With supremacist 'Anglos' battling it out with 'bloody Lebs' on Cronulla beach, it looks like being a long, hot summer down under. But the reality is that Australia is no more racist than Britain, argues Germaine Greer.
As swiftly becomes apparent, what Germaine is actually saying is Australia is racist just like Britain, but it's a lovely little header. It is, of course, in The Grauniad, so we might have guessed on the tone before even starting to read it.
The "can-Australia-really-be-racist?" approach of the British media to reportage of the battle of Cronulla is gratuitous and silly. Australia is as racist as Britain, no more, no less.
Really: exactly as racist as Britain? How does one measure that exactly?
Australian racism derives from the same bottomless source as British racism - from universal ignorance and working-class frustration, reinforced by an unshakeable conviction of British superiority over all other nations on earth, especially the swarthy ones. If Australia had been colonised by any other nation but the British, it would be less racist.
Universal ignorance? Still, she's right about the British (once) being superior to every other nation. But if Australia had been colonised by any other nation, it would be less racist? Would these other nations include France (you might have noticed a small fracas there, Germ—can I call you Germ? Thank you); oh, what about the Danish? The Swedes? The Dutch?
Oh, what about if it had been colonised by Muslims, would it have been less racist? Silly me! Of course it would because, as we are about to find out, only whites can be racist.
Christian Lebanese have done particularly well in multicultural Australia, dividing the expatriate Lebanese community along class lines.
Oh, Christians have done well: are you telling me that some Lebanese haven't? And what religion do they follow? Would it be the Religion of Pieces at all?
One troubling aspect of the present friction is that shots have been fired by the ubiquitous "men of Middle-Eastern appearance" during a carol service at the Catholic primary school of St Joseph the Worker in genuinely multicultural Auburn. The school is attended by many Catholic Lebanese children.
Troubling? Yup. Unexpected? Not really. After all, who cares if infidel children die, eh?
The latest events might be no more than skirmishes in the usual beach wars. But it does seem that Australian-born Muslim teenagers have finally had enough.
Really? So, hang on, let me get this straight: in Australia, Christian Lebanese have done rather well, but the Muslim Lebanese haven't, and they've had enough.
Does Germ even read her own stuff? Or is she, as I think more likely, simply skirting around this problem? Essentially, there's no racism here: not, at least, based on how "swarthy" people are. One really does feel for those poor Lebanese, eh? Those poor poor Muslims. I wonder if Australian Muslims behave like the French ones, i.e. their refusal to engage with even the most basic educational devices, hampering their education and keeping them poor?
Antagonism towards them has been mounting for years, so that even the most presentable middle-class young men of Middle-Eastern appearance find themselves routinely turned away from clubs and effectively ostracised from mainstream youth culture.
Which, of course, has nothing to do with the activities that Lebanese men are associated with, of course, i.e. murder, drug-dealing, violence, extortion, rape, and theft.
One case in particular has become a lightning rod for racial tensions. In 2002, Lebanese Muslim Bilal Skaf was convicted of organising gang rapes of Australian girls on three separate occasions. The crimes were horrible, and had been daily described throughout the tortuous proceedings in salacious and inflammatory detail by the Australian media. In what seems a knee-jerk reaction, Skaf was sentenced to an astonishing 55 years.
Scott deals with this rather nicely:
The sentencing in this particular case was perhaps not so "astonishing" when one realises what Ms. Greer doesn't tell us - that Mr. Skaf "was convicted on 21 counts of aggravated rape, assault and kidnapping." Nor does she mention that the sentence was further reduced, to 28 years, just three months ago.
Given her sympathy for the serial gang rapist, it's not surprising that Ms. Greer neglects to mention his threat to "attack and bomb the people of Australia" if all Muslim prisoners were not released from Australian jails (a threat delivered in an envelope containing white powder). More to the point, given her article's concern with issues of racism, it's also notable that she also finds it unnecessary to mention that - again according to CNN:"The case first hit Australian headlines as a racially motivated crime because the gang of young men were of Lebanese descent and told their victims they targeted Australian women.
"The victims told of their attackers boasting they were Muslims and that they were targeting 'Aussie pigs' with 'Leb style' rapes."
Nice one-sided reporting from Germ there. But harken, my children! What's that at the window? Is it the sound of an embittered, bigoted, old witch clamouring for attention? It has nothing to do with any of the points that I wish to make, but I do believe that it is!
The Bali bombings and Australian involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq have only reinforced the image of the universal enemy, the agent of evil, as the "man of Middle-Eastern appearance".
Gosh, how absolutely horrible! Those filthy Aussie racists! It is, of course, absolutely stuff all to do with the denigration and insulting of women on that beach by gangs of Muslims, eh? Or the fact that most Muslims are people of, well, "Middle-Eastern appearance"? No, don't be silly...
Even if the police manage to lock Cronulla down, the new Anzacs will regroup in the time that it takes to send a text message, faster than the police can reorganise to intercept them, and Lebanese Muslim youths, inspired by rap, ablaze with bling, armed to the teeth in their customised cars, will race to meet them. Already "patriotic" troops are massing on the Gold Coast and in the suburbs of Perth. This looks like being a bloody summer in Australia.
Yes, it does, doesn't it? How much better if, like the British and the French, the bloody Aussies would just lie down and take it. How dare they get pissed off and fight back. Liberals just don't do that.
Come on, you whities: let's try to understand the poor Mus-Lebs. Don't defend your women, or your property; sit down with those poor, misundertood people and have some supper.
You'd better bring your long spoon though...