Is there any sector or cohort of Australian society that Pauline Hanson has not yet insulted? She reminds me of that joke meme on Facebook recently which said: “to those people I have offended, I apologise and to those I haven’t, take a number and I’ll be with you shortly.”
To generalise a bit, because to go into too much detail, would seriously exceed my word limit for posts, she has taken aim at people’s ethnicity, religion and now ability status.
She went after the refugees and asylum seekers, particularly Asians, saying that if we didn’t watch out, the place would be overrun by Asians. Quelle horreur! She railed against the customs, the languages, the work ethic of the Asians; all of which happened in fact, to have enriched our country since the early 1800s.
When the facts were trotted out and she was revealed to be the ethnophobe that she is, she went quiet for a while. This coincided with her dumping from the House of Reps, a short stint in the clink, and a messy separation from the Queensland One Nation bunch.
Elected to that House of Unrepresentative Swill, and riding on the wave of redneck frenzy, she found a new cohort to reveal as the monsters only she could conquer. Those horrid Muslims! If we didn’t watch out they would overrun the country. Wait a minute, haven’t we heard that before? I hadn’t realised how the Muslims had marched into her part of Oz, taken all the jobs, ruined all the Oz culture and were breeding like rabbits! I must have missed that bit.
Interestingly, the Muslims have been a part, a small part, of Oz society for well over a hundred years, but to Mrs Fush and Chups, this wave of asylum seeking refugees was clearly a horde coming over the hill to kill us and eat our children. No matter that these asylum seekers were so few in number really and that proportionately not many found their way to Queensland, let alone central and northern Queensland. No matter that this wave of refugees is just the most recent. We have seen Vietnamese, Sudanese, Sri Lankan, Ethiopian, Fijian, Bosnian, Kosovars, Cambodian and the list goes on. There will be another wave of middle eastern refugees before bedtime, I can assure you.
Just when I thought she was petering out, up crops Dutton! These two are racing each other to the gutter in their obsession with a few thousand refugees and asylum seekers. They are racing each other to become the perpetrator-in-chief of inhuman and dastardly treatment of people whose only crime is to seek refuge from being eliminated.
Well, I reckon Dutton is winning the war because I think more people detest the way he has treated the Manus Island and Nauru refugees and now is fostering citizenship requirements that most people with only year 10 schooling couldn’t pass. Just as well you don’t have to do such a test to get a passport if you were born here!
So what does the Senator for Discrimination do next? She has a go at the disability sector, accusing kids with a disability of slowing the other kids in the class down because they get more attention from the teacher than the others. What a load of old cobblers!
Quite rightly, she has been bagged by professionals in the sector, almost all commentators I have seen and the community generally has stuck its finger down its collective throat to rid itself of the taste of her.
But still she has support. How in the world can a father or mother possibly condone such hideosity? How can anyone deny a kid the same opportunity as the kid in the next seat?
Current thinking in how we support kids with a disability is to refrain from stigmatising them, to “normalise” the environment in which they grow.
I remember being the President of a preschool association back in 1972 in Turner and the preschool had a policy of integrating kids who had mobility issues, who had Downs Syndrome, who had speech issues and hearing problems and kids who were blind. The thinking then was to “breed out” discrimination on the basis of disability, religion or ethnicity by normalising the lot in kids whose norms and standards were just being developed. Forward thinking in my view and this shaped my attitude to the sector and influenced me when I was Minister for Disability.
The current idea is to integrate kids with all sorts of issues which may affect their development so that they will get peer support from their own age cohort. It shouldn’t matter whether a kid has a disability, is left handed, has red hair, is centimetres taller or shorter or skinny or fat. It shouldn’t matter if a kid is Swedish, Bosnian, Syrian, Lao, English, American, Sudanese, Kenyan or any other nationality. It shouldn’t matter if a kid is a Catholic, a Protestant, a Jew, a Scientologist, a Muslim, a Buddhist, a Rastafarian, a Hindu, or a Green Tree Frog worshipper. It should matter how we develop these adults of the future, how we set examples for them, how we detest discrimination for any reason.
It should matter how we set the tone of embracement in the hearts and minds of our kids and grandkids.
Pauline Hanson and her acolytes are trying to set the development of sensitive forward thinking backwards by setting Australian against Australian.
The hordes coming over the hill who scare the living daylights out of me are the idiot hands-sitting voting public and media outlets who give her encouragement. If she were starved of publicity oxygen, she would die on the vine. And good riddance.
And finally, just listen to the banshee and you will probably believe that she couldn’t pass the citizenship test in English anyway!
Caption: Pauline Hanson launching her book. By Velovotee from Sydney via Wikimedia Commons.