Saturday, October 06, 2007
Howard and Hanson combine to play the race card, again!
Those that have tracked the dog whistle politics of the incumbent through his long, long political career, will know that he routinely stirs the racist underbelly of the body politic when he is under pressure.
Who better to start the ball rolling than that bastion of fairness, Kevin Andrews. Perhaps he did'nt expect Pauline to hop on board quite so soon and enthusiastically, but the target demographic can't help but respond.
Howard knows his market when it comes to the race whistle. It has worked miracles for him in the past.
The lurking guilt complexes in the Australian psyche over treatment of Aboriginal people manifest in strange ways. Many of our fellow citizens and their forbears have built their fortunes on the backs of generations of blackfella misery and misfortune. They seem to have developed a racial psychosis to protect their sensitive souls from having to front up to what they and their forbears have done to folk of darker complexion.
It is an interesting aspect of this phenomenon that quite a few of the most rabid proponents of 'white Australia' have a mixed race dynamic in the family cupboard.
I had someone come up to me at a family function in the bush not so long ago to ask me about the Sudanese refugees going to Tamworth. She had a look of troubled distaste as she sought clarification: "they're the dark ones are'nt they?", "yes, I replied, they're dark skinned and they have been subjected to the worst type of horrors imaginable. They need our help!".
And this is my message to those drawn to the dog whistle.
It is about time this country faced up to the dispossesion and cultural genocide perpetrated by our forbears on indigenous people.
Our dark night of the soul and our manifest fear of 'dark ones' will only be mitigated by a reconciliation that sets this country on a course to undo the damage of the past.
Part of this construct should see Australia become a welcoming safe haven for all people fleeing oppression on racial, ethnicity and religious grounds.