Identifying racism in this country is easy when it comes to someone like Senator Fraser Anning but what about your best mate's jokes or benefitting from the system that enables it.
Identifying racism in this country is easy when it comes to someone like Senator Fraser Anning but what about your best mate's jokes or benefitting from the system that enables it. MICK TSIKAS

If it walks like a racist, talks like a racist...

IT'S pretty hard to attack white Australia through their race.

You can't tar them with the same brush that is liberally applied to Aboriginal Australians or Lebanese Australians (or insert any Middle Eastern country here) or Chinese Australians (or insert any Asian country here) and lately Sudanese Australians (or insert any African country here).

We were all born in Australia but all our ancestry hails from elsewhere bar the country's indigenous Aborigines. But the treatment each race receives across Australian society defies this consistency.

Of all these groups, it's only the white citizens that aren't lumped together as a race when one of them or some of them do something Australians don't like.

Otherwise white Australians would be condemned as a race because of the actions of a few putrid Caucasian priests but instead it's the Catholic Church that is condemned.

Very convenient for white people, hey.

Or when white Christian males commit mass-murder to protest something like a girl rejecting them or, ironically, multiculturalism, the word terrorist isn't the first tag to crop up even though it is exactly what it is. That is exclusively assigned to one faith only and it ain't Christianity so that gun-man's actions don't tarnish that pack.

And if a white gang attacks someone the victim calls out for the police for help, not the immigration department to deport them.

So despite having these run-of-the-mill examples at the ready, the concept of white privilege is still lost on many Australians. And a white person pointing this out isn't self-loathing, it's just ridiculous. But here we are.

Given the seemingly impregnable veneer of the white Australian, there is a way to pique interest and cause offence, it turns out - just call us racists.

Nah, no way, we're not racist here. What about the US? What about China? They're worse. We're a tolerant multi-cultural country. I know Aboriginal people. My uncle's cousin's friend is married to a Muslim. I don't have a problem with the Lebanese, I love kebabs, but they need to pull their heads in ... and so it goes.

The defensiveness is deafening once the words "Australia" and "racist" are uttered in the same sentence, especially when it is raised by the experts - that is, those affected by racism every day. We just don't like it. But in our case we don't have to "get over it" we just shut it down.

Stand-up comedian and recipient of racism Nazeem Hussain copped a hard time at a Grafton show a few years ago when he brought up the topic of racism in Australia in his routine. He learned quickly how it was the fast track to pissing off the locals, particiularly when said topic was explored very cleverly by a Muslim Australian comedian. The boos, groans and defensive "ah, get lost" emitting from the audience was his case in point.

When indigenous Australians rallied outside the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast this year, white sports fans couldn't understand what their gripe was. I guess if your own country won't listen to you, taking advantage of having international eyes focused Down Under for a couple of weeks was an alternative way to get the message across.

Cutting out the ineffective middle man here in Australia and going directly to the UN and the rest of the world was a protest about the deaf ears they were surrounded by here, if nothing else.

The Stolenwealth Games was a stunning revelation for a nation girt by ignorance.

And so the racism argy bargy continues, despite the denial it exists beyond the Fraser Annings of this country.

It's easy to condemn blatant racism like his but what about the mate who keeps trotting out the same old joke about the "Abo" at every backyard barbie.

Or the dismissal of indigenous concerns about our violent history, their overwhelming incarceration rates, their non-existent land rights, their health issues, their questioning over a village name, if it disrupts your way of life.

They don't want white people giving them condescending handouts, they want land rights not token native title.

They want the opportunity to secure their own future their own way. A real voice in parliament, not a "consultant" appointed by discerning white people. They just want white people to get out of their way.

But we don't like this, so we tell them no, we ignore them and pat them on the head as we push them back into their marginalised box, throwing in a few racist jokes for good measure.

Ditto for other non-white Australians. Denying them proper platforms for empowerment and to express their own opinions keeps them out of our hair but their anger is here to stay. The day-to-day stereotyping and racial profiling these groups encounter is racism pure and simple. When one of them gets it wrong, they all get it wrong.

Calling Australia out on this racist attitude is an exhausting process and makes people angry.

Sometimes you see this anger on the news and then judge an entire race by it. Do you see a pattern forming?

Angry people act up, they protest and they call Australia a racist country. And if that makes you angry, ask yourself why.

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