Resistance against racism is necessary

December 8, 2009

A recent study by Foundation for Young Australians has shown that racism permeates Australian schools. Eighty percent of students from a non-Anglo background said they have been the subjected to racial prejudice. Even white Australians feel they have been subject to racism when at schools.

In all, more than two-thirds of young people in Australia feel they are the victims of racism while at school.

What a disgrace! We should all feel disgusted and ashamed that racism is still an issue we are yet to overcome. It truly is a sad reflection on the world we live in.

But should we be surprised by these figures?

It isn't surprising that there is still racism in Australian schools when racist ideas and justifications are so prevalent in our media and our political leaders.

Labour and Liberal leaders both vilify refugees not as people fleeing war, hunger and genocide in Sri Lanka but as "potential terrorists". Instead of providing asylum and care to these desperate people, our government forces these "others" into third countries where there are no guarantees of their rights and safety.

It isn't surprising that racism continues in Australia when both the Liberals and Labour have agreed to dismiss the Racial Discrimination Act to undermine the rights of Australia's indigenous communities in the Northern Territory.

In the name of "protecting children", these remote communities have been invaded again, had their meagre land rights stripped and had their means of survival curtailed through welfare quarantining.

The sensationalist media, more interested in the shock and sales then providing responsible factual accounts to the public, fail to seriously challenge our political "leaders" on any of these issues.

So when our politicians sell racism to look tough, and our media is too purile or lazy (or both) to challenge the constant use of racism in this country, should we really be surprised when it is revealed that — surprise surprise — racism is still an issue for young people?

Racism will be an issue until such a time that politicians and the media are held accountable for the bullshit they preach.

Resistance is a socialist organisation for young people that hopes to make the powerful accountable.

There is nothing inherently racist about Australia. Politicians gain from racism by trying to look "tough", the media make money by selling us lies, but for the rest of us, racism just leaves us feeling insecure, leaves us divided and isolates our communities.

In Resistance, we don't just sit back and accept racism — we actively organise and try to fight back against it.

In 1998, at the height of popularity for the racist One Nation party led by Pauline Hanson, Resistance organised high school walkouts against racism, in which more than 10,000 students took part.

Resistance took part in the refugee rights movement, which challenged John Howard's racism and undoubtedly played a role in his downfall.

Today we continue to be a part of the refugee rights movement, the anti-racism movement, and the movement for Aboriginal sovereignty and justice.

The only way to beat something, is to fight against it, and we wont stop fighting until racism is beaten.

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