I read this: Residents erupt over detention centre plans:
“They have come in illegally so we don’t trust them. That is why we are suspicious about it,” another said.
“They are coming in by the back door. They sneaked in.”
And I heard people on ABC radio this morning saying they didn’t want the children of refugees to be at the same schools as their own children.
And it made me think of this:
“… the “queue jumper” terminology represented not just empty government rhetoric but also an expression of real fears about the “legitimacy” of asylum seekers,” (Romano, 2004, p. 56).
“Journalists rarely deal with the issue of how the community understands and copes with the present situation… Why is it that citizens who see few or no refugees coming into their area and no direct signs of the immediate impact of their arrival still voice concern about the arrivals?,” (Romano, 2004, p. 55).
“… instead of a range of peoples and cultures [on television news], we see mainly Anglo faces, projecting an archetypal image of a “white Australia” that is more applicable to the 1950s than it is today. More disturbingly, when we do encounter people from manifestly different racial, cultural or religious backgrounds, they tend to be featured as victims, or as social deviants, or as in some way “unAustralian”, (Phillips, 2009, p. 19).
“Those who believe in racial hierarchy and separation (old racisms) are a minority and are largely the same people who self-identify as being prejudiced. The ‘new racisms’ of cultural intolerance, denial of Anglo-privilege and narrow constructions of nation have a much stronger hold,” (Dunn et al. 2004, p. 409).
But mainly this:
“… research shows that media coverage has been heavily influenced by the Federal Government’s generation and manipulation of public fear for electoral gain (Klocher & Dunn, 2003; Mares, 2002; Saxton, 2003; Slattery, 2003),” (Romano, 2004, p.55).
We – the public and the media – have been pwned by the Howard, Rudd and Gillard Governments. They wanted us to hate asylum seekers, and now we hate asylum seekers. They wanted us to think that 692 people a year is a massive problem, and now we think that 692 people a year is a MASSIVE PROBLEM. John Howard must have soiled his pants a little when he (or, more likely, an adviser) came up with “we will decide who comes to this country and the circumstances in which they come” – a sentence that’s almost nine years old to the day, and one I’ve heard trotted out constantly since then. Even my own mother (an immigrant) has used it.
Dunn, K., Forrest, J., Burnley I., & McDonald, A. (2004), ‘Constructing Racism in Australia’, Australian Journal of Social Issues, vol. 39, no. 4, pp. 409-430.
Phillips, G. (2009), ‘Ethnic minorities in Australia’s television news: a second snapshot’, Australian Journalism Review, vol. 31, no. 1, pp. 19-32.
Romano, A. (2004), ‘Journalism’s role in mediating public conversation on asylum seekers and refugees in Australia’, Australian Journalism Review, vol. 26, no. 2, pp. 43-62.