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When racism is dressed up as patriotism

spot the difference

image: mgk:MachineGunKeyboard

From The Sydney Morning Herald:

When patriotism becomes provocation
January 31, 2009

John Huxley wants the Australian flag to be an emblem of quiet pride – not a rallying point for racism.

Not drowning, but waving. Just over 25 years ago, the nation celebrated one its greatest sporting victories, when Australia II sailed back from a watery grave to win the America’s Cup, by flying the flag. The famous green-and-gold boxing kangaroo flag.

As the historian Richard Cashman observes in his study Sport in the National Imagination, for two centuries Australians have celebrated, competed, fought and made friends under a dizzying variety of anthems, emblems, chants, colours and flags.

On Monday, though, it seemed only one set of paraphernalia, only one flag, was on show: the red, white and blue, the banner of a new Australianness, of a new political correctness. It was everywhere. It was on bandannas and bikinis, T-shirts and tattoos, caps and car stickers. It was worn as a cape, as a scarf, as a skirt. It was draped, as it routinely is these days, over the shoulders of sports stars such as the swimmer Stephanie Rice and the rehabilitated, and thereby rebranded, tennis player Jelena Dokic.

It was even drawn by a mischievous cartoonist about the body of the Australian of the Year, Mick Dodson, one of the few honoured Australians to express concern about the tone and timing of the Australia Day observance. Suddenly the whole of Australia was dressing like Pauline Hanson. The national flag was being loved, perhaps too much, possibly to death.

News brief · 31 January 2009

Hi Mum! Aren’t you AUSSIE proud of me?

We’re not sure how ‘fuck off, we’re full’ in the context of an Australia Day celebration isn’t a racist comment, but we at FDB hope Sharon’s mum has a quiet word with her about it (that and being 16 and puffing up on a dhurrie).

From The Daily Telegraph:

Aussie pride, baby

I’m not racist, says ‘f*** off’ teen

January 28, 2009

THE photo fanned fires of outrage across NSW and beyond.

Two Sydney girls and a boy, draped in Australian flags with sketches proclaiming F*** off we’re full on their stomachs, celebrating Australia Day with a message of anti-immigrant hostility and smirks on their faces.

News brief · 29 January 2009

Aussie flag, Australia Day hijacked – enough!

From The Daily Telegraph:

Thugs ruined our national day
Opinion By Paul Kent
January 28, 2009 12:00am

THE truth of Australia Day was the Australian flag became a symbol of the mob.

Hijacked by the clueless, if not the ruthless. Its tragedy is that it is our tragedy: the mugs are being allowed to get away with it.

Each year their aggressive behaviour, their anti-social overtones, reach new heights.

Video: Manly festivities get out of hand

The mugs were not celebrating Australia Day. They were celebrating Australia’s freedom, which includes the freedom to be jerks.

They have hijacked our flag as part of it. If we complain, it’s because we don’t get it. If we don’t, then we contribute to the gradual slide.

Here are mugs out of control.

Our flag has become their fashion accessory. A cape for alter-egos.

News brief · 28 January 2009

“F!@# off we’re full.” (Of shit.)

    Alan, it’s not just a few Anglo bastards on Australia Day, it’s millions. Australia is a very big country and it’s been taken over by this scum. It’s not a few causing trouble. It’s all of them.”

    Caller: “What kind of grubs do we have here?”
    Jones: “What kind of grubs? This lot were Anglo, we’re not allowed to say it, but I am saying it.”

The antics of somewhere between 80 and several hundred teenage boys on Manly beach on Australia/Invasion/Survival Day (January 26) has triggered some inevitable expressions of anguish over Australia, yoof, and the uses to which yoof put the Australian flag. Inevitable too, the drawing of comparisons with the violent racist outburst at Cronulla beach in 2005. In 2009, however, the odds were far less favourable for the young patriots: 80:1 as opposed to 5000:1. Nevertheless, the boys did succeed in wounding a teenage girl (of Asian descent), as well as frightening a lone taxi driver (a Sikh), a few (non-White) shopkeepers, and a number of local families with children.

Enough to make any digger’s heart swell with pride.

Naturally, ‘outsiders’ are being blamed for the troubles — many of the yoof supposedly came from suburbs other than Manly. By the same token, local police are keen to play down the significance of the teenagers’ antics.

However, it may be that the general public is becoming rather tired of the notion that being a (White) Australian and carrying a flag entitles you to act like a complete arsehole — or that having chosen to be born to non-White parents is a moral failing deserving of abuse, ridicule, or even physical assault.

Slackbastard · 28 January 2009 · Discussion

Denial: It’s not just a river in Egypt

Both NSW Police and Manly Council are trying hard to deny that the Australia Day mob scenes in Manly’s Corso had anything at all to do with (quelle horreur!) racism. Clearly, Manly merchants don’t want the ‘Cronulla ghost town’ effect and the police don’t want to be thought to be not to be doing their job.

But come on, now- Blind Freddy could see the racism on The Corso. Do we really need academics to unpick it? Well, OK then, here- have an academic’s estimation.

From The Sydney Morning Herald:

Manly ‘morons’ rampage was racist: academic

Georgina Robinson

January 27, 2009 – 3:31PM

Manly Council and local police have their “heads in the sand” if they believe racism had nothing to do with angry scenes in the northern beaches suburb yesterday, an academic says.

Mayor Jean Hay and police commander Dave Darcy were today hosing down accusations that a group of about 80 drunk teenagers who ran chanting and yelling through the town centre wrapped in flags were targeting ethnic Australians.

But Manly resident Nina Burridge, who was at The Corso when the celebrations turned ugly and has studied ethno-cultural diversity in communities, said there was no question the youths’ taunts and cheers were racially motivated.

“It was a mix of hoodlums who had obviously been drinking as well but, to me, there was also an underlying element of racism dressed up as nationalism,” Dr Burridge, a senior lecturer at the University of Technology Sydney, said.

News brief · 28 January 2009

Australia Day violence: ‘Boys will be boys’

FDB’s @ndy wraps Australia Day 2009 racist violence and tells us exactly who is pushing the ‘race war’ barrow:

Boys will be boys…

Manly erupts in violence on Australia Day
Justin Vallejo
The Daily Telegraph
January 26, 2009

…In Manly hundreds of youths draped in “Aussie pride” livery wore slogans declaring “f–k off we’re full” as they smashed up to three cars and ran up the famous Corso. A 18-year-old Asian female in one of the cars was showered with shattered glass, giving her numerous cuts to her arms. She was treated on the scene by ambulance officers. Groups of men jumped up on cars chanting race hate to the terrified passengers within. What started as chants of “Aussie Aussie Aussie” at 1pm had in an hour had developed an ugly overtone. By 3.30pm Manly police called in the public order and riot squad and PolAir in an attempt to control the crowd, made up of a core group of troublemakers estimated by police about 80 drunk teenagers from out of town… By the end three cars were damaged, one 16-year-old boy was charged with assaulting police, two 16-year-olds were cautioned for offensive behaviour and one cautioned for jumping into the water in front of the ferry… [SMH: police “arrested five 16-year-old males before the mob dispersed nearly two hours later.” Further: ‘Supt Darcy said the incident was just “exuberance” gone wrong by a handful of people. “The assaults were not racially motivated and police had observed people of all different ethnic backgrounds walking past this group and not being challenged,” he said.’]

As Manly narrowly escaped the potential of going off like a cracker, police were being called out all over NSW to break up brawls between Australia Day revellers. Police were called to a report of a 30-person brawl on Shelly Beach Road at Port Macquarie while another 30 people were reportedly fighting on Towns St in Shellbarbour. Ambulance crews were called to a fight at Sutherland train station with reports of a 10-person brawl, with a glassing and a female with a fractured finger. One person was taken to Sutherland Hospital while another has been arrested.

Fight dem back · 27 January 2009 · Discussion

What do you do with a drunken ‘soldier’?

From The Hun:

Southern Cross Soldiers plan Australia Day rally

January 23, 2009 12:00am

A RIGHT-WING nationalist group has organised a show of strength at a popular Melbourne beach on Australia Day.

The Southern Cross Soldiers, or SCS, has told members to gather at Mordialloc beach in Melbourne’s south this Monday to promote “Aussie Pride”.

The nationalist group, which boasts about 900 MySpace members, plans to meet at the steps of Flinders Street station at 12pm before heading to the beach “for drinks, etc” in what it describes as “the biggest day for SCS 2009″.

Police are monitoring the group and have assured beachgoers that existing patrols will be able to deal with any antisocial behaviour.

News brief · 24 January 2009

Griffin postpones Australian tour

Matthew Collins
January 2009

As 2008 drew to a close the news arrived that Nick Griffin, the BNP leader, had postponed his Christmas speaking tour of Australia.

Since the BNP first announced Griffin’s plans to visit the country last year, Searchlight has received a steady flow of enquiries not only from the Australian media, but from hundreds of Australian activists and trade unionists seeking Searchlight’s help with campaigning to stop Griffin’s visit.

In Britain, thousands of trade unionists and antifascist campaigners took advantage of Searchlight’s postcard campaign, inundating the Australian High Commission in London with our “He’s Not Fair Dinkum” postcards, while in Australia seasoned antiracist and antifascist campaigners from the Jewish community and the Fight dem back organisation joined with other faith groups and concerned organisations to pressure Chris Evans, the Australian Minister for Immigration, to deny Griffin an entry visa.

One of the organisations with which Searchlight is working closely is the Catalyst group, a democratic campaign organisation that works with the Australian trade union movement. Catalyst’s spokesperson, Jo-anne Schofield, told Searchlight that she had never heard of Griffin or the BNP, but within days of working alongside others fighting to stop Griffin’s visit, she felt it was “one of the most valuable and important campaigns” she and Catalyst had ever undertaken.

Catalyst organised for several hundred emails to be sent to Evans through its website, while Fight dem back delivered intelligence to media organisations on the true nature of some of the people Griffin wanted to visit as well as undertaking a poster campaign on Australian university campuses.

Last September, Searchlight met with representatives of the Australian Labor Party, including its General Secretary, to press for Griffin’s visa application to be refused.

In November, the Australian Minister for Immigration issued a press release stating that Griffin would have to satisfy the Character Test, a test that Searchlight suggested would be “worthless” if Griffin did manage to pass it.

In December, the BNP announced the visit had been “put off”, news that made many people relieved and satisfied. Across the board, political and religious organisations are still campaigning on behalf of all decent Australians who want to keep the messenger of hate from their shores.

Searchlight would like to send our thanks and congratulations to the many, many people who have helped with the campaign but also to remind them that it is not yet finished. Although Griffin’s electronic visa application has been refused, he has been asked to submit a full written application if he still wants to visit the country.

We will keep working throughout the New Year and for as long as it takes, to keep Australia a Griffin-free zone in 2009.

Fight dem back · 24 January 2009 · Discussion

Hijab wearers are criminals in disguise? Um, no.

Here we go again. Headscarf = criminal. *sigh*

We at FDB would like some concrete evidence that hijabs are being used as disguises. Since a hijab doesn’t cover the face, we find this highly dubious.

Perhaps a better explanation is Queensland retailer = redneck.

From the ABC:

Retailers call for ban on hijabs, hoodies

The Retailers Association has called for hijabs, hoodies and helmets to be banned from shops and banks.

The Queensland-based organisation says it represents smaller, independent retailers in Australia.

Association executive director Scott Driscoll says the items could be used as a disguise by criminals.

News brief · 15 January 2009

Any reasonable person would find radio 4BC offensive

From The Courier Mail:

Radio disc jockey Michael Smith accused of anti-Islamic remarks over hijab

By Robyn Ironside
The Courier-Mail
January 15, 2009 01:09am

* DJ accused on making anti-Islamic comments
* “Women who wear hijab should be fined”
* Islamic council says it is “intolerance”

A BRISBANE radio station may have to explain why it should keep its licence after an announcer was accused of making anti-Islamic comments.

Former Victorian police officer, now 4BC drive-time announcer, Michael Smith called for Muslim women who wear an Islamic hijab in public to be fined for offensive behaviour, The Courier-Mail reports.

He made the remarks on-air and on the 4BC website, saying: “Any reasonable person would find this offensive.”

News brief · 15 January 2009