Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Another Australian racist group gathers steam on Facebook

I blogged a while back about the murky denizens who frequent the F*** Off, We're Full group on Facebook. While that group has gradually faded from view (with 643 members now, down from 64,000 at one point), the new place to be for Aussie xenophobes is the group "Mate speak english you're in australia now". From this week's Sunday Herald Sun:

MORE than a dozen elite schools are embroiled in a race hate scandal as many of their students join a Facebook group calling for immigrants to get out of Australia. The group's page, which features a picture of the Australian flag with the words "F--- off we're full" written across it, tells non-English speakers "if you wanna speak your crappy language, go back to were (sic) you came from".

The Facebook group is called "Mate speak english, you're in australia now" and has more than 5000 members from across the nation. It is growing by more than 300 people a day. Anti-racism groups and school principals yesterday condemned the site, started as a prank, and called for Facebook to delete it.

Its provocative and poorly spelled page features racist rants against Muslims, non-English speakers and migrants. The group includes students from Scotch College, Melbourne Grammar, Geelong Grammar, Trinity Grammar, Lauriston, Mentone Grammar, Ivanhoe Grammar, Camberwell Grammar, and Haileybury as well as a number of Victorian government schools.

A 16-year-old Berwick Secondary College student told the Sunday Herald Sun the group had been founded by his friends a few months ago as a joke after hearing other languages spoken on trains. He said they made him an administrator, but he now bitterly regretted his involvement with the group.

"I've got friends from all different cultures," he said. "People started posting racist stuff. When I caught on, that's when I exited." The youth said he had contacted Facebook three times asking for the page to be deleted. "Because there are no administrators left, only Facebook can delete it," he said.

Nice to know that all those private school students are turning out just fine. I'm sure their parents are really proud.

Looking at the group's wall, a few things are apparent. One is the presence of Darrin Hodges, former neo-nazi and founder of the Australian Protectionist Party. Hodges is ever-present on the "F*** off, we're full" Facebook group as well.

The other thing that is noticeable is that those ardent protectors of the English language aren't all that great at it themselves. Here are a couple of examples off the group's wall:

Anthony Fearn-Wannan: "nahh if u speak tha language then yaa chill. jus sick of hearinn c*nts on trainns talkin in fukn watever and going into shops and the shopkeeper dont even no wat your asking for."
Way to defend the English language.
But the last word goes to this exchange between two group members, the latter of whom is obviously an anti-racist troll:
Kane Featherstone: "it pisses me off when u have to serve a friggin jap and u cant understand what they're f*ckin saying! then they complain about everythin! well if we are such a bad country then they should f*ck off back home!!!"
Rekha Smith-Jones: "How do you know if they're complaining if you can't understand them?"


  1. Right? 100% co-sign.

    First off, maybe there *are* people who move to Australia and don't learn English. The only people they are inconveniencing are themselves, as they will have difficulty finding a job and getting what they need (for example in a shop or whatever). How is it offensive to hear another language on the train, for God's sake? Better not go to any other countries where EVERYONE might be speaking something else *gasp, shock horror*

    Secondly, just because you hear someone speaking a language other than English does not mean they do not also speak English. Many, many students in my high school spoke perfect English and then sat in their own groups at lunch and spoke their own language. If I lived in a country where the national language was not my own first language I'd probably welcome any opportunity to relax and be able to express myself in my first tongue.

    And finally "If you don't like it here then go back where you came from" is the most useless f*cking argument ever.
    Unless you're indigenous, your people came from somewhere else too, and clearly you yourself don't like it in Australia since you're bitching about things that happen here!

  2. Much of the responsibility for encouraging such a climate lies at the feet of Afrikaner Bolt, Australia's Most Read White Nationalist. He has assidiously been agitating for White Nationalism over the years on the pages of the Stormfront-Sun, providing a platform on his blog for fellow white nationalists to egg each other on and psche themselves up for the race war they're so craving. (It's difficult to see in what other direction things can go other than race-war street confrontations and battles if things continue in this course. The politicians are not likely to start a racially discriminatory immigration policy anytime soon, so what exactly are the likes of Afrikaner Bolt hoping to bring about?)

    Afrikaner Bolt, as a sub-editor of the Stormfront-Sun, no doubt carries enough influence to export his comments policy to the paper in general.

    While there may be some legitimacy in discussing in a civil manner the best policy to adopt regarding settlement (soft multiculturalism over hard multiculturalism; or encouraged gradual assimilation over the possibility of permanent segregation), allowing the sieg-heil white nationalists to hijack the discussion on settlement policy, as we see most prominent on the Stormfront-Sun, is simply not the way to go.

    When we finally see white-nationalist demagogues like Afrikaner Bolt shunned and ostracised by the general society and relegated to obscure hate sites on the web where they belong, then we will know we are ready to properly start the process of sensible and civil discourse about creating a country that abides by the principle "e pluribus unum".

  3. am speed reading your blog as i have limited net access.
    a "fuck off we're full" car drove past me a few months ago near my house. It really distressed me. My neighbour hangs an Australia flag in his front window to block out sunlight. I'm Australian. I've got my own Australian flag somewhere in my house. But I hate how these fucking dumb fuck bogans (please excuse my language. I tend to speak in the language of bogans when speaking of bogans) claim this crude caricature of what an Australian is, so that nice people like my neighbours can't hang their flag out without someone like me presuming they are the same as the cronulla lot.
    I actually have friends who have a friend or two on those hateful websites. In my experience, racism is worse in those really terribly underprivileged areas where the people themselves have experienced discrimination etc.. I grew up in one of these areas.
    lack of education means ignorance, ignorance means lack of awareness and insight and no means to engage in dialogue with others.
    And the thing that people don't understand is that the history of the world is the history of movement of peoples.
    Fuck. We need a better education system and stronger leaders.

    And yeah these white bogans need exchange with people and they will find that they have and vice versa. I have to admit that because of bad experiences in the past, I sometimes stereotype people who look like white bogans.

    Gosh could go on about this some more. but ran out of time.
    People need something universal to talk about. Common interests. but if they're kind of limited in interests because of their limited education/$, we're all screwed.

    maybe if we produced inclusive culture ... don't know how...gosh big questions.

    People just have to talk and get to know those who are not like them. not sure how though esp as we're all retreating into our own communities mainly due to real estate prices/ed system. the divide between educated/non educated is greater. I mean sure I could send my kid to the local school, but my bad exp with bogans in public schools means that I'm either going to move or fork out for private school ed. Its complete irrational. I'm sitting to a nice bogan now. *sigh*
    So i'm retreating into my ghetto.

  4. re: language
    had a white brazillian student who had really wrong views on Aboriginal Australian freaking out because a black australian told her to speak English.
    not sure what she meant by black.

    and people just get defensive. I teach english but had some fucking idiot kid from one of those latin american countries where there is white privilege and have sayings such as "wealth whitens" tell me he couldn't understand me but he could understand everyone else.
    He couldn't understand me because he's lazy and can't speak English properly.

    So yeah...it gets confusing.
    Then I get all defensive and in the moment think, "fuck this is Australia. I'm Australian how dare you act like a racist colonial fucking prick".

    My latest thing is that people should do some serious studies on internet writing/consciousness. Sometimes what we write are just temporary utterances that in a pre-net age we'd think in a flash and perhaps not feel that way anymore.
    In this net age, people are all authors and commit their fleeting ideas to the screen for prosterity.
    Where really it's provisional, just like all writing and thoughts of an ever changing individual.

    And yeah because we're all anonymous on line. Gosh.
    We live in complex times.

    What's the solution?

    It's not censorship.

    Maybe it's just talking about this stuff...I know a guy who runs these awesome cultural awareness workshops. because he's not obviously "coloured" (looked more like dad than mum), he's able to not alienate either sides. and he doesn't have the hang ups or bad experiences that some of us have had.

    So yeah..it's education.

    sorry for the long comments.
    am getting lazy with own blog.

  5. 'Australia - a different light.'

    Hey, we get it now.

    White Australia, perhaps?

    Not fair dinkum, ya reckon?

    Ponder this.

    Many Australians react with displeasure to the accusations of racism.

    A shame that many Australians react with scantly any displeasure to the attacks on Indians.

    This only serves to feed the accusation of racism (even if the jury is still not in on that one).

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