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Chockstone Forum - General Discussion
General Climbing Discussion
|OT: Human Rights Framework
On 1/05/2010 Wendy wrote:
>Another thing I regularly wonder, what aspects of Australian culture do people percieve to be so threatened by other cultures?
>I happen to live in a town known for climbers and artists, but the general area is notable as the bible belt of victoria, national party heartland and in the hey
>day of One Nation, home to the Victorian branch.
>I don't think all the conservatives in Victoria moved out to the
>Wimmera on purpose (although most of the climbers and artists did).
So, if the 'local' dispossessed of their culture group, decided that climbing on Djurite was to be respected as in the way not climbing on Uluru has been requested, would the participants in this thread feel their 'culture' threatened?
A climbing cultural invasion is an intriguing concept. We will have to stand up for our 'rights' or else PV/the system/already dispossessed minority group, may dispossess us!
On 1/05/2010 Wendy wrote:
>And in a racist society,
>it's quite a brave move sometimes.
Can I clear something up, is there a general consensus that Australia is a racist country?
Because sometimes I think when arguing about racism here, one has to consider the bigger picture.
On 1/05/2010 Wendy wrote:
>Displaced is such a nice way of putting it. Attempted genocide doesn't
>sound so acceptable. Of course there is a long history of european nations
>invading and overtaking other nations. That doesn't make it ok, and one
>of the wonders of having a concept of human rights that has been legally
>recognised is that we can now use them to prevent things like that happening
I’m not trying to pass judgement here. All kinds of animals have territories that they try to maintain and expand at the cost of others, from insects to fish to lions and all things inbetween. Sometimes the means of deciding who rules the roost is done without too much pain, othertimes not. There is no reason humans should be much different.
>In the modern, educated world
People who think that we who live in our new fangled modern world are the ‘enlightened ones’ and people in the past were somehow ignorant and in the dark are kidding themselves.
>I'm sad that living in a multicultural community makes you feel so threatened.
> Integration works both ways, and it's always an opportunity to learn about
>other countries, another language, eat different foods, whilst sharing
>your knowledge of Australia.
This kind of thing is fine for a holiday and at small levels at home but mostly I want to live with people like me. That’s fair enough and that’s why these enclaves form. I don’t want to live in a country fractured into different groups.
>And Australia really isn't being overrun
>by Asians, or indeed any nationality that people seem to consider a threatening
>culture. 8% of the population is of asian descent.
No it isn’t just asians but the example of where I live it is and if you were here you would agree, the asians here agree, I have asked them!
>British and NZ migrants
>way out number them, there being a bit over 1.5 million of people born
>in those countries currently resident in Australia and about 90% of the
>population of European descent. About 65% of people practice some form
>of christian religion, compared to 1.7 islam and .7 hindu.
I live in Sydney so that is mostly what I can comment on. Sydney is divided into various racial groups, of course there are many exceptions but broadly it is undeniable. I don’t think it is a good thing.
>If anyone was
>to feel threatened for the loss of their culture, it should be these minorities.
Sure, but they chose to move away from their culture! Also if you don’t keep a handle on it you could find yourself as a threatened minority.
> Societies don't become cohesive because we force other people to be like
>us. Australian policies have moved from assimilation to multiculturalism
>for a reason - assimilation (which is effectively what you are calling
>integration) didn't work.
Multiculturalism is silly, why should I give up part of my home to some people who are going to live segregated from me? People have been fighting to protect their homes for good reason since the beginning of time, why just give it away? If I’m not using it I’d rather leave it for my children and further descendants.
>Another thing I regularly wonder, what aspects of Australian culture do
>people percieve to be so threatened by other cultures?
In general, being replaced and confined.
On 1/05/2010 Wendy wrote:
>Another thought about enclaves - we have enclaves of all sorts
Yes, people will always tend to form groups of various description, some good, some indifferent, some bad, all categories depending on your opinion…and probably your groups ☺.
On 1/05/2010 Sabu wrote:
>Can I clear something up, is there a general consensus that Australia
>is a racist country?
Racism is essentially universal. Unless you are blind or have some kind of other unusual attribute it is impossible to not distinguish people by their physical features. Hence, there are only levels of racism. Also a lot of the time racism is not bad and makes perfect sense.
On 1/05/2010 Hendo wrote:
>... . Also a
>lot of the time racism is not bad and makes perfect sense.
And your rationale for this is?
Could you please explain so I can pass this fascinating insight onto my chinese sister-in-law and my cousin's aboriginal wife and their children?
I guess this is a change from the usual "I am not a racist but..." but it's really disgusting stuff.
This is why political threads like this have no place on Chockstone. It brings out all sorts of nasties.
On 1/05/2010 kieranl wrote:
>And your rationale for this is?
>Could you please explain so I can pass this fascinating insight onto my
>chinese sister-in-law and my cousin's aboriginal wife and their children?
>I guess this is a change from the usual "I am not a racist but..." but
>it's really disgusting stuff.
>This is why political threads like this have no place on Chockstone. It
>brings out all sorts of nasties.
Hey hey, think for a minute, don't be so quick to blanket ideas as bad.
One common example; you own a restaurant and you hire staff that are from the nationality of the food type for authenticity, Italian, chinese, whatever. Would you consider that unreasonable?
Something more obscure; you are training young sprinters and you want to get a champion. You choose to train negro people because they have fast twitch muscle type and have a proven track record. That seems reasonably justified.
I'm sure we can all dream up a multitude of examples. You can't just blanket all racism as bad. If you try to apply that idea always it won't work, you need to understand it a bit more if you really want to deal with it.
Also I'm not nasty, just interested and perhaps more free thinking and willing to entertain ideas. By the way I am keen for people to try to change my mind if they wish. I do consider other people's ideas and I know that my perspective of the world, right and wrong etc is subjective and so others need not necessarily agree. In a way that is part of what this discussion is about.
I'm in 100 percent agreement with hendo. I live in a part of melbourne that has been overrun by vietnamese, serbians, greeks, italians, bloody polaks germans and Austrians. Let's not forget xxx and xxx my aussie neighbours, xxx the (chinese) weird guy that shuffles about and is ok if he's had his medication. Another aussie the son of a ww2 vet cuts everyones hedge on the block, and he lives next door to a turkish family with two daughters and a son who make too much noise for his liking. Anyway he doesn't complain about them nearly as much now that the daughter of the doctors family next door (irish - can't remember their name) has moved in and plays music so loud it drowns out the childish squeals of his turkish neighbours. I nearly forgot the kenyan family down the road that have 4 kids in a three bed house and never fail to stop for a chat and a joke about (often cos they don't understand why we want to stop now we've got two kids). Jxxx too who's husband (another ww2 vet)died a month or two back has lived there all her life and has a junkie daughter who has a boyfriend who beat up xxx and xxx with an iron bar over an argument about a chicken. There is also the Buddhist guy (always in golden robes) who doesn't say much but manages to take 30 seconds out (from between his busy meditation schedule) to play with my daughter every time he walks past. He lives next door to the greek family who give us grapes and homemade dolmades every year. They all speak their own bloody language too. How rude of them to do so. Did I also mention that most of the above people came up and welcomed us to the neighbourhood within a week of moving in.
In summary Hendo, can you please edit your posts and substitute the word "I" for each time you say "most people".
Your views are not reflective of most people I know.
On 1/05/2010 Hendo wrote:
>>And Australia really isn't being overrun
>>by Asians, or indeed any nationality that people seem to consider a threatening
>>culture. 8% of the population is of asian descent.
>No it isn’t just asians but the example of where I live it is and if you
>were here you would agree, the asians here agree, I have asked them!
Wow Hendo... Normally I would avoid pages about "human rights" but clicked this out of boredom only to find that you've turned this into a thread about racism. As one of the Asians who live in your area, I can't say I agree... the Indians have taken over now :p (or at least have made a good start in taking over)
But seriously, I'll agree that no one is really colour blind (figuratively speaking...) and there are different levels of racism. At lower levels you can keep it to yourself [e.g. preferences for the opposite (or same if you swing that way...) sex or even food preferences] and at some point it starts to affect others (from alienating/avoiding them, to not employing them to even violence). I've definitely had this discussion with you before at some point but for those who don't know me that well I'm in the opinion that as long as it doesn't go further than just talk it doesn't really matter. I've known Hendo for a while now and he's not racist, he's just opened minded... in a very different way...
Also in Sydney, you can definitely divide certain regions as enclaves of different races, but I don't think thats a bad thing. At the very least, I think it's a good thing to know a little bit of other cultures [after all, who hasn't laughed at the (US) rednecks on Chasers or other shows] and you don't have to travel far for different choices for dinner!
I find it funny that Hendo the Asian disliker lives in an enclave with 90% asians and Wendy the opened minded one lives in the middle of white Australia. I live in an area where the white trash and dodgy migrants are 50/50. I don't dislike any group more than any other (that's a lie if I am honest because I don't like religious nutbags of any denomination)
Human rights come second to political agenda. There is no real intervention in Darfur, there was no international effort to stop genocide in Rwanda, there is no invasion of Zimbabwe by the US/Aus/UK to uphold human rights. Don't get me started on the Chinese occupation of Tibet. But we cared about human rights in Iraq and Afghanistan? - oh no there was a political agenda there unlike Rwanda, Sudan or Zimbabwe. On the other hand we turn a blind eye to China's invasion of Tibet because they buy our resources. Human rights is just another important issue bastardised by politians.
With regards to discrimination I am against it. But we need to start from now and not the 1930s. In my current profession the department is trying to correct the discrimination against women from 30 years ago. As a result the bosses are looking to ensure 50% of all enrolements this year are female, despite only about 15-20% of applicants being women. How do we justify 'righting' the past by discriminating on a new generation, try telling a 23 year old male sorry mate no job for you because your forefathers discriminated against one particular group 30 years ago.
Same goes with the intervention in the NT. The past policies have been a blight on our history but should not be used as leverage by communities to stop the intervention now. In the report 'the children are sacred' abuse and neglect where highlighted. We have a human rights obligation to address this but it will just become a political issue, no political party will make policy with the best interests of human rights if votes will be compromised.
Same goes with boat people. We interfere overseas (Human Rights you know i.e Afghanistan) then when those refugees arrive on fishing boats we seem to conveniently forget our Human Rights obligations. It is all political nonsense. Israel uses Phosphurous bombs - nevermind Human Rights don't want to upset the Jews and US. On and on and on........
On 2/05/2010 porkpie wrote:
>Same goes with boat people. We interfere overseas (Human Rights you know
>i.e Afghanistan) then when those refugees arrive on fishing boats we seem
>to conveniently forget our Human Rights obligations. It is all political
Yes, but I suspect that neither Kevin Rudd nor Tony Abbott truly understand the hypocrisy inherent in this!
On 2/05/2010 porkpie wrote:
>Human rights come second to political agenda. There is no real intervention
>in Darfur, there was no international effort to stop genocide in Rwanda,
>there is no invasion of Zimbabwe by the US/Aus/UK to uphold human rights.
> Don't get me started on the Chinese occupation of Tibet. But we cared
>about human rights in Iraq and Afghanistan? - oh no there was a political
>agenda there unlike Rwanda, Sudan or Zimbabwe. On the other hand we turn
>a blind eye to China's invasion of Tibet because they buy our resources.
> Human rights is just another important issue bastardised by politians.
Sigh, since I've already replied in this thread I'll bite... Normally one would define an invasion as one nation occupying another nation. Since you know so much about the history of the region, at what point was Tibet a separate nation all together? When was it established and by what means was it established (War of independence? By mutual agreement with it's previous sovereign state)? Who or what nations recognised, at the time, it as a separate state?
Also, the bloodshed/uprising is not as one sided as you may think. A good starting point about the recent history can be found in the following link
it's biased towards "US non-violent policies" however it does mention the CIA training and arming of local militia. It is also fully referenced if you want to follow up any of the information. A lot of what you think you know about Tibet are nothing but remnants of old Cold War lies and propaganda as well as remnants of (very) old British Colonialist propaganda when they were trying to expand British India's territories (which has lead to territorial disputes in this region to this day).
As for the rest of your thread... I more or less agree that "human rights" is just a convenient tool that can be used to justify actions that normally would not be popular. Political leaders use it when convenient and ignore it when it's not. In short it's vague idea in which NOBODY can provide a concise definition of which is used against stupid people who wish to be morally superior. Wave the words "humans rights" around and I guarantee you that it's possible to gather a large crowd and march into the city without anyone in the crowd knowing what the gathering is for.
On 2/05/2010 porkpie wrote:
>I find it funny that Hendo the Asian disliker
I'd like to point out my problem isn't that I hate other types of cultures, its just that I value my own and see it as something I would like to maintain. Currently where I live it has been displaced to a large degree and I see this happening many places. Hence there is a problem I think is worth discussing.
On 2/05/2010 porkpie wrote:
>With regards to discrimination I am against it.
It irritates me when people say blanket things like this and while you hopefully don't mean it that way it is often put around that way. If you cannot discriminate between people on any basis then you are reduced to making random samples from the population or some other ridiculous method. Discrimination is a necessity, people are not identical. It is not always bad.
I'll make an exaggerated example. Say someone wants to go play for an Australian sporting team. The selectors say no, your ball skills are crap, but no that's discrimination based on their ball skills, then no you are not big/strong enough, no but thats discrimination on body type, then no you are a man and this is a female team, no that's sex discrimination, then no you are 100 years old and you will suck and potentially die, but no thats age and health discrimination. Clearly discrimination is necessary, and as mentioned above that includes racial discrimination.
It saddens me that this xenophobic and isolationist rubbish persists in modern Australia. Illiteracy aside, I find it difficult to comprehend your argument beyond a transparent, racist loathing of that which you are unwilling to understand.
A recurring theme in your posts is this idea of ‘relative discrimination’: that somehow an analogy of a restaurant hiring staff of a certain race justifies a larger, more blanketed cultural repression and racial segregation. You confuse racial prejudice with racial differentiation, and you ultimately do a very poor job of defending your unreasonable and frightening xenophobia.
In an even more disturbing rant of yours, you implicitly justify the cultural genocide and torturous repression of the Australian aboriginal people by arguing it reasonable to expect the Australian continent to have been “conquered”. Such hurtful racially prejudice sentiments are an unforgivable insult to a race for which—due to events beyond the control of you or I—we ought to owe solemn regret.
Angered as I may be, in responding to your posts I am encountering much difficulty in seriously addressing any of your points; your largely unintelligible “rules of the jungle” paragraph being a fine example. Yes, human rights do indeed exist in our imagination: they are the result of reasoned moral philosophy, thankfully not conjured up by moronic people such as yourself. We can only look at mistakes of the past—cultural repression, genocide, slavery—and guide society to an enlightened and socially harmonious existence. That bigots such as yourself must suffer the supposed indignity of hearing a foreign language on your way to the store simply brings me great pleasure.
Nobody is “forcing” culture upon you. Australia is not “overrun with Asians”. The cause of your prejudice I can only suppose, but my only suggestion is that you lock yourself in your room, post a “No Asians” sign on your door, and grow old in splendid, lonely, isolation. You may be inclined to peer out the windows on occasion and sneer at the different coloured people enjoying their lives. Assuming you can’t be convinced to share your world with other races, I see your bigoted views being buried with you as a preferable outcome to this hurtful soapbox rant.
I am loathe to waste too much time addressing your irrational argument. You are but a blight on an otherwise fantastic country.
On 2/05/2010 Hendo wrote:
>On 2/05/2010 porkpie wrote:
>>I find it funny that Hendo the Asian disliker
>I'd like to point out my problem isn't that I hate other types of cultures,
>its just that I value my own and see it as something I would like to maintain.
>Currently where I live it has been displaced to a large degree and I see
>this happening many places. Hence there is a problem I think is worth discussing.
I just suddenly remembered a moment on a trip me, Hendo and a bunch of our undergraduate friends (most who were Asians) had to Wollongong... John, Calvin, Hendo and myself were riding bikes towards Shellharbour when a bunch of idiots we rode past started making stupid fake "Kung Fu" noises and poses (everyone but Hendo in that group was of Chinese decent). When Hendo (at the rear) rode past them they stop making those poses and shouted out "Asian wannabe!". Anyway I digress...
Personally I think cultures will change, regardless of whether new groups entire the society or not. I'm going to use my local area as an example, cause that's what I've actually observed for all my life and can comment about. We can use Macquarie Shopping Centre as a good example of cultures changing without foreign forces... it used to be a small shopping centre with everything the community needed and now is a f---ing monstrosity with only designer clothes lines. That has virtually no Asian influence (except possibly the food court). Even in Eastwood, which admittedly is predominately Korean and Chinese now), still have the basic community needs. You still have at least three medical centers (one on Progress Ave, one outside of Franklins and one on Rowe St), two pharmacies (both on the paved area outside the shopping center), plenty of bank outlets and Eastwood still has a bar (not to mention a Liquor Land, a Dan Murphy and another liquor store that I don't know the name of...). The only thing that has suffered in Eastwood store wise in my opinion are the fast food chains which are virtually non-existent there now...
Sports culture? Eastwood still maintains one of the strongest Rugby teams in the nation, but that's because you can actually call Rugby a sport... The only "sport" that has probably suffered with the higher Asian population proportion is probably cricket... but thats more to do with it being a shit boring game. Even second/third generation descendants of immigrants (from non-colonial nations... Indians/Pakistanis (sp?) don't count) will generally agree with that statement.
I have to disagree with you Hendo on this one... I don't see the any of the cultures displacing other ones. Cultures/values naturally evolve and change with time without any external forces. You can look at any major city in the world, study their history and observe that no one there would practice old traditions, especially tradition those pertaining old farming practices which are no longer relevant. The only places where values and culture doesn't change are in small towns who's growth is stagnant and are isolated from the rest of the world which doesn't describe Sydney (or any of the places where I suspect most Chockies here would be from). Community values may take a different direction with new immigrants, but it's unrealistic to believe that they will stay the same with time anywhere in Sydney or any major city for that matter.
On 1/05/2010 Sabu wrote:
>Can I clear something up, is there a general consensus that Australia
>is a racist country?
>Because sometimes I think when arguing about racism here, one has to consider
>the bigger picture.
I suggest you contemplate race riots in cronulla, petitions against mosques, attacks on indians, support for pauline hanson, paranoia about refugees arriving on boats or asians taking all the jobs, rates of incarceration of aboriginal people for petty offences, objections to Sorry day and stories like ET's ride through wollongong and assess for yourself.
On 2/05/2010 Mr Milk wrote:
> A recurring theme in your posts is this idea of ‘relative discrimination’:
> that somehow an analogy of a restaurant hiring staff of a certain race
>justifies a larger, more blanketed cultural repression and racial segregation.
>You confuse racial prejudice with racial differentiation, and you ultimately
>do a very poor job of defending your unreasonable and frightening xenophobia.
I didn’t say that at all I was just giving an example of when it makes sense to differentiate people based on race ie. racism.
On the contrary I was trying to put across the idea that it isn’t black and white and that there are differences; ‘racial prejudice with racial differentiation’, a spectrum of grey. I think maybe we define the term racism differently; you don’t include racial differentiation whereas I do.
>In an even more disturbing rant of yours, you implicitly justify the cultural
>genocide and torturous repression of the Australian aboriginal people by
>arguing it reasonable to expect the Australian continent to have been “conquered”.
I didn’t intentionally imply justification of this. I was just saying something more along the lines of that it is part of life, these things happen.
>Such hurtful racially prejudice sentiments are an unforgivable insult to
>a race for which—due to events beyond the control of you or I—we ought
>to owe solemn regret.
I’m not too keen to pass judgement on history usually especially the older it gets; different times, different places, different attitudes, I can’t know too much about it so the fence is a good place to be. I’m not sure you can condemn the past with modern morals. In the future people will probably be condemning us for our ‘wrongs’ through different standards, that isn’t necessarily fair. However, that doesn’t mean I would repeat things or not learn from things done throughout history, now is a different time and place. And no, this isn’t a justification of what happened either.
>Angered as I may be, in responding to your posts I am encountering much
>difficulty in seriously addressing any of your points; your largely unintelligible
>“rules of the jungle” paragraph being a fine example. Yes, human rights
>do indeed exist in our imagination: they are the result of reasoned moral
Early last century Germany was one of the most educated countries on earth and had a long history in philosophy. This somehow lead to the Nazi regime which many people now associate with evil. Reason and moral philosophy can lead down very different paths leading to contradictory viewpoints. It isn’t a guaranteed recipe for universal truth and goodness.
>thankfully not conjured up by moronic people such as yourself.
>We can only look at mistakes of the past—cultural repression, genocide,
>slavery—and guide society to an enlightened and socially harmonious existence.
I think complete social harmony is an unattainable dream and different people will have different and contradictory versions of this dream. Looking at places like Palestine I think there is enough hate in some people that their dream of social harmony involves the extermination of another people, something you consider a mistake, but they would not.
As regards slavery, as an interesting side note I think by some definition widespread slavery is still in existence. If you consider slavery as giving people just enough to survive so they can come back to work for you the next day then the rich are still very much engaged in slavery. Globalisation has just allowed it to be done elsewhere.
>That bigots such as yourself…
>You are but a blight on an otherwise fantastic country.
Do I detect a hint of prejudice here? You don’t know me at all :P
>this hurtful soapbox rant.
As I mentioned before I am interested in other people’s idea I’m not trying to soapbox rant.
In general what I am mostly concerned about is maintaining what I view as my way of life and living with people who I consider like me, I don’t see why that is shameful.
On 2/05/2010 ET wrote:
>I have to disagree with you Hendo on this one... I don't see the any of
>the cultures displacing other ones. Cultures/values naturally evolve and
>change with time without any external forces.
Yes, of course things change, otherwise humanity would never have permuted away from caveman mode. But change still needs to be managed, there are plenty of examples, some referred to above, where things have been done in a way I wouldn’t want to live through.
On 1/05/2010 Hendo wrote:
>mostly I want to live with people like me.
I quite like to hang out with people like me too, but I find that I share many things like beliefs, values, interests and sense of humour with people of other races and cultures. Being white and speaking English as a first language doesn't automatically make a person "like me". I also quite like things that are different too, because, otherwise quite frankly, the world would be a little boring. If Australia's only influence was Britain, we'd be stuck with things like bangers and mash and brit pop. Thank god some other cultures brought decent food and music into our country.
>Multiculturalism is silly, why should I give up part of my home to some
>people who are going to live segregated from me? People have been fighting
>to protect their homes for good reason since the beginning of time, why
>just give it away? If I’m not using it I’d rather leave it for my children
>and further descendants.
Multiculturism is not silly and is not about giving up part of your home to other people. It's about saying it's possible to live side by side and respect and learn from other cultures and acknowledging that Australia does represent many different cultures. Asians have in fact been in australia longer than the british (look up pre-invasion trade with indonesia, china and other asian nations) and the chinese began migrating here in substantial numbers in the 1850s.
>>Another thing I regularly wonder, what aspects of Australian culture
>>people percieve to be so threatened by other cultures?
>In general, being replaced and confined.
Apart from my general disbelief that this is happening at all, these aren't aspects of Australian culture. Just to pull out some Ozzie cliches, isn't australian culture supposed to be about "mateship" and "fair go"? Would that make us usurping our own culture by rejecting and judging other people for their race or ethnicity?
The greatest number of "illegals" in australia are british visa overstayers. Which makes us most like to be "replace and confined" and all our jobs stolen by british backpackers. Funnily enough, I don't here people complaining about that much.
>Racism is essentially universal. Unless you are blind or have some kind
>of other unusual attribute it is impossible to not distinguish people by
>their physical features. Hence, there are only levels of racism. Also a
>lot of the time racism is not bad and makes perfect sense.
I think you are heading skew whiff here. Sure, we can distinguish people by physical features. Within those of caucasian background, we have people of different heights, builds, hair and eye colour, skin tone, breast size and penis length amongst many others. However, people don't tend to complain about all those bloody red heads, write off all short people or reach some other totally irrelevant conclusion about people with large noses. Except possibly in relation to penis size. Racism is holding certain beliefs and reaching conclusions and judgements about people purely on observation of their race and applying it universally to all people of that race.
There is also a difference between appropriate and sensitive choices based on certain characteristics and racism. There are good reasons behind employing women in women's refuges, aboriginals in aboriginal coops and people who at least speak the language and have some knowledge of the culture that a population comes from when working with that group. It's like we employ people with medical degrees to be doctors.
On 2/05/2010 Wendy wrote:
>Being white and speaking English as a first
>language doesn't automatically make a person "like me".
No of course not, but to me often a good start.
> I also quite like
>things that are different too, because, otherwise quite frankly, the world
>would be a little boring. If Australia's only influence was Britain, we'd
>be stuck with things like bangers and mash and brit pop. Thank god some
>other cultures brought decent food and music into our country.
In some sense it is a matter of perspective, if you didn’t know these things existed you probably would probably make good of what you have and it wouldn’t seem so boring. Imagine all the radical alien culture you are missing out on, how boring is all this earth stuff! I often get a sense that Australians think they have nothing to offer and we have to import all this stuff. I’m interested in these things too but would like to have some faith in Australia, give it some room and see what we can come up with too, which is difficult in the onslaught of things coming from overseas. And before anyone gets the idea, no I am not proposing a ban of any kind of cultural import.
>Multiculturism is not silly and is not about giving up part of your home
>to other people.
Ok, maybe ‘silly’ was a bad choice of word. It does involve sharing (and hence giving up) part of your home.
>It's about saying it's possible to live side by side
>and respect and learn from other cultures
This is a very ‘happy’ way of viewing things and there are positives, but there are many potential problems. I don’t think it is sensible to just assume or hope that with having all these different people everyone is going to play nice and it is going to work out. Before I went to university I guess I hadn’t been around the city so much, but at uni I was alarmed that all these varieties of ethnic people would come up to me and ask ‘what etho are you?’. At first I didn’t even know what they meant by ‘etho’, I always just considered myself and them as Australian and it was a bit of a shock to realize that many of them consider themselves something else first, Australian second, and even if the other way around, clearly as different to myself and other groups. I have met a number of people of different ethnicities who I have talked to once but otherwise don’t know at all that have very openly told me they hate and avoid particular racial groups (I don’t want to pin this on any particular groups no I won’t mention which exactly) that conflicted with theirs in their parent’s country, despite being born in Australia, having spent very little time in their parent’s country if at all. This is clearly a problem associated with allowing communities to set up.
>Apart from my general disbelief that this is happening at all, these aren't
>aspects of Australian culture.
Well I can tell you that it is happening to me, or if you don’t accept that, I feel like it is happening to me. It makes perfect sense to me that the asian people around here would like their own community, but so do I and I feel like I should not just sit back and let it go (but probably will anyway). I don’t see why I should prefer them over me. And no it isn’t all me vs them there is some blending but a lot of the time it does feel that way.
I remember I once went into an asian restaurant to meet an asian friend. The signage was all in Chinese but I had been described which one it was. I arrived and my friend was not there so I sat at a table. The woman working there was obviously a bit distressed and nervous because she couldn’t speak English so she basically just nervously handed me the menu, all of which was in Chinese. She knew that I obviously was not going to be able to make any real choice. While I wasn’t made to feel unwelcome and the woman tried to be nice, the restaurant was obviously aimed at Chinese and I certainly didn’t feel welcome and she clearly would have preferred not to have to deal with me (I don’t think because she hates me or anything like that, but because it is difficult). This is a bit of an extreme example and doesn’t represent all situations but it gives some indication.
> Just to pull out some Ozzie cliches, isn't
>australian culture supposed to be about "mateship" and "fair go"? Would
>that make us usurping our own culture by rejecting and judging other people
>for their race or ethnicity?
I can’t really describe what my culture is because it is all very complicated, probably full of contradictions etc but everyone has one and it is implicit in your way of life, thoughts, actions, memories etc etc
>The greatest number of "illegals" in australia are british visa overstayers.
> Which makes us most like to be "replace and confined" and all our jobs
>stolen by british backpackers. Funnily enough, I don't here people complaining
>about that much.
If they want to they can probably assimilate easily, fit in much better and don’t stand out so there isn’t so much problem.
>There is also a difference between appropriate and sensitive choices based
>on certain characteristics and racism. There are good reasons behind employing
>women in women's refuges, aboriginals in aboriginal coops and people who
>at least speak the language and have some knowledge of the culture that
>a population comes from when working with that group. It's like we employ
>people with medical degrees to be doctors.
Exactly, things are not black and white but grey that is/was my point. As regards human rights imagine if you had a law making it illegal to treat people of different races or sex differently under any circumstances. If you took that to the letter of the law there would be all sorts of problems. Medical treatment can be different depending on sex/race but if you were to stick to that hard and fast, doctors would not be allowed to use different treatments. This is just one example. How would you loosen it to 'certain circumstances'?
Hmm, nobody pulled out the line about rights coming with responsibilities did they? What it boils down to is:
1) People are afraid of foreginers because they are different.
2) People come to a country for many reasons. People are more accepting of those that come for humanitarian reasons than those that come for economic reasons. Are you telling me that if you were living in poverty and you could go to another country where hard work might improve your life and the life of your family you wouldn't go?
3) Once you get to your new country and discover that people aren't always very nice to you because you look funny and talk funny, wouldn't you look for people who treat you as an equal? Or do you expect them to just keep taking the shit and struggle to be like you Hendo?
4) Is a homogenous culture such a good thing? If that's what you want go to almost any small town in Australia that's far from one of the capital cities and stay there. Everyone is the same, nobody has to think, a beautiful, blissful redneck wonderland with plenty of "us" and very few of "them".
5) OR, stop worrying about immigration, enjoy the fact that it is a sign of economic prosperity, enjoy the fact that they are bringing great ideas and different culture and get in amongst the wonderful mix of different people. Look at your family tree and see the mix in that. Who cares if "they" outnumber "us", go and live in Bali, I think you'll find there that there are plenty of people just like you treating the locals just like shit.
6) In case you haven't got enough to rant about yet, just remeber: There can never be justice on stolen land!
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