Tonight it really hit home. It hit home that the Australian people are more interested in trashing the fair go, than holding it dear as a true Australian value. Once the fair go is well and truly gone; we, as a people are nothing.
As I browsed Twitter, two tweets had a huge impact on me tonight. The first was from Sam Dastyari. There was a real sadness in Sam’s tweet. A sadness that really encompassed that this insidious scourge of populist racism, led very vocally by Pauline Hanson, is actively destroying our country from the inside out.
The human face of the racial attacks, slurs, anger and hatred from so many “Hansonites” in the last 24 hours were two gorgeous, smiling little girls. This. Must. Stop.
Australia is better than how these girls have been treated. pic.twitter.com/nDrVW3wIms
— Sam Dastyari (@samdastyari) January 17, 2017
The second tweet was from Josh Butler, Associate Editor of Huffington Post Australia. His tweet really drove home not only the callous behaviour of the last 24 hours; but the stupidity behind it. Is this what we have become?
Imagine waking up in the morning and deciding “yep, two happy little girls waving Aussie flags, THAT’S what I’m gonna be mad about today” pic.twitter.com/4IoUvE2ypK
— Josh Butler (@JoshButler) January 17, 2017
The reason Sam and Josh’s tweets really hit home is because they wrap up very neatly in a nice little ball how racist ranting has become the new power drug for so many. It hit home because the feeling of elation and superiority more and more Australians are feeling from this negative, insidious activism, led by Hanson (and encouraged by the Media reporting her every word); is now overwhelming us. It is dividing us. It is destroying us.
This hateful rhetoric takes precedence over everything. Over actually giving a damn about the damage, stigma and pain these harmful words and actions are doing to other human beings. Now it doesn’t even matter if the target is just a sweet, innocent, little kid.
It didn’t matter if the loud screams and anger were aimed at these little girls. It just did not matter.
Did the people screaming in anger and making hateful comments and praising Pauline Hanson ‘to fight against this’ really care how these two little girls felt about the harmful words inflicted upon them? Or if they felt totally destroyed when the Billboard was taken down?
The honest answer is, “No they did not”
The honest and even more terrifying answer is “No, in the name of Pauline Hanson, they would do it all again tomorrow.”
This Hansonesque Racism, which is taking off like wildfire, now knows no bounds. Anyone is now fair game. As we can see from today – anyone.
Just like all little girls, the two girls in this photo were most likely super excited about being on a big billboard. Their Mum and Dad would have been so proud of how beautiful they looked on such a huge poster and no doubt family and friends were delighted to just know them and how proud everyone is of them. Drive-by’s and selfies galore would have been had.
Yesterday, dedicated Hansonites destroyed that overwhelming joy for two little girls.
Due to the racist outrage and fears of safety by the advertiser and threats to the company, the billboard has now been removed.
There is a growing number of Hanson worshipping Australians who see someone in a religious garb as sub-human and they gladly treat them as such and celebrate such joy from another person’s pain and anguish.
The Hansonites don’t care about how these little girls must be feeling. These ‘Patriotic Australians of the adult variety’, actively participated in the last 24 hours in breaking the hearts of these two little girls.
Today is the day that these little girl’s have had to face the reality that they live amongst monsters. Not the BFG kind. Ugly, hateful, mean, nasty, scary monsters who worship a god with a really poor vocabulary, no positive ideas, an ever increasingly prominent narcissistic personality, an over-zealous ambition, with flaming red hair and a nasally twang. How blasphemous of them!
I want to know the names of these little girls so I can ask these Hansonites, if they actually care how [Name] and [Name] felt when the billboard was taken down?
How much did the Hansonites laugh because these little girls may go to bed tonight crying until they can’t cry anymore?
Did these Hansonites hoot with glee that these little girls will never understand that all they did wrong was to exist as Australians?
Who are these ‘patriots’ who say they don’t deserve to?
How big and powerful do the Hansonites feel? Screaming at these little girls that they aren’t Australian enough? Although they are Australian, just like them?
Did the rants and screams of the Hansonites make them feel more valued as members of society, because they “protected” Australia from the great harm these two little girls inflicted upon the country by being on a billboard?
How very brave and patriotic!
The video below is so important at this point in time. It is important because it really visualises the Hanson rhetoric. The message of how we are supposed to shame, ridicule and tear down others. We simply must force ourselves into a position of authority above ‘the targeted others’ and insist they do not belong.
This makes us “Pauline’s Australians’ who are ‘Real Australians’…..apparently.
This video, went viral and was all over social media. Australians were appalled at how this teacher built this little boy up and then tore him down in an instant.
When I read Sam’s tweet tonight, my mind immediately returned to remembering this video and I loudly exclaimed with disgust “What hypocrites we have become.”
Such compassion from Australians for this little boy. Day in day out, people screamed for the teacher to be sacked. Capslocked in anger about what they wanted to ‘do to her.’
What hypocrites we have become.
In the last 24 hours, the big brave Hansonites have metaphorically rushed that stage, pushed the teacher out of the way and ripped that mic out of that boy’s hand in disgust. Then they screamed at him:
Not only did they do that….they laughed about it and patted each other on the back if they could snatch the mic in a particularly cruel or nasty manner. They cheered if they reached the epic status of making the kid cry really loud. This meant they were ‘true patriots dedicated to Pauline’s Australia.’
That is what Hanson and her pack of self-righteous “patriots” have done to these girls yesterday.
Hanson and her patriots’ message to these girls is that they better bloody assimilate, but seriously GTFO of our billboards. Don’t you dare come to the barbie cos we will damn well make sure we smother it with bacon. We do this because we think it makes you uncomfortable. Making you feel uncomfortable, makes us feel brave.
I am, you are, we are Pauline’s Patriots.
So yeh – assimilate but GTFO!
This is the second blog in a series to discuss how the One Nation Party leaders promote themselves compared to who they really are. Through this article I will discuss how One Nation uses Hope, Fear and Racism to gain voters’ trust.
For those outside of Australia or if you are someone who has no interest in Australian Politics; the One Nation Party is a right wing Nationalist Party. They recently won four seats in the Federal Senate.
If you voted for the One Nation Party, chances are you see yourself as a Patriot. The first instalment in this series discussed how if you are a patriot, your vote is misplaced by voting One Nation. As One Nation are not Patriots, they are Nationalists.
One of the major comments from One Nation voters is that they are not racist. Some of them very proudly are; but I do not believe the majority are racist.
These voters are simply people who have grasped onto hope, through One Nation’s emotive marketing of fear. That does not make them racist.
If there is one thing I would like to say to One Nation voting readers; is that One Nation IS a political party. I often hear: One Nation are not like Political Parties – they ‘understand’ us. The fact that the party asked for your vote and won senate seats, means they are a political party full of politicians.
To give them automatic trust based on this falsehood does not mean that they understand you.
This Political Party has been very clever in marketing their party to connect with your emotions. They marketed to how you feel about the lack of jobs, the inability to purchase a home, the cost of living and the fears of job insecurity. Also struggling on low wages and the worries, we have every single day for our children.
Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Party have taken all of these fears and instead of addressing them with real solutions; they created a false dilemma.
They created a false dilemma, that other people, who have a different skin colour or religion than you, are the real cause of your fears and worries.
This shows that they are even more political and strategic than most other political parties. Think of it like this. All political parties believe that their ideology or values system, will deliver a better Australia for all people. Whether this is Conservatism (Liberal), Laborism (Labor) or Environmentalism (Greens); they all truly believe these value systems will benefit ALL Australians. Regardless of what you believe in or what you agree with, this underpins every major party’s vision.
One Nation believes that there can only be a better Australia if we only cater for one section of Australia and make everyone exactly the same. A white Christian Australia.
This is a very politically motivated decision. It is also progressing a political agenda for their own power. They do not understand you. As a political party they want to gain as much money and power as possible. Be wary of giving automatic trust.
It is true that many Australians have lost hope and no longer trust the political system. Over many years, successive Governments have created a system that results in inequity and poverty for many. When we lose hope, we feel we lose our power and our self-identity.
People do not willingly give up power to others. It is not a natural act. That is why entire countries are forcibly taken through war. That is why labour that should be valued is stolen through unfair wages and slavery.
Many people feel that if we lose our self-identity, we give up our power. The power to have rights, make decisions, to move freely and to just be ourselves.
This is where the One Nation Party comes in.
Throughout their history, they have targeted minority groups and have insisted that this minority will become the majority and take away your identity and power. That is a scary thing to think about. However, it simply is not true. Freedom is not gained through fear.
In the 1990’s they targeted Aboriginal Australians and Asians. In 2016, they are targeting Muslims.
If this is a vote for equality, could you stand up and honestly say that you would like to be treated like the people within these groups are treated?
Can you honestly say, that you would like to be abused and spat on, shunned and ridiculed, just because of your skin colour, your features or that you look like followers of a certain religion?
Politicians have a platform, we cannot imagine to have for our voices. Privilege and power are a politician’s automatic right. The words of the One Nation Party are used with all the power they have to target certain groups and set them apart from the rest of us.
By targeting one group as different, it automatically gives people who are not in that group the false impression of power. A real system of privilege and power is created when this is backed by a politician. If it is based on race or Islam, it is Racism and/or Islamophobia.
This is nothing but political marketing to get your vote. It is to make you feel powerful. The same problems that make you feel you are losing power and identity are all still there. One Nation has not solved these problems by targeting others.
They have asked you to be angry at other people, instead of Government. Why? Because otherwise, they would need to come up with actual solutions that could be compared to the Government’s solutions. One Nation has had to do nothing to get your vote, other than place blame on a minority group to distract you away from challenging their (non) policy ideas.
The creation of fear is used because it positions One Nation as ‘protectors’ and ‘authority.’ Very simply, when people are fearful, they naturally want someone to protect them and to take away the fear.
To keep a level of fear that wins votes, it is important for people act on that fear.
There are three levels of prejudice and discrimination:
The first is how we ‘see’ people as different to us and how we make a judgement about them. It is about how we see people compared to what we see as the ideal symbol of what we think people should look like.
The second is how we feel about people. When you think about different races and groups, how do you feel? Happy, angry, excited, fearful? The key for One Nation is to play on the groups that people feel fearful about. This fear is heightened by creating falsehoods about an entire group and using emotive words, such as ‘We are being swamped by Muslims.’
Notice that the action words are negative words, that create fear about becoming the minority and losing our identity and power?
The third is about how we act towards others. This is important for One Nation. It is only logical that people will not be very friendly towards people they are fearful of. Not being friendly and welcoming creates a divided country. This creates even more fear and uncertainty. One Nation hopes you will look to them, because they are the party who are agreeing with your fears. However, they are silent about the problems that are the cause of your fears.
I hope that by explaining it this way, you can see that One Nation are not the ‘Average Australian’ like you. They play to your emotions and fears in a purposeful way.
This is a highly motivated party, with a very well organised strategy to gain votes, more power and more money, based on creating fear about other human beings.
The problems which cause our fears are not solved by targeting other human beings.
The problems that are the root cause of our fears will only go away when we keep challenging the Government or other parties who can gain power to stop inequality, creates jobs and we have real fairness and supportive public services.
Blaming other human beings, because they are different, will not solve this problem. It just makes the same problems even worse for the people in these groups.
I trust this is not the reason you voted for One Nation. I do not believe that most One Nation voters would purposely make life worse for some Australians.
Your vote should never be for a party who blames other people for the country’s problems. That is because the people within these targeted groups, don’t have the power to make the decisions. They are victims of the same system that you are. Only a ruling Government can solve the problems that underpin our fears.
If you did vote for One Nation, because you want to see everyone treated equally with fairness, I hope you challenge and re-think your voting decision. The divisiveness, racism and hatred One Nation champions, is the opposite of who you really are.
People are expressing the increasing need to separate themselves and self-identify as situated above certain groups. They feel the need to paint others as lesser. This need is fed by fear driven politics and it is causing a loss of focus and it is causing a lot of pain.
Memes used to be funny. They were quirky, sometimes delightful, sometimes thought provoking and sometimes so funny one would cry from laughing. Now memes are more about social status. Sharing to place oneself in a better class. A class above Jobseekers, Unionist, Muslims, Indigenous and LGBTI people who just want to get married amongst other groups.
Not an hour goes by on social media when I do not scroll by some defamatory post about Muslims (mostly aimed at degrading Muslim women) or how jobseekers are bludgers and should just get a job. Then I scroll by more shares about how unionists are self-serving, dodgy criminals. Then I come across those who belong to the special group who believe they are more Australian than the Indigenous Australians who were here in the first place.
Every day we scroll through the privileged Olympics, but there are no winners. Only losers.
The privileged I am talking about here, are not the Turnbull type of privileged; but so many every day Australians who share derogatory memes about various groups on a daily basis. These people come from all walks of life. They are not necessarily rich and they may be poor. Wealth status is not the issue here.
These people are privileged by default, because they do not belong to the group that they and others scorn, ridicule, shame, shun, ostracise and stigmatise. It is like every share elevates one to being a gold card member of the ‘in-group.’
The problem is that the privileged do not see. They are blinded. They cannot calm their egos enough to bring themselves down to another level to try to understand the life of another. They do not attempt to listen and empathise; they are on autopilot with judgement and ridicule.
Social media has made it so it is so much more important to hold dear to the opinion originally developed, than to attempt to understand an issue enough or look at it through different eyes; to recognise it is causing harm and change that opinion.
If we are complaining we haven’t progressed since Whitlam, it is largely our fault. It is our fault that there are so many people in pain, because every day I see stereotypes and stigmatisation shared around to approve and contribute to the infliction of pain on others.
We pit the oppressed against the oppressed when a meme is shared to give the homeless more than refugees. How does one judge the value of what assistance should be given? What drives us to choose between a person who has seen their entire family raped, tortured, slaughtered and burnt and fled their homeland or give to a person in desperate need of shelter, food, clothing and care? Do they both not deserve love, kindness and generosity?
What fear is within us that makes us share such memes as representations of our thoughts that we play judge and jury and decide who is not worthy of care and assistance? Is kindness such an ugly emotion that we reject it? Is it a fear that others may judge you as being too kind?
No, it is the fear driven politics that has led us to believe that a Government and its citizens cannot be generous enough to help both. It is the fear that if they do, we would somehow be worse off. It is fear driven politics that sees us remain silent on the generous assistance to the wealthy banks and business, whilst we verbally bash the poor.
We glorify a free-market-worker-hating-Government every time we share a meme about the ‘pathetic’ unemployed and how they are bludging and living off our taxes. We kick the worker every time we contemplate how unfair it may be that some greedy workers are getting paid penalty rates and how terrible this is for business and their profits. Pass me a goddamn tissue.
The Abbott-Turnbull Government is the epitome of the greedy bourgeoisie and there are every day citizens working so hard to work with them and for them to shove the worker and those who are jobless down as far as they can be kicked.
We have come to a peculiar space in time where the plebs themselves are standing with the bourgeoisie. For if they do this, then being a pleb, is better than a prole or the “hoi polloi.” The common worker, consumed by politics driven fear is tearing their own class apart.
“Workers United will never be defeated….” Go on…say it….it means something real.
What is the fear that drives us to glorify a Government who insists that the unemployed (human beings in case you have forgotten) should starve for a six months, six weeks and now a month?
Is it a fear that we may lose something if jobseekers are offered assistance from the public purse?
Is it a fear that we may just not have one more submarine to build if a jobseeker can live on real meat instead of noodles? Is it a genuine fear that Gina Rinehart might have less billions and that would somehow hurt us?
Is it the fear that we may confront the uncomfortable truth that our judgements reinforce the message that turning to sexual favours and even suicide is a reality for these individuals who are finding it so hard to survive in a world of not just poverty, but scorn and condemnation?
Above all else, it is the politics driven fear that those living in poverty are stealing something from us. It is the fear that they are getting something for less effort than us. It is the fear reinforced by the LNP message that there will be fewer hospitals, fewer schools and fewer jobs if we treat the unemployed with dignity. It is the politics driven fear that assisting jobseekers will result in less jobs; because that means we could one day be them.
There is no point attempting to provide input of an opposing view. Try to tell someone to be angry at the Government for not creating jobs, instead of blaming the unemployed. It is an interesting exercise. Contrition is not an emotion that we appear to embrace as Australian citizens.
This politics driven fear is also blinding us. We are losing focus. The fear of people from different lands and different religions is so critical we cannot take our eyes off them for a second. It is vital to share, share, share anything we can find, made up or not on the internet. It is critical to continuously reinforce this fear as legitimate and worthy to defend.
It is more important to have conversations on social media that can last days about how the viewpoint of one radical Muslim is the view of all Muslims; than to really engage thoughtfully and productively about how we can lift good Australian people out of poverty.
It is more important to remain silent on humanitarian issues,and use our fear of a religion we don’t understand as an excuse, because if we really stop and think about it; we may realise we are actually being inhumane and that is an ugly truth to face.
What fear is driving us that we are content with leaving other human beings in indefinite detention? Indefinite – without a hope, never to be released – just in case the key word has not hit you yet. Murderers get less.
The irrational politics driven fear that unionists are doing less work than the regular taxpayer for a greater gain, is more important to hold onto, than to stand with unionists who have given us the work-life we enjoy today and that they continuously fight for. This fear culminates and makes us forget that we once stood with pride and dignity and shed tears to remember those workers who were jailed, murdered, maimed, starved and broken just so our labour is recognised as a valuable input in exchange for fair wages and safe conditions. How soon we have forgotten the pain of John Howard’s Work Choices?
Every single time we share memes, or have conversations that reinforce the politics driven fear espoused by the Liberals and the Nationals, and now the more right wing parties; we are condoning the infliction of pain on the vulnerable.
We have a responsibility to stop and take stock that this rhetoric that is being whipped into a frenzy day after day has gone too far. It is time to sit up and take notice, that by doing this, we are hurting the people we talk about helping in other conversations we have
It is time to stop and think about those on the right who say they have the solutions, actually don’t. It is time to really listen to their proposals. Tearing down the worker and punishing those who are unemployed due to Government failure is not a solution. Dividing people by race or religion is not a solution. Clinging to the harmful measures that create more poverty and more divisiveness are not solutions. Why this is not being realised is the real phenomenon.
Choose Populism if you want a Rock Star. Reject it if you want a leader.
Some appear to be genuinely good people. However, politics driven fear is driving some people to throw brimstone and fire at those they want to help, instead of at the Government and other right wing parties who are the central cause of the problem.
It is time to take a stand to honour those and respect those who cannot, to challenge the Turnbull Government and others every time they reinforce the degradation of a vulnerable group.
It is time to stop sharing derogatory memes and start having real conversations about how we can build a nation, and not share our acceptance of helping the Liberals and others on the right tear it down.
It is time to stop dividing and start uniting. It is time for a hand up and to bring back the fair go.
It is time for the mate-ship and camaraderie we apparently as Australians represent.
I miss that. Do you?
Have the Greens divided the nation? Is this what a political party should do? Is this disrespecting the people? Is this against democracy? Is this challenging the right to free speech? People need to start really expressing their views on this now. It should be a topic of conversation around every dinner table.
In an act of defiance today, the Greens turned their backs and walked out on Pauline Hanson’s maiden speech in the Senate. In an email I received from Richard DiNatale tonight, he explained this was because he was called a ‘greasy wog’ at school and told to ‘go home’ and the Greens do not condone racism.
DiNatale has a personal story that so many can relate to. Whatever your individual circumstance, be it racism, or disability, or poverty; so many know the ridicule, the shame and the stigma runs deep and stays forever. For some who can never change who they are, the hurt runs deeper. This is the shame and stigma that Hanson and her followers want to cut deep.
I listened to Pauline Hanson’s speech today and I was truly sickened listening to Hanson’s attack on almost every segment of vulnerable people in our society. The divisiveness, which underpinned her speech, shows that Hanson plans to pit group against group until we all hate each other. Her goal is to make Australians choose between ‘her’ or ‘them.’
Hanson’s speech resonated as someone who thinks they have so much reverent power amongst ‘the right’ and her ambition is to grow into a major political party. Her aim is to take every single conservative vote in Australia, to punish the Liberals who rejected her, ridiculed her and jailed her.
In her speech, she metaphorically strolled by and kicked the teeth in of homeless people, and single mothers and mothers who were single because of domestic violence. She metaphorically sat from above and spat on all those on unemployment; the young, the disadvantaged and the disabled.
Hanson’s speech was about creating fear of the disadvantaged. Her aim is to stigmatise and divide our people.
If you were ever made feel ashamed because of who you are, then Hanson is intent on making you relive that nightmare.
If you were made feel less than human because you were poor, or disabled, or recovering from an addiction then Hanson is here to make you feel less than human again.
If you were ever shunned because you were unemployed, homeless or broken, then Hanson wants you to hate those who are living this now.
This is not about Asians, or Muslims or racism, these groups are merely the start. Over the next six years we will see her use the full gamut of disadvantaged groups to create fear and divisiveness amongst us all.
Over time, Hanson will target individual groups and attack them one by one. People in disadvantaged and minority groups will be ridiculed, shamed, and labelled ‘unAustralian.’ Her mantra will be to hate all things ‘unAustralian.’ Her followers who think it is this ‘hate’ that will make Australia a great country, will actively create unrest.
If Hanson achieves her aim of a nation divided in two, what then?
Do we dare to imagine the civil unrest of the “Hanson’s Australians” attacking the bludging poor in the streets?
Do we dare to imagine “Hanson’s Australians” attacking young single mothers and calling scum and slutty whores and thieves who steal taxes?
Do we dare to imagine the intensity of racial hatred and racial violence we have never known before?
Do we dare to imagine Hanson’s Australia? The Greens did and they turned their backs.
Did the Greens just divide the Nation? Yes, they did.
The Greens symbolically asked every Australian to divide and either stand with “Hanson’s Australians” or with all Australians.
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
In six years time, don’t let there be no-one left to speak for you.
The Greens have divided the Nation.
Today is the day to decide on which side you stand.