Australian racism – it's just not cricket.

“The Zimbabwean Government has denounced Australia’s decision to ban its national cricket team’s tour of Harare over the country’s political and economic crisis as “desperate” and “racist”….
“”Australia is one of the worst human rights violators in this whole world.
“Look what they have done to the Aborigines and yet they have the audacity to stand up and claim to have the moral authority to condemn us. (ABC News item at http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200705/s1921676.htm )

Critical examination of the Howard government’s claim to moral authority is to be welcomed.

Institutionalised racism runs deep in Australia and any attempt to contrast the position of the Howard government needs to be able to do so against that background.

SOME EVIDENCE

Certainly there is ample evidence to confirm such a hypothesis regarding Australian racism under John Howard’s government.

This includes: the attack on ATSIC by his government’s first Cabinet meeting; his appearance at the Longreach Stockman’s Hall of Fame – at the height of the debate over amending the Native Title Act with his ten point plan – dressed in the uniform of the grazier sent a clear message of where he stood and who he was representing; the abolition of ATSIC and the removal of a form of representation and voice for Australia’s surviving First Peoples in this country’s system of governance; the lack of support for indigenous rights in the United Nations; and so on.

AND IN THE REGION

His position in relation to human rights in West Papua (silence and amending domestic law) and his high-handed treatment of people in Papua New Guinea and the Pacific generally also lends weight to the proposition that the present Australian Prime Minister and the government he represents does, indeed, suffer from a deep-seated from of racism.

New Zealand/Aotearoa is accepting seasonal workers from the Pacific, while Howard’s Australia restricts this to ‘acceptable’ Backpackers with good jobs to return to. This form of discrimination is clearly visible from the perspective of Pacific Island and PNG life, where a small income (by Australian standards) makes all the difference in the world.

WHEN PM HOWARD SEES BLACK, HE SEES RED.

Prime Minister Howard’s attack on Barack Obama, an Afro-American daring to run for President of the United States, stands in stark contrast to his (PM Howard’s) willing and timid acquiescence and acceptance of the position of George W Bush.

PM Howard’s silence in regard to other candidates lends more support to the view that the Australian Prime Minister regards all to be well in the world when people of good Anglo stock (like him) are in key positions of power and authority.

So when we see the PM Howard attacking yet another man with a dark skin, the Zimbabwe President, we are entitled to ask just where he is coming from, especially since it is out of character for the Australian Prime Minister to be leading any charge on genuine human rights issues.

“WHITE FARMERS”

It is well known that the Zimbabwe President has taken a very hard line with land reform and what the media refers to as “White” farmers – the same class of people who John Howard supported when appearing at the Longreach Stockman’s Hall of Fame.

The hypothesis “White farmers first – Black people second” could well be deducted by a behavioural scientist in both cases.

Any useful and healing message which Australia’s people could be sending to people in Zimbabwe is pre-empted by the domestic record of Prime Minister Howard and his government.