One of the refutations commonly seen by the far-right for their actions is based around ‘concern’ for their way of life. This is largely attached to the “I’m not racist, but” argument.
There is much confusion, particularly by their own following, of what racism truly is. To the simplest of their following, racism is “white people being mean to black people”.
Sadly, I’m not joking.
Racism in itself doesn’t necessarily have to be about superiority from the side that is being blamed for such. The word racism is defined simply as “a belief that members of each race possess characteristics, abilities, or qualities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another.”
Considering that essentialism is no longer a scientifically accepted belief, whether that be in regards to sexuality, ethnicity or gender, it has moved largely away from ‘races’ in the ‘new’ far-right, and toward religion.
If we can agree that sexism, homophobia and ‘traditional racism’ are just as bad as each other, and are driven by essentialism, then why does the far-right think that religious essentialism and the prejudices against such are ‘ok’? It is just as bad.
We see this exhibited commonly. Only recently, we viewed discussion of “dirty dune coons”, essentially racialising Islamic people, on these Reclaim Australia type pages. Amongst this sort of tripe were comments around “I saw an Islamic man eyeing off a young girl.”
How did you know he was Islamic?
Was it the essentialist view of physical characteristics that allowed you to come to that assumption, or perhaps, was it the job he was doing being a very “Muslim job” (trolley collector). Regardless, it was a prejudice being used to push a prejudiced notion, that “Islamic men are sleazy”. The amount of times I have seen men who don’t fit the far-right’s essentialist characteristics of ‘Islamic’ doing the very same thing. Whether that be a white man in a suit on a train staring at a girl in a concerning way, or a bunch of tradies wolf whistling and eyeing off a girl in the street. Obviously, there is no concern from the far-right about this.
But why not?
Because, they are racist.
Love it or not, that is the way it is. You may have recently seen the UPF and harder adherents of the far-right groups such as Reclaim Australia shift away from anti-Islamic sentiment to a wider and broader view of anti-multiculturalism. Their sad chance at retribution for such statement comes from the idea of “We aren’t racist, we are anti-multiculturalism. We can be multi-racial.”
To them, they see this as a ‘double whammy’ against their perceived racism.
Why? Well, to them, “only white people can be racist”.
What better way to smash that perception than to bring people of other ethnicities into your movement, and yes, although they have done this (and largely backfired, RE the Catch the Fire Ministries’ congregation coming on July 18), it changes nothing. T
he idea of racism being exclusive to white people is silly. That view alone, that white people are far more superior, and therefore can be the only ones to inflict racial prejudice, can be construed as racism in itself, but I digress.
See, the idea of “multiculturalism is a failure” amongst the far-right begs the question, “which culture do you want, then?”, and do they have an answer for you!
The answer is white culture. They may paint this as ‘westernised’ culture, but a simply perusal of ‘western culture’ is a white, male oriented, Christian founded culture. To add to the contradictory sentiment of this statement, they are asking this to be the de facto culture in a country that had its original culture ripped to shreds.
Of course, I am referring to the nation’s first people. How hypocritical for the far-right to whinge about other cultures daring to exist in Australia when they “were here first”, when the very culture they are backing did the exact same thing less than 250 years ago. The inherent issue with ‘Reclaim’ Australia, if you will.
The issue with the above white-washing (no pun intended) of the essentialist issue is that many adherents haven’t quite caught the memo. Many of the hard ultranationalists are still spitting at the idea of “multiracial monoculturalism”, as they have called it, and want a white-only culture.
The idea that immigration and multiculturalism is a failure is too, racist. This is because it brings with it the idea that other ‘cultures’ cannot drop their own cultural identity and adopt western culture.
Why can’t they?
Well, for the far-right, it comes down to ethnicity. How many times have you seen them cry that “the Greek and Italians were able to assimilate! (Into white culture)”, yet this idea that Asians and Middle Easterners cannot.
Probably because they “look different”.
Funnily, I see many of these people on the far-right who identify with white-western culture not being able to function in the society and culture they so desperately defend. Many are criminal, and continue to act in criminal ways. But instead of these people’s actions being at odds with the culture, they push the idea that they are further defining the culture.
Don’t believe me? Consider this:
A Muslim man runs a web page, harasses people of different cultural or political backgrounds, slanders, defames and threatens on a near-daily basis. Uses his position for financial gain, and to push his idea of how the world should function. Any person who dares cross him, he will (digitally) crucify, and when the authorities come after him, he attacks them on a personal level too.
Sounds horrible, doesn’t it?
A man who is trying to “destroy Australia and life as we know it”.
Now, change the words “Muslim man” in the first sentence, and change it for “patriot”. Suddenly, this man is crusading against the “Commie, Islamic and lefty regime” and is deemed a hero amongst the far-right.
Of course, I am talking about Ralph Cerminara.
Again, this is based around his own idea of white-western culture being the de facto, the “must have”, the thing he is willing to break any law known to achieve.
It should be understood, by now, that these people have no desire to actually uphold our laws, but to implement their own idea of how Australia should look and act.
Ralph may identify as half Aboriginal, but he certainly campaigns what his ‘white supremacist comrades’ are looking for.
Colour it in any other way, it is the same message.
Their idea of ‘multiculturalism’ has nothing to do with culture, and everything to do with essentialist racism.