The bigotry genie

By October 8, 2019Australian Politics, Society

The extremely limited Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg has tweeted the following:

“I’m deeply concerned about the reports of children as young as 5 being attacked in schools because of their Jewishness. It’s completely unacceptable in our civilised society & State & Federal Govts must work together to educate our community about the atrocities of the Holocaust.”1

This coming from a member of the government shows an exceptional lack of awareness of the impact of one’s own actions. This government has used the dog whistle at almost every opportunity when it thought it could gain some electoral advantage among the knuckle-draggers. It has referred to African gangs, Muslim immigration and boat people whenever it suited their purposes2,3,4. The government’s readiness to use the dog whistle was made clear when the reports were leaked of Morrison’s suggestion, in a shadow cabinet meeting, that the government should use community fear of Muslims to political advantage5. As if to emphasise the point, now the government wants to legislate more bigotry with their ‘religious freedom’ act6,7.

What Frydenberg fails to understand is that once a government unleashes bigotry, it gives licence to ALL bigotry, and once this genie is out of the bottle, it cannot easily be put back in. Unlike Abbott, Turnbull, Morrison and Howard before them, Paul Keating understood this when he said: “I think it’s a Prime Minister’s duty; one of the primary duties of a Prime Minister is to protect the country from prejudice. Howard was happy to let the racism virus out. And it’s like a flu virus, you never get it back. You know, when someone at the top of the system … you see Bob before me, Malcolm Fraser before him, Gough Whitlam, John Gorton – none of us would play around with this issue. None. The only one to do it was a little guy from Bennelong.”8

Now, poor, vacant Frydenberg bemoans the fact that Jewish children are being ‘attacked’ in school because of who they are, just like African children and women were, and Muslim women and children were, and homosexuals were when the government gave the nod to racists and other bigots. Can Frydenberg actually be so stupid that he does not realise from where this bigotry against his coreligionists comes?




  • Lee Walton says:

    Did he mention Blackfellas? NO.
    By the way, I have been suspended for life by Twitter for “Hate Speech”.

    • admin says:

      Not that I can recall. However, Turnbull’s cabinet did very quickly dismiss the ‘Uluru statement’, and John Howard held up a map of areas under aboriginal land claim to frighten the knuckle-draggers into believing that their land was going to be taken from them, when all land claims were simply about access, not ownership.

  • Russell says:

    You are 100% correct that poor Joshie suffers from cognitive dissonance, if not plain hypocrisy on the race/bigotry issue. In any case, the said “attacks” on Jewish kids need more observation to see just how they occurred and to what degree they are happening. I get rather tired with the officials of Jewish organisations in this country, who are always quick to get on the mass media if they feel a slight or misdemeanour has been done upon local Jews. Frankly, these leaders tend to be very conservative as regards the Israel-Palestine issue, meaning endorsement of whatever action the Israeli police and armed forces take. While it’s awful that anyone abuses a Jew with intent to put down their ethnicity, they had best be careful if they support the Netanyahu line on Palestinians. Obviously cruelty and immense state-sanctioned violence toward both adults and young in Palestine goes on all the time – especially in Gaza and the new illegal Israeli settlement areas. The treatment of remaining Palestinians there is simply fascist (- yes, get my drift?!) and inhumane. Certain details could make Israel liable for criminal prosecution in The Hague – but a fat chance that is at present! Hey Frydenberg, look at the full reality mate! Many more Muslims in this country have suffered gross indignities than the often wealthy, well-protected Jewish middle class have. You need to look in your own back yard at Australian Jewish notables vocally supporting a 70 year long persecution of Palestine before going the “holier than thou” act on us. Your index finger is bent full in reverse on any racism and nastiness of which you moan so self-righteously.

    • admin says:

      It is something that has always amazed me. For a group of people which suffered so appallingly during the 1940s, you’d think they would be averse to inflicting any sort of murderous fascist treatment on another group. Yet another case of not being able to walk a mile in another’s shoes. A lack of an awareness of the golden rule.

  • Mark Dougall says:

    When I were a little lad (sorry, I had to start that way) I used to be beaten up for going to a catholic school in a housing trust area. In fact my main tormentor, a boy three years older than me, used to say, as he had me pinned down, “say you don’t believe in God and I’ll let you up”. I bravely refused to denounce my faith, to my cost. I don’t know whether there was some sort of education that would have made my bully not bully me, perhaps something about the Spanish Inquisition, but somehow I think it wouldn’t have worked. This type of bigotry has existed for as long as I can remember, and, I am sure, for as long as there have been religious and ethnic differences in our societies. It is not limited to race, religion or sexuality as Frydenberg, and his government, have been demonstrating in their bigotry towards anyone who cares about the environment, anyone who is unemployed and anyone who is under 18 recently. The bigotry comes about through many and complex reasons and it is hard to imagine that education about the horrors of the holocaust will solve the problem. It is important to note that millions of people other than Jews were persecuted and killed by the Nazis, including intellectually and physically disabled people, communists, Eastern Europeans, homosexuals, intellectuals, gypsies and others. Some of these groups suffer much greater levels of discrimination than Jews in our society and yet they do not call on their bullies to be educated about the Holocaust. Yes he is right the bigotry needs to be dealt with but he needs to have, as a so called leader of our society, a much broader understanding of the issues before he can even contemplate any educational fixes. Mind you there is no doubt that I am also quite bigoted in a number of ways but especially when it comes to members of the Liberal and National Parties and, ironically, people who believe in sky fairies, although I don’t beat them up. By the way, despite my staunch support of my God during my bullying victim period, ten years later I was a committed atheist, and have remained one ever since.

    • admin says:

      Yep, bigotry has been around forever, but under previous governments (except Howard) it was discouraged and those who were bigoted were pilloried for it. That has now stopped. Bigotry has been given open slather under this government and Frydenberg, in his stupidity, is wondering why it is happening. He really must be intellectually very limited. Like you, I am a confirmed atheist and have been since about the age of 15. I too am bigoted, against intolerance and bigotry, because, as soon as we tolerate that, the tolerant society will disappear. Popper nailed that years ago. If we are tolerant of intolerance, our open society will be destroyed by the intolerant. The intolerant are those in government today. They want privilege for the religious; they want to discriminate against those unlike them; they want to gaol protesters; they want to hammer the poor. We are losing the war, but that will not matter because the climate will bugger us all.

  • Russell says:

    Just a casual note here. It’s interesting that Mark D uses the term “a housing trust area” at the start of his fine reply. I’m guessing he’s from/in South Australia, where that term was common in the political era from Playford until maybe the eighties. And yes, in Adelaide/SA the bigotry problem was more that of competing Christian congregations than of all the Ch ‘s agin Jews or Muslims or whatever. In fact Muslim faith was a total oddity, a blank to me. As a kid I thought Catholics were a lower form of human, at least that was the word in general if you were proddy. Nits in their hair, all liars, etc ; on went the nasty slights. The Catholic catechism and mass remained mysterious until I finally came to know of them via a C friend in mid-adulthood. We did have our small Jewish population in Adelaide, one of whom owned a longstanding carpet company named, appropriately, Solomons. Their ad went, “You’ll always pay less, so very much less, for the very same carpet at Solomon’s!” On TV with a flying carpet and a cartooni genie telling you this firm advantage. A Persian image for a Jewish-owned conpany. Sorry, irrelevant except for Croweaters, which I was until 1980

    • admin says:

      I lived for a while in Alice Springs and their are old Muslim (I only presume) families up there, descendants of Afghan camel drivers who had been in the centre for a century or so.

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