Patriotism "racist"?

The study seems to have overlooked the origins of those who did not fly flags. Many may have been foreign-born. Perth has a very large contingent of Brits and whites from Southern Africa who may know little of Australian history. Had Australian-born people only been interviewed, there may have been no difference between flag flyers and others.

But the most important confounding variable would be social class. Middle class people are less likely to display patriotism and more "correct" in their expressed opinions

And it is after all reasonable to say that the long-term exclusion of blacks was beneficial -- given very high black crime-rates worldwide. It could be seen as rational rather than "racist"

DRIVERS who fly Australian flags on their cars to celebrate Australia Day are "more racist" than people who do not, according to research from UWA.

University of Western Australia sociologist and anthropologist Professor Farida Fozdar and a team of assistants surveyed 513 people at the Australia Day fireworks on Perth's Swan River foreshore last year to find out whether there was a link between car flag flying and racist attitudes, Perth Now reports.

Professor Fozdar said the team found that of the 102 people surveyed on the day who had attached flags to their cars for the national holiday, 43 per cent agreed with the statement that the now-abandoned “White Australia Policy” had “saved Australia from many problems experienced by other countries”.

She said that only 25 per cent of people who did not fly Australia car flags agreed with the statement.

Under the “White Australia Policy”, which was non-official government policy until after World War II, non-Europeans were barred from migrating to Australia.

The survey also found that a total of 56 per cent of people with car flags feared for Australian culture and believed that the country’s most important values were in danger, compared with 34 per cent of non-flag flyers.

Thirty-five per cent of flag flyers felt that people had to be born in Australia to be truly Australian, compared with 22 per cent of non-flag flyers. Twenty-three per cent of flag flyers believed that true Australians had to be Christian, while 18 per cent of non-flaggers agreed with the statement.

An overwhelming 91 per cent of people with car flags agreed that people who move to Australia should adopt Australian values, compared with 76 per cent of non-flaggers.

A total of 55 per cent of flaggers believed migrants should leave their old ways behind, compared with 30 per cent of non-flaggers.

“What I found interesting is that many people didn't really have much to say about why they chose to fly car flags or not," Professor Fozdar said.

"Many felt strongly patriotic about it - and for some, this was quite a racist or exclusionary type of patriotism - but it wasn't a particularly conscious thing for many.”


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