Windschuttle on White Australia
I see that Keith Windschuttle has turned his attention to the White Australia policy which, not surprisingly, he defends as a “rational and, in a number of ways, progressive, product of its times”. Although the story is somewhat garbled, it seems likely that WIndschuttle’s defence is that White Australia was not premised on racial superiority, but on the doctrine of “separate but equal” treatment used in the case of Plessy vs Ferguson to defend the Jim Crow laws of the American South and, in its Afrikaans form, as the theoretical basis for apartheid (separate development).
I feel sorry for anyone who defended Windschuttle’s earlier campaign defending the treatment of Tasmanian Aborigines on the assumption that he was an honest seeker after historical truth, rather than, as is now clear, a consistent apologist for racism, happy to use racist arguments in support of his cause. I’d welcome comments from anyone honest enough to retract their previous support for Windschuttle.
I’ll also be happy to publish comments from anyone seeking to use quibbles about the definition of “racism” to claim that a policy that openly defined itself in terms of skin colour was, in some sense, not racist. However, if you want to make such a claim, be aware that it has previously been made by the defenders of Jim Crow and apartheid, and don’t whinge when you get lumped in with them.