We should all be grateful to Peter Limb for bringing the previous and
this analysis to world attention.
Sent to HAfrica: Thursday, July 21, 2005
There are several issues here.
re Andrew Fraser. He is born in Canada and educated in part in Carolina,
and appears linked to world-wide networks of race-hate (see my posting
yesterday). This morning he kindly sent me, by way of "proof", a PDF from
Vol. 11(2) 2005(328-36) _Psychology, Public Policy & Law_ 'WANTED: MORE
RACE REALISM, LESS MORALISTIC FALLACY' by J. Philippe Rushton (U. Western
Ontario) & Arthur Jensen (U. California, Berkeley). I replied as best I
could on non-applicablity of limited empirical studies and from other
logical angles but it would be good for any of you with psychology
expertise to reply in more detail. These issues are not limited to
Australia but part of a much wider racism reminiscent of 19th and 20th
century ideologies that have have never really died but been given new
Re Catherine's points. Fraser is surely profiting from the climate of fear
engendered since Sept. 2001 (and even before) by the right-wing government
of John Howard: Howard in the 1980s was notorious for opposing Asian
immigration and threatened to deport the ANC Chief Representative, Eddie
Funde, if elected ca.1986. Howard won a recent election by beating the
anti-Asian racist-and-terrorist fear drums on "boat people"--his
sensational story of boat people throwing children overboard later proved a
total lie, if fitting of Fox News. By the way, Eddie Funde later survived
an assassination attempt by a Nazi leader who now moves in these murky
race-hate circles. I once received a letter written in blood from those
circles, referring to 'Rambo and First Blood', warning I would be next
(where is Rambo now?). The person dutifully put his address on the back of
the envelope and detectives later told me he had been put up to it by
far-right white South Africans, who have tended to congregate on the green
pastures and BBQs of Australia. Of course such things are not limited to
Australia: Dulcie September was assassinated in Paris and one finds these
types in many other countries. Who is influencing who?
Re visa issues: yes, from my own experiences of organizing African Studies
conferences, the Australian High Commission in Pretoria can indeed be most
frustrating. Their staff includes local white South Africans at
bureaucratic levels, who in 1999 refused a visa for one of my speakers, the
late Phaswane Mpe, on the grounds that his passport cover was faded by
water damage! He was accused of being a potential forger! Yet his colleague
also from Wits (and also an African), who accompanied him, was given a
visa. At one stage I had to contact the High Commissioner (who was at that
stage also a scheduled speaker) and request that his gate staff admit
another speaker who was being denied access, again on spurious caharges.
There are numerous such tales, some also aimed at white South African
academics (on economic grounds), so it is not always entirely race-based.
Historically, the openly racist "White Australia Policy" effectively
excluded black emigration before the 1970s when it was finally discarded.
Australia also acted like a magnet to colonial expatriates. Many former
British District Officers settled in Australia, as did Sir Walter Coutts,
last Governor of Uganda. A sizeable group of Rhodesians also chose to
re-locate to Australia, joined by an even greater number of white South
Africans, often bringing with them extreme ethnocentric ideas. A curious
technical exception was Jules Peno of Cape Verde. In 1905, the Government
ruled he was not an "aboriginal native of Africa" as the islands were 300
miles from the coast!! (see T. Clarke and B. Galligan, "Aboriginal Native
and the Institutional Construction of the Australian Citizen, 1901-48"
Australian Historical Studies v.26 1994-5, pp.523-43, p.527; on Coutts see
D. and M.V. Brown (eds.), Looking Back at the Uganda Protectorate
(Dalkeith: Brown, 1996) and tapes in the UWA Library.
Somewhat of a sea-change occurred under the Labor (ALP) government of
Whitlam in 1973. A few Sowetan refugees came in just after 1976. But Black
African emigration to Australia was slight. In the period 1971-74,
emigrants from Kenya, Sudan, Tanzania, Ethiopia and Mozambique totalled
only 599, whereas those from South Africa (overwhelmingly white) numbered
6,373. In 1986, the ALP national conference called for increased black
migration but between 1983 and 1991 a ceiling of 200 on the number of black
Africans allowed to settle remained in place; and those that did were
chiefly refugees. However, in the 1990s tens of thousands of refugees from
the Horn have emigrated. Problems of African immigrants include racial
discrimination, limited appreciation by many Australians of African
cultures and lack of recognition of African qualifications. There is
continued stereotyping of Africans and sensationalization of African events
in the media--as in all Western (and many Eastern) countries. All this from
a forthcoming (since 2000!) chapter of mine.