Multiculturalism

The reasons behind Australia’s racism

No matter how much we deny it, Australia can be a racist nation, but there are several factors causing this, writes Peter Wicks. IA WE MAY LIKE TO tell ourselves we are not a racist country in Australia, but let’s face it, a lot of Australians are racist. They may not all be neo-Nazis, but they are racist nonetheless. In New Zealand, our nearest neighbour, they celebrate Maori culture with the haka at major events such as the football. In ... Read More »

How a small American Indian tribe came to give an incredible gift to Irish famine sufferers

In the winter of 1847, the people of Ireland were suffering from a devastating famine. Padraig Kirwan The Conversation Meanwhile, members of the Choctaw Nation of American Indians, one of the five great southern tribes of the United States, met in a small town in Indian Territory called Skullyville. There, members of the tribe discussed the experiences of the Irish poor. It was proposed that they would gather what monies they could spare. This wasn’t going to be much in ... Read More »

The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker review – a feminist Iliad

This brilliant retelling of Homer’s epic poem focuses on the cost of war to women through the story of Briseis, Achilles’ concubine Emily Wilson The Guardian In The Iliad, a poem about the terrible destruction caused by male aggression, the bodies and pretty faces of women are the objects through which men struggle with each other for status. The women are not entirely silent, and goddesses always have plenty to say, but mortal women speak primarily to lament. They grieve ... Read More »

Robin DiAngelo on why it’s so hard for white people to talk about racism

Robin DiAngelo riles up a lot of white people. The American anti-racism educator teaches about an insidious and damaging form of racism that lurks in progressive people like herself: white privilege. ABC – RN – By Anna Kelsey-Sugg and Sasha Fegan for Late Night Live She believes many white people are unconscious of their privilege, but — often — that’s a message they don’t want a bar of. “For many white people the mere suggestion that being white has meaning will cause ... Read More »

Q&A: John Marsden says he would not have written the Tomorrow series today

A string of questions centred around race relations and immigration were directed at a panel of authors on Q&A’s panel on Monday night. ABC On the desk with host Tony Jones were John Marsden, Maxine Beneba Clarke, Sofie Laguna, Michael Mohammed Ahmad and Trent Dalton. Marsden was asked whether his Tomorrow series, starting with the 1993 novel Tomorrow When the War Began, helped raise a generation of Australians who feared foreign invasion. “I hope not,” Marsden said. “It was written ... Read More »

Why should Kofi Annan’s death cause us to forget how bad at his job he was?

Failure falls upwards. Dominic Green Spectator We’re supposed only say good things about the dead—‘De mortuis & c.’, as one of John Buchan’s heroes manfully abbreviates it. It’s an ancient superstition, apotropaic and illogical. I’m with the Archdeacon in Anthony Trollope’s The Last Chronicle of Barset: the taboo is ‘founded in humbug’, so why adopt the ‘everyday decency of speaking well of one whom one had ever thought ill’? The deceasedness of the deceased means we can say what we really ... Read More »

Who says the most liveable city is in the west? Culture doesn’t just live in museums

The Economist Intelligence Unit’s index claims Vienna is more cultured than Lagos. But it is flawed and subjective Chibundu Onuzo The Guardian A few months ago, I stepped out one morning and saw a coil of animal poo on the doorstep. My mother and I spent a long time trying to figure out what sort of animal had done the deed. We decided, in the end, that a fox was the culprit. But it could also have been a racist. ... Read More »

Countless refugees have been saved at sea by their life jackets — now a Minnesota startup is selling them as bracelets to spread messages of hope

The striking orange life jackets have protected hundreds of thousands of refugees who have braved the Mediterranean Sea on packed, flimsy boats, seeking safety in Europe. Michelle Mark Business Insider Now, the mountains of used jackets discarded on Greek shores have been repurposed — carefully handcrafted into bracelets and bearing a message of hope imprinted on the wristband: “Building humanity piece by piece.” That’s the idea Mohamed Malim, a 22-year-old entrepreneur and former Somali refugee, wants to share with Americans. ... Read More »

Crime gangs: Facts, fiction and furphies

First, an admission – this story is a waste of time. For it relates to the issue of Sudanese crime gangs, where everyone seems to have a firm opinion and no one shows the slightest inclination to change theirs. John Silvester The Age This is not a black-and-white topic. Those who say there is a problem are not necessarily paid-up members of the KKK and those who say there isn’t are not, by definition, ABC sympathisers who believe tofu should ... Read More »

Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary-General, dead at age 80

(CNN) – Kofi Annan, the first black African to lead the United Nations, has died at age 80. By Laura Smith-Spark, Richard Roth and Joe Sterling, CNN He served as Secretary-General at a time when worries about the Cold War were replaced by threats of global terrorism, and his efforts to combat those threats and secure a more peaceful world brought him the… Annan, who was born in Ghana in 1938, served as the seventh UN Secretary-General, from 1997 to 2006, ... Read More »

Could different cultures teach us something about dementia?

Picture two different families, each dealing with a diagnosis of dementia in one of its members. Authors: The Conversation In one case, the patient is a retired executive, whose family tries as long as possible to keep the diagnosis secret, relying primarily on professional caregivers and eventually a nursing home. In another case, the patient is a grandmother. As soon as the diagnosis is suspected, her family pulls together, bringing her into their home and surrounding her with affection. These ... Read More »

Bans on full-face Muslim veils spread across Europe

Washington: Earlier this month, Denmark became the fifth country in Europe to introduce a ban on face coverings in public places. Rebecca Tan The Age Washington Post The policy is widely viewed as being targeted at Muslim women who wear veils such as the niqab. Despite protests in the capital, Copenhagen, police have started enforcing the law in earnest. On August 3, a 28-year-old wearing the niqab, which covers the entire body except the eyes, was attacked by another Danish woman ... Read More »

Four centuries of trying to prove God’s existence

Whether God exists or not is one of the most important philosophical questions there is. And the tradition of trying to establish God’s existence involving evidence is a long one, with a golden age during the 17th and 18th centuries – the early modern period. Lloyd Strickland The Conversation Attempts to prove God’s existence continue today. But they are on nothing like the same scale as they were hundreds of years ago, with secularism now being as common among philosophers ... Read More »

Photos of the Week: Sun Biter, Solar Probe, Belgian Bovines

Flowers carpet Brussels, an alt-right rally is met with overwhelming opposition in Washington, D.C., City2Surf takes off in Sydney, the Women’s Softball World Championship is underway in Japan, a farewell is bid to Aretha Franklin, the Obon prayer is made in Japan, abandoned share bikes find homes in Germany, record-setting hot dogs are lined up in Mexico, a cardboard Viking church collapses in Liverpool, a bridge collapses in Italy, a newborn gibbon shows off in Prague, and much… Alan Taylor ... Read More »

Kon Karapanagiotidis on the Shadow of Racism and ”The Power of Hope”

Kon Karapanagiotidis OAM, founder of the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre talks to Daily Review about his new book ‘The Power of Hope’. Fotis Kapetopoulos Kon Karapanagiotidis OAM is tired. He’s suffering a throat infection and has just returned from ten-day national book tour for The Power of Hope. Or How Community Love and Compassion can change the World.  “Yiasou mate… I’m running ragged… they’ve worn me out again,” he rasps over the phone.  Kon has decided to carry much on his ... Read More »

Friday essay: where is the Great Australian Opera?

In 1986, the Adelaide Festival staged an operatic adaptation of Nobel Prize-winning writer Patrick White’s 1957 novel Voss, a pivotal work in the Australian literary canon. Michael Halliwell The Conversation The opera, with music by a leading figure of the classical music avant-garde, Richard Meale, and libretto by acclaimed novelist and poet, David Malouf, was conceived in the period leading up to the Bicentennial celebrations in 1988. It certainly tapped into the zeitgeist. The 1980s saw increased questioning of the ... Read More »