In praise of Australians

At an IQ Squared debate in Sydney 64 per cent of the audience supported the motion “Racism is destroying the Australian dream”, I note in The Australian today.

Stan Grant’s heartfelt contribution to the debate — a condemnation of claimed historical wrongs to Aboriginal people, and in particular his father — is said to have been viewed more than 700,000 times on YouTube.

With due respect to Grant, however, and not wishing to detract from the importance of his message about rural and remote Aboriginal disadvantage, his own ability to rise above his own working-class background and become an accomplished television reporter surely supports the case for the negative.

That racism exists is beyond doubt, but it is hardly destroying the Australian dream. That case was ably argued at the debate by Herald Sun columnist Rita Panahi, an Iranian, non-Christian migrant who, if she ever appeared in Neighbours, would be classed as non-white.

“The bigotry that threatens the Australian dream isn’t racist attitudes,” said Panahi. “It’s the bigotry of low expectations which refuses to call out abhorrent behaviour because of ‘cultural sensitivity’. It’s the bigotry that seeks to wrap capable people in the cloak of victimhood. It’s the bigotry that sees easily outraged Western feminists turn a blind eye to brutal misogyny in Islamic countries as well as abhorrent practices much closer to home.”

Racism and ethnically driven civil war almost killed Adut’s dream in Sudan, a society that operates under an apartheid system. In Australia, where there is only one class of citizen, asylum seekers can expect more than deliverance. They have a chance to deliver.

FULL COLUMN

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