Victorian Socialists: ‘Anning is a grotesque mirror of a political consensus built on racism’

Anti-racism and anti-fascism protesters outside state parliament in Melbourne on June 26, 2016.

Victorian Socialists released the following statement on August 15.

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Victorian Socialists, as trenchant anti-racists, share the disgust and outrage of many at the speech made by Katter’s Australian Party Senator Fraser Anning on August 14.

In the context of calling for the reintroduction of White Australia and acceptance of racial discrimination, particularly targeting Muslims, we cannot believe the term “final solution” was used by Anning with any intention but to invoke Joseph Goebbels. 

This was the speech of a fascist. 

Labor leader Bill Shorten says a line was crossed. We agree. However, both Labor and the Coalition have paved the path that brought us here. 

Massive surveillance of the Muslim community in the name of the “War on Terror” and the spurious trials for thought crime have bred paranoia about Muslims. 

Stopping boats of refugees fleeing terror established that the immigration of brown-skinned people is a problem that must be stopped. That one group can be stripped of their rights and tortured is not the sick fantasy of a lone senator — it is the system of mandatory detention in operation with bipartisan support.

In Melbourne, the racist invention of African gangs has been driven by the Liberals and fuelled by notorious racists like right-wing columnist Andrew Bolt. 

The racist cartoon by Mark Knight in the Herald Sun, meant to depict African men as barbarous, was a throwback to the White Australia era.

Anning is a grotesque mirror of a political consensus built on racism. To oppose what he stands for is to build an alternative to the mainstream political parties. 

To the extent that the right’s ideas appeal to people’s frustrations with stagnating living standards and suspicion of “elites” doing well at their expense, only the left can cut off their support by showing in practice that defending working class living standards and standing with the oppressed are one struggle against a common enemy — the rich and powerful. 

Our task of getting a socialist into parliament is urgent — no more can we afford for vile bigots to be seen as the only alternative to the mainstream.

[For more information on Victorian Socialists visit victoriansocialists.org.au.]

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