Culture

Go ahead, white Australia, eat your kebabs while you remind us of your ‘values’

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When I think about white fragility and its moral pretensions I marvel at the great hoax of it all Randa Abdel-Fattah The Guardian I know who I am. Most racialised people do. History matters to us. We know that the answers to who we are as a nation lie in a story that did not start with the last election or 9/11 or Tampa or deaths in custody or the stolen generations. We know that if we were to approach the ... Read More »

Evidence of 250 massacres of Indigenous Australians mapped

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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders were killed until at least 1930, often with police sanction, researchers say Calla Wahlquist The Guardian There have been as many as 500 massacres of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia. And mass killings occurred well into the middle of the 20th century, researchers have said. The disturbing revelations were released by the University of Newcastle on Friday as part of the second stage of its online massacre map, which now covers frontier violence ... Read More »

Artificial Intelligence Shows Why Atheism Is Unpopular

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“I lose sleep at night on this.” Imagine you’re the president of a European country. Sigal Samuel The Atlantic You’re slated to take in 50,000 refugees from the Middle East this year. Most of them are very religious, while most of your population is very secular. You want to integrate the newcomers seamlessly, minimizing the risk of economic malaise or violence, but you have limited resources. One of your advisers tells you to invest in the refugees’ education; another says ... Read More »

America is in the middle of a battle over the meaning of words like ‘diversity’

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You might think that the culture war over race and immigration primarily transpires in dramatic events, like the woman who climbed the Statue of Liberty to protest Trump’s child detention policy or the events in Charlottesville last summer. Jennifer Mercieca The Conversation But it also exists in the banal and everyday ways that we communicate. It involves battles over the dominant meaning of words, and how we use those words to describe our values and construct our policies. For example, ... Read More »

Cultural appropriation, you just can’t be too careful

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We all agree that racism is a terrible, unforgivable thing but even the most enlightened of us are sometimes guilty of what could be called inadvertent racism – I refer, of course, to cultural appropriation. Russel Grenning OnLineOpinion Put as simply as possible, cultural appropriation is a concept dealing with the adoption of elements of a minority culture including, for example, cultural and religious traditions, fashion, symbols, language and songs by those of a dominant culture. Critics of the practice ... Read More »

Israel passes controversial ‘Jewish nation-state law’, stripping Arabs of self-determination right

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Israel has passed a law to declare that only Jews have the right of self-determination in the country, something members of the Arab minority have called racist and verging on apartheid. ABC The “nation-state” law, backed by the Government, passed by a vote of 62-55 and two abstentions in the 120-member Parliament after months of political argument. Some Arab politicians shouted and ripped up papers after the vote. “This is a defining moment in the annals of Zionism and the ... Read More »

The rescued Thai boys are considering becoming monks — here’s why

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After their dramatic rescue from Nang Non cave, 12 Thai boys and their soccer coach are mourning the loss of a Thai Navy SEAL, Saman Gunan, who died during the rescue efforts. Andrew Alan Johnson The Conversation The father of one of the boys said that in order to pay tribute to the Navy SEAL, many boys are considering temporarily becoming monks. Ordaining as a full monk – known as “bhikkhu” in Pali, the religious language of the Theravada Buddhism ... Read More »

ABC would ‘cease to exist’ if it was barred from digital platforms, chairman says

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Justin Milne says commercial media and ‘political fringe’ want to shrink ABC for ‘self-serving’ ends Amanda Meade The Guardian Restricting the ABC’s digital output in response to calls from commercial media would kill public broadcasting, the chairman of the ABC, Justin Milne, has said. “If the ABC were barred from serving audiences on digital platforms, it would wither away and cease to exist,” Milne said in response to calls from News Corp and Fairfax Media for it to abandon online news and ... Read More »

Why do the media demonise African Australians?

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Calling out the media for its biased reporting of crimes committed by African Australians is not about defending criminals or failing to sympathise with victims. Nyadol Nyuon WAtoday No African Australian I know supports criminal activity, thinks it is OK or wishes to excuse it in any way. What we are trying to do, however, is to highlight that the media consistently reports crimes committed by black people vastly differently from the way it reports crimes committed by white people, ... Read More »

Reflections on how far ATSI women in law have come

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With NAIDOC Week kicking off this week, Lawyers Weekly spoke with two trailblazing women lawyers about their experiences, what issues are still being faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women in law, and… Jerome Doraisamy The theme for this year’s NAIDOC Week is “Because of her, we can”, and Kate George — who was the first Aboriginal person to study law at The University of Western Australia and was WA’s… “When I commenced my tertiary studies, there were very ... Read More »

Abortion and the human person

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The fall of Christendom and the rise of secularism has profound consequences for our understanding of the human person. Peter Sellick OnLineOpinion The latter would have it that humanity is but a species among species. This is so because nature is taken as the primary source of our being. Evolutionary theory and the discovery that we share a large amount of our DNA with other species underlines the point. Human beings are biological. The other view of humanity is that, ... Read More »

Massive Turkey-funded mosque stirs unease in secular north Cyprus

This picture shows the Hala sultan mosque in Haspolat (called Mia Milia by Greek Cypriots), in the self-proclaimed Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), on July 7, 2018.
North of the Cypriot capital Nicosia, a massive Turkey-funded mosque opening this week has caused a stir in the largely secular Muslim society. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is expected to attend the opening ceremony on July 10 of the 3,000-capacity house of worship, with its four minarets and built in classic Ottoman style. While many have welcomed it, the mosque has sparked concern among some Turkish Cypriots over Ankara's growing influence in the north of the divided island. / AFP PHOTO / Matthieu CLAVEL

Many local residents see imposing structure as part of Erdogan’s efforts to cement control over territory. ‘It symbolizes the Islamist mentality. It’s not an innocent thing’ Dylan Collins The Times of Israel NICOSIA, Cyprus (AFP) — In the flat sunbaked fields north of the Cypriot capital Nicosia, a huge Turkey-funded mosque opening this week has caused a stir in the largely secular Muslim society. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is to attend the opening ceremony, expected to take place on ... Read More »

How do Americans really feel about interracial couples?

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According to the most recent U.S. census, approximately 15 percent of all newlywed couples are interracial. Allison Skinner The Conversation More interracial relationships are also appearing in the media – on television, in film and in advertising. These trends suggest that great strides have been made in the roughly 50 years since the Supreme Court struck down anti-miscegenation laws. But as a psychologist who studies racial attitudes, I suspected that attitudes toward interracial couples may not be as positive as ... Read More »

Study examines alcohol’s effects on sexual aggression

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A new Aggressive Behavior study has examined alcohol’s “in the moment” effects on sexual aggression, or the acute effects of alcohol on men’s decisions about how to respond to sexual refusals in a dating simulation. EurekAlert! In the study, 62 men in their 20s were randomly assigned to consume alcohol (target breath alcohol level 0.080%) or no alcohol. Participants were encouraged to talk to a simulated woman as if they were on a date, and they made choices from a ... Read More »

Time to honour a historical legend: 50 years since the discovery of Mungo Lady

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This month we celebrate an event 50 years ago in western New South Wales that changed the course of Australian history. Jim Bowler The Conversation On July 15, 1968, the discovery of burnt bones on a remote shoreline of an unnamed lake basin began a story, the consequences of which remain sadly unfinished today. It’s the story of a legend, the discovery of Mungo Lady, the first in the series of steps that led to the creation of the Willandra ... Read More »

Can you raise an autistic child to be bilingual – and should you try?

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Diagnosed with autism and delayed language development, five-year-old Jose lives with his bilingual English-Spanish family in the UK. Authors: The Conversation In addition to all the important decisions that a family with an autistic child has to take, Jose’s parents must also consider what languages to teach him and how. They would like Jose to learn English so he can make friends and do well at school. But they also value Spanish – the native language of Jose’s mother. The ... Read More »