The cat is well and truly out of the bag. The February 17 Sydney Morning Herald reported that Liberal immigration spokesperson Scott Morrison had “urged the shadow cabinet to capitalise on the electorate’s growing concerns about ‘Muslim immigration’, ‘Muslims in Australia’ and the ‘inability’ of Muslim migrants to integrate”.
Morrison argued in a December shadow cabinet meeting that the Coalition should ramp up its questioning of “multiculturalism” and appeal to what he said was deep voter concerns about Muslim immigration.
Morrison put this calculated racist divide-and-rule strategy into practice on February 15.
He attacked the Labor government for flying 22 asylum seekers from the Christmas Island refugee detention prison to Sydney for the funerals of eight people, including two babies, who died in the tragic shipwreck off the island last December.
Morrison’s cruel inhumanity was best exposed by the widely screened footage of the funeral, which included images of a distraught, orphaned nine-year-old refugee, Seena.
Those waging the war of hate against refugees want to prevent us from recognising the common humanity we share with people like Seena and responding with solidarity.
Racism is needed to get the public in Australia to accept that more than 1000 children can be locked up indefinitely, in what psychologists have called “factories for mental illness”.
Racism is needed to get us to accept the unending wars abroad that are killing millions of innocent people and creating entire nations of displaced people and refugees.
Politicians who are playing the race card against refugees are using it to justify their own crimes. That’s the ugly truth.
Labor treasurer Wayne Swan has accused the Coalition of “stealing sound bites from One Nation”. But his government shares culpability for the rise of racism in Australia.
Green Left Weekly will continue to campaign against the racist divide-and-rule politics now poisoning our society.
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