Monday, February 06, 2023

Interracial dating: The Aussies marrying ‘outside their lanes’

This article seems to be largely anecdotal so it is a pity that statistics are not given. If the rate of interracial marriage is low, that would in part be explained by many migrant groups marrying within their ethnicity.

There are some statistics showing a lot of intermarriage between people of different national origin but most of those would be between Australian-born people and people from Britain and other Anglospheric countries.

The most striking type of interracial relationship I see about the place is between Chinese girls and tall Caucasian men, I do see a lot of Chinese young women as a part of couples and the partners concerned are rarely all Chinese. Chinese ladies overwhelmingly favour Caucasian men --- probably because they --like most women -- like their man to be tall

And the prevalence of those relationships is clear testimony to the low level of racism in Australia.

Australia’s leaders often say it is the most multicultural society on Earth, but when it comes to mixing those cultures in marriage, it seems Aussies stay in their lanes.

Sociologist Dr Zuleyka Zevallos says it’s “still the norm that most marry within their race”, despite more than 200 years of migration since colonisation.

“When you look at the out-marriage rates, very few second-generation migrants will marry outside their race.” If they do, she adds, people are more likely to marry a person from a similar ethnic or racial group.

“It’s not about exposure or education, but because of social forces and this sense of difference,” she says.

Of course, interracial relationships in Australia are not new, dating back to colonisation when racial intermixing was a way of ensuring whiteness prevailed. Migration, too, means that Australia’s demographic make-up is becoming increasingly diverse.

So, what about those who do couple up with someone outside their race?

‘We didn’t see interracial couples like us growing up’
Sue Kang, 28, and her boyfriend Midy Tiaga, 29, met in high school and have been best friends for 10 years. They became a couple three years ago. “We were both ready to settle down,” Kang says. Kang, who is Korean-Australian, and Tiaga, a Sri Lankan-Australian, say they didn’t see interracial couples like themselves growing up.

When Kang began modelling full-time during COVID, her agent asked her to bring along her partner to be in the shoot. From there, they continued to model together and Tiaga was eventually signed to her agency. The pair have modelled together for campaigns that include Tourism Australia and Commonwealth Bank.

Kang says it’s been great to see “authentic real couples” like themselves “rather than it being left up to the casting director”.

Both being from culturally diverse backgrounds, they say they share a common understanding. “There’s a cultural shorthand in the relationship where things don’t need to be explained,” says Tiaga. “We’re able to understand each other as we share similar intersections.”

Nigerian-American Valerie Weyland moved to Australia from the United States in her 20s. She settled in Perth, where she met her now husband Robert on Tinder. The couple has been together for more than eight years, and have a nine-month-old baby. She describes their relationship as “open and loving”.

She says that her experience of dating as a black woman in California was different to her experience in Perth, where it’s rare to see couples that look like them. “When I was dating [in California], of course there were racial tensions, but it was not the same as in Australia,” she says. ”I dated whoever I connected with in conversations and through passion, there was a whole rainbow of people.“

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Valerie and Robert Weyland live in Perth and are expecting their first child. She is a very good-looking African lady, obviously with substantial white ancestry

She notes that while Perth is becoming more diverse with pockets of migrants, she doesn’t always feel accepted in the community. The couple often encounters people who stare or openly voice their disapproval. “People don’t really have a healthy filter when they see a couple like us,” she says.

“Australians love to banter and crack jokes, but they don’t always have an understanding of what is appropriate or inappropriate.”

For Robert, being with Valerie has made him more aware of the discrimination many non-white people experience. “If you’ve never gone through it, it’s hard to understand,” Valerie sympathises, who says that it’s about “being patient with people’s process of understanding things”.

And she says Robert is always the first to defend her. “When I’ve been in situations where I’m being attacked for my race, he steps up. He will be the first to say something.”


Private schools are poaching teachers from the public sector with better salaries, principals say

The unmentioned fact below is that education already takes up around two thirds of State government budgets. Giving many thousands of State school teachers a rise would simply be beyond the budgets concerned

Making better use of resources is the answer to the problems: Using phonics to teach literacy; abandoning useless B.Ed. degrees as a teacher qualification and allowing larger class sizes

Public school principals say they are losing teachers to private schools who can offer tens of thousands more in pay.

They say government budgets are not big enough to compete amidst a national teacher shortage.

Many private schools are able to pay salaries that outstrip those in the public system.

In the past 12 months, jobs advertised in inner-city private schools have offered base salaries up to $160,000, and rural principals have reported high offers in the regions too.

Those salaries are tens of thousands of dollars higher than what the state system can offer most teachers.

In New South Wales, a state school classroom teacher's base salary tops out at $113,000, and in Victorian schools it is $112,000.

Some teachers will be able to top up their salaries through bonus and retention mechanisms but, with Australia facing an "unprecedented" teacher shortage, public school principals have told the ABC they still cannot compete on pay and conditions.

Regional schools losing teachers

John Freyne, the principal at Traralgon Secondary College in Victoria's Gippsland region, said several teachers had come to him asking for more money, having been offered higher salaries to work at local private schools.

He said he could not match the offers. "We're certainly not as free as private sector schools would be … [to] offer higher salaries," he said.

Mr Freyne said his school was between four and six teaching positions short at the end of 2022.

While shortages at Traralgon have been filled by relief teachers lured via state government-funded bonus payments, other principals are turning to teaching students to fill the gaps.

Fellow regional principal, Wodonga Middle Years College's Maree Cribbes, said she had recently lost a staff member to a private school, making her 13 positions short ahead of the school new year.

"Actually finding qualified teachers is not possible at the moment," she said.

Ms Cribbes said at the end of last year the Victorian school employed eight teaching students in the final year of their qualification, to fill the gaps.

"More senior staff are becoming burnt out because they're having to mentor and support the youngest staff in the school, who often have had very little or no experience in schools," she said.

"We've had to combine classes to make bigger classes, with students having different teachers, students having inexperienced teachers."

Principals have 'never seen anything like this'

Mr Freyne said the fact private schools get significant government funding, on top of their student fees, enabled them to pay higher wages to attract teachers.

"What they receive from the government would be 60-70 per cent of my total budget, so the federal funding provides them with a greater capacity to pay staff," he said.

And while the Victorian public schools' enterprise agreement does allow teachers to earn an extra $10,000 as a "retention incentive", Mr Freyne said it was not a realistic solution because paying the bonus to every teacher would make school budgets unworkable.

Mr Freyne said he had "never seen anything like this" in his 34 years in the profession.

Federal government acknowledges 'real issue'

A Victorian Education Department spokesperson said it was already doing all it could to retain teachers and to entice retired teachers back to the profession.

The department has offered thousands of dollars in bonuses for 150 roles in hard-to-staff and regional schools around the state, like Traralgon Secondary College.

It has also offered cash for 100 teachers to relocate from overseas into hard-to-staff schools, while the Commonwealth has prioritised qualified teachers as part of its expanded skilled migration program.


Conservatives on campus hit the wall of censor sensibility

Virtually every academic working in an Australian university is today being force-fed a steady diet of views that are widely accepted by those on the political left and yet widely rejected by those on the political right.

For instance, their university administrations will tell them how wonderful “diversity, equity and inclusion” goals are.

Indeed, most will have to sit through some sort of online indoctrination modules, answering trite little multiple-choice answers at the end where the “correct” answer is the left-wing progressive’s preferred answer (and where any schoolchild of average IQ could guess the expected choice).

Now conservatives like me would say the whole diversity bureaucracy – and you would be stunned to learn how much is spent on this in our universities – should be dismantled immediately. I believe in merit. Hire the best person regardless. But under the guise of “diversity, equity and inclusion”, university administrations bring to bear factors other than merit.

Most often what happens is that they take some favoured academic position or student course opening and they begin by looking at the percentage of some favoured group in the wider population. Then they aim to recreate that same level or percentage for the favoured group in these job positions or student places.

This, of course, is the essence of identity politics. You define individuals in group terms by characteristics they share with others in the wider population. And notice that the key characteristics are such things as one’s type of reproductive organs or of skin pigmentation, never political viewpoints.

Notice as well that if simply hiring on merit achieved these identitarian outcomes (as is sometimes implicitly suggested), there would be no need for the huge diversity, equity and inclusion bureaucracy in the first place.

While we’re at it, readers can notice as well that these sort of implicit identitarian quotas are not just restricted to favoured groups, they are also used only for desirable jobs and places.

For instance, on some reckonings men hold about 95 per cent of the jobs that lead to deaths on the job. Highly dangerous jobs, in other words.

You won’t hear identitarian quota-pushers say “hey, not enough women are dying at work so we need to equalise things and get more women into these jobs”. Not just because that’s a stupid attitude but because these quota-pushers only focus on corporate board positions, top-end professorships, MP preselections and the like.

Of course I could make the same sort of point about how left-leaning our universities are across a host of topics and values.

Who thinks any Australian university administration is not wholly behind the voice? Or wasn’t against former prime minister Tony Abbott’s turning back the boats? Or didn’t go all-in supporting lockdowns? The list goes on and on and lines up just about perfectly with the views of left-wing political parties, not right-wing ones.

Which might explain for readers a couple of depressing bits of recent information. Start with last year’s Harvard University poll undertaken by student newspaper The Crimson. It polled Harvard professors in arts and engineering about their political orientation. The results were astounding.

The poll found just 1.4 per cent of Harvard academics, total, said they were politically conservative or very conservative. And remember, in the recent midterm election over half of voters for the House of Representatives voted Republican.

And note, too, that this was an anonymous survey and that it polled engineering professors who are more likely to be conservative than most any other part of the university. That tells you just how incredibly monolithically orthodox anglosphere universities have become, remembering that left-wing progressive views are today’s campus orthodoxy.

Consider the abovementioned voice proposal here in Australia. I’m a law professor who has published widely on Australian and anglosphere constitutional law matters. I’m against the voice. My best guess is that across the whole of Australia’s dozens and dozens of law schools there might be at most four other law professors teaching public law who share my view. So is the idea so self-evidently terrific or is there just almost zero viewpoint diversity on our campuses?

Here’s more bad news. A survey out this month in Britain, by the Legatum Institute, found 35 per cent of British academics self-censor but for conservative academics that figure jumps up to 75 per cent who self-censor.

As for students at university, the Legatum survey found 25 per cent said they self-censor but that jumped up to 59 per cent for conservative students. And it found only one in 10 academics anonymously identifies as right-of-centre.

When former High Court of Australia judge Robert French did his report for the former Coalition government and concluded there was no free speech problem at Australia’s universities, he was right. But only in a technical sense.

When there is so little viewpoint diversity and so few conservatives on campus, and many of those few feel the need to self-censor, of course anyone looking at university policies and free speech legal cases won’t find a problem.

What would a left-leaning academic ever want to say that would incline a probably just as left-leaning university vice-chancellor to want to bring the university’s code of conduct down on him or her?

It’s hard to think of anything at all that could cause those with left-of-centre views any problems. But if you were a junior academic who thought the daily genuflections about acknowledgements of Country were patronising and condescending, would you feel you could say so or refuse to perform them?

Or if you thought lockdowns were thuggish and despotic and counter-productive? Or if you thought vaccine mandates were wholly illiberal? Or if you thought being asked to trumpet support for climate change was against the latest scientific data? Or if you favoured stopping the boats or questioned the new trans orthodoxy? Or if you agreed with former James Cook University professor Peter Ridd (who questioned the scientific research by institutions including the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence)? Or maybe if you believe the voice is a terrible idea that will divide Australians by race and trigger a high chance of judicial activism?

Could you say that without hurting your promotion prospects? Or would you just self-censor? Or maybe leave academic life and contribute to the collapsing viewpoint diversity at our universities? I think we all know the answers to those questions. ?


Australian universities split on decision to adopt controversial definition of antisemitism

There is no doubt that speech about Jews and Israel is heavily constrained -- too constrained in my view

Australian universities are split on whether to adopt a controversial definition of antisemitism following a push from parliamentary MPs that has been criticised as an “outright attack on academic freedom”.

On 25 January the University of Melbourne became the first institution to publicly announce it would adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism as part of its broader “anti-racism commitment”, leading to backlash from the Australia Palestine Advocacy Network who said it had been denied repeated requests for consultation.

The University of Melbourne’s move came after the Parliamentary Friends of IHRA sent an open letter to vice-chancellors in November, urging them to formally adopt the IHRA definition and requesting a response by the end of January.

The IHRA has faced global backlash among Palestinian and Arab scholars who argue its definition of antisemitism, which includes “targeting the state of Israel”, could be used to shut down legitimate criticism of Israel and stifle freedom of expression, citing the banning of events supporting Palestinian rights on campuses after the definition was adopted by universities in the UK.

The Parliamentary Friends of IHRA is headed by the MPs Josh Burns, Allegra Spender and Julian Leeser, and members include the attorney general, Mark Dreyfus, and former ministers Alan Tudge and Paul Fletcher.

The group’s letter said universities weren’t being asked “to restrict academic freedom of speech” but rather “make it clear, in word and deed, that antisemitism and Holocaust denial are false and pernicious ideologies and are not acceptable to your university”.

But the president of the National Tertiary Education Union Sydney branch, Nick Riemer, said the Parliamentary Friends of the IHRA had launched an “outright attack on academic freedom”.

“[The IHRA] will prevent universities doing what they’re meant to do … critically analyse the contemporary world without concern for lobbies,” he said. “A powerful political lobby is trying to stifle the course of free debate in universities.

Guardian Australia can reveal Macquarie University and the University of Wollongong had already changed their policies to include the IHRA statement before the letter.

A source who wished to remain anonymous told Guardian Australia there had been no consultation with academics at Macquarie University before the definition was included into its Equity, Diversity and Inclusion policy over the summer of 2021. Macquarie University was approached for comment.

The University of Wollongong said it adopted the definition in April and said it would have no impact on “academic freedom and freedom of speech”. “Instead, it is a reference for our community members to help understand what may constitute antisemitism,” the university said.

The Australia Palestine Advocacy Network said it was “disturbed” by the lack of transparency.

“Universities that have adopted the definition have not consulted with community groups or stakeholders,” said its president, Nasser Mashni. “Some universities have engaged with us on this issue, but others have either refused to acknowledge our correspondence, or misled us.”

Other universities were split on their response, with some considering the definition and others appearing to rule out a change.

The University of Sydney said it was “carefully considering” the definition and had not made any decisions.

A spokesperson for the Australian National University said it was “aware” of the IHRA definition and was “giving it due consideration”, while the University of Adelaide said “discussion on this matter will continue”.

A University of New South Wales spokesperson said it recognised the definition raised “complex legal and other issues”.

A spokesperson for Griffith University said it recognised antisemitism as a serious form of discrimination but wouldn’t be adopting the definition.

A spokesperson for James Cook University said it already had policies in place and that suitably addressed “the balance between free speech and vilification”, while the University of Queensland said its overarching policy “clearly states” the expectations of the community to prevent discrimination.

Parliamentary Friends of IHRA has also been critiqued by Boycott Divestment and Sanctions Australia for potentially violating rules which specify Parliamentary friends groups must be “apolitical”.

In a letter of complaint on 22 November, BDSA said of 11 examples in the IHRA working definition illustrating antisemitism in practice, seven related to Israel and political debate around it.

The Zionist Federation of Australia said the group was a “reflection of the importance both sides of politics places on the fight against rising antisemitism”.

“We look forward to working hand-in-hand … as we continue to advocate the adoption of the IHRA by businesses and institutions across Australia,” it said.




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