Image for Racist booing of Adam Goodes: this is Abbott’s Australia

Just ask when did this sustained booing against Sydney’s Adam Goodes begin? It was after his spear dance celebration during the AFL Indigines Round. It is racist. It is not the mere booing of a player who fouls an opponent although Goodes clearly plays an aggressive as well as skilful game. It is because the guy celebrated his heritage. This is the new Australia.

Two years ago Goodes found himself pointing out a 13 year old Collingwood fan who had racially taunted him. He was shocked by the incident but generously and with dignity dealt with the subsequent publicity, pointing out the pervasiveness of the racism he personally faced:

People have always booed at the football – at umpires or players who might have lined up and felled an opponent. They’ll revel in the opportunity to boo a player who has done some fancied or real offence to a player in their team. Some fans never forget an incident from some earlier match that even years later might provoke displeasure. But mostly the booing fan is indifferent to what a player might have done to an opponent in a game against another club even if it has attracted prominent notoriety. What I’ve heard in recent times directed to Adam Goodes in game after game with different clubs, and with such intensity, spells out a more sinister form of abuse.

This new, sustained behaviour suggests malevolent booing by people with a racist streak whom Abbott has dog-whistled for the past five or six years. This is Abbott’s ugly, racist Australia. It is the Australia of the mealy mouthed shock jocks and their regular audiences; of the neo-nazis and white supremacists in the streets last weekend; of that nasty woman in the SBS program on turning back the boats; of the foul mouth slobs that racially abuse passengers on trains and buses; of the snide racism among the suits; of the openly xenophobic anti-asylum-seeker campaigns run by the loathsome Howard and Abbott; of the violations of responsibility, decency and morality by the monsters, Morrison and Dutton, men with authoritarian personalities and malevolence; of the vicious hatred of bogans in the street who have been spitting at Australians, migrants and refugees, who aren’t Northern European in appearance since Pauline Hanson’s maiden speech in the House of Representatives and former Prime Minister Howard’s deliberate harnessing of the evil she unleashed. It happened to an Indonesian friend of mine not long after Hanson’s spiel of hatred in her maiden speech in the Parliament.

It is the moral sewer of racism in Australia overflowing into our schools, our homes, our streets, among friends, in the workplace, and at the football. And it’s occurring in the context of a growing realisation that we have a fascist government on our hands and that Labor, the largest political party, which might combine with other Parliamentarians to rescue the nation, actually helped the Abbott regime get some of these violations against democratic society through the Parliament.

I suggest that we should look at the socio-political context of the fans’ treatment of Adam Goodes. It’s a very ugly picture of the level of national support for the violations of human rights by the Abbott Regime’s treatment of asylum seekers – even children – in concentration camps on remote islands in the Pacific, which reek of sexual abuse and gratuitous mistreatment of people fleeing real horrors and real terrorism. Only authoritarian monsters could conceive such measures and then seek to hide the abuses behind a law prohibiting the medical professions from revealing what is happening. Labor supported that law.

The Coalition at every opportunity celebrates the success of Operation Sovereign Borders and the specious argument of stopping people from drowning is celebrated by those who don’t want refugees here in any case. Labor repeats the specious drowning-at-sea propaganda to justify its decisions at its conference last weekend to adopt a policy to drive back boats full of asylum seekers in a feeble attempt to win over the men and women attracted to Abbott’s racist and xenophobic policies.

The Prime Minister goads the fringes of the Muslim community and insults its leaders and the moderate majority with lectures on terrorism. But, it is his marginalisation of Muslims that has resonance with 1930s Europe.

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James is a Collingwood supporter ...

• TV Resident in Comments: Ever since Abbott became PM, he has done nothing but stir up trouble wherever he possibly can. He ‘fearmongers’ and he has to have his nose and our soldiers into all other countries business. He should be concentrating on what is going on here and deal with that fairly. But he bends over backwards to accommodate his mates in the fossil fuel industry, he refuses to have the wealthy pay more taxes because he would rather punish people who are not wealthy. Oh what it must be like to be born priveleged like Abbott and also his daughters who receive special attention for scholarships etc, when scholarships are supposed to be for the underpriveleged who prove they are worthy of further education but can’t afford it. The sooner this PM is gone for good the better, then the country may have an opportunity to get back on its feet again.

• Tim Upston in Comments: Don’t forget the media company News Limited which used the arrivals in Australia of desperate refugees by boats, (as they have been doing in Europe for many years) to bash up and finally see the dismissal of the then Labor government, which was virtually a bastion of compassion compared with this fascist Abbott government that apparently we had to have.