Axver (axver) wrote,
Axver
axver

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Regarding the recent riots in Sydney and racism in general.

It seems that some people are set on ending 2005 in the stupidest way they possibly can. No, I'm not merely referring to your typical embarrassing Christmas/New Year's Eve drunks, though their stench of booze is not particularly endearing. I am instead referring to the idiots with no brains and even less sense who decided that a great summertime activity in Sydney is to have some racist riots. I see this has even spread across the Tasman in the form of racist posters being put up at suburban railway stations in my own home city of Wellington, but thankfully enough, this seems to have been done by a 'group' so pathetically small and insignificant that their numbers are dwarfed simply by the amount of people reading this entry! I wish the rioting sides in Australia were of a similarly insignificant size.

I frankly don't care for the spin that some are trying to apply to the situation. I have seen some trying to water the incident down from racist riots into a minor turf war, while some elements of the media - especially, it seems, foreign media - like to very obviously take one side and condemn the other. I personally think both sides involved in the riots are equally small-minded and stupid. The racist overtones have been obvious, both in the behaviour of certain Lebanese and in the widely publicised text message proclaiming "leb and wog bashing day", and now it seems there are serious concerns about racism within Australian society. The cynic in me says that by 2006, this will all be forgotten, but the optimist in me hopes that constructive dialogue may come from the recent events.

I simply cannot comprehend how, in an educated and civilised society, ideas of and belief in racism actually continue to survive. In fact, I would have thought Stone Age tribes would have enough common sense to know that just because someone doesn't come from within certain boundaries doesn't mean they are any less a person than you and 'your kind'. Depending upon your beliefs, good odds are that you believe we either A. are descendents of Adam and Eve or B. evolved into human beings over many millions of years, and neither viewpoint to me gives any reason whatsoever to believe one race to be superior to another. So just how exactly are we meant to combat racism? I cannot even begin to fathom how we are meant to correct racist ideas, because to me, the fact racism is stupid and illogical is as obvious as the fact my LiveJournal screen name is axver. Is this a matter of education? Do we actually need to educate people that persons with different skin colours and/or nationalities are not inferior? If you look at little children, they really don't care if someone's black or white or Asian or purple with yellow polka dots, so when and why do some people pick up racist attitudes? It simply is beyond my understanding.

I'd like to close by expressing my feelings about people who seem to suggest that we need Bono to come down here to give some speeches and ram sense into us. Now, Bono's a great spokesman for his causes, but he isn't a spokesman for everything, and I see no evidence that he's some expert on Australian race relations. As much as I appreciate his speeches and obvious knowledge on poverty, AIDS, and other African crises, we do not need him to come down here to tell us how we're meant to deal with ideologies of racism in our society. Bono is not the second coming of the Messiah, and to treat him like this all-purpose saint who can intelligently resolve any cause is to do the man a great disservice by falsely portraying him.
Tags: australia, bono, culture, new zealand, racism, riots, society
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