I am not sure what I should be more upset about: the newspaper for publishing an underdone article on racism on Australia Day or the pernicious racism that gives the article legs?
The comments quoted in the article are sufficient substantiation of the deep seated antagonism to asylum seekers and refugees but this issue is clouded with appeals for and against racism, favourable treatment to asylum seekers and the morality of ‘illegals’ and ‘queue jumping’.
However, the newspaper article itself has much to answer for as it confuses the basic issue of asylum seeker policy with racism through the article’s inappropriate title “Race-hate posts offend”. The comments actually cited in the newspaper article refer not to race but to the treatment of asylum seekers and ‘boat people’ in particular.
Not surprisingly the comments made on the online article are confused and aggressive. Although sadly, online comments are too frequently confused and aggressive!
I am not here trying to deny the issue of racism in our community nor the difference of views regarding asylum seekers but I am appealing for substantive journalism that clarifies rather than confuses and which aids civility in conversation. This is even more necessary when the issues are raised on Australia Day: a day of heightened sensitivity to our national psyche.
We have not been well served by this article on Australia Day 2012. Maybe next year? I trust so.