Sorry Tory, you should try reading what I actually wrote
Tory is very quick to use the “racist” slur to disguise her lack of argument and of comprehension. It’s a dead giveaway these days.
But there is an even more telling sign that she is totally unable to refute, let alone understand, my argument.
It’s that rather than deal with what I actually wrote, she imputes to me sentiments I do not share and arguments I have never made.
Here’s some, all drawn from this one rant of hers. According to Tory, I have “legions of racist fans”, my aim is to “whip up indignation and outrage”, I’ve urged readers to “disregard the contribution that Muslims have made to Australia”, and I argued that “we shouldn’t let Muslims in”.
All this is false, and utterly irrelevant to boot. Is Tory dishonest or simply incredibly sloppy?
Even when I write that “most people from whatever community or group I’ve mentioned are law-abiding”, and repeat that I’m talking only of a “minority” of Muslims, Tory insists instead that in my article I “tar all Muslims”. Even when I mention plenty of other immigrant groups around the world with signs of dysfunction - Canadian Latinos, Tongans, Vietnamese, Samoans, those of African heritage and more - Tory still claims “he picks on (Muslims) to the exclusion of all others”.
Even when I explain why the argument that our racism created alienated minorities won’t wash, citing, for instance, the difference in achievement here of our Lebanese Christian and Lebanese Muslim minorities, and our success in assimmilating our more numerous Buddhists, Tory still manages to assert that my article “completely overlooks the role of racism in ostracising those minorities”. I somehow “competely overlook” an issue I in fact addressed at length.
This is bizarre. Really, why do I bother writing anything at all, when Tory clearly does not read it and insists on treating my column instead as just a space for her own notes of what she imagines I might have said or even hopes I said?
Even when Tory acknowledges that I did present a raft of statistics to illustrate my point about the trouble some minorities have had in fitting in to new communities in the West, she simply dismisses them as “cherrypicked” without bothering to even try to explain why they are not representative, and sneakily suggests they may even be false, anyway, since she has to “take it on faith that he’s got them from good sources”.
No, Tory, you didn’t have to take my statistics in good faith. You could have checked them for yourself. But that would have taken work, wouldn’t it, and may have forced you to acknowledge what you’d rather dismiss and disparage.
If there is any argument in Tory’s article, it’s probably this:
“... anyone who can read should know that some people are more likely to end up in trouble because they are born into appalling socio-economic conditions; that some people are more likely to be jailed than your average Anglo for exactly the same crime; and that some people are isolated from society, which in turn makes them more likely to commit crimes.”
These reasons may in part be true, but Tory ignores completely the fact that these “appalling socio-economic conditions” and terrible crime rates are not just the product of Australian racism or accident of birth.
As I pointed out, crime rates for Chinese and Indian immigrants are way below the national average. As I could have added, Jews are more likely than most to face discrimination, yet are remarkably successful in our community.
As I noted, Buddhists have fitted in very well - and certainly without attracting the public anxiety caused by the less numerous Muslims.
As I noted, Lebanese Christians have done so well that they’ve provided Victoria with a Premier and NSW with a Governor.
If we’re uniformly racist, why these very un-uniform results? Is it really “racist” to ask to what extent differences in outcomes are influenced by differences in the cultures of the immigrants themselves?
Wouldn’t, say, a culture which devalued the education of girls tend to be less rich? Wouldn’t followers of a faith whose leading representatives preach against assimilation be more likely to be marginalised, by themselves at least as much as us?
Tory has one last argument, which does have some merit - even if she actually mistates it, falsely accusing me of widening “the gap in understanding”, when I believe I’m actually stripping away some myths.
What she should have said is that what I wrote, even if true, may make worse what I actually deplore. Does talking as frankly as I do about this issue just make enemies of those we all would wish as our allies? Does it make the children of migrants feel more picked on?
Let’s ignore that this is actually a veiled concession that there is a problem of the kind I suggest. The fact is that I do worry about just that. I see the children of African and Muslim immigrants playing with my own children, and would hate for anyone to treat them or their parents badly.
But we have had a media that for many, many years said too little that’s honest and frank about what is clearly a growing problem. SBS, for instance, refused to air footage it had of Sheik Hilali in his mosque praising suicide bombers as “heroes”.
The misreporting of the Cronulla riots as purely a burp of Anglo racism was widespread and desperately ill-informed, ignoring the rise of Middle Eastern street violence and the gang gulture that has prompted the NSW police to devote an entire squad to crime in this one ethnic minority.
The refusal of so many journalists to identify the true perpetrators of much of the worst or most notorious violence against Indians and tourists have perpetuated the false and damaging reputation we have in the world of being a nation of white racists, and blinded many to the troubling rise of ethnic gangs in Victoria.
I suspect the real danger lies not in saying too much but too little, and drifting on to where Europe now warns us we dare not go.
I could go on, but it is clear to me that there is no point in writing even this. Tory does not read what I write, and attacks me only for what she imagines I think. She does it not to reveal my sins, but to advertise her allegedly superior virtue.
But meanwhile we have a problem, and serious minds must discuss it seriously. Screams of “racist” simply announce the arrival at the table of a child.
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