Criticizing Australia

Under the heading "What the fear of 'getting Yassmin-ed' says about free speech and racism in Australia", there is a long article by Pakistani writer Sami Shah which says that recent immigrants to Australia risk a lot of abuse if they criticize Australia.  To him that is proof of racism.

It is nothing of the sort.  For at least the whole of the 20th century and beyond Australians have been angered by criticism of their country.  And that criticism mostly came from English immigrants -- birthing the epithet "Whingeing Pom".

Since both those terms are little known outside Australia I guess I should explain:  A "Pom" is an English person and whingeing is the sort of complaining vocalization you get from an overtired baby.  The expression is in other words a very derogatory term for an English person who criticizes Australia.  And the English are THE SAME RACE as old Australians.  So it is hardly racist.

The sensitivity to criticism arose from the unceasing flow of English-born immigrants to Australia.  When things are done differently in Australia, Poms tend to assume and say that the Australian way is inferior. After hearing such claims many times Australians lose patience with that and tend to ask the "Pom" why he doesn't go back to England.  Which normally leads to a backtrack.

So the hostility to criticism that Mr Shah describes is due to the criticisms, not the speaker. It is not unique to any ethnic group. Mr Shah simply does not know his ethnography.  Treading on toes will get you a counterblast no matter who you are.

Yassmin Abdel-Magied was particularly insulting.  She insulted Australia's war-dead, the sort of thing which many people worldwide would find unforgiveable.  She too did not know her ethnography.

1 comment:

  1. People who enjoy calling others racists do so in order to try to get power over them - people generally do not like being called racists and will do what they can in order to avoid the label. Racism is the neo-ketchup of our time.

    As for Ossies, they are Britain's redneck spastics and the proof is in the pudding. Foster's Lager.


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