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Some people are obnoxious

Blame racism for dislike of an obnoxious individuals

Most Australians are grateful that the whining, social disrupter and former Race Discrimination Commissioner for the Australian Human Rights Commission, Tim Soutphommasane, has had his snout removed from the taxpayers’ pocket. Mr Soutphommasane’s (Soupfortheinsane) snout can sniff out a racist under every bed in Australia. There are two things he overlooks in his unhealthy compulsion to root out and destroy (through law) wicked racists. Firstly he need only look closer to home—like his bathroom mirror for example to see a real racist. Also, what Mr Soupfortheinsane chooses to ignore is a natural condition that has existed in mankind forever and still does. As a species we humans have an antenna that picks up vibes radiated by loathsome pests and therefore we don’t like that person, the reasons are many. But colour, race, and religion are mostly irrelevant factors. It is simply the “pain in the arse” factor and for many Mr Soupfortheinsane and similar fit the bill. Racism is a defence that “pain in the arse” pests use to shift blame away from their own obnoxious character. His writing exposes the character!

Source: Melbourne University Publishing.

Why being an Australian citizen doesn’t mean others will believe you truly belong

By Tim Soutphommasane

Whiteness in Australia involves a hierarchy of belonging. It’s what explains why too often, white Anglo-Celtic and European Australians feel entitled to determine who truly counts as Australian. Whiteness, thus understood, is systemic and institutional. It’s not necessarily exercised with conscious knowledge. It’s something that operates in the background, part of the unspoken norms and unwritten rules that guide how society operates.

When Australia achieved political nationhood, in the form of Federation, it bore the racial stamp of White Australia. “Unity of race”, as declared by then attorney-general and future prime minister Alfred Deakin, “is an absolute essential to the unity of Australia.”

This vision explains the first substantive pieces of legislation passed by the new national parliament. The Pacific Island Labourers Act 1901 expelled all Pacific Islanders working in Australia. The Immigration Restriction Act 1901 served to limit non-British immigration to Australia. This was how the nation arrived.

We’ve come a long way since then. The advocates of a White Australia would have been horrified to countenance today’s society. Successive waves of immigration following the end of World War II have transformed us. Nearly half of the population is either born overseas or has a parent who was born overseas. On one estimate, about 21 per cent of Australians have a non-European background, with another 3 per cent being of Indigenous background.

Even so, the imprint of race and hate remains, if not indelible then difficult to erase. The ideal of White Australia was seminal and for all the success of Australian multiculturalism, we remain conditioned by its cultural power.

The mere mention of the words “White Australia” is enough to conjure in our minds a certain picture of nationhood and its related anxieties. The popular and cultural definition of who is authentically Australian remains, for the most part, a white European one. Whether it’s the media and the stories we are told about the nation, or the senior leadership of just about all our major institutions, pause for a moment and you get the message that the place is still run by a particular section of society, defined by its whiteness (largely male). While almost a quarter of the Australian population has a non-European or Indigenous background, only 3 per cent of the country’s chief executives have such backgrounds.

Whiteness in Australia involves a hierarchy of belonging. It’s what explains why too often, white Anglo-Celtic and European Australians feel entitled to determine who truly counts as Australian. Whiteness, thus understood, is systemic and institutional. It’s not necessarily exercised with conscious knowledge. It’s something that operates in the background, part of the unspoken norms and unwritten rules that guide how society operates.

We knew that an ‘Aussie’ meant a white Anglo-Celtic Australian, at least that’s how everyone else understood it.

Racial minorities quickly assimilate an idea of whiteness, again unconsciously or without a great deal of thought. While I was growing up, my parents were quick to impart to me that I was Australian; we had the citizenship certificates to prove it. But it was an insistence that betrayed an insecurity and aspiration, as opposed to an attained reality. We knew that an “Aussie” meant a white Anglo-Celtic Australian, at least that’s how everyone else understood it. Throughout my teenage years I wouldn’t have necessarily described myself as Australian. It was only when I spent five years studying in England, where others would describe me as Australian, that I became used to thinking of myself that way. Back at home, I was more accustomed to being referred to as an Asian.

Whiteness matters. It shapes how we talk about issues, and who has the right to talk with authority. When it’s in play, it frequently leaves racial minorities as passive players in public debates. Minorities are talked about, but infrequently seen or heard, even when the debate is about them.

When minorities do speak out, they can be made to feel that no one in power listens. Many Aboriginal Australians, for example, took umbrage with the Turnbull government’s rejection of the Uluru Statement from the Heart in 2017. The culmination of extensive dialogues with Indigenous communities, conceived by Indigenous people and conducted by the Referendum Council on constitutional recognition, the Uluru Statement proposed a guaranteed voice for Indigenous people in the form of an advisory body to parliament. It was an eloquent blueprint for Indigenous reconciliation. The government, though, summarily dismissed it, arguing that such a body would be seen as a ‘third chamber’ of parliament, which couldn’t possibly win endorsement at a referendum. The result was another abortive attempt to secure constitutional recognition of First Australians.

The voices of minorities can be aggressively policed, as well. I’ve detected this whenever I’ve taken part in public debates about race issues. It’s that old notion of Go Back to Where You Came From. Almost without fail, an opponent somewhere will resort to saying that I’ve somehow — as an Australian of Asian heritage who came here as an immigrant — displayed a lack of gratitude to the nation in offering an opinion that may challenge something about Australian society. It’s as though the right to express one’s opinion in our democracy is meant to exist for some only in theory. Some will always believe their claim to being heard is superior. To be an Australian citizen doesn’t mean that others will believe you are an equal, or believe you truly belong. It doesn’t guarantee that others will see you as really Australian.

A racialised sense of nationhood doesn’t always involve hate. When people draw lines about who is Australian and who isn’t, there can be multiple forces at play. It could merely reflect a failure of imagination or a narrowness of experience with racial diversity. Indifference and ignorance can overlap with racial hatred, but aren’t always themselves expressions of it.

Whiteness becomes an active hatred, however, when it’s channelled as anger. When anger is directed at people like Adam Goodes or Yassmin Abdel-Magied — people turned into figures of hate — it’s because some find it intolerable for an Aboriginal Australian or a person of colour to question aspects of the national identity. Hate is when an opinionated member of a minority comes to be regarded as an uppity ingrate who doesn’t know their place.

Fear is the other emotion that activates whiteness into hatred. Haters may fear they are losing the power to define the boundaries of the national identity. They may be anxious that the hierarchy of voice within Australian society may no longer be stable, that there is a decline in the authority of Anglo-Celtic or European Australia.

When people are moved to racial hatred, it transforms the way they see others. Hate crimes against a certain group can be committed by people who may have had no history of animosity towards the group.

The effects can be more insidious. Once it’s released into the ether, hate poisons trust. When Pauline Hanson infamously declared in 1996 that Australia was in danger of being “swamped by Asians”, this amounted to a direct assault on people like me and my family. The damage, though, wasn’t confined to how Hanson’s language invited others to label us “gooks” or “slopes”. The feeling of exclusion and humiliation didn’t have to come from outright abuse. Others may have refrained from racist epithets or heated rhetoric, but when they said, “Pauline has a point”, the effect was the same, if not more troubling. When I heard a line like that from family friends or teachers, it made me think twice about where they stood. It planted doubt where there wasn’t any before.

{ 9 comments… add one }
  • Honeybadger 11/02/2019, 7:52 am

    Tim seems to have a very big chip on his shoulder about ‘whities’. One gets the impression he doesn’t much like them, maybe even hates them!
    Fails to acknowledge it’s about the culture and values migrants bring. Australians don’t want to see their established way of life, fought for by their ancestors, trashed and replaced by the Yassmin’s of the world who classify islam as the “most feminist of religions”. Happy to call such rubbish out and will continue to do so particularly the PC nonsense that Tim helped promote when he was on the taxpayer teat. We’ve had enough of you Tim ferreting out white bogeymen everywhere, where there are none.

  • Albert 11/02/2019, 8:21 am

    There is something terribly wrong with the mental state of this objectionable fool. It is creatures such as he that come marching into the country from some dysfunctional foreign failure to label us racist when it is in fact he who is not only offensive but ultra racist.
    This obnoxious moron is angry because he wasn’t born white. That is really his problem; he wasn’t born white so he is going to take it out on those who were.
    I wonder how he would react to that theory?

    • Maryanne 11/02/2019, 8:33 am

      I’ve long thought the same. I think they’re resentful that they’re not white.

  • Lorraine 11/02/2019, 8:50 am

    I did not read, but Paul Murray live had a bit to say on the Soup, so I did not hurt my eyes. Again who would read such drivel, and I ask who would pay for the writings from this fool. Maryanne may have just about nailed the soup.

  • Maryanne 11/02/2019, 8:58 am

    What irritates this Anglo-Celtic white is when ethnics assert that the old Australians are just an earlier version of the ethnics. You know, the ‘we’re-all-immigrants’ theme. Wrong. The Anglo-Celts built this nation with their sweat. Our ancestors did the exploration and the surveying. They built the roads, the railways connecting the towns. They built all the infrastructure required for a clean standard of life – water reticulation systems, gasworks, power stations. They built schools and universities, hospitals, churches, police stations and courts, sporting ovals and public gardens. Up to the 70s and 80s we ran a national economy that provided us with everything we needed – and high quality too. That national economy provided jobs for the range of our people’s abilities.

    The non-whites who come into this modern country could at least show some respect for that pioneering stock. But it’s more common for them to sneer and accuse us of having no culture. I think by that they mean our cuisine was bland.

    So? Surely culture means more than spicy food! Our ‘boring’ Anglo-Saxon culture built this great country. Most of their exotic cultures are still shitholes. Why else do they want to come here?

    • Botswana O'Hooligan 11/02/2019, 10:23 am

      A great many of these fools leave their own countries because they have buggered them up so they leave and come to our country, a country no one wanted until 1788 because it was mostly an arid wilderness, a country our forebears developed into a first class place, and now the fools come here, take all the benefits, and look down their snouts at us. This joker sneers at the white Australia policy completely forgetting what happened to countries like Africa and PNG when the so called white supremists left, bloody chaos.

  • Greg 11/02/2019, 10:12 am

    Poor old complex-ridden Tim. Filled with hatred for white people solely because he feels inferior, and tries to pass it of as some academic theory that we are all supposed to agree with. He is a sad individual.

    • LBLoveday 11/02/2019, 11:00 am

      Greg wrote: “..he feels inferior”. For once Soupspoon gets it right – he is inferior.

  • Ex ADF 11/02/2019, 1:35 pm

    Souppotsammy must be extremely disappointed every morning when he looks into the mirror, he is still a ‘foreigner’ and those dreaded whities still despise him.

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