The Australian – 11th July 2016
The rebirth of Pauline Hanson has sent left-wing men into a state of mass hysteria. Greens leader Richard Di Natale denounced her as divisive. NSW Labor MP Ron Hoenig taxed logic by correlating Hanson with the Holocaust.
The Lebanese Muslim Association called her a hate preacher. Race Discrimination Commissioner Tim Soutphommasane compared her with Brexit and Donald Trump — all proof of xenophobia and racism.
The leftist party line is settled; Hanson is racist and divisive. Three words come to mind. Pot. Kettle. Black.
Western civilisation has been transformed from the love child of Christianity and the Enlightenment into a malformed neo-Marxist culture where minority groups manufactured for political purposes are bestowed with special privileges by the state.
As I have written in these pages, most citizens designated minority status under Australian law are not political minorities. They are numerical minorities who have equal and often superior rights to their fellow citizens under discrimination and affirmative action measures.
To justify the special privileges regime, activist organisations such as the Australian Human Rights Commission change the meaning of inequality to “historical disadvantage”. In the absence of substantial evidence to demonstrate existing disadvantage, the Left creates imaginary friends like unconscious bias to replace objective fact with subjective feelings as the evidentiary standard of Western law and public reason.
We have arrived at a point in Western history where thought crimes justify a regime of codified prejudice that privileges manufactured minorities while censoring dissenters who dare cry the emperor has no clothes.
Well, the emperor is butt naked and minority fundamentalists know it. In Queensland, 9 per cent voted for Hanson’s One Nation.
The same state has played host to a case exemplifying the absurdity of minority politics. In the race case before the Federal Circuit Court, students were barred from a computer lab at the Queensland University of Technology because of their race. One would presume the prima facie case of race discrimination would be against the person who barred their access. But the staff member who turned the students away, indigenous woman Cindy Prior, filed a complaint against them under the Racial Discrimination Act.
Prior claimed that the computer lab in the Oodgeroo Unit was reserved for “Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students only” and described the unit as “culturally safe space”.
The arguably racist presumption that people who are not indigenous make a space culturally unsafe has gone unchallenged by the activist Left. In a recent submission to the court, barrister Anthony Morris QC, acting on behalf of the students, lampooned the absurdity of the premises of the case and criticised the AHRC’s handling of it. He asserts that the commission has not upheld the students’ right to be equal before the law.
The case exposes the meaning of equality in Australia and, I would argue, its perversion by minority activism. The requirement to treat all parties to a complaint equally and impartially means treating the complainant in a discrimination case — typically a member of a state minority group — equally to respondent/s.
But the modern human rights movement has substituted universal human rights with minority rights. The result is a system of codified privilege for manufactured minorities and codified prejudice against citizens excluded from minority groups.
The AHRC is well known for its political activism and prosecution of the minority rights agenda.
Its commissioners commonly advocate positions aligned with Greens and Labor Left policies. In the wake of the federal election, Soutphommasane made the sweeping generalisation that Brexit, Donald Trump and Pauline Hanson all are manifestations of racism or xenophobia.
He has criticised nationalist groups allegedly for promoting violence at rallies, but appears less inclined to identify the ideological origins of the militant Left. In a recent tweet, he made the categorical error of classifying left-wing violence as a right-wing phenomenon: “People can repudiate far-right extremism without adopting the far-right’s violence.” That communist regimes murdered millions of their own citizens because they dissented from the Left party line appears to have eluded him.
Soutphommasane declined to comment on the QUT case as it is before the court, but cited “special measures” in a brief statement.
The commission promotes special measures as “positive actions” that “protect disadvantaged racial groups”. It justifies the measures “as an exception to the general rule that all racial groups must be treated the same”.
It is evident that affirmative action is not an exception to the general rule of racial equality in Australia, however. The general rule of race politics in Australia is the codification of racial inequality in discrimination law and affirmative action.
The codified bigotry of the Racial Discrimination Act and censorship of dissent under s18C offends the principles of equality and fairness that made the modern West. The cultural Left has repudiated the Enlightenment by substituting minority rights for universal human rights, subjectivity for objectivity, and politically correct speech for free speech. It has failed to protect the legacy of the Enlightenment and instead introduced a new tribalism under manufactured minority politics that embeds a combustible combination of privilege and prejudice in the heart of the state.
Hanson represents a form of prejudice no more extreme than that defended by the minority Left. She advocates fewer rights for minority groups while the Left prosecutes superior rights for them. Hanson and the minority Left represent the polar opposites of a corrosive politics whose resolution lies in the full restoration of equality under law.
Formal equality should replace discrimination legislation. The list of protected attributes should be reduced to two: people with disabilities and primary carers for the disabled, the young and the elderly. The welfare net should be generous enough to prepare people mired in poverty for gainful employment.
State-made minorities, women included, need to become mature members of liberal democracy by cultivating independence from the state and genuine equality with fellow citizens. The Trumps and Hansons will set forth and multiply as long as minority groups demand special rights and superior privileges under Western law. Equality or backlash. It’s our choice.