Australian racism detected
In successive posts -- here and here -- new Asian Correspondent blogger Melbourne Lefty mentions both Australian racism and stereotypical American characteristics he thinks less than desirable -- zealous patriotism and arrogance. In the first of his two posts he includes the photo below with this comment:
Apart from the racism on display, the showy patriotism and aggressive flag-waving saddened me because our lack of silly, self-absorbed nationalism was, ironically, one of the things about this country I most admired.
Lebs refers to Lebanese, the person wearing the shirt presumably thinking that all Lebanese share certain unspecified undesirable characteristics. There's no way of knowing for certain but it is possible that this man formed his anti-Lebanese views through experience -- if questioned he might be able to provide an empirical basis for his views. Then again, perhaps he is simply prejudiced.
Regardless, this is absolutely no different to Melbourne Lefty thinking that Americans possess specific undesirable traits, which is, in his terms, racism. And on what evidence does Melbourne Lefty base his opinions of Americans? Has he visited America? Has he observed Americans here in Australia displaying the arrogance and zealous patriotism he deplores? It's far more likely that his opinions are preconceived notions reinforced during repeated discussions with his lefty mates, for whom America typifies pretty much everything -- politically, socially and economically -- wrong with the world today. Hell, he even manages to have a dig at Americans in his Rudd's Indian BBQ cock-up post, so it's obvious he thinks about America's pernicious influence quite a lot.
The left's continual bleating about racism has degraded the term to the point where it has lost meaning. Once reserved for malignment based on actual race, racism is now applied to the most casual observation of difference. Mention something about someone's dress (the impracticality of a turban in Australia's climate, for example) and some whiny lefty will likely accuse you of racism. Object to women wearing full-face veils or associate Muslims with terrorism and see what happens: RACIST! Questioning whether Palestinians are in fact their own worst enemies draws accusations of uber-racism: NAZI!
Sure racism exists in Australian but it's hardly the norm. The transition of Australia from an outpost of the British Empire to a multicultural society has been remarkably painless but there are still problems needing to be addressed: Aborigines and land rights, for example.
I for one wouldn't live anywhere else, however, which must mean I think Australia is the greatest country on Earth. Oh No! That makes me one of the arrogant, zealous patriots Melbourne Lefty so despises -- I am after all, American by birth. Come to think of it, I wouldn't have it any other way: being despised by the left is quite the honour.