The Guardian 3 August, 2005


Oppose racism

The fear campaign of the Howard Government and the overt racism of sections of the media are inevitably reaping a harvest of racism in society and among a tiny number of academics.

Professor Andrew Fraser is quoted as declaring that Africans are a crime risk because they have a low IQ and high testosterone levels (compared with the superior whites we presume). Such sentiments come straight out of the text books of the Nazis.

Professor Fraser is said to give his support to one of the racist groups in Australia which is waging a campaign of hate against minorities and ethnic communities.

It is gratifying that the Macquarie University which employed Professor Fraser has asked for his early retirement but this has been followed by claims about his right to "freedom of speech". The fact is that such racist views not only breed hate in the community but eventually lead to all sorts of crimes against those who have Asian, African or Aboriginal backgrounds. In the case of the Nazis such racist sentiments were used to justify the Nazi war against the Poles, Russians, Hungarians, Jews, Gypsies and other minorities.

If Howard’s pre-emptive strike mentality prevails and becomes directed against Asian countries such racist views would be used to justify war and the occupation of their countries. Such a conflict would result in the deaths of perhaps millions of people, including many Australians, as was the case in World War II. In these circumstances there can be no unfettered right to "freedom of speech" for those who preach racist sentiments. Every right is qualified by a responsibility.

Despite the hate message of the racist groups and the Nazi views of the likes of Professor Fraser there is much evidence to show that these sentiments are not supported by many Australians who have been convinced of the superiority, not of the white race, but of the necessity that the people of Australia, as a multi-cultural and multi-ethnic society, must live together with one another in friendship and peace. In reality there are no fundamental differences among people and there are no inherent superior and inferior racial groups.

But racism must be opposed before it becomes a menacing cancer in society. The Catholic Church is to be congratulated for referring a complaint against a Toowoomba group called the White Pride Coalition to the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission for its racist propaganda. The racists targeted Sudanese refugees who have settled in the Queensland city.

Another welcome sign is that a spokesperson for the Sudanese refugees is able to declare that the Toowoomba community "overwhelmingly support the newcomers".

But Toowoomba is not the only location in which racists are active and are distributing their vile propaganda. Racism needs to be opposed and exposed wherever it raises it head.

Ruddock’s ideological campaign

Another development during the past week was the attempt of Phillip Ruddock to justify the government’s draconian legislation allegedly directed against "terrorists" by claiming that the government has a responsibility to protect human life. In doing this he quoted the UN Human Rights Convention which in one article says that "Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security in person".

And so they do, but Ruddock is mocking the intention of the clause and ignores the fact that this is a universal right for "everyone" not just a select few who have become the victims of terrorist attacks in Britain.

It is the right of the Afghani and Iraqi people to life, the very people who are threatened by Australia’s armed forces which are part of the US-led occupation of these countries. These forces are heavily armed and prepared to kill the citizens of these countries. The Iraqis and Afghanis also have the right to life, liberty and security.

Indigenous Australians also have the right to the protection of these UN clauses but they are not getting it in Howard’s Australia.

Ruddock’s statement is yet another example of the desperate ideological campaign that government ministers are waging to hoodwink the Australian people to justify and force acceptance of their policies. Any debating trick is used, words are being turned inside out and lies are being told as a normal part of the government’s campaign.

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