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John Passant

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May 2015



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My interview Razor Sharp 18 February
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp on Tuesday 18 February. (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. (0)

Razor Sharp 4 February 2014
Me on 4 February 2014 on Razor Sharp with Sharon Firebrace. (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

Sick kids and paying upfront


Save Medicare

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. (0)

I am not surprised
I think we are being unfair to this Abbott ‘no surprises’ Government. I am not surprised. (0)

Send Barnaby to Indonesia
It is a pity that Barnaby Joyce, a man of tact, diplomacy, nuance and subtlety, isn’t going to Indonesia to fix things up. I know I am disappointed that Barnaby is missing out on this great opportunity, and I am sure the Indonesians feel the same way. [Sarcasm alert.] (0)



Adam Goodes, ‘respectable’ racism and the fascists

Australian capitalism is founded on, and depends for its continued existence on, the genocide past and present of Aboriginal people.

The Australian ruling class tries to bind us together by a constant message of fear of the other. This fear of the other pervades our history – whether it be the Chinese, the Japanese, the reds, asylum seekers, Muslims, refugees, and of course the eternal ‘enemy’ within, Aborigines.  It is always driven from the top and today is no different. However this fear-mongering also provokes resistance.

This means the ruling class has to accommodate to this resistance at times by attempting to co-opt it. Thus in the Australian Football League this weekend it was the Indigenous Round. Sydney Swans star and 2014 Australian of the year Adam Goodes is a proud Adnyamathanha man. After he kicked a goal he did a war cry to celebrate his Aboriginal heritage and culture.

The respectable racists have gone berserk. How dare an Aboriginal man, during Indigenous Round, celebrate his indigenous background.  ‘Not on’ the respectable racists tell us. So despite the fact we have had decades of anti-racist messages and indigenous weeks and even now a Recognise campaign to support a referendum to recognise the first peoples in our Constitution , the crimson thread of racism rears its ugly head when an Aboriginal man proclaims his Aboriginality.

That same man is a proponent of the Recognise campaign. This just shows the ability of the state to co-opt the oppressed into their continued oppression. Recognise is a symptom of the respectable racism that is Australian society.

This is not surprising since racism in Australia is systemic, springing from the establishment of the colonial settler state in 1788 and the need of the Australian ruling class to dehumanise Aboriginal people to justify the ongoing slaughter that drove them off their land. The Northern Territory Intervention and the proposed remote community closures in Western Australia continue that policy of dispossession. They are today’s genocide.

The respectable racism that Goodes’ war cry has shone a light on is occurring at a time when the government is attacking asylum seekers, Muslims, and Aborigines. Indeed it feels confident to speak out against Goodes precisely because of the Government’s attacks.

The government’s racist and xenophobic attacks not only allow the respectable racists to come forth. They encourage the fascists and hard racists to not only air their filth but to attempt to mobilise around racism. The most recent example was the ‘United Patriots’ demonstration on Sunday in Melbourne and their attempt to shut down socialist councillor Stephen Jolly. The left mobilised against the fascists and stopped them silencing Jolly. This is a victory for democracy.

The respectable racists have crawled out from under their rocks (often padded with copies of mainstream newspapers) to condemn the anti-fascist protestors. We have to confront not just the fascists but expose the respectable racists and the government which nurtures and provokes their racism too. We have to oppose the racists whenever they organise their Reclaim White Australia rallies. Just as importantly we have to challenge the governments which demonise asylum seekers, which attack Aborigines and point the finger accusingly at Muslims.

This is the logic of respectable racism – a fascist (one of many) who was part of the protest organised to try and shut down socialist councillor Stephen Jolly.

A UPA member shouts at a Muslim woman in Richmond.


The big anti-fascist protest shows there is hope. The message to the fascists was pretty clear.

This is what democracy looks like.

The joy as the fascists slink away.

It also seems I am not alone. Crikey published an article on 3 June making the same sort of points in relation to fear-mongering and Islamophobia.

Here is part of that article:

[Almost] half of Abbott’s cabinet made statements about terrorism in May, and all that rhetoric is having a very real (and very scary) effect on the Muslim community, write Voices Against Bigotry founders Susie Latham and Linda Briskman.

In the month of May anti-Muslim fervour increased its hold in Australia through the opportunism of War on Terror rhetoric.

In a move reminiscent of John Howard’s masterful use of the 2001 Tampa incident to encourage prejudice and revive his political fortunes, the Coalition appears to have belatedly taken up Scott Morrison’s 2011 suggestion that it should exploit community concerns about Muslims with gusto. In May, at least nine of Tony Abbott’s 19 cabinet members made statements about terrorism or announced initiatives to tackle it.

To read the whole click here. Anti-Muslim sentiment reaches fever pitch as ministers channel their inner Howard



Comment from Peter
Time June 1, 2015 at 12:37 pm

Excellent post, as usual. Thanks.

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