Library Research PlanChosen essay topic: What are some of the explanations for the occurrence of racism and xenophobia. Starting point: This essay will look into the issues of racial discrimination and xenophobiaWith a general reference to the world and a specific reference to Australia. It will discuss issues like the racist attitudes of the a Australian whites towards the indigenous blacks and the distressing conditions of the Aboriginals in the contemporary society. The key words used in the library research are “racial discrimination”, “xenophobia”, and “racism”. Relevance of Each Reference: Bessant, J.
and Watts, R . 2002, Sociology Australia, 2nd edn, Sydney: Allen & UnwinProvides an elaborate explanation of the sociological divisions in the Australian society with a special emphasis on the issues of racism in Australia and how Howard government is not being supportive with respect to the reconciliation process and alsohow it has been racist in its approach towards the abolition of the White Australian Policy. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Fulcher, J. & Scott, J. 2003, Sociology, 2nd edn, Oxford: Oxford University PressIs a great source which has provided information pertinent to how a society is formed and organized?
How power is distributed in the society. Community and different types of community. Power and organization in relation to gender and identity, ethnicity and identity, and class and identity. Jureidini, R. & Poole, M.(eds) 2003, Sociology: Australian Connections, 3rd edn, Sydney: Allen & Unwin Provides information about the problems faced by migrants in general and Australians in particular. The distressing conditions of the immigrants and the policies of the Australian government which clearly reveal the racist attitude of the Australian government. Maconis, J.J. & Plummer, K.
2005, Sociology: A Global Introduction, 3rd edn, Harlow: Prentice HallProvides greater insight into the nature of sociology and how sociological perspectives help in daily life. In the subsequent chapters we find an emphasis on the problems faced in the development of sociology and human freedom and culture. The rise of the network society and cultural, class, and ethnic inequalities are discussed in detail. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Maurice Glèlè-Ahanhanzo ( Benin ), Doudou Diène (Senegal), Special Rapporteur on Contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, Interview with the UN Special Rapporteur on racism during the 61st Session of the Commission on Human Rights - Multiculturalism, or challenging old ideas of identity construction - Available at: http: //www2.ohchr. org/english/issues/racism/rapporteur/index. htm, Accessed on April 02 2008 This provides information about forms and manifestations of racism, racial discrimination and xenophobia and the distressing condition of the indigenous Australians due to the racist attitudes of the non- indigenous societies.
The report provides the steps taken by the government in ensuring freedom to these Aboriginals from the clutches of discrimination – the success and failure of the government are discussed. The report concludes by presenting certain recommendations to improve the living conditions of the Australian Aboriginals.
Najman, J. M. & Western, J . S. (eds) 2000, A Sociology of Australian Society, 3rd edn, Melbourne: MacmillanProvides the major dimensions of inequality in the Australian society, especially class, gender, race, ethnicity, sexuality or age inequalities. It provides the details of principal locations of inequality i. e. the areas or fields where inequalities are experienced. The work provides a research into the mental status of the children of migrants – their behaviors. Finally the focus is found to be on the role played by various agencies i. e.
political, social, and cultural agencies in leading to inequality among people. ESSAY PLAN: The essay mainly focuses on providing explanations for the occurrence of racial discrimination, and xenophobia in Australia. The essay will be broadly divided into two parts one of each discusses racial discrimination and xenophobia respectively. The impact of these practices on the lives of the people will be discussed elaborately with examples and references wherever necessary. At the outset the essay addresses the issue of discrimination on a very broader perspective.
The historical references and examples will be provided to assert the point of argument or explanation. For example while referring to the practice of racial discrimination; a brief mention of “apartheid” will be made. To address the consequences of racism, the unrest among the nations of the world on the basis of various factors will be discussed. The discussion will be gradually directed to the issues in Australia as it is the focus of the essay. While discussing the context of Australia the discrimination the Australian aboriginals are subjected to is discussed first.
The rights of these indigenous Australians and how they are being deprived of it are discussed. The essay further addresses the immigration issues and the White Australian Policy. The underlying concepts of the policy are discussed providing sufficient references. The essay also lays emphasis on the child abduction issue and its ugly consequences. The focus of the essay further shifts to immigrants and the torture they undergo due to various factors. The discrimination which these immigrants are subjected to is discussed with examples of those.
The essay addresses the government’s attitude towards these issues and the areas where it had really succeeded in protecting the interests of the indigenous people. The essay will provide certain recommendations to exonerate the people from the fetters of racism. The essay provides an elaborate discussion on the the discrimination of women and the atrocities on women at svarious places. After conducting the initial research and taking notes on relevant information Sources the outline and the first draft of the essay were written. However, further research was conducted and more information regarding the issues of racism was added to the essay. ESSAY---------- .
Racial discrimination and xenophobia are heinous practices which have been prevalent in the society right from the days man has learnt to live in a civilized fashion. These practices attack on the basic human rights. Racism as defined in the American Heritage Dictionary is “the belief that race accounts for differences in human character or ability and that a particular race is superior to the other”. It denies the basic rights of some people just because of their descent, color, race or sex. .
People continue to suffer discrimination simply because of their identity of which they are not in anyway responsible. Further, in the World Conference against racism (Jonas, 2001), racial discrimination, Xenophobia and related intolerance, which took place in Durban in September 2001, the UN has defined racial discrimination as “Any distinction, exclusive restriction or preference based on race, color, descent or national or ethnic origin”. Keeping in mind the definitions given to racism and examining the world issues, we find that the world is abound with examples of racism.
Though it is considered that the right not to suffer discrimination on any grounds is our fundamental right, it is found that racism persists in every society. Race-based human rights abuses are seen in every part of the world. They can be seen in Europe in the form of ill-treatment of asylum seekers and immigrants, in Africa, in the genocide which occurred in Rwanda in 1994. This stands as a good example of ethnic hatred and shows that racism raises its ugly head if it is not properly and timely combated by the government in power (Why is racism a Human Rights Issue?
- The Australian community action kit on racism). The in discriminatory application of the death penalty and the ill treatment of minorities in the US, the mass killing of ethnic minorities in Pakistan and other countries of the Asian region and the ill-treatment of women migration workers in Saudi Arabia and Australia are all examples of racism. Racism is a stark attack on the fundamental principle underlying the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) according to which human rights are everyone’s birthright and apply to all without distinction (The Australian community action kit).
Racial discrimination and Xenophobia are rampant even in a democratic nation like Australia. It has a Federal Parliamentary form of Government in which the Judiciary is independent. Though it has been claimed to be a multi-cultural society in the 21st century, it is found that racism is still alive in direct or indirect ways. Bessant and Watts (2003, p. 217) argue that the legacies of colonialism and racism are yet to be solved.
Bessant and Watts say that “the racist habits of mind continue to make their presence felt (2003, p. 217). The indigenous people of Australia are victims of racism and xenophobia. The Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders, who are called the indigenous people, face the highest form of discrimination. These people are the first peoples of Australia. They occupy a unique place in the Australian Society. But, the most unfortunate aspect is that their identity and rights have never been fully respected or adequately recognized. Since the time of British colonization of Australia, these people have been physically, culturally, and spiritually deprived of their rights.
They have been denied of their right to the possession of their land. The land was regarded as uninhabited, or known as “terra milliius” (Boreham, Stokes and Hall, 2004, p. 63). In spite of the oppression and victimization, these indigenous peoples have tried to keep up the nations’ integrity, in the cultural and spiritual spheres. They have tried to make appreciable contribution to the cultural heritage of the land. After the development of the White Australian Policy these Aboriginal people were removed from their traditional land and sent into asylums or onto reserves.
The White Australian Policy is an immigration policy which was exacted in 1901 by the Australian Government and was supported by all the political parties of that time. It was formulated to regulate and restrict the number and type of people entering Australia (Bessant and Watts, 2002, p. 276). According to the White Australian Policy the indigenous Australians or the blacks are considered to be the most inferior (Boreham, Stokes and Hall 2004, p. 374). These indigenous Australians have suffered high levels of injustice when they were kept in the missions or in asylums.
Many of them have suffered deaths in prisons and detention centers due to stark injustice done to them. Howard Government is now expected to look into taking steps to reconcile these crimes committed against these Aborigines. Boreham, Stokes and Hall (2004, p5) argue that the term reconciliation recognizes and acknowledges a need for a formal resolution of issues between the indigenous and non-indigenous people of Australia. Though the government is convinced to take up steps to protect the Aboriginals nothing much has really happened.
As it has been pointed out by the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination in March, 2000, (Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission, Jonas, 2001) institutional factors such as some processes, laws and administrative practices still operate to the disadvantage of these people. Racial discrimination has been experienced and is being experienced by many immigrants to Australia. The White Australian Policy, formulated to regulate immigrants, was very ruthless while it encouraged immigration from Britain, and excluded all immigration by the ‘Asians’ or the ‘colored’ with the objective of building White Australia. ( Bessant and Watts, 2002, p. 217). As a result, unfortunately it was the indigenous population who were very much disadvantaged and discriminated against.
. The ‘colored’ people who left their native lands and immigrated to Australia were often abused, disparaged by the non-indigenous Australian Society. The black indigenous population was not conferred status as the Australian citizens until 1968 – they did not have the right to vote and hence were not considered in the population census. While women were at least accepted as equals in 1855 ‘Aboriginal’ people were not included in the population list till 1967.
( Dror Poleg, 2004)The immigrants from the Asian region were detained in refugee camps or detention centers and ill-treated. The United Nations Human Rights Commission expressed concern over the impact of prolonged detention on health and psychological well being of the immigrants and asylum seekers (Why is racism a Human Rights Issue - The Australian community action kit). The conditions in the immigration centers have always been pathetic with instances of vilification of those people who have come to Australia either as job seekers or as asylum seekers.
An example of deprivation of life in an immigration detention centre reveals a clear picture of discrimination against immigrants. On January 8th, 2001, a woman died in the Villa wood Immigrant Detention Centre, near Sidney. An enquiry into the death revealed that it was a result of injury sustained in a fall and no reasons for the fall were known. (As given in sec. 1.c of Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, 2002).
Even today, we find that the position of the immigrants is very pathetic. Thus, the practices of racial discrimination and xenophobia are a very common feature for both the indigenous Australians and the immigrants who continue to endure socio-economic disadvantages. The differences are basically between the established group of people and the immigrants. The mortality rates among children are very high in the indigenous Australian Society. It is because of lack of proper medical supervision which actually is a fundamental right of those people. While considering the race related issues, special focus should be given to the case of 100000 indigenous Australian children who were separated from their parents (The Australian community action kit).
Child abduction has been a very harsh reality among the aborigines of Australia. The racist attitudes have further led to the removal of large numbers of Aboriginal children from their parents and sending them into white families, now known as the ‘Stolen Generation’. The purpose behind the abduction of children was to train out the Aboriginality of children of mixed descent (Bessant and Watts, 2002, P. 224). Racist attitude saw the dramatic reduction in the health and the numbers of the Aboriginal population (Bessant and Watts, pp 23-24). Like in any other nation, racism and sexism together have affected women in the Australian society, especially, the Aboriginal Torres Strait islander women, immigrant women and asylum seekers.
In a report on Human Rights and Immigration Detention released by a Special Envoy of the UN High Commission for Human Rights, it is mentioned that the Government’s policy on Asylum seekers reveals a “great human tragedy” (Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, Jonas. W., 2001).
The women in these detention centers are tortured, ill treated and sexually abused. The discrimination which the Aboriginal women experienced is very much different from and worse than that experienced by the men of these groups. For example, the Aboriginal women were never included into the discussions pertinent to land ownership etc. Another example of the tragic situation is the children being abducted from their mothers, ill treated, beaten up cruelly and degraded in the detention centers. The indigenous Australian women are prone to greater intensities of sexual exploitation when compared with the non-indigenous women.
The harassment which they experience is in terms of low wages due to poor English language skills or low socio-economic status etc. The women asylum seekers and the refugee women also experience discrimination in multiple ways i. e., based on racism, xenophobia, sexism and different historical basis. The women asylum seekers are vulnerable to exploitation during flight and even in the immigration detention centers. The United Nations, in coalition with the Australian Government, is trying to improve the condition of women in the detention and immigration centers (UN Commission on Human Rights, Report by the special Rappoteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination and xenophobia, March 2005).
The distressing conditions in these centers have driven the women to acts of suicide and self-harm. An investigation done by the United Nations expressed deep concern over the pathetic condition of children, infants, pregnant women and disabled women. The Australian Government rejected the investigation reports saying that its detention policy is successful and there is no question of further modification of it. In the political scenario, the Aboriginals are the underrepresented.
In the October, 1998 general elections, an Aboriginal was selected to the Federal Senate for the first time. In 2001, an Aboriginal woman was elected to the West Australian State Parliament, and these examples reveal that in spite of the vilification and oppressions suffered by those people, in the recent years, the Government is trying to make things better for them. The UN Commission on Human Rights, Report by the special Rappoteur on contemporary Forms of Racism, Racial Discrimination and Xenophobia, Doudou Diene, 2005 has suggested a few recommendations according to which a broader understanding of the policy of multi-culturalism would help in bringing down the suffering of people in the name of race.
Thus racial discrimination and xenophobia are issues which should be addressed by the Australian government with immediate effect. The right to fight against oppression is the fundamental right of every individual. The recommendations made by the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination and xenophobia, if , taken into account and implemented, the future world would witness a land free from discrimination and differences. The recommendations areTo give a fresh impetus to the process of reconciliation. To amend The Native Title bill to facilitate the Aboriginals to come out of extreme poverty conditionsTo eliminate all forms of discrimination against women. To find a humane solution to the problem of stolen generationThus to see a nation free from the clutches of racism would be a hope in the hearts of people.