Home affairs minister Peter Dutton has announced his intention to fast-track visas for white South African farmers.
Speaking on Miranda Devine Live tonight, Dutton said that they deserve “deserve special attention” due to their circumstances: “If you look at the footage and read the stories, you hear the accounts, it’s a horrific circumstance they face.”
Unsurprisingly given how much the government’s agenda is set by News Corp, the announcement comes not even a full 24 hours after Miranda Devine published a column in the Daily Telegraph excoriating Dutton for not doing exactly this:
Yet white South African farmers don’t qualify as refugees in Australia. They are the persecuted minority we have to ignore because of the colour of their skin.
Do we hear a peep from Peter Dutton or Julie Bishop? Nope. If it was compassionate to admit an extra 12,000 Syrians on the strength of a single photo of a dead toddler on a beach, surely the pictures and stories of bashed and terrified South Africans published this week by Paul Toohey and Gary Ramage mean something.
The piece from Devine comes amidst a focus on what the far-right are calling a “white genocide” against white South African farmers – a categorisation that has been disputed by experts and has largely been adopted by right-wing and, at times, white nationalist groups.
It’s currently a pet issue with the right for reasons that aren’t too hard to unpack, and the language that Dutton used when describing his rationale plays into it to a tee:
The people we’re talking about want to work hard, they want to contribute to a country like Australia.
We want people who want to come here, abide by our laws, integrate into our society, work hard, not lead a life on welfare. And I think these people deserve special attention and we’re certainly applying that special attention now.
The implication, of course, being that the regular, non-white refugees we’re getting won’t do these things. Dutton said that he was looking at fast-tracking it because “from what [he has] seen they do need help from a civilised country like ours.“