I was concerned to learn that one in ten Australians are racist according to a recent report published by UWS, titled “Challenging Racism”.
These findings are startling to say the least. The most disturbing trend is that Muslims and people of Middle Eastern backgrounds are figured prominently as groups targeted by racists. Even more shocking is that 1 in 2 people have a concern about Islam. With findings like these only confirming the growing trend of racism and bigotry in this nation, it is time to review and assess the success of our multicultural policy.
There has been a lively debate about the place of multiculturalism in Australia and whether it has worked. The fact is that Australia is a pluralist society, multi-ethnic and multi-faith in nature, that we cannot change, however, we need to admit that the policy has not worked.
The challenge is indeed one for the nation and its elected representatives to devise a policy that is practical and in the best interests of the country, especially, those who are consistently targeted by racist elements in the community. I for one am happy to put my time into coming up with a new policy that does not divide or segregate us, one that acknowledges difference and diversity but unites the community under one national program. The key issue is that we have propagated the divisions by not welcoming newcomers and by not engaging with each other, the new policy must be one of engagement, not disassociation that will only lead us down the same garden path as Germany.