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On romping racists and far-left extremists

  • 25 January 2018


Just before Christmas a young Afghan, presumably Muslim, drove a vehicle through a group of pedestrians in Flinders Street in Melbourne. Some people were seriously injured. But this wasn't the first such incident in Melbourne. Twelve months earlier another man did the same thing, killing innocent people including a ten-year-old girl from the Jewish community.

The recent incident was different but in many ways the same. The earlier incident didn't involve an Afghan Muslim driver, though it did involve the funeral of a three-month-old victim at a mosque.

Still, victims and their families don't count when cultural battle lines are drawn. Despite the deaths and greater carnage of the earlier incident, the usual suspects in our allegedly conservative media weren't attacking police and clamouring for the accused to be declared a terrorist. For them, the accused was clearly of the right background and religion.

My South African friends tell me that during the Apartheid era in South Africa, police dogs were trained to attack criminals. How would the dog know who was the criminal? Simple. Look for the black person. So when the dog would see a black person, the dog would instinctively show aggression.

Many in Australian media and politics have become like South African police dogs. In policing our culture to ensure its purity, they show aggression to the usual suspects including Muslims, South Sudanese, Sudanese, Africans (well, the black-skinned ones) and Indigenous people. A dark-skinned person committing violent crime is classed as a Sudanese, and so a South Sudanese and/or an African Anyone who shares his/her appearance or ethnicity is then fair game. Anyone who tries to expose the stupidity of this cultural polemic is accused of 'political correctness' or of belonging to a nebulous group called 'the Left'.

Which brings me to the recent TV drama series incarnation of Romper Stomper. Like its movie-length predecessor, Romper Stomper Mark II also deals with violence and terrorism. But this time the white-skinned side of extremism in Australia isn't limited to a skinhead fringe.

The antecedents of Right-White Nationalism have, over almost three decades, entered the mainstream of Australian discourse. Or perhaps they were hiding under the surface waiting for a set of events or perceived threats to grab hold of. Like all extremism, RWN claims the mantle of victimhood, of being the continuation of a righteous struggle.


"When society is caught between two forms of extremism battling each other, ordinary people often feel they must choose