Thursday, October 04, 2007

Time to start a Black Party in Australia

While the Australian Minister for Immigration Kevin Andrews made the decision to cut the refugee intake form Africa a few weeks ago, he has come out now to politicise the issue, no doubt with the whiff of an election in the air. The xenophobia card has got the Liberals out of jail before, when the Tampa crisis raised the spectre of Australia being flooded with Middle Eastern refugees.

Now the art of 'double speak' that cutting this intake is designed to protect the immigration program:

A day after conceding that a failure of African migrants to "integrate" into Australian society had prompted the decision, Mr Andrews told journalists in Melbourne he was acting to maintain community confidence in Australia's immigration program.
Andrews releases 'evidence' - National -

Andrews' evidence is vague and repeats the allegations that have been made towards other refugee groups in the past, such as the Vietnamese. Naturally, the opposition have followed their Liberal Lite strategy and backed Andrews on this kind of discrimination.

It's a very sad state of politics where the two major parties feel they have to appeal to the racists and selfish instincts of the population. For Australia to continue as a white fortress is to cut the nation off from the world and to create a false sense of complacency.

Thankfully the church has come out:

Reverend David Pargeter, from the Uniting Church's Synod of Victoria and Tasmania, said: "When a Government minister, on the eve of an election, connects violent action with one particular cultural group, we know we have reached deeply into the darkness of racial politics."
Minister's African dossier renews racial tensions

As the Greens Party promotes the cause of the environment, it would be good to have a political voice that specifically championed an open Australia, that celebrated its multicultural fabric with a generosity and openness that has marked other great nations of immigration. If there was a Black Party, which had a broad platform of cultural dialogue, both in Indigenous and migrant voices, I would certainly support it.

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