Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The Cronulla Riots and aftermath - readers respond in Crikey

Interesting responses. I agree with most of them - except the 'lebs out' missives from the minority represented there. Henry Pills' comment I think is right on the money.

From today's Crikey (13 December 2005).

Crikey.com.au offers subscriptions to their e-newspaper at just $100 a year. Well worth it.

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Chris Graham, editor of National Indigenous Times, writes:
Benjamin Amy's letter to Crikey was an extraordinary read... the things you see when you haven't got a gun! As for the chant, "We grew here, they flew here", the response going around Aboriginal Australia today is "We growed here, you rowed here". Everyone who participated in this shameful, disgusting display – and that includes the morons who turned up with flags and BBQs to "take back the beach" and show their "Aussie pride" – should be deported. Small group of trouble-makers my ar*e. They were a large pack of mindless, human filth... Every single one of them.

Henry Pill writes:

The Cronulla race riots are a product of a generation which has grown up in John Howard's Australia. Many of the participants would have been just ten or 12 in 1996 and know the Howard government as the only one in their living memory. They are a generation whose ideas of multiculturalism and tolerance have been shaped by Howard's adoption of Hansonism, his trashing of the reconciliation agenda, his deliberate abuse of asylum seekers and his implicit endorsement of Bush Administration fundamentalism. Look no further than Bronwyn Bishop's comments on Arab Head Scarves for a quick glimpse into how this government is still poisoning the minds of these young Australians. These guys aren't deviants, they are conformists to the Howard worldview, they use the Australian flag because they think this country stands for ignorance and hate, that's hardly their fault, that's what their upbringing under this government has told them. They say it takes a village to raise a child, and this is what happens when you try to raise a child in a village run by a hatemonger who plays the race card like it's the ace of spades.

John X. Berlin writes:

The Cronulla Beach Madness ultimately emanates from the 'Kirribilli Kaiser'. Now, if we as Aussies, don't like a country like Iraq or Afghanistan we simply illegally invade that Sovereign Nation and 'Bomb the Crap' out of its defenceless residents. If we don't agree with sovereign countries in Asia and the Pacific we threaten them with economic blackmail, unless they accept our Prison Camps, Federal Police and Army. It suits the Federal Government to foster this climate of fear. There will be much more. Messrs. Howard, Downer and Ruddock should hang their heads in shame.

Jim writes:
Let's stop the hand-wringing, the angst and the outrage. There is no such thing as "un-Australian." What we saw on the weekend was utterly "Australian." We are just like everybody else around the globe – full of hate, frustration, resentment and a suspicion that someone else is getting a better deal. Don't blame the media. Don't blame seditious text messengers. Don't for God's sake blame Bali! Blame us. We, the nation of Australia, are reaping what we have sown, and the seeds have already begun to blow across this vast continent on the hot summer wind. It is a toxic crop. It is the harvest of 200 years of well-nourished xenophobia, fertilised with ignorance, cultivated by masterful hands and finished with a decade of concentrated hate and fear.

Paul S writes:

I read Crikey regularly and like the treatment most subjects are given. However, the story by S Feneley re Cronulla (yesterday, item 2) was way off the mark! Yes the drunken hooligans were an embarrassment and they virtually blew the hope of a peaceful solution out of the water. They were stupid and attacking the police was idiotic and the treatment of a few people with dark skin was madness. However, they are not the major problem! I repeat, they are not the problem, they are unfortunately our first line of defence (Yes that has me worried too). S Feneley (and his cafe latte friends) should be more worried about the islamic criminal gangs and extremists. They are one who have disrupted society and cause a real threat to our way of life in Sydney. They are the ones who will knife, shoot or attempt to blow us Aussies up. Obviously Steven has not been to a Bulldogs match or spent a Sat or Sunday night down at Brighton. These gangs are aggressive, often uneducated and have no respect for Australia. They despise Aussies and are motivated by crazy ideas from abroad. They fully intend to disrupt whatever they can and will stoop to very low depths whilst they remain in large gangs. Stephen missed the point of the demonstration. It was the majority rising up! Unfortunately it was diverted by a bunch of drunken fools (possibly on purpose). But Aussies will need to rise up again. I just hope they are led with insight, patience and direction. If not, Sydney will be a mess that may not be worth living in!

Pamela Curr writes:
After constant reminders that we are under threat of terror attacks, bolstered by ASIO raids on the homes of first Indonesian, then Iranian, then Australians of Lebanese and Turkish backgrounds and then Sri Lankans under the glare of right wing media shock jocks, is it any wonder that “Paranoid Nationalism” is rearing its ugly head? Urged on by the ugliest media in the country, individual Australians have turned to mob violence. Get your boot in –oi,oi,oi. How relaxed and comfortable are we all feeling now?

Reg Hudson writes:
Those who deplore so vociferously the behaviour of the drunken mob at Cronulla are on the wrong tram. The root cause of the problem is the behaviour over a long period of these Lebanese louts to the extent where things have built up to where many of us, many non-ockers and others are calling "enough." Christian Lebanese have been coming to this country for over a century, and in that time have assimilated into the community, particularly country towns all over Australia and become successful businessmen in many areas, also in the professions. We see non-Christian Lebanese arriving here, flocking to suburbs which they turn into ghettos, and attempting to impose their foreign culture upon us. Contempt for young Aussie sheilas springs to mind, (we don't like this idea of female g*nital mutilation for starters) , objecting to our littlies having their Nativity plays and similar interference is showing its ugly cultural head, and there are many other instances of unwelcome pressure on our norms. Many of us feel that if they don't like our ways, then they should go back from whence they came.

Holger Lubotski writes:
Small Town Johnnie's denial that the Cronulla riots depicted an “underlying racism” was very hollow, coming from the man who manufactured the Tampa “crisis” to win an election. He has to choose denial because it's the easiest way for him to deny responsibility for what happened in Cronulla! Morris Iemma's remarks on the 7.30 Report last night made a very clear case for what went on and why. Johnnie might be right when he says it's not an “underlying racism” – it's obviously a very overt and obvious racism! What? The PM responsible for racial attacks in Cronulla? Damn right!

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