This won’t really shock you that much. Migrants think we’re all a bunch of bloody racist bigots. A new survey released by Monash University on Mapping Social Cohesion, funded by both the Scanlon Foundation (who provide support for people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds to better connect to their newfound Australian communities) and the Federal Government shows that immigrant perception of Australians has dropped significantly across the last two decades, and that the country is no longer viewed as the friendly, laid-back nation we might think we are.
The report comes during a particularly tricky period for inter-racial relations within Australia, with the Abbott Government preparing to radically amend the Racial Discrimination Act; chiefly section 18C, which covers acts that are “’reasonably likely, in all the circumstances, to offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate another person or a group of people on racial or ethnic grounds.” An decision that’s more or less a direct result of Andrew Bolt’s hurt feelings and proud history of being a white man.
The study claims that migrants are feeling increasingly unsafe on the streets, and far less politically engaged in their new country. They’re feeling increasingly singled out in public settings due to their skin colour or religious beliefs, and in fact a staggeringly low figure of only 3 per cent rated Australia as “caring, friendly or hospitable.”
Perhaps even more startling is the revelation that an increasing amount of New Zealand migrants that are feeling discriminated against socially based on country-of-origin. In fact, in just about every key statistic, migrant numbers are well below the national average in regards to things such as if they’ve voted in an election, attended a protest or march, written or spoken to a member of Parliament, or even overall trust of people and politics.
This is an emerging view of Australia that’s slowly beginning to gain credibility through international media outlets. Even through comedic outlets, with Daily Show correspondent John Oliver’s much talked about rant on Australia’s comfortably racist outlook, which he’s since turned into material for his stand up act.
The study, overall, is an extremely sobering portrait that ultimately proves the nation has a long, long way to go before it’s truly earned the multicultural title is so adores bandying about. And in an age where legislation is being prepared to actively defend and protect people’s right to broadcast hateful or discriminatory speech within the country’s media industry, perhaps we’re not even close to having all our feet moving in the direction they should be.
If you feel like perusing the entire study, it’s over here.
Photo: Adam Pretty via Getty Images.