Australia was inherently a racist country. Starting with the 1901 'White Australian Policy' where only white people from Britain could migrant to this vast continent and culminating in the 'stolen generation' era, Australia has always wanted to be a white man country. This country for all its multicultural beliefs today is still dominated by White people which takes up about 92% of the population. Whereas people of Asian descent only take up a mere 7% and the Aboriginal people a marginalized 1%.
There has been alot of mention about Australia being an open and diverse country but evidence doesn't show it being so. There are no holidays for Hari Raya, Chinese New Year or Deepavali. Every celebration and public holiday here is centred upon their traditional white beliefs.(New year, Queens birthday)
Even as John Howard step up to the rostrum and declare that Australia is still tolerant and multiracial society and with all the anti-discriminatory laws in place, the Cronulla riots still occured. The recent outburst by a Muslim Cleric on the need NOT to speak english within the muslim community has also sparked a constant underlying failure in the assimilation of various races.
It's obvious that people here in Australia still mix around within their own race. Different cultural belief, language and skin colour is still a barrier here in Australia. I was speaking to this ang moh man just two weeks ago. He is considering doing law in UNSW but worried about the number of Asian faces that he is seeing around campus. So noticing me sitting on a bench some distance away, he approached me and asked me about the surprisingly large number of people with asian descent. Although he was not outrightly racist, I could see that he was very concerned that the white people are not the dominant race in this university. I had half a mind to ask him if he was worried about the Asian tidal wave which will eventually consume and deprive these people of opportunities.
I guess in every country there are worries about a rising wave of migrants or people who are of not the same skin colour as you. Even in Singapore, where the dominant race is people of Chinese descent, there is talk about losing our jobs to more competitive foreigners. Even in the local Singaporean universities, local students are feeling the heat from supposedly smarter PRC and Indian students. I guess these insecurities will never stop as long the welfare of an individual is compromised.
So in this globalised world that we live in today, should we still erect barriers of entry to migrants?
Just a thought that I feel I should put forth because I am reading my notes for an exam next week that concerns Australia in the globalised world.
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