Australian Racism

I was watching Insight tonight, which featured Jenny Macklin, who makes my blood boil when she starts lying (that is, when she talks). At such times, it’s good to turn to the National Indigenous Times, just to return to the grim reality that Macklin et al lie about, whilst implementing racist policies, cutting urgently needed spending on indigenous communities and breaking just about every election promise in the process.

So, just a few relevant stories to bear in mind.

ONE

The Rudd government has defended its decision to use demountables previously set aside for Indigenous housing to instead expand immigration detention on Christmas Island.

Opposition Indigenous affairs spokesman Tony Abbott grilled the government over its priorities during Question Time on Monday.

“Given the state of Indigenous housing why were these demountables never used over the past two years and why is the government putting housing for unauthorised arrivals ahead of housing for Indigenous Australians,” he said.

TWO

Mr Turnbull said Labor should be aiming to stamp out the scourge of people-smuggling – but it wasn’t.

“The simple fact is that the object of government policy should be to eliminate people-smuggling, so that as far as practical there are no unauthorised maritime arrivals of people seeking asylum in Australia,” he told parliament on Tuesday.

“To say that is not racist, nor is it heartless, nor is it lacking in compassion. People smuggling is a vile trade.”

[That is, Turnbull thinks no refugees should be allowed to seek asylum in Australia. Nothing inhumane about that. Whilst we’re at it, why don’t we just ban foreigners we don’t like too? Particularly ones from dark countries. Note how in the racist discourse of Rudd and Turnbull, asylum seeking becomes people smuggling.]

THREE

It found that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are three times more likely to die before their fifth birthday than their non-Indigenous counterparts.

The main causes of death were due to limited access to healthcare services and poor nutrition, housing and social conditions.

According to the report, the infant mortality rate for Indigenous children is 12.5 per 1,000 live births, compared to the non-Indigenous rate of 4.3.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander babies are also nine times more likely to die from respiratory conditions and four times more likely to die from injuries.

The findings come as Save the Children launched its Survive to Five campaign, which calls for a worldwide doubling of paediatric health spending by 2015.

The organisation’s chief executive Suzanne Dvorak said it was alarming to discover Indigenous Australian children had the same survival rates as those in East Timor and the Solomon Islands.

FOUR

The NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research has released research showing the adult Indigenous imprisonment rate rose 48 per cent between 2001 and 2008.

In contrast, the imprisonment rate for non-Indigenous people increased seven per cent over the same period.

The jump was despite the NSW government committing to a national approach to reduce the over-representation of Indigenous people in prison.

Annual criminal court statistics show the number of juveniles appearing in court and convicted for at least one offence leapt 17 per cent – from 6318 to 7373 – between 2007 and 2008.

Young offenders faced the same situation, he said, with the increase in those convicted and put on control orders evidently more attributable to a legal crackdown than a surge in juvenile offenders.

“It’s odd in the sense that we don’t have a rise in crime.

No rise in crime, but a rise in the imprisonment of Aborigines, and Aboriginal kids. That’s for those lucky enough to live that old, given their shocking mortality rates (it should be remembered, East Timor is perhaps the poorest country in Asia.)

And it should be remembered, the intervention hasn’t seen a single house built for Aborigines, despite tens of millions of dollars spent in an allegedly emergency fund for housing (again, reported in NIT).  There were demountable houses which could have been sent there over the last 2 years – and now that the government sees need to use them, they’re being raced to Christmas Island, so that asylum seekers can’t make their way into Australia. It’s all revolting and appalling, and we should all feel shame that this is the state of Australia.

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