Day 2 of dealing with the Happy Little Racists on Facebook

Posted: April 21, 2016 in Political musings, Popular Culture et al
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

FailYesterday we reported on how Facebook sometimes very obviously fails to protect individuals or groups from hate speech on its pages, even when it claims to do so.

Meanwhile, we continue to oppose racists who pop up spouting their hateful filth on otherwise reasonable threads.

Today, we were talking with the racists about the many refugees who have made a fabulous contribution to Australian society, like Michael Gawenda, one of Australia’s leading journalists and editors from Poland, Tony Le Nguyen, the Vietnamese actor and social activist, and Matur Gak, a doctor from Sudan.

When these stories were offered as evidence for the irrationality of their fear of refugees, this was the response:

 

Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 2.07.26 pm

 

We may be mad – obsessive, quixotic, take your pick. But we are not prepared to let people assert this sort of nonsense un-challenged.

So this was our reply:

I am not sure why you would assume 95% of refugees going to Europe are male. Where do you get your facts, from? NaziOpinionsAreUs?

The United Nations has registered over 4.2 million Syrian refugees, a step in seeking asylum from other countries, and has a demographic snapshot of about half of them. Of the 2.1 million registered in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon there’s a pretty even split in gender: about 50.5% are women and 49.7% are men. For men and women, the bulk of refugees (a little under a quarter each) are between the age of 18 and 59.

It is true that in 2015 there were a surge in young men, about 62% of all migrants that have traveled to Europe in this year were men. A little under a quarter, 22%, were children and 16% were women. This is caused by two factors: firstly previous refugee flows from Syria and Iraq were heavily biased towards women, the men traveled later. Secondly, young men in 2015 were fleeing round-up forced recruitment drives for the Syrian army, and most of these young men would have been shot or made to fight their own people had they not fled.

I know you are utterly ignorant of these facts. What I don’t understand, when they are freely available on the internet by a simple Google search, is why you persist in repeating vile rubbish. Do you think you’re funny? Are you just having what passes for you as fun? Well, you say or do what you like. Most of the rest of us want to get on with building a peaceful, productive and happy country. One that the ANZACs would be proud of.

(It is Australia’s national holiday next week, to remember the Australians and New Zealanders who have fallen fighting for their country. These types often make a big play of their support for the Day. Pointing out how their opinions are exactly the crap the ANZACs were fighting against is another vital piece of agit-prop. And one they never care to answer, in our experience.)

 

The day ANZAC was most obviously co-opted by violent racists - the Cronulla riots of 2005. As the New South Wales then Returned Servicemens' League President, Don Rowe, later explained: “We were absolutely disgusted. That is the last thing that Anzac is interpreted as being. The Anzac spirit is mateship, looking after one another . . . you certainly don’t go around waving flags and call yourself an Anzac and go around belting people up. That’s totally the opposite to what Anzac is.”

The day ANZAC was most obviously co-opted by violent racists – the Cronulla riots of 2005. As the New South Wales then Returned Servicemens’ League President, Don Rowe, later explained: “We were absolutely disgusted. That is the last thing that Anzac is interpreted as being. The Anzac spirit is mateship, looking after one another . . . you certainly don’t go around waving flags and call yourself an Anzac and go around belting people up. That’s totally the opposite to what Anzac is.”

 

Before you ask “Why bother arguing with racists?” we’ll give you the answer, because that’s easy. Racism must be opposed wherever it rears its flithy head because other people read racists’ poison and without a countervailing point of view they become convinced by it all too easily.

That’s how fascism happens.

And that’s what has happened in large parts of the American public, right now. It can happen anywhere. In any culture. Of any type.

Racism and fascism are Siamese twins, and they rise unchecked when logic, rationality and patient, evidence-based debate flies out of the window.

My father fought in a World War for six long years to protect a civilised society. We will not allow his sacrifice to be tossed away on the funeral pyre of populist bullshit, nor the efforts of millions or others.

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Comments
  1. underwriiter505 says:

    What I admire about your rejoinder is two things – the calm repetition of carefully researched facts, and the unfailing courtesy to the discourteous. You are very good at that. Of course the person to whom you responded will not be convinced; but one can hope when one sends these things out into the night (“Go, little book”) that perhaps someone with a more open mind will see it sometime. My basis for feeling so sure you will not convince the person who penned this trash is this old video ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W0Ru7dnfSjI starting in pertinent part about 1:10) and the new article which brought it up again in Daily Kos http://www.dailykos.com/stories/2016/4/17/1515973/-Arguing-with-the-Right-Wing-Recognizing-Their-Five-New-Favorite-Fallacies Of course this is but one example, but one suns up against it all the time.

    I expect your father who fought against fascism in the second World War would be most upset to know that you (and I and others) are STILL fighting it after 70 years. I know my parents would be.

    I may be quoting from all three posts this weekend – and more, if you do more. I trust that’s OK.

    Like

  2. gwpj says:

    Read and shared on FB, G+1 and Twitter, Yolly.

    Like

  3. Pat A says:

    Yolly, that was brilliant! As Underwriter says, “What I admire about your rejoinder is two things – the calm repetition of carefully researched facts, and the unfailing courtesy to the discourteous. You are very good at that.” It is the only way to get through to some people – the rest just will not listen. (There are none so blind as those who will not see). The only way to overcome darkness is with light, the only way to overcome hate is to show love and compassion.

    Well done Yolly.

    Like

  4. Pat A says:

    Oh, I forgot to ask, in the photograph above, presumably the men consumed with rage (one holding a bottle) in front of a calm and controlled policeman were Australian – or at least in Australia? What do the police do when faced with that amount of insane rage? It seems unlikely that any form of sweet reason would work with someone in such a state, though I would think it vital to remain calm. (Strewth!).

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    • Yes – if you Google “Cronulla riots” you can read all about it. How the hell young police stay calm in the face of such provocation is always amazing to me. Luckily such an event has not happened in the same way since, but we do have a small – very small – racist minority in Australia and they punch way above their weight. If you’ll forgive the pun.

      Like

  5. Pat A says:

    Good grief – picture my jaw on the floor with disbelief! Have just spent a while on the net finding out about those riots – words fail me!

    Some years ago, I was told by an Australian friend that Australia brought good out of evil in the 1990s by banning private ownership of various types of guns after a psychopath killed several people shocking the country – did Australia manage to bring good out of evil after the Cronulla Riots?

    Oh dear – just tried to find out what happened when about Australian gun laws and found instead a Wikipedia entry on massacres in Australia. Wish I hadn’t done that – I didn’t think things like that happened there – there goes another dream! Will have to rely on your knowledge Yolly..

    Like

  6. Of course, a lot of people use the “I / my father / my grandfather fought in the war” argument to oppose mass immigration. Guess it means different things to different people. A bit like the Internet in general and Facebook in particular. Thank goodness we have you to police this for us.

    (Sits back and waits for ‘oh you approve of racism, do you’ question which I can save your little fingers and answer “No”. But nor do I think keyboard warriors can do anything about it by drawing attention to it or themselves).

    Like

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