Wingnut ‘Reverse Racism’ Rhetoric Spreads to Australia
1. To consider people different by virtue of their racial and/or cultural background is racism
2. Tailoring support programmes differently to address different racial and/or cultural groups rather than an individual’s circumstances is racism
3. The left, due to its fascination with “equity” for different groups, rather than its focus on the situation of individuals, is responsible for perpetuating racism
In other words: the ones calling out “racism” are the biggest “racists” of all because they draw attention to race when this divider doesn’t even occur to good right-wing folk who are most interested in a person’s individual merit. Which is, of course, rubbish. The fact that there are different life experiences due to issues of race when there is a situation of a “dominant culture” is well-established. The right has also been no stranger to using race rather than individual merit as a divider (for more information, see Nazism, Apartheid, Segregation and, oh, Stolen Generation). What’s more, structural racism faced by Indigenous peoples is so recognised as a global issue that the UN have set up a special committee and a set of rights to address the common issues.
Racism is not a left-right issue; it occurs on both sides of the political spectrum because structural racism is a well-embedded cultural phenomenon. Regardless of whether people are left-wing or right-wing they will perpetuate it in their own ways if they are not self-aware. Indeed, 11-odd years ago when I wrote my honours play I included an incident of racism experienced within left-wing circles and many could relate to coming up against stereotypical ideas of what Indigenous people “should be”. Bolt’s rather strange idea that we can all go colour-blind, join hands and skip around the globe is not going to become a reality until we’re honest about the historical, cultural and other factors that cause racism to be a feature of this country. The key is collaboration and education, and arguing anything else is just misdirection.