The Left loves accusing people of racism. But what does it actually mean?

I never quite know what is meant by “racism” and yet along with “sexism” and “homophobia”, etymological bastards all three of them, it must be the most frequently bandied epithet in the Left’s lexicon. Does it mean noticing the difference between people of different national types, as in being able to recognise that if there’s a Scandinavian in the room it’s probably the blonde chap over there and if there’s a Sicilian it’s presumably the dark-haired lady with him?

Yes, according to white liberal bien-pensants. To distinguish between one race and another as a description of individuals is “racist”. That’s why if someone’s attacked in the street by an assailant of distinctive ethnic appearance you can be sure ethnicity will not be mentioned by those news media that pride themselves on being correct in these matters. The police too, knowing which side their bread is buttered on, fall over themselves to issue descriptions in which racial appearance will not be an identifying element, unless the attacker is white, in which case it will be included so that you don’t racistically jump to the conclusion that the suspect is yet another newcomer to our shores.

All this beating about the bush applies only until the blonde chap from Scandinavia or the dark-eyed lady from Sicily turn against the bien-pensants and threaten their comfortable security. (Unlikely, you’ll say, but I use that example to show I’m not racist, in the same way that airport officials will advertise their non-racist credentials by strip searching anyone except the passenger who actually looks as though he might have a bomb in his intimate apparel.)

When Lefties get a fright the coy anonymity is instantly binned. We know this thanks to two youthful Melbourne gangs. When those gangs ran riot during Melbourne’s Moomba festival, they made the mistake of terrifying “ordinary families” having an evening out. Some of the terrified were doubtless readers of the Melbourne Age or ABC viewers – the kind of members of the respectable middle class for whom “racism” is something only rednecks indulge in. And all at once the silence was broken.

Police officers are timid when dealing with ethnic-based gangs because they fear being accused of racism,” intoned the Age reproachfully. You don’t say, and who pray has been doing the accusing up till now, or constantly implying it by harping on about the evils of “racial profiling” in the force? Why, the selfsame Age and its soul sisters now shouting the gangs’ Somali and South Pacific origins from the housetops. Talk about an irony bypass.

It therefore seems that to observe a racial difference between individuals is or isn’t “racist” depending on where one stands vis-à-vis the individuals whose race is or is not of relevance. As a definition of racism that’s a bit elusive. What then about old-fashioned racism, racial discrimination as it used to be called, that is, regarding someone as inferior because of their race and sneering at them or not giving them a job? Well, that’s mostly illegal now and scarcely encountered, at least in public. Even our esteemed Race Discrimination Commissioner, Dr Tim Soutphommasane, whose job depends on keeping racism going (“commissioner” sounds as though it’s his function to commission it – “tenders are now being invited for screaming abuse at asylum seekers”) admits that “great progress” has been made in getting rid of old-fashioned racism, as he told the Sydney Morning Herald in 2013:

Decades ago, it may have been commonly assumed that some races were superior to others; few would have batted an eyelid at racial abuse in public places. Today, things are much different. Old attitudes have largely given way to more progressive sensibilities.

Good to hear. Although it appears to have escaped Tim’s notice that some non-Anglos in our community are as yet untouched by “progressive sensibilities” and have a tendency to see themselves as superior to other races. Some folk – how can one put it? – from the Asian subcontinent – no, not rational and enlightened like Tim – have been known to show or express a certain disdain for people of other nationalities. I realise it’s probably racist even to hint at such a thing, and besides, racism of that kind is not really part of the “old attitudes” Tim is talking about. He means the old attitudes of ordinary Australians. It’s not racism if it’s not practised by the Anglo majority.

Tim’s SMH article was called “How best to tackle racism, Australian style” so he is probably the best person to define what racism, Australian style is. Launching his recent book I’m Not Racist But… (doesn’t that But make you feel guilty already?) he announced that, in spite of the “great progress” earlier referred to, “[o]rganised racist extremism appears to be revitalised, not unrelated to the emergence of cyber-racism” (by which I suppose he means nutters on the Internet). He cites some examples. “Anxieties about Islamist extremism have … fed a rise in the harassment of Muslim and Arab Australians.” Dear me, harassment. Well at least it’s not murder, a Muslim specialty. And, sorry Tim, but the “anxieties” about extremism are well grounded; to categorise them as racism is plain wrong. It’s not racist to be opposed to a culture some of whose exponents have made it clear they will kill or subjugate you if they can. It’s self-defence.

“At the same time,” Tim told his book launch, “there has been a marked increase in reports of anti-Semitism, along with signs of growing anti-Chinese sentiment.” Since anti-semitism is pretty well a preserve of Leftists, and it’s Leftists who installed Tim and his Human Rights employers in their sinecures in the first place, he’d do well not to tick them off too loudly. As to “anti-Chinese sentiment”, does it occur to him that where you hear examples of that – and you do, mainly in prosperous suburbs – it’s not on account of some generalised dislike of Chinese, which would be racial discrimination pure and simple, but because people feel that the districts in which they live and have grown up are being “taken over” and becoming alien to them? Most people prefer to live among people who speak their language at least. If that’s racism it’s also human nature, and Tim’s “ongoing challenge of building racial tolerance and cultural harmony” is not going to change that.

It says a lot about the absence of real racial discrimination from Australian life that in order to keep the anti-racist establishment going, racism has had to be redefined to cover perfectly natural human emotions that do not spring from any sense of smug superiority towards other people.

23 April 2016
Published in The Spectator Australia


Crusaders against paedophilia seem able to turn their outrage on and off.

Who wrote this, comparing paedophilia favourably with parental love?

How different then is that gentle, tentative sexuality between parent and child from the love of a paedophile and his/her lover?

Some serial abuser in a Catholic school? Gerald Ridsdale? George Pell? Wrong, wrong, wrong.

As we now know, thanks to an intervention in federal parliament a week ago, the author of this ardent tribute to the beauty of “intergenerational love” is one Gary Dowsett, a professor at La Trobe University in Melbourne. He wrote those words, and many more, in an article on “gay men and kids” in a 1982 edition of a publication called Gay Information. Dowsett is a former schoolteacher now employed in La Trobe’s department of Sex, Health and Society, the nest of thinkers who gave us the Safe Schools Coalition, that gay, lesbian and transgender recruitment programme masquerading in the sheep’s clothing of an anti-bullying campaign, which has had to be reined in by the federal government.

Dowsett went on to say that “love, warmth, support and nurture is an important part of the paedophilic relationship.” What a pity someone couldn’t have dug up such a quote and pinned it on Cardinal Pell. The media would have had a field day. Which brings us to our big question. Why are we not hearing anything on l’affaire Dowsett from all the outraged moral arbiters who savaged Pell and others for supposedly covering up “paedophilic relationships”? What do those who would have crucified Pell, though he never tried to defend or justify paedophilia and actually was a pioneer in seeking to curb it, have to say about a former teacher now working with young people in a university who openly defends it, or did 34 years ago and hasn’t disowned what he wrote then?

Why is pudding-faced Tim Minchin not writing a song about Dowsett and calling him “scum”? And above all, why is Julia’s bequest to the nation, the Star Chamber presided over by the Hon. Justice Peter McClellan AM, not interesting itself in the matter? I know it’s a Royal Commission into “institutional responses” to child abuse, but Dowsett has long been employed in institutions. How have they responded to his opinions?

Further, does a man who could write with such authority about paedophilia know of any cases of paedophiles “loving” children which ought to be drawn to the attention of the police? What about the chum he wrote about?

[a] friend, a paedophile, who is working very hard on making sense out of his relations with boys. These relations consist of, among other things, a large amount of nurture and support for these boys, a real caring for their welfare and growth.

Why aren’t police and media besieging the friend, or at least finding out whether he is still around and still busy caring for boys’ “welfare and growth”? Can’t Gail Furness SC find a way to haul Dowsett into the witness box and interrogate him for days on end on that and on what else the friend has been up to?

Surely the lynch mob can do better than this. Could it be that all that righteous outrage stoked up for months on end about young lives wrecked by paedophile priests has worn them out? I doubt it. If some new revelation to the discredit of the Roman Catholic Church suddenly emerged they would come to life like a watered flower. In fact some such revelation probably will be made sooner or later and the media vigilantes will be galvanised back into action. Just watch.

A pity that Dowsett is not a Catholic priest: that would wake them out of their torpor. Instead he is only a priest of the New Sexuality, but that’s enough to protect him. He’s on the right side. We don’t know how much if any direct input he’s had into Safe Schools – his association with which is what got his paean to intergenerational romance quoted in parliament – but lack of hard facts is no deterrent to a witch hunt when the quarry is someone or something that the Left and the media Left in particular disapprove of.

And that could never be said about Professor Dowsett. He’s one of the good guys. He’s had millions of dollars in public funds for his “work” exploring the world of non-heterosexual sexuality. LGBTI advocates like him are media pin-ups. Besides, Safe Schools has the full stamp of right-on approval and anyone who hovers in its orbit must ipso facto be enlightened and on the side of Life.

By the way, lest anyone think that Safe Schools is just the latest whim of an LGBTI establishment wanting to push its entitlements to the limit in a society which has lost its hitherto defining moral principles, Dowsett’s Gay Information article shows that initiatives of this sort are part a carefully thought out strategy, planned over the decades. Long before many of today’s advocates of gay “marriage” and such novelties were born, the future professor was stating that

a new political position is needed for there are significant political struggles at stake.  First, we have three legal/social questions to win: custody rights for gay men and lesbians; the legal right of paedophiles and their young lovers; and finally the sexual rights of children as a whole….

Hitler (and as with Main Kampf what “we” intended to do was all there to be read about for those who could be bothered to read it) could not have put it more clearly. This of course was back in the days when the ABC in its hippie mode was endorsing paedophilia as a “lifestyle choice” and the fashionable LGBTI demand, the gay marriage of the day, was for the age of consent to be lowered to eleven. But once the child sex-abuse dam burst and the accusations became a flood, toilers in the vineyard of “sexual rights” of the Professor Dowsett type went rather quiet on paedophilia, perhaps to avoid any collateral damage.

As for the object of Professor Dowsett’s third “struggle”, “the sexual rights of children as a whole”, perhaps that’s a campaign still waiting to be launched when LGBTI headquarters feels the time is ripe. When and if it is, it can be sure to enjoy the full support of the ABC and the rest of the Leftist establishment who were so vocal against Pell but who, confronted with an objective defence of paedophilia, suddenly find that silence is golden.

26 March 2016
Published in The Spectator Australia


Opponents of the “Safe Schools Coalition” are trying to “drag us back to the dark ages”, writes a Fairfax lady journalist angered by the Prime Minister’s “caving in” to his “religious right” and ordering an investigation into what this self-defined “national coalition of organisations and schools working together to create safe and inclusive school environments” does with the $80 million of taxpayers’ money it has so far pocketed. The dark ages, really? With robber barons, plagues and no decent dentistry? Learning kept alive in monasteries (Fairfax wouldn’t like that). Nothing to see by but candles and rush lights – a continuous Earth Hour, you might say, though rather more burdensome than that annual exercise in vanity asceticism of which Fairfax is a co-sponsor.

It is no doubt true that “safe and inclusive school environments” were not much in evidence in the Dark Ages. Apparently it is only with the advent of the Safe Schools Coalition that they have begun to appear at all and there is a long way to go, according to the “ground-breaking” and “innovative” Safe Schools “resource” All of Us the All being made up of what it speaks of as “LGBTI people” together with what I suppose we can call NLGBTI people, the non-LGBTI rest of the community whose insensitive language and actions are such a nuisance to the former.  You get the impression, though the canons of “inclusivity” would not permit them to say it, that the authors of All of Us would be happier if the NLGBTIs didn’t insist on existing. That would at least have spared the distress of the 75 per cent of LGBTI young people claimed by All of Us to have been subjected to “physical or verbal homophobic bullying”, most of it at school.

Does this statistic correspond to the experience of anyone who has recently left school? If so it suggests that the inveighing against “homophobia” which for several years has been a mandatory part of the curriculum has been a total washout. It might even have been counterproductive if the climate of playground and classroom terror described in the Fairfax article really exists. Here, among the “real life school experiences” “shared” with the writer, we read of the 12-year-old (boy one assumes) who saw his name “scrawled across a school toilet door next to the word ‘faggot’” (Tom Brown would have scorned even to notice). Another child was “beaten up and spat on by a gang of classmates” for being a “tranny”. Very sad but why? “Transphobia” or because he or she was an insufferable little show-off who paraded his or her supposed “diversity” around the school like Goody Two-Shoes? And what does it mean to be “kicked out of your football team” because you aren’t "masculine" enough? That you want to play in a tutu or that you’re not much good at football?

Children can be very intolerant but the finger-wagging adults who are turning the lucky country into a grievance incubator are just as adept at calling people names. Politicians and others who dare to ask whether the Safe Schools Coalition isn’t part of a "political ideology" to "promote queer sexuality" are “zealots”, in the words of the headline to the article quoted above. Their “relentless and vicious attacks” on this organisation are “abhorrent”.  Yet what is truly depressing is that, when mankind is capable of an infinite variety of achievement, a substantial minority of citizens would seem to live such arid lives that all they can think of to claim attention to themselves is their sexuality. Is it for that that we remember Michelangelo or Tchaikovsky?

By contrast to the zealots, Safe Schools campaigners are humane and altruistic – though it is unlikely that these virtues blind them to the benefits to their own careers of showering schools (nearly 500 so far) with LGBTI propaganda. The more they persuade teachers to bang on about intersex and transitioning, the greater the harvest in converts and the more the demand for their services. Children are naturally inquisitive, and by having Safe Schools open before them the whole sample case of sexualities (or the currently approved ones anyway; early inclinations to paedophilia are unlikely to be endorsed), who knows how many will suddenly discover that, yes, that one fits me? If that discovery transforms what might have been a passing phase into a lifelong obsession, that’s all the more clout for the LGBTI lobby as the child moves to adulthood.

And yet Safe Schools has as its kernel a perfectly reasonable proposition. People should not be made fun of for their perceived “differences”. Everyone, adults and children, should be treated with respect and courtesy. You would hope that in an enlightened society the protection of the vulnerable and victimised would be as natural as the air we breathe and that schools would inculcate it as a civic duty without prompting from quangoes. But as with everywhere these days where the Left feels it can advance its agenda, ideologues have wormed their way in like codling moth in an apple and under the harmless-sounding banner of the Safe Schools movement have pressed this civilised and civilising obligation into service as an instrument for their own ends - in this case their war on “heteronormativity” (to use the cumbersome term invented in the 1990s by a “queer theory” pioneer with no ear for euphonics). Children at school are being made the cannon fodder of adult sexual politics.

To help teachers instruct their classes in the kind of thing children should be taught not to do or say All of Us gives several somewhat forced examples of heteronormativity in action. One is the supposed inconsiderate habit of the heteronormative of “asking new parents whether their baby is a boy or a girl”. What is so offensive about that? It has to be one or the other (unless an H needs to be added to the string of same-sex attracted etc. initials). Even same-sex activists recognise that there are both “Ls” and “Gs” in the world. Would it be more acceptable to ask whether the newborn infant is showing any precocious signs of being LGBTI, and if so, which initial? Another allegedly heteronormative practice deplored by All of Us is that of “always asking boys if they have a girlfriend rather than a girlfriend or a boyfriend”. What planet are these people on? Ask a strong adolescent boy if he has a boyfriend? Teachers have been punched for less.

Here it might be noted in passing that one not inconsiderable section of the community for whom Safe Schools is not remotely interested in make schools safe is that which believes, for whatever reasons, that teaching children that same-sex and-all-the-rest-of-it relationships are just the same as heterosexual ones is not what we ought to be doing.

Activists who consider themselves social justice campaigners might pause to consider how much justice there is in the fact that a piece of same-sex propaganda such as All of Us (with its statutory urgings to gay “marriage”) is produced with the involuntary assistance of taxpayers, whereas not a cent of government aid has gone towards a pamphlet such as the Catholic bishops’ Don’t Mess With Marriage, which defends the law of the land. The latter is even the subject of a complaint to that distinguished example of value for your tax dollar, the Tasmanian Anti-Discrimination Commission. The complainant, a Greens parliamentary candidate called Martine (formerly Martin) Delaney, finds the bishops’ publication “offensive, humiliating and insulting”. She should go the whole hog and denounce the Commonwealth itself for the offensive, humiliating and insulting definition of marriage that federal parliament inserted into the Marriage Act in 2004: “Marriage means the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.”  

The evil of “heteronormativity” is unmasked in All of Us, in a way that tells you everything you need to know about the Safe Schools Coalition’s opinion of what used to be conventional attitudes to sex. Heteronormativity is described as “a belief system that reinforces (sic) that same-sex attracted, intersex and gender-diverse people are somehow less normal than everyone else.” But aren’t they? Surely it isn’t “judgmental” or “hate speech” to say so but a statistical and observable fact. We may shrink from stating it bluntly but normal is what is the norm. It is normal for males to be attracted to females and vice versa because that is how at least 95 per cent of people are and is the means by which the species propagates itself. It is not wrong to be attracted to one’s own sex but it is a departure from the norm.

Pretending otherwise is a key strategy of gender warriors, who want us to see traditional “binary” sexual identification as a straitjacket forced on society by – well, by whom? Presumably the non-LGBTI majority, whose young now have to be taught – through the schools and irrespective of what their parents might think – the semantic contradiction that minority sexual preferences, or whatever preferences individuals may choose for themselves, or wish to “transition” to, are just as normal as the statistically normal. This is quite a different goal from the decency, respect and tolerance Safe Schools masquerades as striving for. You can’t help suspecting that the “zealots” are right and that the purpose of such teaching is Leftist-led social revolution through the de-normalising of one of the underpinnings of Western civilisation, the traditional family, and its relegation, if it must exist at all, to one “lifestyle choice” among many. Safe Schools has all the hallmarks of a Trojan horse, in which case its promoters, however well intentioned, are the Left’s useful idiots.

Those who stand up against them are not dragging us back into a dark age. They are trying to drag us back from the brink of one in which social cohesion will collapse in a welter of conflicting and loudly vindicated “rights”. Who will fill the power vacuum if our civilisation implodes? I can think of one possible contender, and if the LGBTI world thinks it’s badly done by now, just wait.

29 February 2016