Wednesday, August 19, 2009

"Send them all back"... even if they are Australian?

When does an immigrant to Australia, or even the child of an immigrant to Australia, become an Australian? For some, apparently never.

Recently, a bashing occurred in Melbourne's CBD. An extremely brutal and nasty incident in which Queensland tourist Jeffrey Pooler was beaten senseless by up to 11 men and left in a coma, from which he only recently emerged. The assailants apparently were all Asian, and were captured on CCTV. Five have been arrested; only one, 20-year-old Quoc Pham of Sydney, has been identified at this point. The attack was quite possibly racist in nature but that is not clear at this point.

You can read more about it here. It's a disgusting sort of attack which is symptomatic of the epidemic of violence that afflicts Melbourne right now.

Now, Pham being of Vietnamese background, I'll make the assumption that the 11 men are most likely also Vietnamese, or perhaps Chinese or Cambodian in origin. I don't know anything about Pham or any of the other guys, but based on probabilities and their age, I'm guessing at least half of them were born in Australia, and most of them if not all of them would be Australian citizens.

Why does this matter? Because whenever crime such as this is reported in Melbourne's most read newspaper, the Herald-Sun, the websites are swamped with comments arguing that the perpetrators are sent back where they come from. Here are some examples from comments on that very story:

Immigration DOES NOT equal intergration. When will governments learn?
Posted by: Miranda of Melbourne 5:49pm August 13, 2009

MICK of BRISBANE , What a great idea. and i'd like to add if they or there parents has citenship then revoke it and piss them off back to their own country!!. Its time
australians stand up to their values and drive a hard line against this type of scum.

Posted by: charged up of perth 5:28pm August 13, 2009

Look at the arrests of bikies for the airport killing - over representation by ethnic groups who don't want to be part of society. Too many ethnic based gangs everywhere - drugs, bashings, shootings. How is this a positive for Australia?
Posted by: Neil 4:39pm August 13, 2009

I have to agree with Brenda here. The deportation laws and citizenship laws need to be changed so the government can revoke citizenship and deport people. We have a massive over supply of immigrants coming to Australia who do the wrong thing and make Australia a less desirable place to live. This is the legacy of the Howard Govt. with loose immigration policy based on labor demand especially in the mining sector. What the greedy mining companies should have done is keep out put low (rather than recuit more people into the country) and force export prices up therefore gaining a lot more profit in the long run. This would have curbed the migration problem.
Posted by: Brendan of vermont 12:18pm August 13, 2009

Once caught, and only after they've explained why they did it, free boat ride, and the taxpayers will provide the paddles. To anywhere but Australia. Best wishes for the victim of this ignorant crime. I hope his recovery is swift and complete. I hope his payback is a lawsuit and hefty payout from these peasants.
Posted by: Carole Badge of Melbourne 12:07pm August 13, 2009

I'd deport them. They are not worthy of living in our great country.
Posted by: Fred Hunter of Melbourne 12:01pm August 13, 2009

Unfortunately if the vermin have Australian citizenship we can't deport them. About time for a change of laws, folks. And good stiff gaol time. The judge who presides on this trial will probably be a lily-livered do gooder who is worried about the offenders' prospects of rehabilitation and not the victims. Folks out there, you voted for the inept government we are obliged to tolerate.
Posted by: Brenda of Melbourne. 11:12am August 13, 2009

So, despite the likelihood that the men are Australian citizens and probably Australian-born, deport them anyway? It shows the assumption that no matter how long you may have been in this country, if you don't look white you will never really be Australian.

Don't get me wrong, I hope these thugs are made to feel the full force of the law. And I'm not necessarily opposed to deporting criminals who are foreign citizens, depending on the situation. But if a criminal has been born here or brought up here, it is our problem and our responsibility. Because they are Australian.


  1. There's a certain sub-editor at the Herald-Sun pushing an ethnic nationalist barrow. Imagine. Ethnic nationalism in Australia. But this sub-editor seems determined to push this barrow as far as he can take it.

  2. Anonymous, that wouldn't surprise me. Though I think it says more about the attitudes of rank-and-file Australians than anything the Herald-Sun are doing (Andrew Bolt's columns aside).

    Btw I published this post prematurely, without adding my own commentary - I hope you will read it again now that it's finished.

  3. hey i just stumbled onto your blog, good points. i've also noticed that news reports will more often than not mention the ethnicity of the assailants if they are non anglo-saxon. ie "young lebanese males" etc implying- whether intentionally or not-that even though they were most likely born here, these men are still not 'real' australians.

  4. This is the old question of jus solis versus jus sanguinis. If you're born here -- jus solis -- are you Australian? Or is something more organic, something to do with race and blood that defines one as Australian -- jus sanguinis. Are those with Southern Cross stickers on their cars (or, for the more committed, tattoos) alluding to notions of jus solis in their concept of Australianess, or to jus sanguinis?

    The two historical archetypal countries that manifested this dichotomy have been France and Germany. France has always subscribed to jus solis, or civic nationalism. Subscribing to the French culture, language and values is what has traditionally made you French (provided of course that you do actually subscribe to these). Thus, during the world wars, for example, the French would matter-of-factly boast that the Germans were picking a fight with a hundred million Frenchmen, which could have only made sense if we included those in the French colonies in the designation "Frenchmen". French colonialism therefore never had a color bar, unlike British colonialism, since color is not so important to the French in their conception of ethnicity.

    Germany is the historical example of a nation that has subscribed to the jus sanguinis concept of nationality. Because the German nation formed quite late in history, the only way to quickly unify the various German-speaking populations was to make an appeal to an organic unity based on possession of a "common blood". Thus, the German conception of ethnicity and nationality has always had a strong biological basis to it. Thus, to Germans, it is always easy to tell a German just by looking at him, whereas in France this has never really been the case, since you may have to wait to hear a person speak to determine whether he is French or not. It was only in 2000 that Germany dropped its jus sanguinis conception of German nationality, and this would have explained why people born in Germany of Turkish parents would have not until 2000 been considered German.

    The question is, is Australia a country that subscribes to civic nationalism, or ethnic nationalism?

    A way of answering the question is to ask whether, if a party like the BNP were to win government here (as the Bolt fan club would no doubt love), certain people would be deported, an ethnic nationalist requirement present in the original BNP platform. In Australia, would Penny Wong be deported? Would Deni Hines? John So? Mal Maninga? George Gregan? Loti Tiqiri? Guy Sebastian? Eurasian Sensation, etc.?

    In an ethnic nationalist society, these questions, while perhaps politically incorrect and still considered beyond the pale in polite discussion, would nevertheless be plausible. In a civic nationalist country they would of course be absurd and nonsensical, because such a society subscribes to the concept of jus solis in forming its sense of nationality. In such a society Penny Wong is just as much an Australian as, say, Andrew Bolt, and neither has the right to claim that he has greater potential to being a truer Australian than the other.

    Andrew Bolt is of course himself the child of immigrants. And yet he has no hesitation in advocating for ethnic nationalism -- though perhaps still lightly disguised at this stage. The inference he makes is clear. Although of immigrant stock, he is of "white" immigrant stock, and so he's in the clear.

    Anyone else of immigrant stock but not of the right variety, that is the "white" variety, had therefore better watch out! A call to cleanse and purify is starting to blow in the winds. In Australia's best-selling newspaper.

  5. You mentioned me in good company there, anonymous.