Monday, December 12, 2005

Rebellion, Racism and the Media

From The Australian

Sydney exploded into a second night of race warfare as tensions between rival ethnic gangs escalated into a series of late-night revenge attacks on white Australian males across the south and west of the city.

Shots were fired as groups of young men from western Sydney picked fights in and near Cronulla, the scene of Sunday's ugly mob attacks on anyone of Middle Eastern appearance.

Maybe I'm overly sensitive. Maybe it's just me but "a series of attacks on white Australian males" is racism, isn't it? Those are racist attacks. I believe the "young men from western Sydney" are Lebanese immigrants, not that the media will tell you this. Note that they "picked fights" yet shots were fired. I don't think you pick a fight by firing shots.

I don't recall yesterday's "ugly mob attacks" being described as either revenge (for an earlier attack on lifeguards) or as picking fights.

Again, maybe I'm sensitive. But I'm reminded of Alain Finkielkraut. "When an Arab torches a school, it's rebellion. When a white guy does it, it's fascism." Apparently the Australian media have taken this to heart. When Lebanese gangs target white Australians, it's revenge and picking fights. When native Australians attack Lebanese, it's a "ugly mob attacks" of neo-Nazis and white supremacists.

But I'm sure it's just me. After all, I'm sentitive.

UPDATE: Here's a peach. Every report I've read, including this one, describe yesterday's mob "chanting racist slogans." The one I've seen most involves the word "Leb", short for Lebanese. Nevermind that Lebanese is a term for nationality, not race. I know that distinction is too much to ask of the media. How would you describe this? A mob of "men of Middle Eastern appearance" hurled bottles, smashed cars and screamed "Get inside, you Aussie c---s, if you don't want to get hurt." (I assume you can figure out the word.)

So, is "Aussie c---s" a racist phrase? I doubt the media will claim the Middle Eastern mod chanted racist phrases. That becomes very problematic for the media worldview. Again, to paraphrase Finkielkraut: when a group "young men of Middle Eastern appearance" chants "Aussie c---s" it's unfortunate. When an "alcohol-fuelled mob" of Australians chant "Lebs," it's racism.


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