Words || Ilhan Abdi
The latest racist fuckery to come from our government occurred on the 15th of October, when noted attention seekkker and white supremacist in everything but name, Pauline Hanson put forward a motion to the Senate claiming that “anti-white racism” was rampant in Australia.
The motion sought to “acknowledge the deplorable rise of anti-white racism and attacks on Western civilisation, and that it is okay to be white”. 28 members of the coalition voted for the motion, which was shot down by the 31 senators who opposed it.
In her speech before the vote, Hanson said: “Anyone who pays attention to the news or spends any time on social media has to acknowledge that there has been a rise in anti-white racism, and a rise in attacks on the very ideals of Western civilisation”, without providing any examples of said racism.
The phrase “it’s okay to be white” is not just a sad show of faux discrimination but a euphemism deployed by white supremacists to describe ‘white genocide’. Rather than saying ‘death to everyone who isn’t white’, modern white supremacists victimise themselves with an imagined persecution of white folk, a tactic to pull more white people into white supremacist groups and appear less threatening to the general public.
The next day, the Liberal-National Coalition, seeing the backlash from the media, backed away from its support of the motion, with the Prime Minister saying the support was “regrettable”.
The Liberal-National Coalition blamed an “administrative error” for its senator’s decision to support the motion. The leader of government in the Senate, Mathias Cormann, explained the gaffe, stating “we made a decision to oppose that motion and to make a statement in our own words that as a government we deplore racism of any kind, but not to actually support the motion”. As if that’s believable when the same senators spent a good part of 2016 and 2017 trying to scrap protections that Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act brought to racialised people who faced racism, in the name of “free speech”.
But how does one make an administrative process failure when conducting a physical vote where a motion is read out and members of parliament have to listen in order to vote? “Yesterday, as a result of an administrative process failure, the government senators in the Chamber ended up on advice voting in support of the motion.” So, I guess administrative error means not listening to motions (that affect the lives of millions of people for whom the government has a duty of care) being passed in parliament as if all members of the coalition share one brain cell amongst themselves and vote on whatever their leaders tell them to do.
The next day the government recommitted the vote, with all senators voting unanimously against the motion.
In a statement to Fairfax Media, former cabinet minister, Eric Abetz, who voted in favour of the motion was adamant in his support: “Throughout the world, Western values have delivered the best societal outcomes, removed millions from poverty and prevented war and conflict and those Senators who voted against this motion must explain why they don’t back those values and denigrate their own heritage”.
I mean, I guess he is right, because colonisation, imperialism and the displacement and genocide of people in the Global South, which is still happening and affecting people today, are symbols of white heritage that everyone should be proud of. The very people (to be clear: white people) who conducted these abhorrent acts are still the ones who benefit from the effects the most. And if that doesn’t prove how racist, ill-advised, and berserk this motion was, I’m sure the fist flying towards your face when you boast loudly about how your ancestors taught silly savages in the Global South English, by eradicating their languages by force, will.