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If you want to keep a blog that makes the arguments every day against the ravages of capitalism going and keeps alive the flame of democracy and community, make a donation to help cover my costs. And of course keep reading the blog. To donate click here. Keep socialist blog En Passant going. More... (4)

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My interview Razor Sharp 18 February
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp on Tuesday 18 February. http://sharonfirebrace.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/18-2-14-john-passant-aust-national-university-g20-meeting-age-of-enttilement-engineers-attack-of-austerity-hardship-on-civilians.mp3 (0)

My interview Razor Sharp 11 February 2014
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp this morning. The Royal Commission, car industry and age of entitlement get a lot of the coverage. http://sharonfirebrace.com/2014/02/11/john-passant-aust-national-university-canberra-2/ (0)

Razor Sharp 4 February 2014
Me on 4 February 2014 on Razor Sharp with Sharon Firebrace. http://sharonfirebrace.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/4-2-14-john-passant-aust-national-university-canberra-end-of-the-age-of-entitlement-for-the-needy-but-pandering-to-the-lusts-of-the-greedy.mp3 (0)

Time for a House Un-Australian Activities Committee?
Tony Abbott thinks the Australian Broadcasting Corporation is Un-Australian. I am looking forward to his government setting up the House Un-Australian Activities Committee. (1)

Make Gina Rinehart work for her dole
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Sick kids and paying upfront

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Demonstrate in defence of Medicare at Sydney Town Hall 1 pm Saturday 4 January (0)

Me on Razor Sharp this morning
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace this morning for Razor Sharp. It happens every Tuesday. http://sharonfirebrace.com/2013/12/03/john-passant-australian-national-university-8/ (0)

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Benji Marshall: fighting back against racism

Benji Marshall is a rugby league superstar. He was the face of rugby league at its season launch this week.

On Friday night, after a charity event which raised $250,000 for kids with cancer, Benji and his girlfriend went out and at 3 am were at a fast food outlet.

According to Sky News 

Marshall’s manager Martin Tauber told Sunday newspapers that the Tigers five-eighth had been racially abused by a group of eight to 10 people, with one of them allegedly calling him a “black c…” several times.

One of them started to shout at him and said: `Go back to New Zealand you black c…’, Tauber told The Sunday Telegraph.

He (Marshall) tried to walk away from him – he tried to make light of it and then the guy did it again.

So Benji allegedly snotted him. Marshall has now been charged with assault.

Australian capitalism is built on two forms of racism – racism against the original inhabitants and racism against non-whites coming to the country whether as migrants or refugees.

The crimson thread of racism runs through our body politic and major sections of society even today. Who benefits from this racism?

The bosses. They have a clear agenda to divide workers on the basis of race, gender and sexuality.

Labour, by continuing divisions in the working class over gender (equal pay anyone?), sexuality (equal love anyone?) and race (equal rights for aborigines and refugees anyone?) serves the interests of the ruling elite. 

The abuse hurled at Marshall was both racist and sexist.

Labor’s support for systemic racism, sexism and homophobia divides workers and distracts them from the real enemy – the bosses.

Last year rugby league player Timana Tahu quit the New South Wales State of Origin team to take a stand against racism in rugby league. Andrew Johns, an assistant coach, had called him a ‘black c…’

Tahu said at the time:

Leaving Origin was a really big decision for me and I’d like to clarify that it was not just one racial comment directed at one individual that offended me.

The remarks were directed at various races and the situation I encountered was totally unacceptable.

I believe I am a role model for children and I did this to show my kids this type of behaviour is wrong.

This isn’t about me or Andrew Johns, it’s about arresting racism and standing up for my beliefs.

Tahu was battling against racism in Rugby League. On Saturday morning Benji Marshall took a stand against racism in society. 

The racial abuse Benji allegedly suffered is just one small part of what blacks in Australia suffer every day. Just ask the 30 percent of players who are of Pacific Islander descent and the 11 percent who are indigenous about the racism they suffered and suffer. 

But it is not just verbal abuse. In the Northern Territory the Labor Government’s intervention is destroying more and more aboriginal lives.

Aborigines continue to die or be killed in police custody. They die on average about 20 years earlier than the rest of the Australian population.The racism is institutionalised and endemic.

Benji Marshall took a swipe at racism. He is a hero, not a criminal.

We must support him and help build the forces of anti-racism in this country first to challenge the racism in Australian society and then the system that breeds it.

Ultimately that can only be done by building the revolutionary left so workers can fight the racism inherent in the capitalist system and overthrow that system to create a democratic society where production occurs to satisfy human need and where as a consequence people are judged not ‘by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.’

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Comments

Comment from Calligula
Time March 6, 2011 at 8:41 pm

I cannot see how theoretically solving brawls advances socialism.
What Benji probably needed was the help of my good friend from my local bottle shop.
Oh yeah. He happens to be a gentleman of colour.
Not only that but he’s full of piss and vinegar as well as being extremely ‘situationally aware’.
More importantly, he’s a gentle-man.

And as it happens he’s the sort of gentleman who HAS been captain of his local RL team, who has been the target of the hate tactics in that game – who has gone on to coach youngsters – and despite that is employed as no more than a storeman at the local bottle-o.

It has me completely stuffed (how many times have I said that?) –
We keep whingeing about crapola happening overseas and lack of opportunity here for an overpreponderance of useless blow-ins from overseas when we have our own people with the attributes and undeveloped capacities of kings – stuck here working in pissant jobs – in bottleshops and the like.

What in God’s name is it that the entire population of this dismal place is so good at keeping decent people in what the shiteheels see as their place?

What the hey do I care if some precious race rules are thrown in the shredder.
I’d rather see a black face with keen eyes and a wit to match as mayor – instead of the useless, barge arsed dullard in a black dress we’ve had to endure for years.
What is it about Australia?
A few more brilliant lateral thinkers from every walk of life would serve us well.

But the machine we never complain about keeps cranking out corrupt time servers like suspect sideshow sausages.

Funny that.

Comment from matthew behr
Time March 7, 2011 at 11:43 am

You seem to be very quick to believe a players manager? as yet we do not know the whole story and as we know from past experience a player manager is not always a reliable source.As the police have not concluded their interviews yet it looks like your being very quick to judge this situation. People are often judging others by their colour or race before they know anything about them which is what causes these issues to begin with and I feel you are doing something similar here. If we all just waited for the facts this society would be allot better of for it.

Comment from Walter
Time March 7, 2011 at 12:36 pm

John, I usually enjoy your articles even when they present a view I often disagree with, and this piece is very good.

I certainly agree that “Australian capitalism is built on two forms of racism – racism against the original inhabitants and racism against non-whites coming to the country whether as migrants or refugees.” But this is built by all parties, and working people are just as responsible, if you think of Eureka Stockade and the racism directed by labour towards the Chinese.

You are spot on about the intervention and I find your views on Aborigines heartening and well put. And the racism against Benji .. well, I would have snotted the bloke too.

Comment from AdamC
Time March 7, 2011 at 3:43 pm

It seems we have a choice between reading sports blogs that make excuses for this guy based on their authors’ fawning adulation for him, or left wing blogs that make excuses for him based on his race. Pretty disappointing all round.

Facts:

If Marshall was not an NRL player and was an ‘Aussie’ (using the term in its most unfortunate sense) none of these usual suspects would be trying so hard to pre-emptively excuse this alleged bad behaviour.