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After the riots

December 14th, 2005

There’s not much to say about the riots that hasn’t already been said, but one point that hasn’t been stressed enough is the small numbers of people actively involved. The crowd at Cronulla on Sunday was large, but it seems that only a couple of hundred were engaged in violence. Similarly, forty car loads of thugs were said to have been involved in the subsequent round of attacks on Monday night. That’s alarming but again it amounts to a couple of hundred people. The same was true in the French riots, which mainly consisted of small groups burning cars under cover of darkness. The availability of mobile phones makes organising this kind of thing a lot easier, and calls for a response. I hope that, in addition to those already charged, the police will pursue everyone involved in this shameful behavior. Many of them have been recorded on film and ought to be easy to identify.

Then there are the instigators of the violence. The senders of SMS messages will no doubt be hard to trace, but there’s no doubt about the role of talkback radio and 2GB in particular. It’s unclear whether Alan Jones or his talkback callers have committed a criminal offence, as suggested in comments here and elsewhere, but if he hasn’t, then the government’s spanking new sedition laws are clearly a dead letter.

The laws governing broadcasting are also relevant. Radio stations like 2GB get free allocations of valuable spectrum under a system of licensing which includes a prohibition on broadcasting matter that is likely to incite violence. If this system is to be maintained, 2GB should be stripped of its license by the Australian Broadcasting Authority for broadcasting people like Jones.

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  1. Kieran Bennett
    December 14th, 2005 at 09:13 | #1

    What annoyed me about this whole thing was Howard’s failure to condemn the racism as well as the violence it underpins. Just as his failure to counter Pauline Hanson’s nonsense further legitimised her ramblings, Howard’s failure to attack racism legitimizes the views of those perpetrating violence.

  2. December 14th, 2005 at 09:32 | #2


    By Thursday last week Alan Jones was screaming like a race caller whose horse was coming home. “I’m the person that’s led this charge here.
    …He [Alan Jones] assured his huge audience he “understood” why that famous text message went out and he read it right through again on air. “Come to Cronulla this weekend to take revenge. This Sunday every Aussie in the Shire get down to North Cronulla to support the Leb and wog bashing day …”

    …When John called on Tuesday to bluntly recommend vigilante action — “If the police can’t do the job, the next tier is us” — Jones did not dissent. “Yeh. Good on you, John.” And when he then offered a maxim his father had picked up during the war — “Shoot one, the rest will run” — the broadcaster roared with laughter. “No, you don’t play Queensberry’s rules. Good on you, John.”

    So, now we have these new “anti-terrorism” laws, will they be invoked against the thugs at Cronulla, Jim Saleam and Luke Connors, and Alan Jones for inciting hatred and advocating violence of one group against another? Thought not.

  3. Katz
    December 14th, 2005 at 09:56 | #3

    The behaviour of the mob in Cronulla is a textbook example of the “Church and King” riots that were an ever-present feature of English life in the 18th and 19th centuries. Irish and Catholics were the usual target of these riots. In the popular mind, Irish and Catholic were synonymous. Rioters were distressed in more or less equal measure at the “foreignness and primitiveness” of their Irish neighbours and the fear that these Irish were the shock troops for a “Papist” (Catholic) reconquest of England. In other words, the rioters believed they were protecting their neighbourhoods and cherished traditions.

    The “Shire” is frequently referred to as the most “Anglo” neighbourhood in Australia. And NSW has had a long tradition of behaviour that could be called “King and Country” bigotry. For example, in 1922 a militant Protestant Association formed a majority in the NSW Legislative Assembly. They were elected on a platform of cessation of state aid to Catholic schools, strict inspection of denominational institution, and purging of the Catholic presence from the NSW Public service. Above all, a Bill passed the Legislative Assembly threatening any Catholic priest or bishop with gaol, were he to promulgate the Papal Bull “Ne Temere”.

    It is remarkable how similar are the attitudes that informed the 1922 upsurge of bigotry in NSW to those that provoke today’s flag-draped rioters.

    It is also notorious that the NSW Liberal Party is now dominated by the Christian Right.

    These features of NSW public life have a long, if episodic, history. And these features seem to be largely endemic to NSW.

    These incidents break out, rage, and then are forgotten. But they don’t go away. Perhaps it’s time for NSW to take a good hard look at their political and political culture. Until now, as is evidenced by the fact that most people have never even heard of the “Ne Temere” fracas, this kind of behaviour, in the cold light of day, arouses shame. But mostly, it provokes denial.

  4. Derick Cullen
    December 14th, 2005 at 10:04 | #4

    Some quotes from the Fairfax Press (SMH 13 Dec 2005. page 6)

    “The Prime Minister, John Howard, has played down claims that racism fuelled the weekend riots, putting him at odds with the NSW Premier, the Police Commissioner and many community leaders.”

    ‘I do not accept that there is underlying racism in this country.’” and so on.

    My take on this is that he is trying to wriggle out from the legacy of his long history on race matters, on playing Hanson for all she was worth, and the Tampa election. All very predictable. But also further on in the same article…

    “The Federal Opposition Leader, Kim Beazley, also played down the racial motivation of the riots. ‘Its just criminal behaviour,’ Mr. Beazley said.”

    Our Kim playing the “me too” card following John Howard is also very predictable, continuing a well-trodden path blazed out during the Tampa election.

    Strategic question arising: Why won’t the opposition take on Howard on the policies which are making my Australia a worse place day by day?

    Tactical question arising: Why doesn’t Kim pick up the phone and consult with his colleagues on the ground in NSW (or anywhere else) before playing the “me too” card?

  5. December 14th, 2005 at 10:12 | #5
  6. Aidan
    December 14th, 2005 at 10:27 | #6

    What Derick said.

    John Howard: “Hey Kim, joke for yer – when is an Opposition not an Opposition?”
    Kim: “I was just going to say that!”

  7. wilful
    December 14th, 2005 at 10:29 | #7

    So where do I complain to the ABA or sign a petition?

  8. wilful
    December 14th, 2005 at 10:36 | #8

    BTW Aidan, good joke.

  9. December 14th, 2005 at 10:51 | #9

    I’m an occasional reader of this blog. I grew up in the Shire and can verify that it is one of the most xenophobic areas of the city. I reguarly heard racial slurs against, well anyone non-anglo! But it went from there to all the usual macho-meathead attitudes toward anyone deemed not to fit in with the agro surf/sport culture. It’s deeply ingrained. Also I agree with Katz, it’s present in other areas as well, such as the south coast of NSW, and I experienced it as well up in Lismore when I was studying. I’m Anglo-celtic, but these things have always been a worry here in Australia. I can only put it down to igorance. Until now I thought Australians of this nature were just cowards, ie they’ll carry on with their bigoted rubbish behind closed doors, but were too gutless to act on their bravado. That seems to have changed. On the other side, there has be acknowlegment that there is an attitude problem with some of these people from non-anglo backgounds too. Why? Becasue they’re all human beings and these losers from both sides that have been creating havoc over the last week are all probably more alike each other than they care to admit. Either way, Australia needs to take a good, long hard look at itself. These problems have been there and brewing as long I can remember, certainly since I first came to Australia as a child in 1980. I can still remember the Asians Out! and No Wogs! graffitti in the Sutherland Shire. Also remember there is a huge amount of support for Pauline Hanson down there. It’s common to hear people you would think are rational say “Pauline Hanson was right about a lot of things”.

    The PM and Leader of the Opposition’s response has been a joke. You can’t just say something is black when everyone can see that it’s white. Howard is probably trying to play down the racism angle on his trip to Malaysia, but also he knows that the Shire holds a lot of Liberal votes. Beazley is jusy being useless as per usual. Take a stand mate! No wonder no one votes Labor federally anymore. At least Morris Iemma has had the guts to call a spade a spade.

    I lived in London for a long time and was struck by how conservative Australia had become. I’m sure this conservativism, rise of stict religious attitudes and these riots are all stops along the same road. I’m just starting to worry where this road is leading. London has problems of this nature also, as do many European cities. I thought it would never happen here, but this weeks riots as worse than anything I saw in the UK. Even the Oldham riots only consisted of a small number of people. This sort of thing will reinforce our image in England as being a bit backward, deserved or not.

    I also agree that 2GB and Mr Jones should go down for their role in all this. They have been stirring up trouble for as long as I can remember. The new sedition laws should apply to them. But they won’t. I think we all know that.

  10. Katz
    December 14th, 2005 at 11:48 | #10

    JQ, while it may be true that only a small minority were involved in actual violence, a large part of the crowd were present, and had been drawn by text messages promising confrontation, to give them support and to egg them on. One witness estimates the crowd to have been 20,000 to 30,000, many times larger than the official estimate of 5,000.

    http://www.abc.net.au/pm/content/2005/s1529417.htm

    Thus, intelligent handling of so-called ring leaders is called for, lest they be perceived as martyrs. By all means wield the stick, but hit the right persons and hit them just hard enough.

    The NSW Government at the moment appears to be bent on severe retribution.

    London, post the 1980 Notting Hill riots, provides an intelligent use of the carrot. The site of Notting Hill’s riots became the site of Europe’s biggest annual street party. Sydney’s much-boasted beaches seem to be the ideal location for just such an event.

  11. Dave Ricardo
    December 14th, 2005 at 11:50 | #11

    “At least Morris Iemma has had the guts to call a spade a spade.”

    No he didn’t. In fact, Iemma came out against the racist name-calling.

  12. Mike Pepperday
    December 14th, 2005 at 12:17 | #12

    I don’t see anything racist. If the Lebbos and the western suburbs bogans wanted to fight over ownership of a beach this is the way they’d do it, isn’t it?
    Why do people keep saying it’s racist? They aren’t even different races.
    What’s the difference between this and a mob of diggers having a set-to with some GIs during WW2?

  13. Katz
    December 14th, 2005 at 12:42 | #13

    “Why do people keep saying it’s racist? They aren’t even different races.”

    MP, I can’t guess your classificatory scheme for determining racial differences. You possibly already know that there have been many typologies over time.

    For example, English racists in the nineteenth century were adamant that the Irish composed an entirely different, and inferior, race to the English. That idea now looks ridiculous, but it was widely believed at the time. This form of racism was a corruption of Darwinian, “scientific racism”. This idea has lost much of its credibility, but occasionally crops up.

    These days, “racism” tends to be a synonym for ethnocentrism. Out-groups are declared to be unacceptable by reason of their habits and beliefs, rather than their genetic make-up. From the point of view of a Darwinian, this doesn’t seem to be racism. Is Howard a doctrinaire Social Darwinian? Dunno. However, his weasel words about the Cronulla events not being an example of “racism” may carry just this mental reservation.

    “What’s the difference between this and a mob of diggers having a set-to with some GIs during WW2?

    If the GIs had wanted to settle down in Australia and to defend their turf and their culture against attacks by ethno-centric Australians, then there’d be no difference. However, in the case of the Americans, none of this was actually desired, none of its was actually feared, and none of it actually happened.

  14. December 14th, 2005 at 12:53 | #14

    Let’s say Howard did criticise the mob on Sunday etc as racist? Would he have also had to call the response from the Bankstown, Lakemba etc boys also racist?

    I think, Howard by trying to distance himself from the events, was taking the politically correct position of trying to not politicise it, and in fact inflame the situation. By politicians becoming involved (either deliberately or by accident) tensions are sure to mount.

    By leaving it to NSW authorities, it’s an attempt to localise the problem, rather than ‘nationalise’ it

  15. Paul Norton
    December 14th, 2005 at 13:52 | #15

    The one thing which the participants on both sides of the riots have in common is that they are almost all men who are steeped in a degenerate form of violent, macho masculinity. Also, they have almost all been born, raised and educated in the years since second wave feminism first began to attempt to influence the attitudes of boys and young men about masculinity and their relations with the opposite sex. Despite this, these young men have clearly been socialised and educated in a manner which has not been informed by feminism, by socialising agents who would be resistant to feminism, and in many cases would have been informed by an anti-feminist “backlash” mentality.

    We can speculate on the relative degrees of culpability of their families, their schools, their faiths, their older male role models, the politicians, popular culture, etc., but the one thing which is crystal clear is that feminism and the general movement for gender equality and respect, far from having “gorn too far” has clearly not gone far enough where the socialisation of boys and young men is concerned.

  16. UQ Student
    December 14th, 2005 at 14:02 | #16

    “If the Lebbos and the western suburbs bogans wanted to fight over ownership of a beach this is the way they’d do it, isn’t it?”

    From where I’m sitting it didn’t look like Lebbos and bogans fighting over ownership of a beach. It looked like a mob of drunken white brownshirts going around bashing up anyone – man or woman, who looked dark-skinned.

  17. Terje Petersen
    December 14th, 2005 at 14:13 | #17

    I agree with the analysis above as given by Weekly.

  18. Andrew Reynolds
    December 14th, 2005 at 14:13 | #18

    As a side note, the international reation to, and reporting of, these riots was interesting. I am in Korea at the moment and the riots have been widely reported as being ‘race riots’ up here. This is about the only story shown on the news here about Australia all year, so most Koreans I have spoken to who are aware I am an Australian have asked me about them, believing them to be roughly on the scale of the Paris riots.
    It seems to have been reported as if all Australians are that racist. Pity I cannot understand the local news – I think it would have been interesting.
    .
    As a general comment about racism – you probably have really not experienced it until you have lived in a country that is overwhemingly one ethnic group. It is human to fear what is different – not, I hasten to add that it is right, but it is human. Where a country has only one ethnic group the definition of what is different is easier and the racism becomes more pronounced. Australia is nowhere near as racist as most other countries, so, perhaps while we should notice that we have a way to go, we should also give ourselves some credit for how far we have come.

  19. Terje Petersen
    December 14th, 2005 at 14:18 | #19

    Isn’t Korea a near racially homogeneous monoculture? It appeared that way when I passed through briefly earlier this year. Such places (eg Norway) always seem to have a naive idea of what racism is all about.

  20. Steve Munn
    December 14th, 2005 at 14:39 | #20

    I wonder what Pauline thinks about all this. She has been awfully quite the past couple of years. I reckon it must be time for a comeback. Pauline, your country needs you! :)

  21. December 14th, 2005 at 14:40 | #21

    “It looked like a mob of drunken white brownshirts going around bashing up anyone – man or woman, who looked dark-skinned.”

    How convenient to see only one side of the equation.

  22. Paul
    December 14th, 2005 at 14:46 | #22

    I wonder what Al Grassby’s reaction would be, if he was still alive.

  23. Mike Pepperday
    December 14th, 2005 at 14:50 | #23

    Katz
    So “racist” means ethnocentrist. I thought it might.
    But then, not even that. Just anyone “unacceptable by reason of their habits and beliefs”.
    The person who finds it unacceptable that children be taught religious rubbish, is racist? Anyone who objects to women being forced to wear certain clothing is racist?
    It’s not up to me to define “race” – the people who are using the word have that obligation.
    And you’ve done it. Thank you.

  24. December 14th, 2005 at 15:20 | #24

    I agree with the comments that this is about “men who are steeped in a degenerate form of violent, macho masculinity”. Both sides are trying to prove how tough they are by acting in a shocking, sick manner frankly. It’s always been there in the Sutherland Shire. It’s a very homogenous place. A breeding ground for intolerance I’d say, and the appearance of the far right groups there on the weekend was truly sickening. Growing up there I witnessed violence toward ANYONE who was different. That attitude has taken root there. If you were white and anglo even but not the right look, or tough enough in their eyes it was on. If these bozos weren’t going after this Lebanese or muslim “invasion” as they call it, they’d probably go back to beating each other up. I think on the other side of the equation there are a bunch of guys from the Lebanese community running amok with little respect for anything. They just can’t hide behind Australian nationalism. At the end of the day they are basically all cut from the same cloth. I agree with Andrew that Australia is not nearly as bad as many countries where racsim is institutionalised, and I hope the repsonse by the wider community of horror at all this shows that we will get over this. I also hope it makes a lot of big mouthed brash people think a lot harder about their words and actions from here on in.

  25. Andrew Reynolds
    December 14th, 2005 at 15:53 | #25

    Terje,

    You are right – it is.

  26. Katz
    December 14th, 2005 at 16:11 | #26

    However, MP, the Australian Constitution and some important early legislation was racist in the Darwinian sense.

    Australia was founded on official racism:

    The “Race Powers� provision of Section S.51 of the Constitution excluded Aborigines from commonwealth citizenship and consigned them to the status of mere residents in the various states.

    Under the same “Race Powers� provisions the following racist legislation was passed:

    Australia’s first enacted legislation enabled the forced deportation of Pacific Islanders.

    White Australia.

    Motherhood bonuses to be paid only to bona fide whites. Any dispute as to the racial identity of a mother was to be settled by a medical practitioner who judged on the basis of “appearance�.

    Under the Defence Act, non-white boys were prohibited from joining the Militia. Again, any dispute as to racial identity was to be settled by a medical practitioner and his colour swatches.

    Official racism, based on supposedly “scientific” quasi-genetic principles, slowly fell into disuse in Australia, but these ideas were never officially repudiated, as they were in post-Nazi Germany or in post-Apartheid South Africa.

    One reason for this might be that Australian official racism was by no means as extreme as Nazi or Apartheid official racism.

    Another reason might be that Australian political elites didn’t want to stir up old hatreds by killing official racism noisily.

    No one in authority talked about racism for years, until Howard brought it up in the 1980s, and he’s been bringing it up for his own purposes ever since.

    Maybe this latest discussion of racism may serve as an opportunity to finally confront our national history of racism, as mild as it might be, rather than to continual to live in a state of denial about it.

  27. Steve Munn
    December 14th, 2005 at 16:43 | #27

    What boring silly nonsense Katz. Why should I, or anyone else, have to “confront” something that occured before my birth? Every ethnicity and major religious group on the planet has racked up a plethora of crimes. Such is the nature of humanity. Are we all to wear sack cloths, daub ourselves in ashes and self-flagellate?

  28. December 14th, 2005 at 17:36 | #28

    Steve – I for one would be a bit more confident of your position if you told us you were indifferent to Anzac Day.

    And I don’t see why “confronting our national history of racism, as mild as it might be..” means that we should self-flagellate.

  29. Pinguthepenguin
    December 14th, 2005 at 17:44 | #29

    David, good points.

    If you are going to celebrate and honour something in your nations past then you should also aknowledge and confront the bad things.

    Just as we remember the fallen and what they did for our country, we should remember the bad parts of our history and ensure that they don’t repeat.

    Seems pretty logical to me. (And I didn’t even have to flagellate myself)

  30. UQ Student
    December 14th, 2005 at 17:54 | #30

    what Andrew Reynolds says hit a note with me – I’m an exchange student program at the moment and have been living in Qingdao, China, for the past 9 months. this “race riot” story did indeed make the nightly news here in China as well. it’s probably the first time since the 2000 Olympics that anything happening in Australia has made the nightly news here. the scenes of drunken, violent, sweaty, bare-chested, beer-bottle wielding yobbos yelling racist insults and gang-bashing individuals is, as you can imagine, great publicity, and simply brilliant for Australia’s international reputation.

    “As a general comment about racism – you probably have really not experienced it until you have lived in a country that is overwhemingly one ethnic group.”

    You’re obviously addressing white people when you say that. Actually, I’d say many people have experienced racism in Australia, just very few white Australians. And countries with large minorities like the USA tend to have a worse problem with racism than countries like Norway which are overwhelmingly of one ethnicity. Situations where a minority ethnic group has a better economic position than the general population – such as Indians in Fiji or Chinese in Indonesia in also a recipe for ethnic tension. A World Bank study several years ago found that the countries with the worse ethnic strife were not those overwhelmingly of one ethnicity but rather those where the population was divided between two or more large ethnic groups – such as the case in Rwanda or the former Yugoslavia. is Korea a racist place in your experience? or is it just ethnocentrist? I know Koreans loathe the Japanese, but I would draw a distinction between racism and ethnocentrism.

    China, like Korea, has an overwhelmingly monogenous ethnic make-up. In the past 9 months I have come accustomed to being occasionally stared-at, pointed-at, overcharged, and hearing the odd exclamation of “foreigner!” when I walk down the street. but I wouldn’t characterise it as “racism” in the same way as that which is experienced by minorities elsewhere. I am started at and pointed at only in those areas where foreigners seldom go, and then it is simply because it is not a common thing for Chinese people to see a white person and so it is a bit of an event when they do (black people are even rarer in China and they get a hell of a lot of attention wherever they go). As for being overcharged, this is because of the fact that coming from Australia, I am obviously much richer, and in a place where prices are often not fixed and you have to bargain, of course they will ask a high price if they think you’ve got money. I experience every day what it’s like to be an ethnically distinct individual in a country where almost everybody is the same ethnicity – but I would characterise this as “ethnocentrism” rather than outright “racism” – I don’t consider myself to have experienced “racism” in the form of structural discrimination or abuse, I have not once been abused, insulted, shunned, scorned, treated as inferior, nor denied entry to any place, on the contrary, I am almost always treated with more courtesy than the chinese give each other – treated as a guest to whom they want to make a good impression of their country. as a foreigner from a rich country I am usually welcomed and made a fuss of most places I go, and always complemented on how well I speak chinese – which I in fact speak dreadfully. Here, being white makes you different, but not at all “inferior” or “threatening” in the same manner that many whites regard e.g. aboriginals in predominantly white countries. However it is true that the respect and courtesy that the Chinese show to white people is not always extended to other foreigners – that is, black people or people from south-east Asian countries, and needless to say, the Japanese are all totally despised here. in general, I would say that the sort of ethnocentrism that you experience as a white in China or Korea is, I believe, different from the sort of racism that is experienced by aboriginals in Australia, or other minority groups in predominantly white countries.

  31. Just Visiting
    December 14th, 2005 at 18:14 | #31

    I moved to Australia five years ago and one of the things that struck me then, and still does now, is the amount of jingoistic language in the media here. It’s rare for any news item to not include the adjective “Aussie” (and always in a positive sense) in some form or another no matter how tenuous the link. I’ve travelled through many countries and have yet to see anywhere else (except maybe the US) that has such a self-obsessed media. Sadly, the racist rabble on the streets of Sydney seem to have swallowed the hype.

    P.S. Katz, your “Celtic Victim” attitude needs adjusting. Before laying into the Poms for their treatment of the Irish I suggest you examine Celtic history with a bit more of a critical eye. Celts are hardly blameless in their treatment of other nations/races/tribes.

  32. Katz
    December 14th, 2005 at 18:27 | #32

    “What boring silly nonsense Katz. Why should I, or anyone else, have to “confrontâ€? something that occured before my birth? Every ethnicity and major religious group on the planet has racked up a plethora of crimes. Such is the nature of humanity. Are we all to wear sack cloths, daub ourselves in ashes and self-flagellate? ‘

    Denial’s alsways worked for you, eh, Steve.

    Since when has “confront” equalled “Are we all to wear sack cloths, daub ourselves in ashes and self-flagellate?

    Do you know the meaning of the word nuance?

  33. Steve Munn
    December 14th, 2005 at 19:28 | #33

    Katz- I’m not in denial about the unpleasant aspects of Australian history since colonisation. I despise the likes of Keith Windschuttle, who think that unless an Aboriginal death attributable to colonial violence is recorded in an historical record it never occurred. That is absurd and racist. I also accept that Kanakas, early Chinese migrants etc were badly treated. This type of stuff should be taught in schools alongside the positive stuff. As far as I am aware, it is. It certainly was in my secondary school. I simply object to the white middle-class guilt trip you seem to want to foist upon those unlucky enough to have been born with white skin.

    As another example of what annoys me, some mischievous “latte liberals” are no doubt glad Howard is currently in Malaysia and probably being grilled by some of the grubs that run the ASEAN countries. Yet racism is appalling in much of South East Asia. If you know any Chinese Malays living in Australia I suggest you ask them about their treatment in Malaysia compared to Australia. That may help you see my point.

    By the way I am not a Howard admirer. His Industrial Relation legislation (among other things) is draconian and will hurt many ordinary workers, irrespective of ethnicity.

  34. December 14th, 2005 at 20:31 | #34

    Umm, what exactly did this Alan Jones say to put himself in the frame for fanning sedition?

    The news in S’pore is rather varied on “riots” in Oz. There are commentators talking of Lebanese making random assaults & vandalism around Sydney, footage of churches burning, surfies confronting police at Cronulla.

    Which of these has Alan Jones encouraged? Certainly the Lebanese rapes/assaults/muggings on non-Lebanese non-muslim people has been going on for quite some time. If this Alan Jones is behind any of that, he has MUCH to answer for.

  35. Jill Rush
    December 14th, 2005 at 20:36 | #35

    The argument over Australian or not ignores the obvious – that this behaviour is indeed very Australian and very nasty but not common.

    Both sides have a great deal in common. One side is sticking up for the right of their sheilas to wear what they like or don’t like on the beach. The other side is anxious to ensure that women are dressed as if living in another time and another place. Each side has llittle respect for the other and is charged with testosterone and alcohol.

    Which is the worse situation? a Muslim woman who has her hajib ripped off or another women who is threatened with rape/or raped and humiliated if she ventures into areas considered the turf of a gang which treats women who show their heads, arms and legs as fair game.

    Many girls in Sydney have to be very aware of how to escape from danger. For a woman in a hajib life will be easier if she leaves the scarf at home. However, the gangs of both sides restrict women in where they can travel, how they can travel and whether they are safe on their own in public.

    What has happened goes beyond debate on multiculturalism and racism.
    You can be sure that as deprivation becomes deeper as more working poor result from the changes to Welfare and Work legislation, women will be even greater targets for the gangs and their buddies who have too much time , too much technology and too little care for others not like them.

  36. Steve Munn
    December 14th, 2005 at 21:01 | #36

    Jill Rush says: “You can be sure that as deprivation becomes deeper as more working poor result from the changes to Welfare and Work legislation, women will be even greater targets for the gangs and their buddies who have too much time , too much technology and too little care for others not like them.”

    I am in total agreement Jill. Welfare to Work will result in latch key kids, and kids being brought up by stresssed out, poor and overworked mums. This will have some ugly social ramifications years down the track when these disadvantaged kids grow up.

  37. December 14th, 2005 at 21:31 | #37

    one point that hasn’t been stressed enough is the small numbers of people actively involved. The crowd at Cronulla on Sunday was large, but it seems that only a couple of hundred were engaged in violence.

    So we do not have all out civil war ala downtown Beirut. Which means multiculturalism is a smashing success. That means that cultural elites of all parties will not have to admit they were wrong about multiculturalism. What a relief!

  38. Katz
    December 14th, 2005 at 22:05 | #38

    “I simply object to the white middle-class guilt trip you seem to want to foist upon those unlucky enough to have been born with white skin.”

    Not at all Steve. My preferred line is that the Australian Constitution provided a huge opportunity for Australians to establish a thoroughly racist regime. In fact, Australia merely flirted with the edges of racism and never demanded as thoroughgoing racism as the Constitution allowed. This is good news.

    Moreover, most Australians have overcome many of the racist ideas and practices that were taken for granted when the Constitution was adopted in 1901. This is good news.

    However, some racist attitudes persist and tend to flare up during times of tension. This is bad news.

    And the best news of all: most of us don’t feel the need to pattern our behaviour on the racist practices and attitudes that persist in many parts of the world. Thus, the behaviour of ASEAN regimes and populations is no example and we should congratulate ourselves that we don’t behave like them.

    So you can see Steve, I don’t feel guilty at all.

  39. Geoff Honnor
    December 14th, 2005 at 22:33 | #39

    I don’t know that multiculturalism is a “smashing success” Jack. It’s a deeply flawed model in many ways but it does work – sort of. Sydney is a culturally diverse place in a way that relatively few world cities are and for the most part, it hangs together pretty well. There’s definitely a problem with young Lebanese guys who define their tribal identity against what they perceive as Anglo Australian identity. That many of them are also into criminality in a big way is undeniable but then so too are many of the guys who are part of the southern beaches surfie culture. Young men, outlawry, testosterone, booze, drugs, anger, tribalism – it’s an ancient story and in no way uniquely Australian. But in the meantime, four million other people – a huge proportion of whom were born elsewhere – keep the place ticking over, all day, every day.

    I’m a bit over the stuff about the Sutherland Shire being like Dubbo 30 years ago. It’s true that Kathy Lette doesn’t live there any more and nor do that many social researchers – it’s more your plumber who has done well – but it isn’t stuck in that much of a timewarp. People from the south-western Sydney hinterland have been going to the beach at Cronulla for generations and Kingsway is actually only 30 odd k’s from Martin Place -and they travel and have TV reception and everything.

    I walked a few blocks up George St tonight around knock-off time and actuallytook note of the human tide. We are an incredible melange and it all just sort of happens.

    I read a comment from an Australian living in Canada today who has seen the news reports and who expressed his utter disgust at what Australia has become: ugly, redneck racist, separatist, etc. He announced his intention of applying for Canadian permanent residency tomorrow. I pointed out to him that a significant chunk of Canada has been trying to separate from the rest of Canada, because they don’t have the same language or culture, for many decades. I also pointed out to him that those drunken native Americans he sees panhandling in the Toronto CBD are actually not a whole lot different from the aboriginal drinking schools he used to skirt around in Taylor Square.

    We’re not that bad. But we could do with some perspective.

  40. Ugly Dave
    December 14th, 2005 at 22:41 | #40

    NSW has had a long tradition of behaviour that could be called “King and Country� bigotry.

    Remember Lambing Flat!

  41. December 14th, 2005 at 23:21 | #41

    I wonder what Al Grassby’s reaction would be, if he was still alive.

    Going on his Donald Mackay form, he’d probably call the harrassed girls sluts before re-stacking some local ALP branches and angling his way to making a buck or two out of it.

  42. Marcian S.
    December 15th, 2005 at 00:22 | #42

    I agree with the esteemed professor that there are indeed similarities between the rioting in France and that in Australia.

    Sadly, I am sure he will not be happy with the comparison I draw.

    You see, I have noticed something. The default reaction of the media and their allies among the intelligensia is to blame white people for any instance of racial unrest. This, I am sure will come as no surprise to conservatives, and their leftist opponents will now be busily rolling their eyes.

    But I can prove it.

    In the wake of the lengthy Muslim riots in my native country, international newsmedia and academics like Professor Quiggin scrambled to apologise for the Muslims, who were “frustrated” with the racism they were suffering at the hands of white Frenchmen, as well as their unfortunate economic and social circumstances. When interviewed and asked as to why they were targeting French people and French property for violence, the youths repeatedly stated that they hated the French people, who were weak, and so on. This was explained away by earnest reporters as youthful lack of eloquence. What they really meant to say was a lot of stuff about inequality and white racism.

    During the French riots, which were experienced from one side of the Republic to the other, thousands of cars and a handful of Christian churches were burned, one old handicapped Frenchwoman was doused with gasoline and set alight, and several Frenchmen were murdered.

    The universal explanation afforded them by the newsmedia and academics was: “frustration with the racism they suffered that the hands of the French.”

    My countryfolk, many of whom are irretrievably stupid, agreed with them. They were anxious for the violence to stop, so in ancient Gallic fashion, they paid Danegeld to the barbarians. But let us give the media their bone. Let us say the Muslims were indeed reacting to racism.

    Now, let us move to Australia, a land which I have spent more than 30 years adoring. This land is, I assure you, blessedly free of the effortless racism one finds in Europe (perpetrated by all races against all others).

    I have lived in Sydney’s south for this period and I have personally seen the intimidation and anti-Australian racism that these Lebanese mobsters casually dole out to their caucasian countryfolk. These are no believers in societal harmony. To quote a Muslim spokesman from last night’s Channel 7 news, the gangs attack Australians because they: “believe themselves superior to Australians and hate western society”. That is a verbatim quote.

    Eerily familiar motive, no? Yet when the much frustrated populace of Cronulla staged a one day mini-revolt in reaction to years of racism (the racism and violence perpetrated by Lebanese against white Australians there is a matter of record, please do not dispute that they suffered this much) and a total lack of police involvement (also established), there is to be no international sympathy for them.

    At Cronulla, no one was killed, no cars were set alight, no mosques were burned. Some people were attacked, true, but they were not stabbed as were several Australians the evening afterward.

    Here was another ethnic group, suffering constant racism at the hands of another, and when they snap, this time, it’s their fault. No understanding. No talk of “frustration”, no sympathetic stories about police or governmental neglect. They’re white, so the racism is entirely theirs.

    Can you not see the double standard? French Muslims revolt, when interviewed, they say they hurt Frenchmen because French are weak. The French Muslims are blameless, they are the victims of white racism.

    Muslims in Australia attack Australians (for the same reason, according to their spokesman) and when the Australians respond to this racism with far, far less violence than was enacted by French Muslims, they are condemned loudly, around the world, as racists.

    This you on the left cannot with honesty argue around. You can only lie and obfuscate. It is the undeniable default reaction of the international newsmedia to any racist situation involving white people. If there’s whites involved, it’s their fault.

    My leftist friends, you must know at your core that this is wrong. All people are the same under Communism, no? Then surely you must acknowledge that all people are equally capable of racism, and no group is more capable than any other.

    Think on this. Please.

  43. lurch
    December 15th, 2005 at 06:05 | #43

    What an interesting post PrQ.
    Here we have everything from blaming the media to little johnny getting his fingers burnt from playing with fire to a neo-fight club situation where feminiism still has a way to go.

    On the limited facts that I can find out about this situation – young males belting each other en masse, alcohol induced violence – I can’t even start to figure this one out.
    I hope by the time the verdicts are handed down we actually get a clearer picture of what happened and then try to tackle the underlying motives fro it.

  44. jquiggin
    December 15th, 2005 at 06:20 | #44

    “In the wake of the lengthy Muslim riots in my native country, international newsmedia and academics like Professor Quiggin scrambled to apologise for the Muslims, who were “frustratedâ€? with the racism they were suffering at the hands of white Frenchmen, as well as their unfortunate economic and social circumstances.”

    Perhaps you’d like to give a link to this interview, Marcian. I don’t recall giving it.

    I’m struck by the brazen hypocrisy of your condemnation of people who use “frustration” as an excuse for rioters, followed immediately by your eagerness to claim this excuse for the criminal actions of those with whom you sympathise.

  45. James Farrell
    December 15th, 2005 at 06:48 | #45

    Jack

    In the interests of efficient communication, could you (1) define multiculturalism, and (2) set out, as concretely as possible the causal link between multiculturalism and the Cronulla riot. I know I’m pushing my luck here, but if you could manage all this without using the word ‘wet’, I’d be doubly grateful.

  46. Marcian. S
    December 15th, 2005 at 07:27 | #46

    You miss my point entirely. The hypocrisy is yours, in your entirely ideological unwillingness to apply the term to white Australians. If I wish to apply it to white Australians and allow that French racism might have been to blame for French Muslim “frustration”, then who is the inflexible doctrinaire?

    Not I, sir.

  47. December 15th, 2005 at 07:53 | #47

    assume the conservative intolerants are correct. This is the sequence of events that would happen:
    1) move all middle easter muslims out of south east sydney
    2) relative calm and rejoice
    3) soon afterwards mob turns on black sudanese people
    4) now all black people are removed from australia
    5) soon afterwards mob turns on all asian people
    6) now we are back to white australia policy, state sponsored genocide.

    * Of course thats a rather extreme future path, its most likely the coalition will settle for “Christian only” immigration.

  48. James Farrell
    December 15th, 2005 at 07:53 | #48

    Marcian

    You didn’t respond to John’s challenge to show where he ‘scrambled to defend Muslims’. And it was you who used the word frustration. John didn’t use the term in connection with either side, so your counter-accusation of hypocrisy is either obtuse or disingenuous. Going by your style taken as a whole, I stongly suspect the latter.

    It’s funny you should use the word obfuscate, because it’s entirely clear who is doing the obfuscating. Why don’t you go and obfuscate somewhere else.

  49. December 15th, 2005 at 07:55 | #49

    Oh, i forget point 5.5 – move all french people out of australia!

    Has anyone noticed how the standard leftist response to this situation is to blame “racism” while the rightists blame “multi-culturalism”.

  50. Pinguthepenguin
    December 15th, 2005 at 08:17 | #50

    Marcian S makes some interesting points JQ, I don’t read it as him excusing the white rioters in Cronulla (although I could be wrong on that point). He is just pointing out that there are double standards in the way the media and some commentators report the situation.

    With this I can not argue. As some who came here as a migrant (although at the young age of 2) I know that amongst many groups there is a racism against white Australians. Some of it is because of the racism that is recieved, but much of it is based in the same xenophobia that fuels Aussie racism.

    Now the migrants that I am most familiar with (Polish and eastern european) the racism pretty much stops at a barely concealed sense of superiority and I have never seen it extend to violence or even rudeness towards “locals”. But it is undenbiably there, in general though, one or two generations down the track it tends to dissipate, depending a lot on the earnestness of the racism of the parents.

    So this gives me some hope. Most first generation Polish people I know tend to integrate (whatever that means) pretty well and although they like to hold onto their traditions, and to maintain a group of Polish friends (and who can blame them?), they do also adopt Australian traditions and have aussie friends too. The second generation even more so. Maybe being white, and not having a distinctly different religious background, smoothes the road and makes for less racism from the local Australians?

    If that is the case then it indeed makes a good argument for all of us to try a bit harder to make our lebanese neighbours feel welcome, whilst still being intollerant of violence and racism comming from their side. To pretend it (lebanese racism) doesn’t exist or is all our fault is doing a disservice to both them and to ourselves.

    Surely we can stop making excuses for the violence and racism of both sides and treat everyone fairly and equally before the law.

  51. Ian Gould
    December 15th, 2005 at 08:24 | #51

    “What boring silly nonsense Katz. Why should I, or anyone else, have to “confrontâ€? something that occured before my birth? Every ethnicity and major religious group on the planet has racked up a plethora of crimes. Such is the nature of humanity. Are we all to wear sack cloths, daub ourselves in ashes and self-flagellate?”

    Steve, tak to the Aboriginal people who worked for decades only to find that their wages had been stolen by the state governments, talk to the people who remember seeing their fathers dragged off in chains (literally) for striking for equal pay (that happened in hte 1970′s BW so it’s hardly ancient history.)

    Then try to tell yourself that it had no effect on those people or their descendants.

  52. James Farrell
    December 15th, 2005 at 08:37 | #52

    Pingu

    Who is it exactly that is ‘making excuses’? Can you give a concrete example? As for ‘pretending lebanese racism doesn’t exist’, what about a concrete example of someone explicity denying that lebanese racism exists? Otherwise the ‘pretence’ is just what Pingu personally reads between the lines, and that doesn’t carry a lot of weight.

  53. Terje Petersen
    December 15th, 2005 at 08:53 | #53

    From all the reading I have now done about these riots I have reached the conclusion that the word “multiculturalism” is a lame duck. It’s meaning is so changeable depending on who is using it.

    We need new words. Otherwise our dialogue will be riddled with misunderstandings that are merely about syntax.

    I think the word “assimilation” is still somewhat meaningful, although obviously controversial. And “tolerance” seems to be used with some consistency. I think the meaning of “law and order” is generally understood.

  54. Pinguthepenguin
    December 15th, 2005 at 08:54 | #54

    “what about a concrete example of someone explicity denying that lebanese racism exists?”

    No need to jump down my throat. I am just saying that while white racism is frequently mentioned in the press, much less attention is given to the racism comming from the other side. There is no need to read anything more into it.

    “Who is it exactly that is ‘making excuses’? Can you give a concrete example?”

    I don’t particularly feel like trawling for links to articles where all manner of explanations are put forward for why the lebanese are rioting and why the white locals have felt the need to retaliate (or visa-versa).

    Of course no-one is going to outright make excuses except for the most rabid commentators like callers to Alan Jones.

    “Otherwise the ‘pretence’ is just what Pingu personally reads between the lines, and that doesn’t carry a lot of weight.”

    So therefore I can’t have an opinion on what I have observed and read?

    You seem very defensive about something which to me seemed like a pretty mild opinion on the situation.

  55. Pinguthepenguin
    December 15th, 2005 at 08:56 | #55

    “I think the word “assimilationâ€? is still somewhat meaningful”

    Really? I always thought it was just as nebulous as multiculturalism. What exactly does it mean to assimilate?

    How many BBQs does one need to attend? Can you have an accent? Are you allowed to eat food from your country of origin?

  56. Paul Arrighi
    December 15th, 2005 at 08:58 | #56

    The simple fact is that if something is done about the Lebanese gangs then the rioters will have no reason to exist and will disperse. You will solve both problems with 1 action.

  57. Terje Petersen
    December 15th, 2005 at 09:00 | #57

    Why do the Lebanese gangs exist?

  58. Terje Petersen
    December 15th, 2005 at 09:05 | #58

    QUOTE: How many BBQs does one need to attend? Can you have an accent? Are you allowed to eat food from your country of origin?

    RESPONSE: I agree that it is not quantifiable. However I think (hazardously) that we would all accept that a policy of “assimilation” aims to create a common culture. It aims to unify beliefs, behaviour, values etc. In some ways it is much like nationalism. Whether this is desirable is open to debate.

  59. Paul Arrighi
    December 15th, 2005 at 09:17 | #59

    I would regard the gangs as nothing more than a few bad apples of one particular culture, they exist in all cultures. Unfortunately they have been allowed to get away with more than is permissable and people’s tolerance has run out with them.

    To blame their actions on low employment or whatever is only making excuses, people from other cultures suffer low employment too but are not causing the problems that we are seeing from these Lebanese gangs.

  60. Pinguthepenguin
    December 15th, 2005 at 09:29 | #60

    “I agree that it is not quantifiable. However I think (hazardously) that we would all accept that a policy of “assimilationâ€? aims to create a common culture. It aims to unify beliefs, behaviour, values etc. In some ways it is much like nationalism. Whether this is desirable is open to debate.”

    So would it be fair to summarise this as saying that “assimilation” realy means creating a mono-culture?

    or could we say that there are certain aspects of our culture that we want to have as common points while still allowing people to retain some aspects of the culture of their country of origin?

  61. December 15th, 2005 at 10:01 | #61

    Now the migrants that I am most familiar with (Polish and eastern european) the racism pretty much stops at a barely concealed sense of superiority and I have never seen it extend to violence or even rudeness …

    But every group has that barely concealed sense of superiority. the anglos in their Malvern / north shore enclaves have it. The anglo “skips” in the West have it. The irish, Chinese and Welsh have it. God knows, the bloody Scots have it in spades. This is common to every group everywhere in the world. and if you’re a marginalised group, it’s a necessity to be able to hold your head up with pride and think that there is something special about you an your extended family. People who would deny this to “ethnic” groups, especially the Scots / English elite who are the worst offenders, are simply going too far in their pursuit of a homogenised, one-size-fits-all society. Funnily enough, they’re the ones who often complain that us lefties want a boringly homogenised society.

  62. Terje Petersen
    December 15th, 2005 at 10:10 | #62

    I would say a policy of “assimilation” means moving in the direction of a monoculture. It may not necessitate actually getting to that destination. Just as a policy of “law and order” need not mean achieving a nation that is without crime.

    I suppose both “multi-culturalism” and “assimilation” are aspirational statements. Both are looking towards an end point and aim to fascilitate arrival. In that sence both are somewhat naive.

    In my humble opinion human nature is such that cultures will always be mixing and combining towards commonality. However at the same time they will be pushing themselves apart to create differences.

    The underlying forces are:-

    > the yearning we all have for certainty, versus the conflicting yearning we all have for variety or spontainty.

    > the yearning we all have for feeling connected to others, versus the conflicting yearning we all have for feeling special.

    These forces drive us together and pull us apart. On a daily basis and down through the ages.

    If nothing else the riots help to confirm that we are not yet dead.

  63. December 15th, 2005 at 10:24 | #63

    Paul

    To blame their actions on lebanese gangs or whatever is only making excuses, people from other cultures suffer violence but are not causing the problems that we are seeing from these aussie nazi wannabes.

  64. Paul Arrighi
    December 15th, 2005 at 10:44 | #64

    Alpha, correct me if I am wrong but these aussie nazi wannabes were not rioting before the lifesavers were attacked, or when that woman was gang raped. The riot has started because people’s tolerance with the Lebanese gangs has run out. I stand by my comment made on December 15th, 2005 at 8:58 am

    “The simple fact is that if something is done about the Lebanese gangs then the rioters will have no reason to exist and will disperse. You will solve both problems with 1 action.”

    Do you disagree with that?

  65. Pinguthepenguin
    December 15th, 2005 at 10:47 | #65

    “But every group has that barely concealed sense of superiority. the anglos in their Malvern / north shore enclaves have it. The anglo “skipsâ€? in the West have it. The irish, Chinese and Welsh have it. God knows, the bloody Scots have it in spades.”

    I suppose that is true in a way, but I would still argue that for a first generation migrant it is different to a second generation Australian or a “local”. The sort of comments I have heard from older Polish people I have never heard in anglo company, even when people have not known my background.

    I guess it is all a matter of degrees. But I certainly wouldn’t deny that it is common amoungst any ethnic group, anglo included.

    “and if you’re a marginalised group, it’s a necessity to be able to hold your head up with pride and think that there is something special about you and your extended family”

    That is pretty much what I put it down to. As well as a feeling of being less connected with the culture you are living in and a yearning for what you know (back where you came from). Which again, in the younger generation is much less pronounced as they grow up with Aussie friends and feel more connected even if they still retain a sense of their “Polish-ness”

    “People who would deny this to “ethnicâ€? groups, especially the Scots / English elite who are the worst offenders, are simply going too far in their pursuit of a homogenised, one-size-fits-all society. Funnily enough, they’re the ones who often complain that us lefties want a boringly homogenised society.”

    Couldn’t agree with you more.

  66. Pinguthepenguin
    December 15th, 2005 at 10:50 | #66

    “The simple fact is that if something is done about the Lebanese gangs then the rioters will have no reason to exist and will disperse. You will solve both problems with 1 action.�

    I don’t know that you will be solving the problem though. The underlying racism and xenophobia will still exist. It will just need something else to stir it up again.

    Just because you have stopped poking the hornets’ nest with a stick doesn’t mean that they aren’t there any more.

  67. UQ Student
    December 15th, 2005 at 10:55 | #67

    gangrapes? I thought that was just “boys will be boys”, but I guess that’s only when white football players do it. I know that they sure as hell didn’t call it a “SEX SCANDAL!!!!” when the perpetrators were ethnic gangsters.

    “The riot has started because people’s tolerance with the Lebanese gangs has run out.”

    This isn’t a good reason to go on a violent rampage targeting any and every dark-skinned man or woman, and it’s not going to do much to solve the problem of Lebanese gangs either.

  68. Paul Arrighi
    December 15th, 2005 at 11:09 | #68

    No one said it was good reason but the fact still remains that the riot was in response to the bashings of the life guards by the Lebanese gangs. If you want to fix a problem you need to address the cause of the problem, not the effects.

  69. wilful
    December 15th, 2005 at 11:18 | #69

    I think there’s been a serious degree of over-analysis on this issue. It seems pretty simple to me.

    Poor, marginalised and alienated lebanese (both muslim AND christian for those that forget) youths have turned into gangs that hate mainstream society. The reasons for this can be explained and understood and worked on, but the individuals are still criminals that require policing. They’ve deliberately picked a fight with racist drunken anglo youths who aren’t criminally organised but are fuelled by a mob mentality and the worst aspects of Australian colture.

    The result is predictable. The solution in the short term is policing, in the long term it’s a matter of jobs and education for the lebs so they feel part of society, and there’s little or no hope for the yobbo f*ckwits.

  70. UQ Student
    December 15th, 2005 at 11:31 | #70

    “If you want to fix a problem you need to address the cause of the problem, not the effects.”

    I accuse alcohol as being one of, if not the primary cause of the problem of mob violence. Tell me, how many stoners would be doing this sort of violent shit? Yet Howard recently said that pot was way worse than alcohol. For the violent and dangerous behaviour it causes, as well as its effects on health, Alcohol – a man made drug – is far worse than cannabis in any respect you can mention, yet cannabis – a natural plant – is the one that criminalised! My solution to the problem is to legalize marijuana and ban alcohol, get all of these drunken yobbos smoking the peace pipe and chilling out.

  71. Geoff Honnor
    December 15th, 2005 at 11:51 | #71

    UQ student, I think you might find that there was a fair bit of cannabis and booze going down at Cronulla last Sunday.

    The guys that smashed Maroubra up the following night were probably not unfamiliar with amphetamines.

    The substance isn’t the central issue. It’s more the use context.

  72. December 15th, 2005 at 11:52 | #72

    Paul

    “Do you disagree with that?” ABSOLUTELY!

    Unfortunate that the gang rape sterotype has to keep coming up. At the time of those horrific rapes in sydney, there was a string of gang rapes perpertrated by white aussie males at rodeos across western qld. The underage girls spent time in hospital as a result and the perpertrators that were caught were white aussie beer drinking slobs.

    The fact is that the community expects more of immigrants, and has less tolerance of the few bad apples (foreign trash) in a migrant community, then their own white trash. The media has fueled these flames by putting migrant communities under the microscope.

    Anyone that wants to argue that Domestic Violence / Rape in Australia is only perpertrated by muslims men needs to have their head seriously examined. Anyone here who can honestly say that the only violent gang mentality they’ve seen has been Muslims needs to take a closer look at their surrounds. I’ve personally been assaulted in sydney, and also mugged. Both instances were white aussie males, under the influence of alchohol. The fact is that australians idolize violence, as expressed so ferociously through football meat head mentality. I doubt the majority of people kinghitting referees are muslim either.

    You turn a blind eye to our own races failings, whilst expecting the impossible from migrants. It is this intolerance that is racist – NOT multiculturalism.

    Its like giving saddam an ultimatum to disarm, or face an invasion. Rightwing illogic applied through force.

  73. wilful
    December 15th, 2005 at 11:59 | #73

    Lebanese are more likely to be christian than muslim, can people please remember that?

  74. Will De Vere
    December 15th, 2005 at 12:17 | #74

    We white descendants of shoplifters and cutpurses from the slums of Dublin and the East End – a scurvy, surly, scrofulus bunch of syphilitics – often hate our fellow whities more than we hate the other lot (the Levantines) because they (the Shire hoons) are such a piss-poor advertisement for our ethnicity and our history. That’s why so many of us hated P.Hanson: she looked a survivor of the potato famine, and sounded bonkers.

    The riots prove definitively that we blondes are very very dumb.

    (For what it’s worth, two of my ancestors were convicts).

  75. Paul Arrighi
    December 15th, 2005 at 12:26 | #75

    Paul Arrighi Says:

    December 15th, 2005 at 10:44 am

    “The simple fact is that if something is done about the Lebanese gangs then the rioters will have no reason to exist and will disperse. You will solve both problems with 1 action.�

    Do you disagree with that?

    alphacoward Says:

    December 15th, 2005 at 11:52 am
    Paul

    “Do you disagree with that?� ABSOLUTELY!

    Now you are talking a lot of bollocks alpha, as my post clearly stated, 1 action will solve both the problems and you disagree with it. From your response you clearly you only want to deal with the rioters and leave the Lebanese gangs untouched. By the way race makes no difference as to how I would respond, if the roles were reversed, I would still be saying the same thing. As I said Dec 15th 9.17am, there are bad apples in ALL cultures.

    Is expecting the gangs to be law abiding citizens expecting the impossible? Yes, I am intolerant, I am intolerant of the thugish mob behaviour but unlike you, I look to correct the problem coming from both sides.

  76. December 15th, 2005 at 13:09 | #76

    People should read what John Howard said before they rush to criticise him. His comments are pretty much inline with JQ’s original post (although he doesn’t mention Alan Jones).

  77. December 15th, 2005 at 14:41 | #77

    Norway isn’t racially homogenous. Thinking that is like forgetting the Ainu in Japan. There are also Lapps in Norway, remembered in place names like “Finnmark”.

  78. Terje Petersen
    December 15th, 2005 at 14:55 | #78

    PML,

    There are also black people in Norway. But not enough to stop me regarding the place as racially homogenous relative to Australia, the USA, Britian etc.

    When I visit relatives in Norway they are so proud of their non-racist worldview. The trouble is they almost never lived in a region which includes any group of people that are of a different race/culture.

    Regards,
    Terje.

  79. Marcian. S
    December 15th, 2005 at 15:42 | #79

    The professor and his admirers wish me to show where I saw him apologising for French Muslims and their penchant for rioting.

    It is a petty point, set completely away from the crux of my argument, but I shall deal with this in order to mollify.

    I am sorry, friends, but you did not manage to trip me over. This is what I said:

    “In the wake of the lengthy Muslim riots in my native country, international newsmedia and academics like Professor Quiggin…”

    While ambiguious, I am sure that all but the most rigid and inflexible will concede that in this passage I was describing a certain kind of academic; one prone to outbursts of leftist fervor. These were the kinds of academics most eager to apologise and explain away the grotesque violence Muslims wantonly inflicted upon France.

    For instance, Noam Chomsky might not have himself spoken on the subject, but most certainly he can be considered to be of/to be like the cadre of academics who would normally blame western imperialism, rather than the dusky social unfortunates killing old handicapped women.

    If this cannot be applied to you, Professor Quiggan, I most sincerely apologise.

    Otherwise, I should like to continue to duel in regard to the issues I raised: the unwillingness of the newsmedia and academics to concede the existence of anti-white racism, and their active attempts to portray white people only as the enactors of racism.

  80. Nabakov
    December 15th, 2005 at 15:57 | #80

    “I am sorry, friends, but you did not manage to trip me over. This is what I said:

    “In the wake of the lengthy Muslim riots in my native country, international newsmedia and academics like Professor Quiggin…�

    While ambiguious, I am sure that all but the most rigid and inflexible will concede that in this passage I was describing a certain kind of academic; one prone to outbursts of leftist fervor.”

    Yer right, no one tripped you over, you did it yourself. That’s a pissweak piece of hairsplitting.

    Returning to the main issue here, I lean toward wilful’s take on it a few comments above.

  81. Marcian. S
    December 15th, 2005 at 16:01 | #81

    ———————————
    Quoting UQStudent:

    “Gangrapes? I thought that was just “boys will be boysâ€?, but I guess that’s only when white football players do it. I know that they sure as hell didn’t call it a “SEX SCANDAL!!!!â€? when the perpetrators were ethnic gangsters.”
    ——————————–
    More thought is needed here. You are comparing the racially-motivated pack rape of eleven teenagers by a band of Lebanese-Australian serial rapists to single incident rapes perpetrated by footballers, yes?

    Firstly, the footballers, while detestable humans who should be executed for their crimes, did not choose their prey on the basis of race. The Lebanese gangsters have repeatedly stated that they explicitly chose young Australian women for rape.

    Secondly, the footballers (as far as I know) each sexually assaulted a single woman. The Muslim gang is now serving 55 years for the rape (serial pack rape, to be precise) of eleven young teenage women.

    While all rapes are abhorrent and should be punished with death, certainly the context of these crimes warrants that each should recieve a different contextual categorization. If merely for reasons of clarity.

    But the public are not so clinically minded. Two rapes compared are equally terrible. But to add the stigma of multiple-victim, racially-motivated rape to one is to heap additional malignancy upon it.

    I do not believe that anyone was so flippant as to regard the crimes of the white footballers as “boys will be boys”. If you can produce evidence indicating otherwise, then you will have proven that there are some astoundingly insensitive people in the newsmedia.

  82. Marcian. S
    December 15th, 2005 at 16:03 | #82

    Nabakov, I am perhaps hairsplitting, but so are you, in interpreting my sentence in a way more convient to you.

    I am, at least, not lazy, in that I do not merely point to someone else’s thoughts and grunt “what he said”.

  83. Ian Gould
    December 15th, 2005 at 16:08 | #83

    Terje: “Why do the Lebanese gangs exist?”

    why do gangs of any ethnicity exist?

  84. Ian Gould
    December 15th, 2005 at 16:14 | #84

    As far as the issue of whether either or both factions were guilty of racism, as oposed to simple fuckwittery: so far as I know there were no Lebanese or Muslim religious flags on display; thereseems to have been no Lebanese equivalent of the “Patriotic youth League” and I’ve yet to hear reports of text messages inviting people to attend “bash a skip” day.

  85. Nabakov
    December 15th, 2005 at 16:14 | #85

    Think of it as economical, not lazy MS. Unlike you I’m not really into windy digressions.,

    Digressing a bit now, I’d pay good money to watch you in a Cronulla pub explaining to the locals your reasons for executing footballers.

  86. wilful
    December 15th, 2005 at 16:19 | #86

    Just to pile on Marcian. S, yes that was a pathetic bit of hairsplitting. But as long as you’re comfortable wildly generalising about the Professor while you’re on his bit of e-realestate…

  87. Pinguthepenguin
    December 15th, 2005 at 16:25 | #87

    “no Lebanese equivalent of the “Patriotic youth Leagueâ€? and I’ve yet to hear reports of text messages inviting people to attend “bash a skipâ€? day.”

    Well there certainly wasn’t a seperate group dedicated to “leb pride” the same as there was a “white pride” group. But you can’t deny that the general ethos was any different.

    I think the text messages sent were explicit enough without using those exact words.

    I don’t know how you can deny that the lebanese gangs were ratially motivated in their attacks. (If that is indeed what you are doing)

  88. Pinguthepenguin
    December 15th, 2005 at 16:27 | #88

    errm…

    “ratialy” should be “racially”

    An edit feature would be nice on this forum.

  89. Ian Gould
    December 15th, 2005 at 16:34 | #89

    “I don’t know how you can deny that the lebanese gangs were ratially motivated in their attacks. (If that is indeed what you are doing)”

    I think they were motivated by a desire to thump anybody who challenged their “right” to act like dickheads on the beach – whether the people in question were black, white or brown.

  90. Marcian. S
    December 15th, 2005 at 16:36 | #90

    In regard to the argument as to the true meaning of “assimilation”, I believe that it is merely the act of society turning race blind.

    A thousand years ago, it was unthinkable for a Scot to live immediately beside a Northumbrian. They would have eventually killed each other over historical grievance.

    It is this awareness of historical grievance that motivates all racial aggression. Others have mentioned that this racial “specialness” is common to all people. I agree that English people like being English, and so on. But there is now no need for an English-Australian to drive down to an Irish bar and rough up the locals. The historical grievance is most certainly there, but it has been made redundant by the shared identity of English and Irish Australians.

    The Lebanese/Muslim phenomenon is different, because Australia has not perpetrated any historical injustices against the Lebanese people. Yet there is that same perception of historical injustice. The same sense of victimhood that in a way allows Lebanese to justify cruelty to white Australians.

    I believe that this is mainly fueled by two sources. Firstly, Islam. It is, at its core, deathly opposed to western liberalism and democracy. This is a very lengthy argyument and I do not wish to become mired in it. Suffice to say, while you can say to me that the Bible (old testament) and the Koran are comparable because they both encourage nastiness toward your fellow man, the former is the handbook of a much reformed theology. Islam had no reformation and cannot have one, as there is no mechanism for internal or external criticism. To do so seriously is to invite terminal censure.

    The second is you, my leftist friends. Your hearts are too big! You weep so openly for all the cruelties of (white) man. You are so anxious to apologise for the crimes (real and imagined) of your imperial forebears that you forget the Darwinian nature of politics and power. Europe won the original clash of civilizations. This does not mean that the others did not enter the contest. Your impulsive need to laboriously find fault with yourselves and almost none with the Arab nations (who since the time of Mohammed have been anything but peaceful) that you have convinced the young children of well-integrated Lebanese parents that they have a great deal to be upset about. You do not discourage the tribalism that their parents sought to escape in coming here, and instead of encourage them to incorporate the best western culture has to offer them into their lives and cultures (as the natural process had always been before) you sternly advise them to reject it, lest they lost a precious drop of their cultural uniqueness.

    This is not a formula for harmony. Look to Britain (as a former Frenchman I hate to say this) while the white people there now may be impossible to differentiate, just 1,500 years ago, according to the Venerable Bede, there were dozens of kingdoms, countless tribes and numberless tongues that ruled the island. They warred with one another on sight.

    Yet today, such a thing is unthinkable. To say that there is any real, substantial difference between a man from Wessex and a man from Northumbria is to draw confused looks. Now there is only the slight accent variation to mark the bloodsoaked boundaries of empires. That is assimilation. They have not lost anything of themselves, they have merely grown together. They have weathered the same storms over many hundreds of years. It has ever been thus, from before the time when Tacitus pondered over the tribes who would someday coalesce to become the Franks (proto-French).

    The same can be done here, but we must endeavor to make ourselves oblivious to race. Your reverse racism is, forgive me, stupid. You hop from one foot to another. It highlights the superficial differences and breeds resentment and division.

    You leftists are swimming against the tide. Mankind’s natural impulse is to become more alike, not to keep a permanent, artificial divide between cultures that are, in the scale of history, not old and reverred, but quite new. Migrants should be encouraged to take the best from us, and we should be open to accepting the best from them. It isn’t a matter of grafting them on to a bland European cultural hegemony. It is a synthesis, the results of which will not be seen in our lifetimes.

    What will grow in Australia, unchecked, without all of your well meaning self-loathing and multicultural policies, will be a beautiful new hybrid organism. Like any new creation, it is best not tampered with too extensively.

    Surely that is more desirable for all of us.

    Of course, I could be wrong. Nabakov will inform you as to how, or, if he’s feeling lazy again, indicate in general direction of someone who can.

  91. Marcian. S
    December 15th, 2005 at 16:39 | #91

    “Digressing a bit now, I’d pay good money to watch you in a Cronulla pub explaining to the locals your reasons for executing footballers.”

    I am sorry I cannot accomodate you by being beaten to an appropriate degree.

    To be more exacting, I would suggest that rapists who just happen to be footballers should be executed.

  92. Pinguthepenguin
    December 15th, 2005 at 16:49 | #92

    “I think they were motivated by a desire to thump anybody who challenged their “rightâ€? to act like dickheads on the beach – whether the people in question were black, white or brown.”

    Then why the attacks random white people living in the shire? Why were people bashed in front of their children while taking out their garbage in the evening?

    These weren’t people who had been involved in an rally, these weren’t the “bra boys” these weren’t people at the beach, these were white people in their own neighbourhood going about their own business.

    To me that seems pretty racially motivated.

  93. Ian Gould
    December 15th, 2005 at 16:52 | #93

    Question: if this had happened in one of the primarily Vietnamese suburbs do you think they’d have been any less willing to attack random passersby?

  94. James Farrell
    December 15th, 2005 at 17:02 | #94

    Pingu

    I hope you don’t mind the abbreviated form of your name. Most of your comments were indeed mild. On the other hand you were endorsing comments of Marcian S. that came close to trolling.

    So far I haven’t heard any reputable journalist or academic ‘making excuses’ or ‘denying that Lebanese racism exists’. Certainly no one on this blog has done so. I can’t see the point of ceaselessly attacking this strawman.

    On the other hand, it’s legitimate to look for reasons why this or that group of people is prone to violent or criminal behaviour. That’s pretty much what social scientists and criminologists do, and they should be allowed to get on with it without someone jumping up and down every time, accusing them of ‘excusing’ the behaviour in question. Otherwise there’s nothing to say except ‘oh, how wicked!’.

  95. Jason Soon
    December 15th, 2005 at 17:13 | #95

    I say let’s deport this Macian S fellow. His values are clearly not consonant with the ‘fair go’ values of Australia …

  96. jquiggin
    December 15th, 2005 at 17:18 | #96

    Marcian, your attitude in lumping me in with Chomsky is unfortunately typical of your approach to the entire issue. If you had bothered to use the search facility on the blog you’d find plenty of criticism of Chomsky and nothing supportive.

    SImilarly, if you’d bothered to examine your own attitudes you would have realised that crimes committed by some Australians of Lebanese descent in no way excuse random attacks on Australians of Lebanese descent in general.

    Pingu, I suggest you reread the thread. There is no one here defending rioters of Lebanese descent. There are several people defending (or minimising the crimes of) rioters of Anglo descent, those who helped to instigate the Anglo side of the riots, sympathisers with the Anglo rioters, and so on. Why not attack them, starting with MS, instead of chasing shadows?

  97. Pinguthepenguin
    December 15th, 2005 at 17:19 | #97

    “So far I haven’t heard any reputable journalist or academic ‘making excuses’ or ‘denying that Lebanese racism exists’. Certainly no one on this blog has done so. I can’t see the point of ceaselessly attacking this strawman.”

    Point taken. Perhaps excuse was too strong a word. But I think you would agree that most commentators mention the racism of the cronulla thugs, but don’t explicitly mention the racism of the lebanese thugs. Perhaps this is now changing, and I haven’t collected any stats on that, but it is the general feeling I get.

    “On the other hand you were endorsing comments of Marcian S. that came close to trolling.”

    On re-reading his post, it is indeed rather inflamatory in parts.

    Oh well, live and learn.

    *squak*

  98. Pinguthepenguin
    December 15th, 2005 at 17:24 | #98

    “There is no one here defending rioters of Lebanese descent.”

    I don’t think I actually suggested anyone on here was. If I did, I appologise. I just thought I was contributing to the overal flow of the conversation.

    “There are several people defending (or minimising the crimes of) rioters of Anglo descent, those who helped to instigate the Anglo side of the riots, sympathisers with the Anglo rioters, and so on.”

    And I don’t agree with their sentiments. If it looked like I did then I guess I need to make an effort to be clearer in future.

    “Why not attack them, starting with MS, instead of chasing shadows?”

    Well, ok. Now you lost me. While I don’t agree with much of what MS is saying, I don’t want to dismiss him (or anyone else trying to participate) offhand. At the same time, I am not sure what shadows it is that I am chasing.

  99. James Farrell
    December 15th, 2005 at 17:32 | #99

    *squak*

    Is that Finnish for *squawk*, or Polish?

  100. December 15th, 2005 at 17:37 | #100

    Will De Vere, yes “hate” does rather define the opponents of Pauline Hanson. Well put.

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