Author: Bilal Cleland

26 January does not unite all Australians

That the USA, despite its internal white supremacist terror threat, has produced a black president and now a black vice-president, suggests it is more civilised regarding its racist undercurrent than Australia.

Here in Australia the beginning of white settlement, the arrival of the First Fleet on January 26, is still the central national celebration.

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Hate Speech: Lessons for Australia from New Zealand

The Report also found “… it appears that hate crime and terrorism may be more akin to close cousins than distant relatives.”

There is a warning here for rightwing extremists who believe that “freedom of expression” allows them to freely vilify and express contempt for target groups.

“There has been a tendency to see hate crime and hate speech as different phenomena … As we have explained, we see them as related, sitting on a spectrum of harmful behaviours and as warranting systematic review and reform.”

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An English Test not a Dictation Test

Given our history of the White Australia Policy, and the xenophobia of the fringes of the Liberal Party and its voting mate the One Nation Party, many Australians have greeted this new provision with deep suspicion.

The echoes of the 1930s ring loud and it is up to the government to prove its policies do not stem from such roots.

The Australian Natives Association in its 1939 Congress in Warrnambool, demanded that any aliens permitted to enter the country should not be permitted to concentrate together in communities, should not be permitted to have their own schools or teach in their own languages, nor have foreign language newspapers.

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