In a recent interview with Australia’s newly elected Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, Australian journalist Andrew Bolt displayed the extent of his well-known racism when the discussion turned to Australia’s indigenous people. It went thus:
AB: I assume you believe all Australians should be treated equally on the grounds of race and ethnic origin.
AB: Why do you then want the Constitution rewritten so that some Australians are given different status on the grounds of their racial ancestry?
PM: Well, that's not I want [sic]. I want to appropriately acknowledge indigenous people in the Constitution. Now, that doesn't necessarily mean that we have two classes of Australian citizens, and any proposed amendment that did in effect create two classes of citizens wouldn't be put forward by me, and would deserve to fail if it was.
AB: But dividing people by race …
PM: Yeah, but you're assuming that anything along these lines will divide people by race.
AB: Yes, I do.
PM: Well, I don't accept that this is mission impossible.
The words ‘racist’ and ‘racism’ have been universally accepted as being derogatory in the sense that the words are usually used to convey a negative perception of a person or a persons attitude to people of a different race, culture or religion. A racist is a person of one race who, for whatever reason, hates people of another race simply on the basis that those other people are of a different race. The hatred is usually accompanied by, or more usually caused by, an innate fear of the other and/or a sense of superiority over the other. That sense of superiority usually revolves around sense of cultural superiority and/or differences in physical appearance which to the racist denotes both cultural and physical superiority.
What Bolt attempts to do is deny his racism while at the same time promote it and, in order to achieve this, he has developed a rhetoric that tries to ‘invert’ his racism. He does this by insisting that, if we recognise the differences in other people’s cultures, religion, heritage and physical appearance, then that in itself is racism. In other words, recognising the positive aspects of people of different colour, religion, culture or heritage is to Bolt as much racism as the more usual negative characteristics that we think of when considering and using the words ‘racist’ and ‘racism’.
Where Bolt’s attempts to hoodwink us fails is in what he offers as an alternative – and it is this that betrays his racism.
What Bolt says he wants is for all Australians to be treated equally. The problem here, however, is what Bolt wants to set as the standard by which equality is attained – and that for Bolt is a white Anglo-European-Judea-Christian dominated Western orientated monocultural society which others, if they must be here, are expected to adopt and assimilate into leaving their own cultures and religions behind. Bolt insists that ‘they’ become like ‘us’ and that they not be allowed to integrate ‘their’ culture and religion into ‘ours’.
Bolt wants to deny Australia’s Indigenous people their right to recognition as Australia’s first people in a future revised constitution. He supports the crackpot ideas of Keith Windschuttle who denies the ‘stolen generations’ and denies that widespread massacres and ethnic cleansing of Aboriginal people by white settlers occurred during colonisation.
Bolt is the quintessential Australian racist; he denies that he is a racist and accuses anyone that attempts to recognise the attributes of the culture, heritage and religion of others as being racist against white Anglo-European-Judea-Christians who want a Western orientated monocultural nation.
The very idea of a multicultural, multiracial society that recognises the virtues of the culture, heritage and religion of different races co-existing in our nation is a complete anathema to Andrew Bolt.