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More on the Aussie Senator Racism

9.21.2005

While i picked up Joe Sartors comments via the Sydney Morning Herald, i missed their editorial on the outburst in that same edition. (hat tip: Guambat Stew)
The rush out to make some form of apology for what is an outdated form of racial slur that can have no place in a democracy of the 21st century. As far as i know when one man says;

"Get off your backside Mick and bring your black arse in here to talk to me about it."

Its not one of those cute and cuddly things that outdated zenophobes do, its a signal that something is inherently wrong with the politial culture that accepts such latent racism.
While im sure many will wonder why i, sitting so far from any Australian and with little power over Aussie politics, should get worked up over this. Its simply because i feel that matters of race lie so close to the heart of social exclusion and inequality that we cannot but try to fight it home and abroad in an attempt to forge more inclusive and dynamic societies. Racism has no place if we are to give all amongst us their chance and opportunity.
From the SM editorial;(scroll to the second editorial)

"To listeners they seemed to have been intended almost fondly"

God, where do i begin on the patronising tone of that one? Its the latent, racial slur, the slip of the tongue that reflects the fact that most of the work done combatting racism has forced it to go unspoken but not unthought.
There will unlikely be resignations, but there should certainly be soulsearching among democracies at large. We in ireland have our own native community of travellers subject to similar levels of racism as the aborigninies. Modern Democracy is a project of including all in the governance of all, about forging social strength through collective deliberation. If we have failed to eradicate racism and prejudice from our discourse or even our collective consciousness then we still have a long way to go.
RR
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