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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

the turn of one nation nationalism « Previous | |Next »
December 12, 2005

It was more than ethnic tensions and the troubling problem of ethnic identity in which Anglo "Aussies" reclaimed the beach, in response to the constant provocations of the very violent Lebanese gangs at the iconic surf suburb of Cronulla.

Newscronulla.jpg

Paul Sheehan says: 'Context is everything. Cronulla will receive saturation coverage, which will balloon the events of yesterday into something more than they were - the actions of a minority of idiots.' Nope, this is more than the simmering tensions of yobbo beach tribes and the redneck suburban working class culture in a primarily primarily Anglo-Saxon community. The initial 'retake the beach' became "Leb and wog bashing day", and so the Lebanese gangs retaliated in the evening.

This was a pre-meditated white racist violence against Lebanese and other Middle Eastern Australians that exploded in the open. The Sydney Morning Herald carries this report:

A crowd of at least 5000 - overwhelmingly under 25 - took over Cronulla's foreshore and beachside streets. Police were powerless as 200-odd ringleaders, many clutching bottles or cans of beer and smoking marijuana, led assaults on individuals and small groups of Lebanese Australians who risked an appearance during the six-hour protest.

And then violence resulted:
The horde swirled after fleeing individuals, sometimes sweeping past police lines and horses, chasing a quarry who sought safety in restaurants, shops, toilet blocks and ambulances and police vehicles. Some were snatched by police, who stood against the swarm and repelled the most violent with capsicum spray

It was not a horde or a mob. It was a political riot with bottles and knives.

Firstly, the Australia First Party was busy handing out ' Immigration out of control" and "Your teachers are lying to you" in the morning --that has its basis in One Nation (ethnic) nationalism. Australia First helped mobilise people for the demonstration to celebrate Aussie nationalism.

LeahyA1.jpg
Leahy

Secondly, the white riots are the mirror side of the One Nation nationalism violently expounded on the Sydney tabloid media (eg., The Daily Telegraph and talkback radio). The media does not reflect society. It is a political player. The ethnic nationalism of the tabloid media is deeply opposed to a multicultural Australia; stands for the hegemony of Anglo-Australia; assimilation and a strong and law order against the crimes committed by Lebanese, Aborigines and Pacific Islanders; and is deeply concerned about drugs, anomie and nihilism.

The tabloid media will wash their hands of responsibility, disown the violence of the race riots, and disconnect their politics from the right-wing white racism on the streets of Cronulla. But they are responsible. Their climate of fear, which they have been stirring since 9/11 and the Bali bombings has metamorphised into a climate of hate.

The war on terrorism is one context for Cronulla. Another context is outlined at philosophy.com

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 06:50 AM | | Comments (16)
Comments

Comments

I want to know how Debnam can condemn this and Labor so harshly when standing for the Liberals. Not so long ago they led the completely racist 'Operation Relex'. The Liberals under Howard forwardly encourage, even if not vocally support, this behaviour through their own racial policies and rhetoric.

Howarth and company rage against so called political correctness is producing the foreseeable outcome.

The pity is that we still have Howarth's political correctness and it is ugly.

Trackback (doesn't seem to be working???)

'Cronulla' is now a name forever associated with popularist racial violence. [...] Beyond the racist/alterity/po-co angle, which I don’t feel like I can say much about, the media must pay the price for the unethical part they played.

News: "Everyone Completely Surprised as Racialised Wedge Politics Forges Racialised Mob Riots"

Simon,
I see that Federal Liberal backbencher Bruce Baird, whose Cook electorate takes in many of the suburbs affected, connects the race riots to the war on terrorism.

He is reported as saying that :

"...tensions had been simmering within the primarily Anglo-Saxon community against people of Middle Eastern descent for some time....Many locals were angry, particularly after six women from the area were killed in the 2002 Bali bombings...."Where this riot took place is actually the site of where we've got the Bali memorial for these women

Asked if the riots were revenge for Bali and September 11, Mr Baird said:
"I think so.I think there's been increasing emphasis on terrorism and our security."

Glen,
Track back works. I have to approve it before it is published. It is part of the antispam filtering system I'm forced to adopt.

Yours is a good post. You are right to highlight the role played by the tabloid media in Sydney.

I concur with your judgement in this paragraph:

The refrain of the reactionary nationalism that originally catalysed around Pauline Hanson and One Nation, was then captured and cultivated by Howard over the last decade. Everytime Howard used the refrain of nationalism in the gestural politics of migrants and refugees he consolidated his sovereign position as the populist Pide Piper playing a simple tune that can be hummed by anyone. For someone like me, who grew up as the 'mad skip' in a 'mad wog' suburb, this sort of reactionary nationalism is sickening. I hope that this decade of popularist inflamation is recognised as his political legacy and nothing else.

Spot on.

Reactionary nationalism and violence march hand in hand.
Bruce Baird puts it well:

"I can understand at one level at people's frustration because they all feel that the beaches belong to them and it is a Sutherland Shire thing and when anybody disturbs the equilibrium, given all the events that have happened since September 11, I just think that's the match that sets alight the fuel."

What he doesn't say is that the tabloid media has been pouring the fuel.

And the relevance of the culture of fear begun by One Nation and adopted by the Liberals?

Its a little bit of cultural projection to say that Lebanese people generally celebrated the Bali bombings, and ignorant racism to link them to the WTC attack.

"Mr Baird said while racism was part of the violence, it was more the threat against a way of life that spurred many."

Does he say anything to correct this perceived threat?

This unfortunate incident HAD to happen. I know other ethnic, all other ethnic people commit crimes. But the moslems are under the spotlight because of the many rapes on 'Anglo' women.
As well it appears that a lot or even most of the male moslems are either on the dole or a pension of some sort, how can this be?
And of course terrorism has to be taken into account. Can't recall the last Methodist, C of E. or Baptist bombing but daily I see stupid young moslems blow themselves up and in doing so cowardly kill unarmed unaware men, women and children.
I hear and read the pronouncements of hatred by leading moslem preachers. Some have even stated that if a female, any female, does not wear whatever it is she is supposed to wear that she is a slut and ripe for rape - that is she is asking for it.

I've read parts of the koran where unbelievers are to be slain. As well where this same book allows moslems to lie to unbelievers.
This country was once a decent caring country - not now.
You decent moderate moslems have a job ahead of you to prove that you will fit into a society that existed here well before you came here.
I hate the hatred and bigotry that has reared it's ugly head it has shamed a once nice decent nation. Regards, R. Patterson

Rob,
It is not the Muslims who are under the spotlight because of the many rapes on 'Anglo' women.


It is Lebanese Australian gangs and they are criticised for this by the mainstream Lebanese Australians.

Ahem... Patterson sharing with us the uncorrected perceived threat.

Personally I'm terrified of all Rugby players. Never let your women near them I tell ya! They are all vicious gang rapists as proven by the incident with the Bulldogs! If you can see the error I'm making here, but not the error you make, Patterson, when you claim all muslims are particularly given to crime then you really need to examine your perceptions closely. I suggest you take a healthy dose of this article.

You may also have read parts of the Bible that condemn gay people, where God tortures his own followers to prove a point to Satan and another instance where he slays all people who have left his holy ways. It is the case for both Christianity and Islam that the actual text matters less than the popular interpretation. Those parts of the Koran are bandied about by people who are too afraid to learn more about a culture which they actively search for reasons to despise.

Patterson, it is us Australians who must prove that we can accept decent people into our own culture and that we can allow our misconceptions to be dispelled.

And in any case, as Gary has pointed out, your particular prejudice is irrelevant and just fear mongering.

Simon,
Re your question:

'And the relevance of the culture of fear begun by One Nation and adopted by the Liberals?'
I agree with that link. The Prime Minister gives one account of this link when he says:
Mob violence is always sickening ... Attacking people on the basis of their race, their appearance, their ethnicity, is totally unacceptable and should be repudiated by all Australians irrespective of their own background and their politics... I believe yesterday's behaviour was completely unacceptable but I'm not going to put a general tag (of) racism on the Australian community.I think it's a term that is flung around sometimes carelessly and I'm simply not going to do so.

This is disingenuous. It is not the Australian community that has an underlying racism.The argument is that it is a particular part of the Australian community--the right wing Romper Stomper part, which is racist. That racism was evident at Cronulla.

If it is concerned with cultural difference not race, then it is a New Right and not an Old Right. Howard never gives a clear account of how his appeal to traditional values is a reworking of race into culture. Hence the suspicion that he falls back into the dog whistle politics of race.

And, after rejecting the ridiculous 'illegal' tag, begs the question: on what basis was he towing legitimate refugees out to sea following the Tampa crisis?

im from adelaide and all is im tired of being scared of walkin up my own street and having the risk of having to fight of a greek an itlalian or a sum1 of an arabic decent its fukd up so yeah

How come the Labour government in Macquarie St. has seen fit to arrest dozens of white Australian Youth but not Lebanese street thugs caught on camera. Is something rotten in the state of NSW?

i think ppl need to realise that it isnt all lebonese n greek etc pl that r violent .. n there are also jsut as many violent white ppl.. and also the lebonese etc pll need to stop sayin us and the ''auzzies'' because we r all australian citizens

fuck you have you growen up in cronulla.too grow up with a bunch of middle easten cunts comming down to your town bashing any body they can, then blame it on racisme.have they done three weeks wink wink