Anti-racism rally marred by clashes

But when we make Australia seem so hate­ful, how can we make new ar­rivals from prouder cul­tures feel it’s not just worth join­ing but de­fend­ing

The Advertiser - - NEWS - AN­DREW BOLT AN­DREW.BOLT@NEWS.COM.AU AD­VER­TISER.COM.AU

AN anti-racism rally in Mel­bourne’s CBD has been marred by clashes with a ri­val ring-wing event.

A wo­man was ar­rested as about 500 pro­test­ers hold­ing “Mel­bourne says no to racism” plac­ards marched to Par­lia­ment, where a right-wing group was hold­ing a rally. The op­pos­ing groups were kept apart by po­lice and bar­ri­ers.

Video footage shows one young man ap­par­ently be­ing set upon as he walked along draped in an Aus­tralian flag.

“Why would I give up the flag?” he says. “Be­cause it’s of­fen­sive,” a fe­male voice replies.

One masked anti-racism pro­tester had it re­moved un­der new laws.

Anti-racism pro­tester Andy Le­busque, 31, said he feared racists were protest­ing un­der the guise of car­ing about Vic­to­ria’s crime rate.

“That’s not their real mes­sage, it’s a false nar­ra­tive,” he said.

The Is­lamists try­ing to de­stroy us are bad enough. Worse are the in­flu­en­tial ac­tivists mak­ing Australia seem not worth sav­ing. Po­lice across Australia are now in­ves­ti­gat­ing about 70 ter­ror­ism plots, but so far we’ve been lucky.

We haven’t been hit as hard as Bri­tain, which has suf­fered five se­ri­ous ter­ror­ist at­tacks this year after last week’s bomb­ing of a Lon­don train. Yet just when an Is­lamist Right de­clares us too hate­ful to live, an ac­tivist Left agrees Australia is too hate­ful to de­fend.

Last week, for in­stance, Coun­cil­lor Sue Bolton jus­ti­fied her More­land coun­cil’s de­ci­sion to scrap Australia Day cer­e­monies on Jan­uary 26 by claim­ing that “cel­e­brat­ing that date would be like cel­e­brat­ing the Nazi Holo­caust as Ger­many Day”.

She ex­plained: “What hap­pened to the Abo­rig­i­nal and Tor­res Strait Is­lan­der peo­ple from that date was a holo­caust.”

It beg­gars be­lief that a city coun­cil­lor could se­ri­ously liken the Nazi’s ef­forts to phys­i­cally wipe out all Jews – slaugh­ter­ing 6 mil­lion – with the clumsy and some­times bru­tal at­tempts by Bri­tish colo­nial­ists to live side-by-side with Abo­rig­ines.

But Bolton’s id­iocy is not the is­sue. It’s her ir­re­spon­si­bil­ity.

Con­sider: what is she telling chil­dren from im­mi­grant cul­tures prouder than our own? Surely it must be that Australia de­serves not their loy­alty but con­tempt – and even ha­tred?

Sure, dis­miss Bolton’s rant­ings as all you’d ex­pect from the Vic­to­rian con­venor of So­cial­ist Al­liance.

But she is an elected coun­cil­lor, and her fel­low coun­cil­lors agree our past is so shame­ful that, like two other Mel­bourne coun­cils, they’ve banned cel­e­brat­ing Australia Day on the date of the first Bri­tish set­tle­ment.

What’s more, they be­long to a great wave of rad­i­cal aca­demics, jour­nal­ists, teach­ers and Aus­tralian Hu­man Rights Com­mis­sion com­mis- sars dump­ing on Australia. The AHRC, in its in­fa­mous Bring­ing Them Home re­port, even claimed white of­fi­cials were so evil that they stole up to 100,000 chil­dren just be­cause they were Abo­rig­i­nal, in an act of “sys­tem­atic racial dis­crim­i­na­tion and geno­cide”.

Never mind that “stolen gen­er­a­tions” pro­pa­gan­dists such as Pro­fes­sor Robert Manne can­not name even 10 truly “stolen” chil­dren and that our courts have found only one – Bruce Trevor­row, stolen from hos­pi­tal by a so­cial worker ac­tu­ally con­vinced he’d been abused and aban­doned.

Such is the hunger to be­lieve the worst of our­selves that truth does not mat­ter.

Even top politi­cians in­stead in­vent fresh false­hoods about our evil. La­bor leader Bill Shorten, for in­stance, this year told Par­lia­ment “we poi­soned the wa­ter holes; we dis­trib­uted blan­kets in­fested with dis­eases we knew would kill”, and not one aca­demic cor­rected his fake his­tory.

Most bizarre of all, we now have an un­prece­dented day of na­tional self-loathing - an an­nual Sorry Day – as if we were a nation of moral crim­i­nals.

Mean­while, in this frenzy to con­vict our­selves, jour­nal­ists and ac­tivists at­tack our stat­ues as mon­u­ments to racists and our flag as a rag of shame.

We even ap­point as Aus­tralian of the Year peo­ple who agree we’re ter­ri­ble. Adam Goodes claimed we’d had “gov­ern­ments that have ... raped, killed and stolen”.

But when we make Australia seem so hate­ful, how can we make new ar­rivals from prouder cul­tures feel it’s not just worth join­ing but de­fend­ing?

I’ve wor­ried about this ever since I dropped in a decade ago on the then More­land Se­condary Col­lege to learn why its re­sults were shocking and non-Mus­lim stu­dents were flee­ing.

The new prin­ci­pal showed me a video the stu­dents had made of them­selves, which she thought summed up the school spirit.

“I’m Le­banese,” de­clared one stu­dent in an Aus­tralian ac­cent. “I’m Egyp­tian,” said the next. “I’m Turk­ish.” I, too, en­joy my Dutch back­ground but there are dan­ger­ous in preach­ing such divi­sion. I learned later that some stu­dents had cel­e­brated the Septem­ber 11 at­tacks on the US.

So to the Leftists who think it moral to vil­ify their coun­try: you are play­ing with fire.

Lis­ten to how your ab­surd hate­speech is be­ing in­ter­preted.

Here is Keysar Trad, for­mer pres­i­dent of the Aus­tralian Fed­er­a­tion of Is­lamic Coun­cil, back when he was a trans­la­tor for a pro-al Qaeda mag­a­zine: “The crim­i­nal dregs of white so­ci­ety colonised this coun­try . . . and the de­scen­dants of th­ese crim­i­nal dregs tell us that they are bet­ter than us.’’

Here is Was­sim Douheiri, spokesman for Australia’s Hizb-ut-Tahrir: “Even if a thou­sand bombs go off in this coun­try all it will prove is that Mus­lims are an­gry and have ev­ery right to be an­gry.”

Why tell such peo­ple the lie that Australia is a land of racism and geno­cide? Might some not con­clude it de­serves de­struc­tion?

Pic­ture: DAVID SMITH

CLASH: A girl is ar­rested for as­sault in an anti-racism rally in Mel­bourne yes­ter­day.

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