Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Sharing power with people of colour

The good old Leftist racism again below. Why cannot we judge people's competence without referring to their race? If the agitators below were to come up with just one excample of a minority person who missed out on a prominent job when a less competent mainstream person got it, then they might have made a case. But they did not.

And judging competence needs to be multidimensional. A person who is otherwise competent but who has a thick accent or an intrusive religion could quite rightly be judged as not ideal for a position involving a lot of contact with the public

And note that many people with a minority background in Australia were not born here. And it can take a lifetime to build up the social skills and competencies to succeed in the political sphere. You have to be perceived as "one of the boys" (or girls) to be politically successful -- and that can take very fine tuning indeed. Many try but few succeed

And note that, ever since the conservatives put the very Aboriginal Neville Bonner into the Australian parliament, there have been many others elected who have some Aboriginal background. There have been 52 Indigenous members of the ten Australian legislatures. The Minister for Indigenous Australians in the current Federal government -=- Ken Wyatt -- identifies as Aboriginal

So the claim that minorities are systematically kept out of power in Australia is blatant rubbish on several levels. It's just another Leftist whine and just another example of the Leftist obsession with race

The Diversity Council of Australia says racism is "when an individual or organisation discriminates, excludes, or disadvantages someone because of their race, colour, descent, nationality, ethnicity, religion, and/or immigrant status".

Other social scientists and academics also argue that racism requires both racial prejudice and institutional power. But it's a contentious definition because there are several levels of racism, such as internalised or interpersonal racism.

What one can't deny, though, is the fact that those who are in power, such as in governmental institutions and workplaces, are overwhelmingly white.

For example, the Australian Human Rights Commission, in a 2018 report, found that about 95 per cent of senior leaders in Australia came from an Anglo-Celtic or European background. Only 0.4 per cent are Indigenous Australians and under 5 per cent had a non-European and non-Indigenous Australian background.

"The people who make decisions about who can come into the elite are the people who are the current members. And they are very reluctant to recognise quality in people from backgrounds they don't understand," Mr Jakubowicz said.

What 'be a little less white' means

Anti-racism educator Robin DiAngelo says white people need to stop being defensive, and start talking about racism.

Peter Mousaferiadis, the founder and CEO of Cultural Infusion, said that as a result, the created system gives people who are connected to that cultural hegemony a privilege — or "white privilege" — while other people outside the group miss out.

The belief that white people have superior knowledge, opinions and capabilities is an obstacle for people of colour to gain similar power in society. Adding to that is an additional barrier for those whose native language isn't English.

That's why the focus should be shifted to having a wide representation of backgrounds, to help debunk that thinking.

"If we focus on representation, then we're going to create organisations and systems that mirror the environment," Mr Mousaferiadis said.

"Representation will iron out power for one particular group. The power will become more evenly [shared]."

But if we fail to do this, and if organisations don't mirror the reality of diversity, it can create tension.

Let's talk about racism, not cultural diversity

Racism is so "systemic" that it's "embedded" in workplaces, according to the Racism at Work report published by the Diversity Council Australia (DCA) on Monday.

Dr Virginia Mapedzahama, a co-author of the report, said those words focus on the "positive or celebratory things" and obscure a painful truth. "If we just concentrate on things like harmony, there's the side that we're not actually focusing [on]. There's another conversation that was silenced and we are not having," she said.

Like "harmony", words like "diversity" and the bureaucratic acronym "Culturally and Linguistically Diverse" (CALD) often miss the point.

Would we be better off without 'CALD'?

Our varied backgrounds and experiences are all classified as culturally and linguistically diverse by the government. But the term's limitations may outweigh its utility.

"CALD is a problematic term. It derives meaning from the supposition that within a given population there is a subset who can be aggregated into a separate category," Mr Mousaferiadis told the ABC.

He said the continuation of accepting the CALD concept perpetuates the problems that organisations are attempting to overcome because it "normalises and entrenches the binary" between CALD and the dominant cultural group.

Further, it's an unhelpfully blunt term for a wide array of experiences — it can include Australians whose ancestors arrived more than 150 years ago from China and speak fluent English, as well as the Afghan refugee family who arrived in Australia a month ago.

The term "has had its day", Mr Mousaferiadis said, adding the focus should not be on identity itself, but what communities actually need.

Dr Virginia Mapedzahama said while concepts of diversity and social cohesion are important, "if we use those conversations as entry points to discussing racism, we're not going to get to eradicating racism at work".

That's why many social scientists and anti-racism advocates keep reminding us to listen to the voices of people with lived experiences of racism.

But there are also barriers there — as Mr Jakubowicz points out, the linguistic aspect is often forgotten in discussions about racism, and we may unconsciously or consciously discriminate against people who have different accents.

When we don't hear accents in mainstream media, such as radio or television, it reinforces biases, Mr Jakubowicz said. "They're quite comfortable with people who look different, but very uncomfortable with those who sound different," he said.


Tax exempt charity donations may not be used for political purposes

The Smart Energy Council was forced to abandon a witty campaign using stickers on wheelie bins showing the Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce holding coal with slogans that said: “Bin him” or “Chuck them out”.

It risked the Smart Energy Council’s charitable status. It received first a phone call and then an email from the Charities Commission (ACNC) which said it was in breach of charity laws. Losing that charitable status means those who donate aren’t eligible for tax deductions and the charity is liable to income tax, even if the organisation wasn’t using those funds for the allegedly political purpose.

The council’s chief executive John Grimes said its lawyers were prepared to have the fight, but the executive team decided this small organisation without a bottomless oilwell of funding would struggle to mount a legal battle when it should be battling climate change.


Fertiliser prices soar, leaving farmers struggling with cost of production

With fertiliser prices reaching never-before-seen highs and the cost of fuel soaring, Australian farmers are struggling to keep up with the cost of production.

Fertiliser Technology Research Centre director Mike McLaughlin said there were two reasons for the price hike.

Ukraine has deposits of key fertiliser ingredients potash and urea, and exports have been limited.

Russia is the world's biggest fertiliser exporter but because of trade sanctions, restrictions have been placed on imports into Australia.

“The demand is still there because food demand is always increasing, but the supply of fertiliser is limited, so the price just shot up,” Professor McLaughlin said. “These are the highest prices ever for fertiliser raw materials and that means it's going to flow through.

"It’s one of the reasons also that wheat prices have also gone up."

The cost of vegetables such as broccoli, potatoes and cabbages have recently risen by up to 75 per cent, with the cost of fresh and frozen food tipped to continue to increase in coming weeks.

Thomas Elder Market analyst Andrew Whitelaw said Australian farmers had not benefited from the increase in grain price. "The cost of farming is going up at a rate beyond the grain price," he said. "Fertiliser is expensive [as well as] chemicals, labour, and diesel. "[They are] the four main inputs that a farmer will face and they're all at record levels."

Professor McLaughlin said some countries were looking for alternative supplies of fertiliser as well as trying to ramp up domestic production. “It is difficult to cut back on fertiliser use because it will get reflected in lower yields and lower yields means that the price of grain will go up in the future," he said. "The price of food will probably increase.

“When oil prices go up, people look for alternatives and with oil we have substitutes in terms of electric vehicles and gas, but with fertiliser there are no substitutes,” Prof McLaughlin said.

“We may see new mines or new facilities open up because the fertiliser price is so high and it suddenly makes that particular resource economic."

He said high natural gas prices will also continue to impact fertiliser prices because natural gas is used to manufacture nitrogen fertilisers.


'Tough' new laws set to deter Victorian animal activists trespassing on farms

People caught trespassing on Victorian farms could be slapped with on-the-spot fines of $1,272 for an individual and $8,178 for an organisation under new legislation passed in Parliament yesterday.

The Victorian government said the new laws were the toughest of their kind in Australia and will deter people from trespassing on farms.

Under the Livestock Management Amendment (Animal Activism) Act 2021 penalties of $10,904 for an individual and up to $54,522 may apply to an organisation for more serious offending.

The bill was introduced in response to several incidences of farm trespass by animal activists, including at the Gippy Goat Cafe in Yarragon in 2018.

Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) president Emma Germano said the new legislation had been "a longtime coming", three years after the Inquiry into the Impact of Animal Rights Activism on Victorian Agriculture.

"The VFF worked with parliamentarians back in 2018 to get the inquiry off the ground at a time when we were faced with an unacceptable situation where animal activists were getting off virtually scot-free," she said.

"This is a big step in providing better protection for farmers from law-breaking animal activists."

"At a time when we are dealing with significant human and animal biosecurity outbreaks our rigorous farm biosecurity systems have never been more important," she said.

"The biosecurity management plans will not only protect farmers from unacceptable harassment by animal activists, but also from potential biosecurity breaches."

The new arrangements will come into effect later this year.




1 comment:

Norse said...

Leftists seem to like bad things they can put "righteous" in front of in order to make bad things appear good and/or true.

On one hand they may yell and scream that hatred is bad, on the other righteous hatred directed at Trump is apparently what the best of the best engage in because .. it makes them feel good.