BEING AUSTRALIAN IS “”You’re not being racist, but you are being essentialist, homogenising and therefore completely intolerant.”

39 Percent.

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see…i told you…

65,000 sign on to anti-immigrant Facebook group
By News Online’s Amy Simmons

Posted Thu Jun 11, 2009 8:24pm AEST

A Melbourne academic says shutting down Facebook hate groups is not the way to combat “rising levels of intolerance” in Australia.

After recent attacks on Indian students in Melbourne and Sydney, one Facebook group – which says Australia is “full” and urges immigrants to “learn the language” or enjoy their “right to leave” – has attracted nearly 64,500 members.

One poster calls on Australians to stand against “curry munching idiots”, saying the attacks on the students may have been “frustration driven, due to their foolish traits and culture”.

“We request you to please unite and stand against the recent protests by Indians … drive all the immigrants out and make Australia clean,” he said.

“We have our unique Aussie culture, we drink beer, we eat meat, pork and beef. If you can’t bear with that, please leave.”

Deakin University Associate Professor Dr Rohan Bastin says Australia has a strong sentiment of ‘assimilationism’, where immigrants are expected to become part of a ‘mainstream Australia’.

“If people are saying ‘if you don’t like it, leave’, then they’re demonstrating that they’re profoundly stupid,” he said.

“You’re not being racist, but you are being essentialist, homogenising and therefore completely intolerant.”

Dr Bastin says the fact a Facebook group, like this one, could attract so many members is depressing, but not surprising.

“The previous federal government under John Howard really promoted those issues,” he said.

“I don’t think that they managed to marginalise Pauline Hanson and her ‘mainstream Australia’ views so much as to incorporate them – she disappeared politically as the ideas were taken on board.

“It [this group] reflects the fact that intolerance is really on the rise.”

But he says Facebook should not be targeted and that closing down such groups is not the answer.

“It’s much better for people to get the opportunity to put their thoughts out there,” he said.

“Things like this Facebook group have got their roots very much in contemporary culture and you see these kinds of intolerance and assimilationism in much more ordinary things.

“It’s uncouth, it’s young people spilling their minds.

“People think that we’d better stop it because it’s going to create violence, well hang on, it’s coming from somewhere and it’s largely coming from ignorance.

“We have a responsibility to combat that.”

A spokeswoman from Facebook says the social networking site wants to be a place where people can openly discuss issues and express their views.

She admits Facebook sometimes find people discussing and posting about topics that others may find “controversial, inaccurate or even offensive”, but says there is no place for “racism or any form of hate speech”.

~ by nursheikha on June 12, 2009.

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