Here, Rover!

A very important article in Crikey hightlighting the abysmal rise of race-based ‘dog-whistling’ that has been seen in preponderance over the Christmas-New Year period, particularly from the new Minister for Home Affairs, the former Minister for Immigration and Border Protection (see the second story below). As the author, Christopher Warren, remarks, however, the ‘dog-whistle’ is no longer; it has been replaced something much more insidious.

The fallout of the Brexit referendum in the United Kingdom and the rise of the Trumpism in the United States has seen the advent of overt racism to replace to “subtle” dog-whistling, with ‘African gangs’ replacing the ‘Mexican’ for the Australian context.

The purpose of such actions, of which we have seen more than a few in Australia in recent weeks, is to appeal to both the prejudice and the fear that is present within the wider Australian context, to create a “problem” that those pointing it out can fix – as long as they are given the political authority to do so. And those who are not currently in political office refuse to oppose these kind of actions because to do so would mean they would be unsuccessful in their efforts to attain political office.

That the media – almost without exception unfortunately – seem to either fall for or actively contribute to the kind of actions being experienced is something to be regretted. Whether intended or not, such connivance means the innate conservatism of Australian society, by which I mean a resistance to change in a time of uncertainty, aids the current holders of political office to hold on to political office without any great effort.

And the loser is Australian society as a whole.

‘African gang’ rhetoric goes beyond dog-whistling

Politicians are employing Trumpish methods to decry the spectre of “African gangs”, and the media is all too eager to help out. This summer, the “African gang” has shifted race and racism in Australia, and the media have been helping turn the screw.

Why has Peter Dutton been silent over a security breach at a Melbourne immigration centre?

To hear Peter Dutton tell it, the real issue is “African crime gangs” in Victoria, but we hear there have been serious issues in Border Force since then — perhaps should he stick to his knitting? Newly appointed Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has been one of the most media-friendly politicians in Australia over the yuletide period.

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Article by Andrew Doohan

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