53 Comments

Racial vilification? What do you think?

Racism is something I try to steer clear of, for obvious reasons.  I just do not want it impacting my or my family’s life.

Rarely has racism or bigotry visited this web site: I have been really pleased it hasn’t.

Recently I was surprised to find teamoyeniyi_com listed as a referrer site.  A little investigation revealed it is a “null referrer”, i.e. a site linking to my site wants to hide their URL from me.  Why might that be, do you think?  I wondered too!

I consulted one of my cyber aficionados, Raincoaster, who advised:

Raincoaster

Raincoaster’s thoughts

I was getting a few visits from this referrer, but nothing out of the ordinary and no comments, so I ignored the whole thing. Raincoaster and I continued our conversation:

Conversion

There is hope!

Nothing further transpired, until the other day.  The following comment arrived on my article about Australia’s Refugee Intake Budget for 2012.  Rather off-topic for the article, I thought.  Sadly, the IP address is clearly Australian.  Of course, that does NOT mean the writer of the comment is Australian, for he/she could be visiting here or be routing his/her IP address.

Tracing the IP address revealed a Sydney location.  At least this person is not, thankfully, my next door neighbour!

IP Trace

IP Trace Results

Another IP locator provided two answers – could be Sydney, could be Canberra. Either way, fairly conclusively Australian.  This saddened me.

My main concern when considering should I publish this or not was, of course, our children.  They will read this article.  I don’t want them to be hurt by this person’s perspective on life, yet on the other hand, they need to know this IS how a minority of people actually think.

Apologies to my followers of faith, including my husband.  In this paragraph I am drawing a comparison which I am sure you will understand.  Most readers will know my perspective on racism is, in some ways, similar to my perspective on religion, in that in both cases we aren’t born believing in anything, whether it be Gods or races.  We are, effectively, “trained” by our parents, our wider family and our community.

Some of us move away from the beliefs instilled in us by others and form our own beliefs.  Others clearly do not.

This is what Bob Smith (his real name, do you think?) had to say.

Having been to Britain, France, Switzerland, Germany and other ‘refugee desitantion nations’ on numerous occasions I can state categrically that,  where ever black Africans have gone to enmass has resulted in all those countries ending up acquiring huge social problems. In every one of the aforementioned the unemployment rates of black Africans is at least 80%. With respect to serious serious crimes, such as murder, sexual assult and drug dealings black Africans account for the majority of offenders in every category, in every country, which is made worse because in none of these countries do their percentage of the populations exceed 7.5%.

Quite clearly, then if black Africans hadn’t been allowed to enter these lands serious criminal activity would be far less. Sadly, bleeding-heart liberals continue to ignore this reality and permit more black Africans into their countries.

Why this is so is abundantly obvious and it’s because black Africans are genetically inferior to Caucasians, east Asiatics and those from the Subcontinent. And to pretent otherwise is absurd.

Much of sub-Saharan Africa is rich in resources, which equates to wealth. But Africans are too stupid and too lazy to  capitalize on their fortunes. Hence we have them flooding into Western nations which have to pay to carry them.

Apart from the fact it might be wise to proof read such a long comment in order to look a little more professional, I do wonder about some of the terminology used.  Australians generally tend not to use the terms “east Asiatics” and “Subcontinent”.  I am not sure who does.  Any suggestions?

I remember Australia having a rather serious crime problem with the Triads, not to mention tendrils of the Mafia, at various points in time.

I’m surprised Mr Smith didn’t mention anything about black Americans, who, of course, are the same gene pool as my family.

I am not even going to bother to research statistics in an attempt to contradict Mr Smith’s figures.  During a brief google session, I found more reference to migrants from north African countries and crime than I did sub-Saharan, but I’m not here to chase up crime statistics by ethnicity.  I will point out he stresses black Africans make up a small percentage of the population of the countries he mentions, but goes on to say if this small percentage were not there, “serious criminal activity would be far less”. Far less?  Please define far less when compared to such a small percentage of the population.

I do suggest to Mr Smith that he invest in some education. Cultural Intelligence education, to be precise.  There he will find some societies are societies of collectivism and some are societies based on individualism.  Members of one type of culture have difficulty adjusting to the other.

He will also find that many African countries were forced, by their “colonial masters”, to adopt a political system that was ill-suited to their culture.  It isn’t laziness that is the problem in some cases, it is corruption.  In others it is different ethnicities having been forced to be a country when they had no desire to be so and constant friction results.

As for unemployment in new lands, people have to be able to get jobs, Mr Smith.  I know a very highly qualified accountant who had experience in the UK before coming to Australia as a skilled migrant and here he battled to get a job commensurate with his skills and experience.  Was the fact he was a black African part of the problem?  Would YOU have employed him, Mr Smith?  Please do not blame people for a problem perhaps you are contributing to.

People arrive as refugees, some born and raised in refugee camps: they have no understanding of our culture, yet we blithely expect them to “be like us” with little or no help.  You complain when they take time to fit in, to understand, to work out how you, Mr Smith, think.

I am not at all sure why Mr Smith chose to focus on African refugees on an article about Australia’s refugee budget, for in fact most of Australia’s refugees come from other locations.  I’m not sure he understands Africa is a continent and not a country.  Clearly he missed the clues I am actually a conservative, not a “bleeding-heart liberal”.

I have reported Mr Smith to the Australian Human Rights Commission for racial vilification.  Given his tone, his beliefs and the null referrer, I am concerned he may be connected to a hate group of some sort.  This may lead them to shut him and his ilk down.

What are his thoughts about black Australians, I wonder?

Thankfully, I am reminded every day that my black African husband is superior to Mr Smith.   There is one race, the human race.  There are good and bad specimens.

If you are reading this and you are Australian, please leave a comment.  Please show our children, who became permanent residents of Australia just a day ago, that Mr Smith is definitely in the minority.  Of course, if you aren’t Australian, still leave a comment! :)

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About Robyn Oyeniyi

We fought to be together as a team, we are now together as a team. Team Oyeniyi

53 comments on “Racial vilification? What do you think?

  1. I just never had understood racism. I recently received a rather perturbing comment on my Black Like Me post…sorry not trying to link just to link….but just so you can see what I mean.

    http://jobryantnz.wordpress.com/2011/06/23/black-like-me/

    It confuses me as it seems to comes from a Martin Luther king site, so I am not sure how to actually take it. Is this person pointing out how they are judged…or is it this is what they actually think ???

    I haven’t allowed the comment as yet, still figuring it out.

    “Blacks aren’t hated “for no reason.” They are hated for their crudeness and their dedication to interrupting white culture, dividing white towns, stealing white property, and their commitment to violence against whites, even elderly women and children. A whigger is even worse than a black, because he chooses to emulate them and antagonize his own kind instead.”

    • Jo, you are welcome to drop whatever links you deem appropriate. You know I love your work, even if I don’t visit too often!

      I assume the above is the comment you received? I would suggest it is a racist who has used a Martin Luther King website address when commenting. That is pretty standard USA type racial vilification. Of course, due to freedom of speech, that is exactly what they can write, perpetuating stereotypes and reinforcing negative self-images. Why do African American women spend MILLIONS on their hair every year? Why do my girls desperately want to “relax” their hair? Because they’ve been told for generations their natural hair is “un-natural”. Are they risking brain damage as a result? There is a video on this article http://teamoyeniyi.com/2013/09/28/african-hair-is-a-challenge-in-australia/ that talks about it. Another consequence of systemic racism.

  2. […] looked at me with daggers for daring to bring a black child into “her” hair salon. The nasty comments submitted to this site (thankfully few and far between) or the student doctor who clearly did not […]

  3. […] as I discovered when I made an official complaint to the Australian Human Rights Commission about racial vilification directed at my family through me. Only my husband and children can legally be offended and lodge a complaint. That hurts. […]

  4. Forgive me if this is a bit long and rambling, I am under the influence of a 40 degree day (which means it’s a wonder I’m writing at all, I am normally completely non-functional when my body is hotter on the outside than it is on the inside, which is surely unnatural) and my deep, abiding, total hatred of racism. I don’t use the word hate lightly either. I can count the number of individuals I’d say I’ve actually hated on the fingers of one hand, with fingers to spare. But there are some ideas I hate profoundly, and racism is top of the list.

    I’ve now read all of the comments too, hmm, where to start? Well, the language, ‘East Asiatics’ and ‘the subcontinent’ – you’re not a cricket person, are you Robyn? Cricket commetary is the place I hear most mention of the subcontinent these days (eg; ‘Sides from the subcontinent prefer hard, dry wickets that favour spin bowling.’ {because of the weather}), but it is a phrase I’ve heard in common usage a bit back in Britain. Also the term ‘Asian’ is used there to refer to people from the Indian Subcontinent, whereas in Australia we tend to use it to refer to people from East and South East Asia. So if ‘Asian’ means from the Indian subcontinent, how do you describe someone from, say, Taiwan? East Asian or South East Asian I suppose.

    The myths are familiar ones, but obviously they are nonsense. I was born into what was essentially a monoculture. Scotland has had many waves of immigration, but there hadn’t been one recently enough to notice. Then in the 70s quite a lot of people from Pakistan started to arrive. They are quite a large community now. This was a result of the ‘open door’ policy which began in the 50s, due to labour shortages, whereby basically Britain replaced all those 10 quid poms by allowing anyone from a Commonwealth country to settle. The majority came from India, Pakistam, Bangladesh (after the ’71 war) and the West Indies. For whatever reason, the communities tended to group together in certain cities, so in the 50s and 60s there were large West Indian communities in London, Birmingham, Bradford, Leeds, etc. Virtually none in Scotland though. Maybe it’s our climate, who knows, my point is that in the 50s and 60s, London had a substantial West Indian community, and even West Indian gangs (yardies), but then again they also had Ronnie and Reggie Kray. What they didn’t have, despite subsequent mythology, was elevated crime rates. If you’d asked anyone back then what was the most violent city in Britain, they’d have said Glasgow. The monoculture. No doubt about it. There’s an obvious reason – 300 years of rule from Westminster has made Scotland the most impoverished part of Britain. Crime is all about poverty. Less poverty, less crime. It’s such a direct relationship that to a statistician it requires no other factor to explain crime levels anywhere (apart from the obvious one, gun laws in America, which turn what would be common assaults elsewhere into murders).

    The comment at the top from Matthew states the scientific position accurately. We humans are a young species, extraordinarily young, homo sapiens have been around for only 1-200,000 years. But that alone is insufficient to account for our lack of genetic diversity. Current thinking is that since we evolved into sapiens, but before we left Africa, our population was at one point reduced to no more than about 2000 individuals, perhaps as little as a few hundred. That is pretty similar to the position of certain endangered species now, and biologists tend to get a bit concerned about whether that represents sufficient genetic diversity to re-start the species. So what? Well, we nearly went extinct, but that’s why we are all so closely related.

    Race is absolutely a construct, based on observation. The discovery of DNA and the subsequent mapping of the human genome has revealed that our previous theories based on observation had led us extremely wide of the mark. This can happen when your ‘scientific’ theory lacks proper evidence and is based mainly on guesswork. I suspect something similar is about to happen to psychology and psychiatry, as neuro-science progresses by leaps and bounds and we gain more and more knowledge about how the brain really works.

    Most of the comments are broadly in agreement with each other, and I won’t be the exception, but a couple of things emerged that not everyone agreed on – 1. racism and religion – if I understand you correctly you are not saying religion is racist (some religious people are racist, some are anti-racist), but rather that racism is religious, in the sense that it’s perpetuated by the same methods as religion. I’d have to agree. It is an element in a value system, and as with most value systems it’s inculcated by the parents and the society. 2. To engage or not to engage? I can’t say I’m consistent on that myself. Sometimes I can’t help myself, but it invariably proves futile. Here there is another similarity with religion – it’s not based on reasoning, so it’s not susceptible to reason. You get nowhere. I do agree with your decision to report, for a couple of reasons.

    Firstly, as you have pointed out, there is an absolute right to freedom of speech in the US, but that has never been the case in any Westminster system country of which I’m aware. There is a law against that sort of thing in Australia, and I think it’s right that there should be. UK law takes a harder line if anything. If it’s just an isolated person they may be relatively harmless, but if there is any kind of organisation behind it, then I’m with Richard on the whole ‘no platform for fascists’ stance. Freedom of speech does not extend to hate speech. Nor should it.

    Secondly, further to my last point, what defines fascism? You say you’re a conservative Robyn, and I’m an old lefty. That’s ok, I respect an honest conservative. It’s a respectable position. Walid Ali is a good example of a philosophical conservative. He was featured on ‘Big Ideas’ talking abot it. His definition is similar to mine. Conservatives are naturally resistant to change, but if the societal mood, the ‘zeitgheist,’ insists on change, the conservative will eventually come around to supporting the status quo ante. And since the neo-liberal (Americans would say neo-con) takeover of the traditional conservative parties, true conservatives have increasingly found themselves occupying common ground with the left. I myself would have no problem, for instance, in taking to the streets in support of Malcolm Fraser’s refugee policy. Real conservatives in the British Tory party fought a rearguard action against Margaret Thatcher, because they considered her a dangerous radical (opposite of conservative) with her economic deregulation and dismantling of the welfare state. John Howard is often given as an example of a conservative, but he was only socially conservative, economically he was a Thatcherite radical. And he wasn’t above appealing to racist sentiment either, as has been mentioned.

    What about fascists? Well, they’re clearly radical, so would be opposed by a conservative like Winston Churchill. But I come from ‘Red’ Clydeside where, as a young man, I was politically educated by the revolutionary left. They had a definition of ‘fascist’ which explained why it’s so insidious and why it must never be allowed a platform – it is a blend racism and xenophobia, plus left wing economic policies to make it populist. Very dangerous. The Scottish left’s attitude was, “They steal our clothes! Therefore it is for us to deal with them. They only understand one language, so fair enough, we’ll drive them off the streets. If the German left in the 30s hadn’t been infected with dangerous, pacifistic notions, the Nazis would never have got off the ground!” As a consequence of this, there are no fascist parties or organisations in Scotland. The BNP (British Nationalist Party) tried to hold a demo last year. They got a turnout of a couple of dozen, most of whom they’d brought with them from England. The Scottish Police weren’t amused, as they had to cancel weekend leave to protect this small group from the thousands of counter-demonstrators who turned out to confront them.

    I like that. I want to live in a country like that. Which is why, when Pauline Hanson came to Melbourne, I went along to the demo at the Hawthorn Town Hall. But many Australians seem to have little idea of how to organise a demo or a picket line. I took a standard British precaution and took a walk around the whole block before joining. Looking for all the ways in and out. On route I spotted the (to me) obvious back entrance where, if I was planning it, I’d have brought her in. There were about 1500-2000 protestors at the front of the Town Hall, but none at the back. So I went to the stewards, told them what I’d found and said, “Give me a couple of dozen guys, and I’ll go and block it.” I asked if there were any former rugby players, because I wanted people who knew how to form a scrum. I got them and we did as I said, and as soon as we got there the cops, who had only left one guy watching the entrance, so as not to draw attention, suddenly came running from everywhere (so I was right! Bwahahaha!!!), but the passage was narrow and they couldn’t shift us. They tried bringing a few people through, but only one or two made it, and, well, you know the expression, “dragged through a hedge backwards?”

    So the commander made the decision that they couldn’t guarantee Hanson’s safety, and called it off. Despite all the publicity surrounding what happened out front (it was described as a ‘riot,’ but what actually happened was, due to failed police coms, a mounted seargent decided, unauthorised, to ride his squad through the crowd. I know it was unauthorised because from my vantage point I saw the commander’s explosive reaction when he heard about it), it was my small band out the back who actually succeeded in denying her a platform in Melbourne that day. As far as I am aware, she has never returned. I quickly identified the natural leader amongst the cops and we kept up a dialogue throughout, so there was no serious violence and no arrests. We agreed to enforce footy rules on both sides – bit of push and shove, the old hip and shoulder, fine. No gouging, scratching, biting, kicking or striking. It worked well. So for those who are Hanson supporters, or just think freedom of speech trumps all other considerations, you can blame me for that one. And I’m bloody well proud of it! Cheek of the woman, thinking she could bring her hatred to my town! Well, not on my watch!

    • You are forgiven for being long and rambly! It was a terrible night, wasn’t it?

      Your life experiences always astound me. Have you considered writing a book? Don’t now tell me you have already and you are a massive celebrity – I find I am VERY uneducated on the topic of celebrities. I commented to someone today I converse with people on the web then find out about 6 months later they are a celebrity. Oh well!

      You are correct in your understanding of my using racism and religion together in the way I did. I did reword that part from the original, as I had upset someone who I consider to be a great person and as a Christian he had felt upset at my original wording. The illustration was important to me, so while I re-worded it, I didn’t remove it. I meant no harm, other than to express my belief that both religion and racism are things we learn from our families and community. We aren’t born with these beliefs.

      Don’t talk about that Hanson woman! Horrific human! Cannot understand how anyone ever considered voting for her. Interesting that Abbott seems to be courting his own slush fund fall-out over her now. Well done. If ever there is a demonstration at any speaking engagement of mine, I want you on my side, please! :D

      Thank you for your well constructed comment, Derek. I do so enjoy reading your work!

      • I’d be happy to take a look at any arrangements of that kind for you. Where I come from, demos, strikes, etc are what we do best. When I was a kid, we were friends with an old guy in his 80s called John Gillespie, who lived across the lane. He claimed to have started more strikes on Clydeside than any man, alive or dead. He had some great stories I can tell you. Every lunchtime he’d shuffle off to the pub opposite the shipyard, where all the old union hands and shop stewards would buy him a whisky. He explained how it worked – he’d wait until he had them all lined up along the bar, then drink them all as quickly as possible and take off for home before his legs went.

        No, I’m not a celebrity writer, but I’m flattered you found the idea conceivable. Of course it’s crossed my mind, got an unfinished novel on the hard drive, all that, but in recent years I’ve been more focused on music. In the last year or so progress there has been slow, so I’ve had more time to spend on my other two things. That’s the central dilemma of my existence – I have three things, music, writing and politics. I feel as though I’ve spent most of my life trying to choose between them, or to figure out ways I can pursue all three.

        The possibility of an independent Scotland has inspired me to get politically involved again. I have no political ambitions in Australia, I’d have to renounce my other citizenship, and I’m not about to do that. Scotland is another matter though. Even so, that doesn’t stop me from wanting to get my own way on certain issues in Australia, refugee policy for example, even without standing for office. That’s why I was sure to point out on my ‘about’ page in my blog that I reserve the right to be fully involved in the domestic political debates of both countries.

        Got to say something on the other thread now :-)

      • Good for you re the involvement. We ALL should be involved and voice our opinions and our objectives for our country. Otherwise we too easily end up with what we currently have!

      • Just one more thing I forgot, on the original subject, this ‘Bob Smith’ and the ideas he is peddling – many people know they are offensive, but don’t know how to explain the obvious disparities in wealth, development, technology, etc. that exist in our world. The real answers can be found in ‘Guns, Germs and Steel,’ by Jared Diamond.

      • I will look for that book – do you know if it is in bookshops now? I think John would like to read it too.

        Local library may have it.

        Thanks for the tip!

      • It was pretty new when I got it, but that was probably 10 years ago. Library should have it, if not at your local one, inter-library lending’s the way to go. Or Amazon of course.

  5. [...] Racial vilification? What do you think? (teamoyeniyi.com) Spread the word:FacebookTweet ThisShare on TumblrMoreEmailPrintDiggLike this:Like7 bloggers like this. Read more from Mrs O, Our New Life Australia, bigotry, children, Cupcake, racism ← Pain and writing are not good house-mates, so here is a cheat! A bargain buy of shoes! → 32 Comments Post a comment [...]

  6. [...] would consider hate speech is common in parts of the USA.  Even here in Australia I have received bad comments, but here we can and did lodge a complaint with the [...]

  7. [...] have had too calls from the Australia Human Rights Commission in relation to my complaint and I am still waiting for a call from the school’s ESL co-ordinator (that is a whole other [...]

  8. There is no room or place for any form of bigotry, or hate talk, or anything of that kind – not ever. As you say. humans are one.

    That’s true scientifically also – genetically, we’re all so close that if we were dogs, we’d all be the same breed. In fact, this extreme closeness for humans is absolutely unique in biology. And yet, it is an indictment of the human condition that some people (some! – mercifully not all) always manage to intellectualise their way into hate, and if it isn’t to do with some supposed physical difference then it’s pinned on ideology, or religion, or some other difference. A pity.

    I’ve said it before, as you know – but it deserves repeating here. Kindness, tolerance and reason show us a way out of the morass. Kindness, particularly. It’s a virtue. That’s all we have to do, and wouldn’t the world be a better place? This may sound fatuous, given the complexities of the human condition – a history filled with the hard realities of these attitudes with which, as a historian, I am rather too familiar – but being kind and tolerant is such a simple thing to do.

    • I have no idea, Matthew, why kindness and tolerance are so hard for humans to achieve. Is it materialism? Is it the old “they are not like us” syndrome? There are 7 billion of us on this planet – is it because there are too many of us, fighting for resources? I don’t believe that, as it seems humans have ALWAYS fought! As a historian, you would know that better than I.

      All I know is, it is sad.

  9. Mr. Smith sounds like a complete idiot. I agree that there is one race, the human race. If only more people could grasp that concept.

  10. Wise words from Richard Wiseman… and you said it all when you said there is only one race the HUMAN race, Robyn… Love and peace to all I say..

    • Thank you Helen. :)

      It is always difficult to know the right action to take. Each of us can only follow our hearts, I guess.

      • I think you were absolutely right to report.. I hope something is done.. with Freedom comes Responsibility.. If he is free to make those remarks then he must also take responsibilityy for them

      • Legally in Australia he is NOT free to make those remarks. I know in some countries he is, but not here. Had the writer had a USA IP address, I would have probably ignored it, as I know the USA Freedom of Speech allows a lot we would not. But this is a comment made in Australia, so my stance is different.

  11. I’m not really given to hate and tell my children that the word hate is a strong word and should be used carefully. However I hate racists and I hate Nazis. This guy comes under my maxim of ‘Never argue with idiots it’s a waste of time.’ It’s not worth replying to any remarks by people like that. Firstly they get off on making you feel threatened and they get a kick out of telling you what they think; bit like the Klu Klux Klan who hide their faces and commit crimes – cowards every one. Secondly you aren’t going to convince any of these ignorant SOB’s that they are narrow minded, un evolved, culturally backwards, moronic cave men with death camp guard mentalities and in this way are criminals in all civilized countries. I’d take the step of having a no platform for fascists/ racists rule and ban their comments, like all media do with people like that; they don’t have a right to free speech because they abuse it. But if you do want to reply it might be an idea to mention to Mr Smith that it was only 200 years ago that everywhere Europeans went there was a definite increase in murder, rape, theft, environmental destruction and genocide. Europe and it’s imperial settlers are also the reason why countries like Africa are a mess; Europeans caused the problems in Africa through their greed and criminality. Anyway let’s celebrate the fact that Nazi scum are a minority and race laws mean that these people are criminals and can be treated as such.

    • Thank you Richard, especially for this: “Europe and it’s imperial settlers are also the reason why countries like Africa are a mess; Europeans caused the problems in Africa through their greed and criminality.” I feel the same, but didn’t want to come out and directly say it.

      I certainly never feel threatened, at least not in Australia. I think I may have found the KKK threatening.

      As I said in response to another comment, yes, we can ignore – but I personally am a believer than ignoring such things just allows those things to flourish. Look what has happened in parts of Europe. I am reminded of that young Greek politician, so far right I’m surprised he hasn’t fallen off the edge of the earth, who felt it OK to assault a woman on national television. This was last month. I understand your perspective and Jenna agrees with you. I am sure you are not the only two! :) Ignoring them just doesn’t work for me.

      Agree 100% that it is wonderful their actions are illegal!

  12. Thank you all for your valuable comments. Just an update to advise the Australian Human Rights Commission have taken what action they can given the contact details I was able to provide and will advise me of the outcome.

  13. I hate to say this, but he sounds like an old man. He uses terms my grandfather (who lets his own backwards racial bigotry shine through from time to time) uses; “black African,” for example, though I don’t think that’s what he means when he says it. I think he just means “black” in general.

    Unfortunately, there are still many people from that generation that view the world this way. It is sad that they never changed with the times.

    • You could be right about the age thing. I never thought of that, being a little on the “mature” side myself. Admittedly it took science a while to come onboard and disprove old beliefs.

  14. I’m sorry to hear that you have been the target of a hater. It is always sad to see how many people are so willing to tear down others on the internet compared to the number who are bold enough to share and create.

    I believe that having a narrative is an important part of the psyche of many people. They need to have an external reason for why their personal situation is the way that it is. If anyone says or does anything that threatens that narrative then they will react as if it was a personal attack, as to remove their narrative will reveal them as a fraud.

    Sadly the narrative of “the reason I’m down on my luck is because another race has taken my jobs/turned my community into a horrible place/committed lots of crime” seems to be common.

    If anything I’d feel sorry for the person who posted that comment on your blog. To strike out in such a manner and to try and defend such an absurd notion as theirs must be like trying to build a house of cards in a hurricane.

    • You could be right, Lemuel. Certainly racism would fit such a narrative well, but I believe in that case it would merely be extending the use of a belief they already have, if you see what I mean.

      Yes, I do feel sorry for such people because I believe they actually miss out on a lot of life!

      I have always thought that anyone who claims to be superior in such a way is actually trying to hide their inferiority. Certainly every one of us is superior to others in some way BUT we are also inferior to others in other ways. For example, I have superior skills in some areas of endeavour, but can I paint? No. Can I write music? No. So my skills in those areas are definitely inferior to many other people! Does that make me an inferior person? Definitely not!

      Humans have a tendancy to confuse equality (neither superiority or inferiority) with “sameness” or “being like us”. We do not have to be the same to be equal, as I wrote a couple of months ago: http://teamoyeniyi.com/2012/03/31/equality-does-not-mean-sameness/

      Let’s keep that hurricane blowing!

  15. Hi Robyn

    I’m sorry that you & yours have been the target of this horrible attack. I have seen similar tripe from some people on Twitter that I have had dealings with and find it quite unacceptable that some people just sit by and let this sort thing go on. Good on you for doing something about it.

    I would say that it is a minority that participate in this sort of thing in Australia, at least that is what I have seen and heard.

    Not sure what the answer is to this. It is certainly something that is an issue that needs to be dealt with, especially as I suspect that there are those in society that perhaps think these sorts of things but are not as outspoken ie is this a more deeper issue in our society? I don’t know the answer to that.

    Re the issue on the analogy drawn, I’m not sure I understand what you are saying. I understand how religion shapes some peoples belief system and ethos from an early age, but I don’t understand how that is similar to or what that has to do with racism. Are you saying that some people’s belief’s or “religion” is actually being racist? I’d be interested to know your thoughts.

    All in all, I appreciated your article and hope that it has impacted others in a positive way too.

    Regards

    Alex

    • Hi Alex,

      I am sorry you had trouble getting your comment up!

      I agree totally that it is the minority in Australia. We have many great people and organisations who deplor such behaviour and let us hope it stays that way.

      I am sorry my analogy made you uncomfortable. What I am trying to say is of all the things I can think of that we believe or don’t believe in our lives, those two are something we learn from our communities and families that can stay with us for life. One arguably good, one arguably bad. Remember believing faithfully in Father Christmas? Eventually someone told us he really didn’t stop off and leave the presents, but we are usually young enough to adjust our belief system, PLUS it is usually a parent or someone in our wider community (a school friend, perhaps).

      We can say racism is just ignorance, but this belief that one “race” is superior to another is something children learn “on their mother’s knee” and can stay with them for life, irrespective of any proof that may be presented against that belief. Now, I am an atheist, which I know you may not understand, but to an atheist the belief in religion (any of them, I’m not picking on any one in particular) is gained in the same way. I wasn’t saying a belief in religion is racist, for if believers follow the teachings of their religions, most are very peaceful and do not want to harm others. My husband quotes his teaching “Do not kill what you cannot create”.

      Do I think it is an indication of a deeper problem in our society? I’m not sure. If I stick with the assessment the writer of the comment was not born and raised here, then that may indicate the person is a new Australian and may have brought his/her belief system to Australia. As several have commented and we all know, racism exists all over the world. We must ensure that those who migrate here understand in THIS country racism is not accepted. I doubt we can change this person’s long held beliefs, however we can try to ensure he/she understands some behaviours from his/her homeland are NOT acceptable here. Just like we do not accept honour killings of daughters who want to, for example, date outside their ethnicity.

      I hope I have clarified!

      Thank you for your support, Alex!

      • Quick question: “Do not kill what you cannot create.” Wouldn’t that make it ok to kill a human (which are relatively simple for us to create, I believe you’ve created four, I’ve created a couple myself), but not an animal? Or a plant? Just a thought.

      • :lol: I don’t think the intention is to translate the saying quite so literally, but I take your point!

  16. Another non-Australian here! Sorry to hear about the unpleasant (to say the least) comment. I suppose that every once in a while some idiot will leave a comment, and some of those idiots will be racists. Unless they’re a part of some organization which could do actual harm, it might be useful to ignore them — many of them just seek attention and will go away if they get none.

    Best wishes to you and your family!

    • Thank you Ivana! You are not the only follower of ours who would have taken the ignore approach. I did consider it for several days. However, in this case my concern was he is involved with a group that needs to be shut down.

      Secondly, it is not Australia’s way to ignore such activity. We have penalties for such behaviour and while I can’t personally dish out any penalty to the person, after I thought about it, I saw no good reason to ignore it. Recently one of our football clubs banned a supporter for racism, for example.

      I should stress, personally the comment doesn’t bother me. It is the example of non-acceptance I wanted to set.

      I understand the logic of ignoring it – I’m just not convinced ignoring it works with racism. I have a feeling the perpetrator then thinks “See, people agree but are too scared to say so”. I want the message to be “NO, people do NOT agree with you and are preapred to say so!”.

      Thank you for being one to stap up and say so! :)

  17. Hi Robyn, welcome to Australia, and I’m sorry that racism was one of your experiences. Sadly there are some rabid racists, but I believe that they are in the minority. The term “subcontinent” is used a bit in Australia, but is definitely more widely used in the UK as I understand it.

    You might also be interested in the antibogan website who out racists publicly and in some instances write to the racist’s employers. They’re doing a tough and impressive job. (http://theantibogan.wordpress.com/)

    Welcome again.

  18. There has always been a latent strand of almost casual racism in Australia, but John Howard’s use of race as an electoral weapon legitimised it, leading to more blatant expressions of racist views under the guise of freedom of speech. The railings of Howard and some shock jocks in the media against political correctness served to reinforce the message that treating all comers with respect was somehow an attack on our freedoms. Indigenous Australians as well as newcomers have suffered as a result. Sadly, I think it will take a long time to return the racist genie to the bottle Howard unstoppered.

    That said, I’m not sure that I agree with Jenna that it is better to ignore the ignorant rantings of such people. Perhaps that is the best course if it is not sustained abuse. If they get no reaction they could retreat under their logs again. On the other hand, if an individual or group can be identified, recourse to legal redress could help discourage others and reduce the incidence of this vile bullying.

    Very best wishes to you and your lovely family who are an adornment to the Australian community.

    • Such a lovely compliment, Agnes, thank you. I see you noticed Jenna’s preferred approach. I see her point, but when it comes to racism, I’m not so sure ignoring it is helpful.

      I am concerned the writer may be connected to a group, which is why I reported it to the AHRC. We take action when it happens on the football field: I think it is right to extend that to all walks of life.

  19. Robyn, agree with the previous comments that unfortunately racists are found in all countries. This is why it is so important for our Leaders, from all Parties, to take a strong ethical position on racism and demonising of “the other” such as refugees. Malcolm Fraser has shown great leadership on these issues, Howard unfortunately did not.
    I agree with you about the language used eg “subcontinent, East Asiatics”. These terms are not commonly used in Australia in my experience (I teach English as a Second Language).
    They are used in the UK and possibly northern Europe. There is also some clumsiness about the sentence structure which makes me wonder if it is written by a non-native speaker.
    Either way, the sentiments are pure racism, abhorrent and appalling and we should all stand up and oppose these racist views which are clearly unacceptable.

    • Thank you very much Marian. It has been suggested we should ignore such behaviour, and in some respects that may be correct, however I personally feel ignoring it allows it to flourish.

      Glad to hear you found the phrasing untypical of Australian English.

      Yes,, I agree prejudice exists around the world and racists are found everywhere. Remember that song “What we need is a great big melting pot..” I loved that song.

  20. Obviously the author of that piece is operating from a position of ignorance and bigotry. He has accepted the myth of multiraces and selected the colors of white and black to contrast his biased beliefs. I wonder if he realizes that no so-called caucasians existed prior to 1800? His statements are devoid of facts or empirical information. He even treats Africa as if it was a country, so what can one assume from that bit of ignorance. If you and anyone is interested in learning about race especially in America, I invite you to read AMERICA’S RACE PROBLEM: A Practical Guide to Understanding Race in America. It should be available in most libraries.

    • Thank you for the recommendation Paul. I will get the book, but probably when life has settled a little. We are in the throes of packing and moving right now. I do have a reasonable understanding as I have done research in the past. Certainly the topic is one I want the children to have an understanding of.

      My main concern, as I said to Lisa, is that this was written by someone based in Australia. We are a very multi-cultural country and yes, some people from African countries have made their home here, many arrived as highly qualified skilled migrants.

      Like you, I am a believer that ignoring such things is not the way to go, we must speak up.

      Thank you for your support, Paul.

  21. Sorry I’m not Australian, but you will never stop bigots. I take people as I find them green, black or blue regardelsss of colour and religion. However, If they upset me, I will treat them the same as my fellow countrymen, and take NO prisoners regardless of all the PC claptrap the UK spews out. Everyone is equal. I do not believe in positive discrimination this only creates problems. I do not make allowances because of someones skin colour. To me this is true equality.

    I can’t even begin to imagine what it must be like being black in a predominately white society. But if you are true to yourself, and are yourself, people such as myself will love you for who you are. :)

    I am a people person, and your family are lovely genuine people. Don’t let the bastards grind you down Robyn, they are really not worth it!

    • You are always welcome, Carole, Australian or not! It was way to late for many Aussies to be awake when I finally hit the publish button!

      Don’t worry, I’m not letting anyone grind us down!

      As I have said before, if we ignore such things, in my view that lack of action lets them grow quietly in the dark. We don’t tolerate racial stuff on the football field here, so I’ll be damned if I will tolerate it on our web site.

      Talk about it, show what is happening, is my view.

  22. Robyn, I too have been referred by some really racist sites. They did not hide their URLs so I was able to follow up. The material I found on those blogs was so absurdly racist that I didn’t stick around long (nor could I take them that seriously). I think any time you write about anything pertaining to race, the crazies will come running. Unavoidable. (And, no I don’t think anyone who disagrees with me is crazy, but sometimes the opinions are so out there that the description fits. )

    That said, Mr. Smith deserves to be taken with a huge grain of salt; he undercuts everything he says about Africans with his own weak arguments, poor grammar and spelling. Unfortunately, it would be very naive of me to suggest that Mr. Smith is alone in his thinking. Our children will wind up reading articles like his, yes, but they will have us to help them put backward viewpoints in perspective.

    • Lisa, I have seen some of those sites in days gone by – I avoid them. I know many of those sites are based in the USA and had I received the comment from an IP address in the USA, I would have been equally disappointed in some members of the human race, but not quite so surprised. I probably would not have bothered writing about it.

      To find it was from supposedly an Australian IP address concerns me. We have very strict anti-discrimination laws here and while we are not perfect (nowhere is) if we don’t stand up and be counted we only have ourselves to blame if our laws fail us.

      I suspect the writer is an immigrant or visitor to Australia for the reasons I gave above. I really hope I am right!

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