Racism and the toxic sta­tus quo

The Saturday Paper - - Letters & Editorial -

Ruby Ha­mad’s “Racism is not a moment, it’s who we are” nails the toxic sta­tus quo. But why racism?

Who ben­e­fits? In whose in­ter­ests does it rise and fall but en­dure? Three groups stand out. Un­scrupu­lous politi­cians who know the dis­trac­tion value of scape­goats. Po­lit­i­cal scape­goats are those who can’t fight back, as ev­ery tyrant knows. The tar­get group needs to be a weak mi­nor­ity to ini­ti­ate the blood­lust among the hounds – “It’s them, not our party, who are re­spon­si­ble for the mess we are in.” Then there is the me­dia, which, as Mike Sec­combe re­ports (“Who is making money out of racism, Au­gust 11–17), ben­e­fits from fan­ning the fire and pre­tend­ing to ex­tin­guish it. Next there are the rest of us who in our guts know we are on in­vaded land. Rather than stand up for a treaty, we fo­cus on oth­ers who came by boat, as we did, and say the First Na­tion peo­ples needs to take the Kool-Aid. We are aligned with the cul­pa­bly ig­no­rant. Un­for­tu­nately, many Aus­tralians are too com­fort­able and too lazy to check the facts. It makes you won­der what hap­pens to the heaps of money spent on ed­u­ca­tion. So while there are so many get­ting so much out of racism, it en­dures, like a car­ried de­fec­tive gene that is easy to re­in­fect.

– Michael D. Breen, Robert­son, NSW

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