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From: tpl@cheerful.com Message-Id: <>
Date: Sat, 29 Aug 1998 11:36:38 +0800
To: asia-apec@jca.ax.apc.org
Subject: [asia-apec 587] Migrante-Australia Statement Against Racism
Sender: owner-asia-apec@jca.ax.apc.org

Let Not Racism Divide the Oppressed Peoples of Australia

Statement of Migrante-Australia, 1 August 1998

Australia's commitment to racial equality and religious and cultural freedom is enshrined in our history - William Fisher, Australian Ambassador to Thailand

Racism is an issue that very much affects whites and non-whites, the indigenous peoples of Australia, the Asians, Europeans - in fact, everyone in Australia. And long before Pauline Hanson and the likes of her became the new mouthpieces of racist prejudice, racism has been out in full force in Australia. Thus, William Fisher's statement above is nothing but a diatribe of colonial whitewash, ignoring the true history of bigotry, dispossession and atrocity against the indigenous peoples of Australia. And now, while white Australians have yet to come to terms with their shameful treatment of Aborigines, racism has reared its ugly head, this time towards the Asians in Australia.

MIGRANTE-Australia, an organisation of Filipinos in Australia does not tolerate Pauline Hanson nor the Australian government's racist bent. Filipinos are Asians and we believe - contrary to the claims of Hanson and other racists - that we are contributing our collective strength and spirit to the enrichment of Australia. We do not enjoy special privileges and in fact, we lack social security and genuine government protection.

Neither the Asians nor the Aborigines should be blamed for what the Australian government could not provide to the whole of Australia. We are not the thieves who steal away jobs from Australians. It is the government whose policies of economic irrationalism policy has destroyed employment opportunities. We do not take special privileges from the government. It is the government who uses us as an excuse to cover-up its inability to provide social welfare and social security to everyone.

The Howard government is an immoral government. It cannot deal decisively with the current rise of racism in Australia. This is proof of its pro-racist bias. Howard's reluctance to deal with the issue of racism and his total lack of leadership has added to the misery of Indigenous Australians, Asian migrants and refugees in Australia. Asians will never forget Howard's infamous anti-Asian immigration statements of 1988. Neither will Aborigines forget a leader who cannot apologise for a racist, inhumane government policy that has left a legacy of hurt and trauma on thousands of indigenous people. The country has certainly gone backwards with him and his redneck colleagues in power.

But while we attack the racists in power and those who are being carried away with a better alternative than Howard's inutile government, let us not forget that racism's ultimate aim is to divide the people, safeguard the economic interests of the rich and steer attention away from the economic mismanagement and follies of those in power.

In today's globalised world, racism will be permitted to reign as it is an important tool for the oppressors and exploiters of peoples and natural resources. Therefore, we the oppressed people must be vigilant not to allow such a divide to be wedged amongst us.

We must not allow ourselves to be used as weapons against our own people.

We must not allow ourselves to lose sight of the real issue. Our real enemy is an enemy that is artfully using economic globalisation as a tool to corner the human and natural resources of the world. Our enemy uses racism in its many mutated forms to break the unity of the oppressed and exploited. Black or white or yellow, Asian, non-Asian immigrants and indigenous peoples in Australia are not spared from the economic backlash of Australia's not-so-stable economy. Racist or not - if we belong to the working class, the toiling class, working women, etc. - we all are on the same boat which the Howard's government is not managing well.

We must fight against racism. And more so, we should fight - together - for social justice and economic equality.

Stop racism in Australia! No to economic rationalism! No to privatisation, liberalisation and deregulation! Oppressed peoples of Australia unite!