Here in Melbourne the Page One lead story in today’s Herald Sun will trigger much debate and even bring racists and bigots out of the woodwork. The headline refers to Enclaves of Fear. Muslims: We’re too scared to assimilate. Pleas for understanding on burqas, mosques. The Victorian Islamic Council has made a submission to a federal parliamentary inquiry into immigration. Council president Hyder Gulam said Muslim arrivals in Australia congregate in certain suburbs because of fear of racism. Is that much different to when the Vietnamese boat people arrived in Sydney and Melbourne in the 1970s? Or the Greeks and Italians in the late 1950s and 1960s?Assimilation happened but it took time. (By Derryn Hinch, radio talkback host)
CBS News' 60 Minutes Overtime editor Ann Silvio has a frank discussion about the N-word with correspondent Byron Pitts. Also check out his report on "60 Minutes" this week, about a new edition of "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" that omits the racial epithet and replaces it with the word "slave." (Image is of author Mark Twain with his friend John Lewis in 1903).
Aboriginal Peoples Lose Rights and Mineral Rich Land in Northern Territory Intervention. “It wasn’t our dream to come and eat at the white man’s table, to work for the white man as a slave,” says Reverend Dr Djiniyini Gondarra, a Yolngu elder. Dr Gondarra is one of the indigenous voices heard in Our Generation, an important new film documenting the impact of the ‘Northern Territory Emergency Response.’ Since 2007 this government initiative has decimated the human rights of the Yolngu and other indigenous Australian peoples, collectively known to most of the world as Aboriginal peoples.
I am disappointed that so few people have made a serious effort to understand David Cameron’s speech at the Munich Security Conference. What Mr Cameron is against is the state behaving in a way that fosters and reinforces division, instead of treating all persons as equal citizens before the law......A friend recently asked me how I think of myself. I replied that I think of myself as a Briton whose ethnic origin is Punjabi and whose religion is Islam. Neither of those divides me from my fellow citizens, irrespective of their ethnicity or religious views.The essence of my objection to state multiculturalism is that I demand that the state treats me as an individual citizen with individual rights, and does not assign me to an ethnic or religious group which must be dealt with as a block.
Minister for Central Australia Karl Hampton has denied pressuring an Aboriginal television station to end an advertising campaign calling for action to end alcohol abuse in Alice Springs. The commercials, paid for by local residents and business owners, sparked widespread criticism that the campaign racially vilified Aborigines and negatively portrayed Alice Springs. The ads showed young Aboriginal people roaming the streets at night, and criticised the NT Government for failing to act on a recent dramatic increase in alcohol-fuelled crime in the Red Centre. About 200 members of the group which initiated the campaign, Action for Alice, staged a protest outside a special sitting of the NT Parliament in Alice Springs on Tuesday.
American legal and social tradition includes many forms of multiculturalism that are not valueless, alien, or new. People talk a lot about “multiculturalism,” whether to praise it or condemn it. But standing alone, the concept is too vague to be supported or opposed. In this respect, it’s much like certain other concepts, such as “equality.” Do you support equality or oppose it? Well, it depends on what exactly is meant by “equality,” doesn’t it? “Multiculturalism” is similar. Some things that are reasonably labeled “multiculturalism” are mostly bad, and others are mostly good. We can all imagine bad versions of multiculturalism — ones that dramatically undermine the social cohesion necessary to maintain order or defend the nation in war; ones in which many people in a modern economy speak mutually unintelligible languages; ones in which members of some subcultures feel comfortable violently attacking people, whether of their own culture or of others; and so on. But America is also founded on its own sort of multiculturalism, which has usually (though not always) stood us in good stead. Here are four constitutional manifestations of this multiculturalism.
A young campaigner has created an anti-racism video which could be screened at cinemas throughout the country. Sarah Hulme, 14, from Birstall, made the short film for a competition organised by Show Racism the Red Card (SRTRC), a charity that uses top footballers to educate against bigotry. Sarah's two-minute video pipped pupils from 40 other schools to win in the multi-media category. It shows images of people from around the world and includes an emotive narrative written by the youngster. You can watch her video at this site.
Dr. Sunera Thobani, of the University of British Columbia, criticizes the discourse of multiculturalism in Canada. "I think multiculturalism has been a very effective way of silencing anti-racist politics in this country. Multiculturalism has allowed for certain communities, people of colour, to be constructed as cultural communities. Their culture is defined in very Orientalist and colonial ways, as static, they will always be that, they have always been that. And culture has now become the only space from which people of colour can actually have participation in national political life; it’s through this discourse of multiculturalism."
Like so many other words in sociopolitical discourse, “multiculturalism” has more than one meaning. Many people equate it to diversity. An area, or workplace, or society that contains people of different cultural backgrounds is described as multicultural. This, we can call descriptive multiculturalism, and I have no quarrel with it. The vast majority, if not all, objections to multiculturalism in this sense come from a cultural separatist or ethno-nationalist point of view. On the other hand, we have normative multiculturalism. That is, the social policies aimed at achieving or promoting such diversity. In this sense, multiculturalism linked to cultural relativism. In the field of anthropology, this simply means that “study of a and/or any culture has to be done with a cold and neutral eye so that a particular culture can be understood at its own merits and not another culture’s.”
THE Opposition says news that Victorian Muslims feel threatened by racism needs to be addressed.Victorian Muslims say many in their community feel forced to live in enclaves in order to protect themselves from racism. And they have made a plea that Australian society be more tolerant, allowing them to be free to wear burqas and build mosques. Opposition leader Daniel Andrews said all levels of Government must work together on the issue. "It's important all members of our community feel safe,” he told heraldsun.com.au this morning. "Australia has a proud history of multiculturalism and all levels of government must work together to ensure we remain a country that promotes and celebrates diversity." A typical tabloid 'smash & grab' article, with a hidden agenda of inflaming public opinion and creating fear that ultimately divides people. It will be interesting to see what comes of this in the light of the multiculturalism debate in Europe.(Comment by CSullivan)
A publisher's sanitized edition of "Huckleberry Finn" that replaces the N-word with "slave" over 200 times is the focal point for a debate on the use of the controversial word in American society. Byron Pitts reports.
Foreigners in Denmark should “predominantly adopt local Danish customs”, a majority of Danes say in a new Gallup/Berlingske opinion poll.The poll comes in the wake of new integration minister Søren Pind's public rejection of the idea that Denmark should be a multicultural society. The result provides an accurate reflection of the general Danish attitude, according to Kaspar Støvring, who researches cultural conflicts at the University of Southern Denmark. “Historically we have always been culturally homogenous and had a romantic idea of Danish culture, and we have developed a strong sense of community on that basis,” he said, pointing out that the Danish scepticism towards other nations’ traditions is not based on racism. “The real problems arise when the traditions become too diverse and create a clash. The debate about ghettos and parallel societies has definitely made many Danes see the problems of a multicultural society. But it is, of course, also based on personal experience.”
Molly Secours challenges white privilege and injustice at the Diversity Leadership Conference, Elon University, North Carolina. People need to be conscious of their privilege to disrupt the systematic injustices, according to Secours. They should explore the ways they're a part of a system that perpetuates inequality, because they do perpetuate it, even if they don't want to, she said. Making others aware of their inherent privilege requires concerted effort and a little bit of a fight, she said. "Talking about and acknowledging these issues can be very uncomfortable," she said. "But it doesn't take anything away from you to acknowledge your privilege."
LMHR is a tool to promote the anti-racism message and support anti-racist and anti fascist campaigns and has been doing that for 30 years. However, here it’s a little different; we use the power of the music scene to get the anti-racism message across. It’s also about awareness which is where we use the website and social networking sites to post articles of interest. http://lmhr.everydaycake.org/
IN 1993, my family and I moved into Belmore in southwest Sydney. It is the next suburb to Lakemba. When I first moved there I loved it. On the other side of Belmore, away from Lakemba, there were lots of Chinese, plenty of Koreans, growing numbers of Indians, and on the Lakemba side lots of Lebanese and other Arabs.That was an attraction, too. I like Middle Eastern food. I like Middle Eastern people. The suburb still had the remnants of its once big Greek community and a commanding Greek Orthodox church. But in the nearly 15 years we lived there the suburb changed, and much for the worse.Three dynamics interacted in a noxious fashion: the growth of a macho, misogynist culture among young men that often found expression in extremely violent crime; a pervasive atmosphere of anti-social behaviour in the streets; and the simultaneous growth of Islamist extremism and jihadi culture.This is my story, our story and the story of a failed policy.By Greg Sheridan
The momentum of change is exploding across the Middle East. Commentators across the political spectrum are using the twenty first century’s ultimate soapbox to spread “the message,” recognizing that “community organizing is serious business.” Whatever one’s political or philosophical direction, even the most cursory observer has understood the ability of Facebook and other “social media” to affect change. The events during the early months of 2011 provide a prime example: technically able activists sparked upheavals that challenged or overthrew governments (Egypt, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Jordan, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia – examples of nations affected). Social media cut across class, if not generations, reaching critical masses of people about real issues and providing the connections activists needed to build their base. A major challenge to the ethics and responsibility of social media providers arose in mid March with the posting of a Facebook “page” calling for a “Third Palestinian Intifada” against the state of Israel. (ICARE:Internet Centre Anti Racism Europe)
Multiculturalism has been described as failed policy by various European leaders; most recently, U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron. However, as Canadians debate the issue, care must be taken to distinguish our experience from Europe’s. As Canadians discuss the merits of multiculturalism, we must look first with pride to the fact that we were first with our policy of multiculturalism in 1971, which affirmed the equality and contributions of all Canadians irrespective of ethnic, national or linguistic backgrounds or religious beliefs. Section 27 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms requires courts to make decisions “consistent with the preservation and enhancement of the multicultural heritage of Canada.” The final instrument in the trilogy is 1988’s Multiculturalism Act which gave legal status to the policy of multiculturalism. However, critics say that multiculturalism promotes moral relativism.
"We have been too concerned about the identity of the person who was arriving and not enough about the identity of the country that was receiving him," he said in a television interview in which he declared the concept a "failure". He asserts "it is not France's project to make a society where communities exist one beside the other".
Denmark's Integration Minister Soren Pind wants to replace the word 'integration' with the word 'assimilation', which told in a simplified way means, that immigrants should adjust to Danish values, or identify with them, which immediately has given rise to heated discussions. Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen agrees, stressing the importance of "safeguarding our shared values". The closing opinion that scrolls at the end of this video is as problematic as the position of the politicians. (Comment by CSullivan)