and a fair go for all. Lest we not forget what Tony Blair and new Labour did to the British Labour party after he got into power!

I first met Kevin Rudd (be it briefly) in Feb 2003 when he was a just a normal run of the mill MP attending a major anti Iraq war demonstration in Brisbane, with 100,000 other Brisbanites, concerned that the US was taking Australia down a path only too familiar to some- the Vietnam war debacle. Rudd was at this demonstration with the former Democrats leader Andrew Bartlet. At the Brisbane Botanical gardens I casually walked up to them both. We exchanged a few pleasantries regarding the political state of the nation. Voicing my concerns that the country needed new leadership to help resolve Australia’s flagging international reputation, I suggested to Rudd that the international perception was that Australia was the last bastion of western racism and that PM John Howard is perceived internationally to be an ardent racist. The topic of conversation revolved around how the Howard Government had won the election of 2002 after a campaign which has been universally condemned as racist by many prominent Australians, the United Nations and many from the international media. In 2002 the UN High Commission for refugees had sent a special representative to hear Australia's defense on alleged breaches to the 1951 Geneva Convention which sets out certain standards for the treatment of refugees. When refugees arrive in Australia they are either imprisoned in detention centers or balloted off to other South Pacific countries for processing. To these suggestions they reservedly agreed. However, when I joked that Aussie was giving its kiwi neighbors a bad reputation they responded jovially with the usual sheep joke taunts. I then said to Kevin Rudd that I could sense that the karma of the nation would soon change to a new evolutionary cycle that would allow the rebirthing of an improved principal which would give rise to the opportunity for new political leadership and to reconstitute the spiritual principals of the nation that had been so severely damaged from 11 years of extreme right wing conservative Government. I could sense that Rudd felt awkward at the language of my view, and that his conservative Christian background had contributed to this unease. However in the main I felt Rudd to be a very approachable and likable person. I thanked them for the chat, wished them the best and left to join my family to complete the demo which ended up in a concert overlooking the Brisbane River.


Supporting sources and notes:


Indigenous peoples of Australia & their fight for rights

I still call Australia home

Stolen Generation

The stolen generation

Uncensored guide to Australia Part 1 & 2

Rabbit Proof Fence Tribute Video

Australia Quest: Aboriginal history

Racists In Australia

Australian Govt racism against American military blacks in WW2

Racism and violence against women is so prolific in Australia
that the Govt is now forced to run adds on TV to combat the problem!

The plight of aboriginals in Australia

An International call for sanctions against Australia

There is broad discussion amongst human rights activists of different nationalities across the globe, (many of whom were involved in organising the International anti Apartheid movement which helped free Nelson Mandela and bring down the white South African Apartheid regime in the early nineties), to formulate and organise an international campaign that would isolate Australia politically, culturally and economically. It is suggested that Australian sports participants who perform internationally be boycotted by disruptions to their events (acts of civil disobedience) so that the plight of aboriginals be highlighted by the international media.

  • Australia's indigenous peoples are over represented in prisons
  • Aboriginal peoples die 15-20 years younger than the Australian population.
  • They endure 23 times the average death rate from infections of the kidney
  • 12-17 times the average for diabetes (one of the highest rates in the world)
  • 3-5 times the death rate from chronic respiratory disease
  • They are 10 times more likely to suffer blindness than the general population, largely because of corneal scarring from trachoma or unoperated cataract and, increasingly, from diabetes.
  • They are twice as likely to be admitted to hospital, usually so ill that they need to stay longer - mainly for dialysis, pregnancy and childbirth complications, respiratory and digestive diseases and injury. They suffer higher than average rates for mental disorders, alcohol and other drug related conditions, circulatory diseases, nervous system disorders, skin diseases and infectious and parasitic diseases. These conditions reach an acute stage because of lack of early attention - either because services are not available, or because they are inaccessible to Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders.

Aboriginal Australians only secured the right to vote in Federal elections in 1962. ONLY in 1967, following a referendum by white Australians did Aboriginals gained full legal citizenship rights to the country they had lived in for 50,000 years.

Prior to the Second World War, Australia's position as a nation with a basically homogeneous European population was secure. Under the unofficial title of the White Australia Policy, various policies were in place to ensure this situation: immigration laws were administered strictly to ensure that non-Europeans were not admitted, citizenship requirements were very exacting and well-guarded, and governments of all hues were committed to a White Australia.

The Australian aboriginal STOLEN GENERATION records coloured children forcibly removed from their families and assimilated into white society. The Christian churches of both Protestant and Catholic denominations played a pivotal role in the implimentation of these human rights abuses.

New Oxfam report: Australia's Indigenous health shame:
While most Australians enjoy amongst the highest standard of health and life expectancy in the world, the aid group Oxfam has revealed that Indigenous health in this country is comparable to that in some of the poorest countries in the world. And it is way below that of Indigenous people in New Zealand and Canada.

Report details crimes against Aborigines:
The genocidal practices perpetrated against Australian Aborigines were the outcome of policies adopted and implemented by all Australian governments from British settlement in 1788 until the present. A people who had virtually no contact with the outside world, were suddenly confronted with a hostile and alien force. Aborigines were forced out of their traditional homes, hunted like wild animals, poisoned or shot, and confined to the harshest and most desolate climes. The effect of British settlement upon these people led to near extinction within 120 years.

Australia has been forced to explain its Aboriginal policies to a high-level United Nations committee which includes the eminent Dutch lawyer who devised globally respected guidelines saying nations must apologise for past wrongs.

Bringing them Home. Report of the National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from Their Families

Australia: Howard’s Aboriginal “reconciliation” pledge a cynical fraud. Three days before declaring the date of the federal election, Australian Prime Minister John Howard delivered a major speech, promising to hold a referendum to formally recognise the Aboriginal population by including a “statement of reconciliation” in the preamble to the country’s constitution. (It defies belief that a nation has to go and vote in a referendum to decide whether it believes in human rights for its indigenous peoples and whether the nation can love them for what they are!!!!)

Howard’s announcement is a wretched and cynical maneuver on the part of a beleaguered government that faces defeat at the November 24 poll. The prime minister bears direct responsibility for the appalling level of poverty, social deprivation, and poor health afflicting Aboriginal people. Nevertheless he is once again seeking to exploit these very conditions for his own electoral purposes. Howard claimed he wanted to construct a “national consensus” for reconciliation. In fact, he has become aware of the extent of anger felt by wide layers of ordinary people at the sufferings of the indigenous population and is trying to tap it for his own sordid ends.

The well documented history of aboriginal dispossession.

The European Network for Indigenous Australian Rights (ENIAR)

Links to some Indigenous organisations

Is Australia the last bastion of racism in the west?

Report reveals a rising tide of racism in Australia:
Ethnic and Indigenous communities are turning inward in response to a rising tidemark of harassment and abuse according to a new report on racism in Australia. The study, undertaken by UTS Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences researchers Julie Browning and Professor Andrew Jakubowicz, is based on detailed reports and interviews with a range of Indigenous and ethnic community organisations in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

The Rise of Islamophobia in "White Australia"
Islamophobia in Australia is not something suddenly appeared over the horizon because of the weather. To the contrary, racism against Muslims has always been part of Australia’s psyche. Whether it is against neighbouring Indonesia, Malaysia or Muslim Australians; the pall of racism is permanently hovering over Australia. Government policies, including the criminal war against Iraq and the introduction of the so-called “anti-terrorism” laws have legitimised racism against Arab and Muslim Australians.
Australia cricket accused of 'organised' racism

Amnesty International has accused Australia of violating the 1951 UN Refugee Convention. The human rights group based its accusation on Australian troops boarding a Norwegian vessel carrying asylum seekers to stop it reaching the nearest port and the government proposal to introduce retroactive legislation to allow the ship be forced out of its waters.

Howard's Falkland War. PM John Howard's action against Norwegian freighter & asylum seekers amounts to an act of war, a breach of maritime law &, ultimately, a cynical re-election ploy.

Poll: 75% disagree with Howard and say Australia is racist:

UN Concerned about Racism in Australia:
In its concluding comments released on 11 March 2005, the Un Committee on the Elimination of racial discrimination, spoke about its serious concerns on the abolishment of ATSIC, the practical barriers Indigenous people face in obtaining native title claims, the continuing high rates of over-representation of Indigenous people in prisons and the extreme inequities between Indigenous people and others in the areas of employment, housing, health education and income. The committee called on the government to work towards a meaningful reconciliation and to properly address the issues of the stolen generation.

Portrayal of Muslims 'tainted by racism'
THE Australian media's coverage of Muslims and Arabs is tainted with a racism that portrays them as "tricky, sleazy, sexual and untrustworthy", according to one of the country's most experienced journalists.Muslims are portrayed as uniformly violent, oppressors of women, and members of a global conspiracy opposed to Australian values, said Peter Manning, former head of ABC News, now Adjunct Professor of Journalism at Sydney's University of Technology. He said that the words "Arab" or "Muslim" were associated with terrorism in 89 per cent of articles that appeared in Sydney's two major newspapers in the year after September 11, 2001.

Australia 'racist, sexist, deeply flawed'
Sydney is racist, sexist and backward, according to a British newspaper columnist.The columnists writes that the events of the past week or so - Dean Jones labelling a Muslim a terrorist and Mel Gibson unleashing an anti-Semitic tirade - have done nothing to dispel Britain's perception of Australia as a nation of Sir Les Pattersons. Evening Standard writer Hannah Pool criticised Australia as homogenous and its national mood as smug.

UN blasts Australia over asylum ship. UN Secretary-general Kofi Annan criticised Australia for its plan to send migrants stranded on a ship off remote Christmas island to New Zealand and the Pacific republic of Nauru. "It's not an ideal situation, and I feel for the refugees who are on this ship, in the heat, in containers," said Annan in Durban, South Africa.

Australia rejects UN racism report: A BBC report. The Australian federal government has dismissed a United Nations report on racial discrimination against Aborigines, calling it unbalanced and inaccurate. A UN committee on the elimination of racial discrimination published a report on Friday criticising Australia for failing to override mandatory sentencing laws in effect in Western Australia and the Northern Territory.

Muslims the new bogeymen of racist Australia, says survey.
Australian Muslims have surpassed Asians as one of the country's most marginalised religious and ethnic groups, research indicates. More than any other cultural or ethnic group, Muslims and people from the Middle East are thought to be unable to fit into Australia, with more than half of Australians preferring their relatives did not to marry into a Muslim family.

Australia is now a damaged and divided land: These days, television footage of young children and pregnant women behind razor wire in detention centers is as familiar an image of Australia as its golden surf beaches. This sullying of the "lucky country's" image has come about on the watch of the man who has been its Prime Minister for the past eight years - John Howard.

Vivid memories of a 'stolen generation'. A BBC report.
Lorna Cubillo has vivid memories of the day she was taken from her mother. She was just seven when government authorities put her in a truck lined with barbed wire and took her hundreds of miles away.

Is Australia’s former PM John Howard (1996-2007) a warmongering racist?

Link to a posting I made in 2003 and 2004: Australia Under attack.

Journalist and political commentator Philip Adams asks: “Is Howard a bigot? His support of apartheid in South Africa, his long-term indifference to the issues of Aboriginal Australia, his exploitation of the refugee issue and his on-the-record hostility to Asian immigration would suggest so. Or is he a main-chancer, a cunning manipulator of other people’s fears and racism? If the latter, isn’t that morally worse? That’s why I’m not shedding tears at Howard’s departure.”

Australias former Prime Minister Malcom Fraser (1975-1983) from Howards own Liberal party has lambasted Howard for his racist and discriminatory policies.

Muslims want Australian PM to stop inciting hatred:

Howard's racist ASIO raids who's next?
A woman told the November 1 Illawarra Mercury that she has stopped wearing her traditional hijab headscarf after suffering five years of taunts and abuse. She is not alone. Many Muslim and Arab Australians are bracing for an escalation of racist abuse and harassment following ASIO and Australian Federal Police (AFP) raids on the homes of Indonesian Australians at the end of October.

Howard should be tried for war crimes says former colleague:
Former Liberal Party federal president John Valder says Prime Minister John Howard should be tried and punished for war crimes over Australia's involvement in the Iraq conflict.

Australian prime minister gives the nod to anti-Muslim racism
Last week Reverend Fred Nile, leader of the rightwing Christian Democratic Party, issued an inflammatory call for the New South Wales state government to ban Muslim women from wearing the chador, the head-to-toe Islamic veil, in public. The coverings, he declared, were a “perfect disguise for terrorists” and could be used to “conceal both weapons and explosives”, citing the recent siege by Chechen separatists in a Moscow theatre.

Exporting Howard's Racism... The very first action of John W Howard's National-Liberal Party government, when elected in 1996 , was to attack the hard won rights of Australia's First Peoples. After their first Cabinet meeting in, the National-Liberal Party coalition came our with all guns firing on the most disadvantaged group of people in Australia. It was a shameful act then, and it remains shameful today. During the ensuing debate about amending the 1993 Native Title Act, the Howard-lead charge against the rights of indigenous Australian citizens saw the Prime Minister cutting a ridiculous figure when he appeared at the Longreach Stockman's Hall of Fame dressed as a grazier (white farmer).

JOHN PILGER: Australia’s racist shame
Under Howard and Ruddock, Australia has built its own Gulag in the Pacific, imprisoning behind razor wire Iraqis and others fleeing dictatorships. These innocent people are held in some of the most isolated places on earth, including Manus Island and Nauru. They include children.

Howard’s racist divide and rule:
The Howard Government's support for a proposal to outlaw the wearing of traditional Muslim clothing is an incitement to racial and religious hatred. Racism has been a central plank of the Howard Government's political platform from the time of its election in 1996, be it racist slurs against Indigenous Australians, the demonising and dehumanising of asylum seekers or its paternalistic arrogance toward Australia's Asia-Pacific neighbours. Howard Reckless as Australia Reels with

Racism by Philip Addams Not for the first time John Howard is being widely described as a racist. Back in 1988, when he detonated the immigration debate, his apologists were defending him from that charge.

Has former PM John Howard (1996-2007) made Australia a terrorist target

PM Howard's party uses racist pamphlet scam in 2007 election
2007 Australian Federal race scandal.

Govt unswayed by 'Al Qaeda' threat
The Federal Government says it will not be swayed by threats from a group claiming to be the European arm of Al Qaeda, which has threatened Australia with attacks if its troops are not pulled out of Iraq. A statement signed by "Islamic Tawhid Group, The Al Qaeda organisation, Europe" and posted on a website says it would attack with "columns of rigged cars" if the demand was not met. "Australian people, if your Government refuses to withdraw and respond to us we will shake the ground beneath your feet as we did in Indonesia and columns of rigged cars will not stop," it said.

Australia will be terrorist target for years: ASIOAustralia will remain a terrorist target for several years to come, the nation's top spy agency said today.

War in Iraq a crime, say legal experts. KUALA LUMPUR: Leaders of the United States, Britain and Australia are criminals who have committed crimes against humanity and should be hauled up and tried for war crimes, according to two law professors.
Islamophobia Watch:

Islamophobia Watch: Australia’s entry

Dissent Isn’t Taken Lightly Down Under
Historian Michael Foley said during times of war pacifists often get mugged. As a nonviolent activist working to end the war in Iraq and the corporate war profiteering that comes with it, September 2005 has been the most surreal time of my life and I definitely feel like I got mugged by Australian Attorney General Phillip Ruddock and the Australian government.

Police State in Australia Secrets of Howard's terror plan. TheFederal Government's tough new anti-terrorism laws go much further than previously stated, according to a draft copy of the Bill published yesterday on the ACT Government's website.Sweeping shoot-to-kill powers and strict secrecy provisions will further spook civil libertarians, who regard the new laws as draconian.

Father of 2002 Bali victim blames foreign policy
The father of a victim of the 2002 Bali bombings has blamed the foreign policy of Australia and its allies for the latest terrorist attack on the Indonesian island.

A Nazi in the Queensland-Liberal Coalition National Party.
QUEENSLAND Opposition Leader Lawrence Springborg has called on a National Party state election candidate linked with Australian Nazis to disprove the allegations or face disendorsement.

Australian Iraq policy under fire. BBC report.
Several Australian former diplomats and defence chiefs have accused the government of misleading Australia over the reasons for going to war in Iraq. In an open letter, the 43 signatories said the decision was based on false assumptions and deception.

Howard has put Australia at greatest-ever risk: former PM Hawke
Opposition Leader Mark Latham's pledge to bring Australian troops home from Iraq by Christmas if elected was right, former Labor prime minister Bob Hawke said today, adding that no prime minister has ever put this country at greater risk.

Peter Terry


Sunday, November 11, 2007