By JR on Tuesday, July 14, 2015
Does criticism of multiculturalists imply racism?
Concerning criticism that drew attention to the Greek background of controversial Australian tennis player Nick Kyrgios:
I am not entirely in agreement with the thoughts below, though they do have some merit. I see Dawn Fraser's words as an acknowledgement of multiculturalism. The very idea of multiculturalism implies a recognition that cultures differ. And what is acceptible in one culture may be unacceptable in others. And Australia is unequivocally multicultural.
So if Fraser saw an Australian-born product of Greek culture as lazy and not making an effort, that could be an accurate recognition of a cultural difference. Given the parasitical tendencies of the Greek nation presently on worldwide dispay, how can we say she was wrong?
It's certainly politically incorrect to mention any negative features of multiculturalism but that is just prejudging the matter. It certainly says nothing about the truth of a matter. It forbids truths of some sorts from being uttered but it does not abolish them
Fraser was entitled to her views and she should have been tolerated when uttering them, not condemned. The Leftist myth that all minority cultures have nothing negative about them is absurd
Dawn Fraser's apology for her inappropriate 'go back to where you came from' comments about tennis player Nick Kyrgios needs to be kept in perspective regarding the extent of racism in Australia.
One interpretation is sure to be that Fraser's ill-judged remarks illustrate the 'dark underbelly of prejudice that persists in this country as a legacy of the White Australia policy'.
But what this incident really shows is how far we have come as a nation in refusing to tolerate intolerance.
Compare the current situation to when the White Australia legislation was passed by the federal parliament in 1901.
All of our first four Prime Ministers spoke during the debate. Three (Barton, Watson and Reid) advanced arguments that today would be condemned as racist and see them drummed out of public life.
The fourth (Deakin) was so embarrassed by his colleagues' racial prejudice that he argued it was actually the good qualities of 'alien' peoples such as the Japanese that explained why Australians were so determined to keep them out of the country.
The story of how we overcame our racist heritage and became one of the most successful multiracial nations in the world is a long and important one. I tell some of this tale in my article included in the free speech issue of the latest Policy magazine.
The takeaway is that we can rely on our culture of tolerance to curb bigoted speech and don't need laws like Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act that can be exploited to curtail legitimate free speech and debates about important public issues.
This is supported by the events of this week. The public outcry the comments provoked showed Fraser had crossed a line with regards to acceptable speech and forced her to issue an 'unreserved apology'.
This shows we can rely on the culture, and not the law, to protect people from racially insulting speech.