May 22nd, 2012


The Racism of Pauline Hanson and Today Tonight

I and most Australians want our immigration policy radically reviewed and that of multiculturalism abolished. I believe we are in danger of being swamped by Asians. Between 1984 and 1995, 40% of all migrants coming into this country were of Asian origin.
--Pauline Hanson.

Last night, I happened across a piece on channel Seven's flimsy excuse for a current affairs program, Today Tonight, wherein Pauline Hanson ran around in Thailand, accusing everyone and anyone who was Asian, of identity theft.

I have been long disturbed by Hanson's return to mainstream Australia, especially on Seven. If you aren't familiar with Pauline Hanson from the mid-nineties, she is Australia's most prominent white supremacist politician, a woman who stands against multiculturalism, who believes Asians are going to swamp us, Africans are all infected with AIDS, and that Aboriginal people get it too easy in this country, considering that they were once a cannibalistic society who ate their babies (and hey, may still do so, right?). She often says that she knows her views will get her accused of racism and this is good, because she is racist, pure and simple. We don't use the term often, but her racism is akin to that of white supremacy groups, and if Hanson herself was not removed from these groups that she starts, one could accuse her of heading an organisation. Because she cannot be linked to large organisations, we must refer to her only in the singular, but it is important to remember that she is representative of a minority of people in the country.

One might question, then, why a white supremacist is being promoted and supported on a mainstream network, a fact that has been consistently occuring since 2004, when she appeared on Dancing with the Stars. There has, from this point, been a slow and systematic reconstruction of Hanson's image. Apart from regular gigs on Today Tonight, Hanson has also appeared on Celebrity Apprentice for channel Nine, and fuck knows where else, all the while rebuilding what remains of her shattered career as a politician that deals in race.

You would be wrong in thinking that she has given that up, as well.

Last night's piece--I cannot call it news reportage, or an article--was all about giving credibility to Hanson's racist points of view. Set in Thailand, the white crew of Today Tonight, led not by Hanson, but by some sock puppet for the program who did all the questioning and leading, wandered around the streets of Bangkok, pointing out how Australian identities are stolen by these street vendors and then sold to anyone from organised crime who would want a new identity. Nothing, and I repeat, nothing, in the episode even related to identity theft. The interview with a man who had had his driver's license stolen didn't even relate to Thailand--and the idea that someone here, in Australia, stole his card and then shipped it over to a dirty street vendor in Bangkok so they could sell it for fifty dollars to someone on the street not only strained reality, but burst apart the more that you thought about it.

My girlfriend, a fine and upstanding American, said that it was worthy of Fox News.

But credit to Today Tonight, they didn't let evidence stop them. They toured the small vendors selling fake IDs and presented them as a part of a huge network of men and women working to defraud the Australian public out of six million dollars...

...And at the end, Pauline Hanson said, "What we need is an Australian Card."

The Australian Card is not new, and if you are not from Australia, you will know it under a different name, no doubt. Regardless, it is a card that allows authorities to stop you on the street if you aren't white and ask you to present your identity card, to see if you are legally allowed to stay in the country. Calling it the Australian Card is really the wrong title, honest: we should refer to it as what it is, the White Supremacist Safety Card. WSSC for short. See, it's a card that makes supremacists like Hanson feel safe, because they can look at the Chinese woman across the street and call the cops, or hey, even demand to see it themselves. For why not? They are the white people, the right people, the people who have the god honest right to demand who enters and who stays in their country. If only the Aboriginal people had got together and organised that over two hundred years ago, really.

Today Tonight's article is, without a doubt, a piece that works to present and support the racist ideologies of Pauline Hanson. It is nothing short than racism, a horrible act of manipulation, and one that seeks to validate a politician and her extreme, minority driven views.

The piece is here, if you want to watch it.

You do.

Because racism cannot be allowed to exist unchallenged.