In yesterday’s Herald Sun, and syndicated to the Daily Telegraph, Andrew Bolt wrote an outrageous smear on migrant, ethnic, and racialised communities around Australia. We at the Australian Jewish Democratic Society couldn’t be angrier at what he said about us, and about others.
In this piece, Bolt argues that migrant communities are not assimilating and thus are destroying Australia, destroying ‘us’, he says. This ‘us’, is – of course – White Australia.
On the one hand there is his basic factual inaccuracy: for centuries there were relationships between multi-lingual Indigenous nations and Macassans, people from Indonesia, and from throughout the Pacific that brought diverse groups to this land. In addition, from the beginnings of colonisation, there have been large numbers of non-white, non-Western migrants here.
On the other hand, there is the context in which Bolt writes. We are currently seeing an upsurge in online racist hate speech, in racist attacks on African peoples in Melbourne and Aboriginal peoples facing a multitude of racist discourses and practices, in fascist and neo-Nazi organising, in government ministers arguing for the return of official White Australia and the exclusion of refugees and asylum-seekers. Bolt, promotes this hate-speech, which leads to great harm and violence.
In his article Bolt vilified Chinese, Muslim, Vietnamese, Cambodian, Italian, Jewish, Indian, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, and non-Christian, peoples. Through a series of examples, he lumped us all together as being part of a ‘tidal wave of immigrants sweep[ing] away what’s left of our national identity’, and as being antithetical to people in this country being ‘bound’ together.
In response we say to Andrew Bolt and white supremacists everywhere: we are not interested in assimilating to White Australia. We are not interested in being subjects of your racist attacks. We – as migrants, as people who have lived in this country for a long time, as people who have faced racism and antisemitism of so many different guises over such a long period of time – are here to tell you that we will win and you will lose. Your vision for how society should operate will never succeed. We will continue to work with other Others to ensure that a strong, cohesive, anti-racist, justice-based society is the future for ‘us’ all.