I recently read an article that was talking about how the suggest Muslim migration ban was racist. It was a good read up until I read the last paragraph that described the author that seemed a bit strange.
The article touched on Pauline Hanson, The Liberals/ALP, the Essential poll, The Drum, the Plebiscite, Brexit, Trump, and offshore detention.
However the last paragraph describing the author as “Bangladeshi-Australian, practicing Muslim” got me really confused.
This article wasn’t about the author’s personal cultural or direct religious experiences.
It was his critically conscious opinions on Australian politics.
So why did his cultural background and his religious practice (not just Muslim, but a ‘practicing’ Muslim) needed to be mentioned?
On the same website, the same author wrote another article on racism at the end of last year, and was described as “an Australian standup comic” so why was this article different?
Why was it necessary to mention his cultural/religious background.
I know you should avoid reading the comments section of these type of articles, but I was curious to see if anyone else had picked up on this.
I read through the comments and sure enough, you had people wanting to know where the author stood on Bangladesh’s human rights.
In order to be able to have an opinion on Australian politics, he would of had to condemned the controversies of the country of his cultural background.
That’s sounds so messed up.
It made me realise that you never hear the description Anglo-Australian.
Whenever describing the background of white people, terms like “Australian” or “Aussie” are used (or its not even necessary to spell it out because its assumed).
The rest of us (POC) Australians are left to be labelled by the country of origin our parents happened to of come from if we’re not white.
Now it could be that perhaps that this particular author had purposefully wrote that last paragraph because that’s how he chose to identify himself as.
Identity is something that is so fluid and personal, you can’t really tell someone how they should identify themselves.
But I’m not talking about identity, I’m talking about how and when we use terms to define ourselves when writing or speaking about race.
There is nothing wrong with using a hyphenated dual identity if that works for you, if you’re proud of your heritage.
What is wrong is when that is used to explain or justify why someone has particular views that has nothing to do with cultural or religious background. It shouldn’t matter if he’s a Muslim, talking about how the ban is discriminates against Muslims.
If this author was white, would he be described as Anglo-Australian? Nope.
Would his religion be spelled out as a means of explaining his opinions on a ban of people who follow the same religion?
Nope, unless maybe if he was a religious leader. And whats with the word ‘practicing’, as opposed to what exactly?
When will it end?
Why are people who have either been born here or spent majority of their life here, constantly defined as a sub-part of being Australian.
Will future generations still be considered as “Insert cultural background-Australian?” based on their heritage and the colour of their skin?
It’s been three generations at least.
You don’t need to have your culture and religion in a bio as a means of explaining why you’re justified to write an article on why the Muslim Immigration ban is racist.