Friday, September 01, 2023

Racism in Australian workplaces

The guff below is mostly misattribution. There are people of Chinese origin frequently to be found in almost all Australian workplaces -- from medical specialists to waitresses. How did they get there? There were clearly no racial barrier for them. They did what was needed to get the job and succeeded.

What is sytematically ignored below is that there are many NON-RACIAL barriers to certain jobs. A poor command of English is the obvious one. A person with poor English may fail to get a job because of difficulties in communicating with them. But another person of the same race with good English will get the job. It is commumnication difficulties that are being avoided, not the person's race

Similarly, overseas qualifications may be looked at askance because qualifications from the country concerned may be of unknown quality. Qualifications from India and Africa may be doubted because comparability with Australian qualifications is doubtful. A person from such countries may be rejected not because of their race but because of realistic doubts about the standard of their qualifications. It's not racism. It is realistic caution.

The pharmacy I go to is almost entirely staffed by people of Asian origin -- including a very black South Indian -- so you would have a hard job convincing me that their race held them back. They do their jobs well

The point of the whine below is to ask for racial discrimination. They argue that a person with sub-par qualifications should be given a job because of their race. Surely we all have every right to reject racial discrimination. It is almost always a call to treat someone else unfairly

Before lawyer Molina Asthana had begun working at an Australian law firm, she was being prepared for the problems she'd encounter there.

Recruiters regularly encouraged Ms Asthana, who is Asian-Australian, to apply for smaller firms, even though she already had years of experience and was highly qualified.

An acquaintance even made a point of telling her about doctors who've migrated to Australia who went on to drive buses.

"That's the first time I faced racism," Ms Asthana says.

The experience instilled a significant level of self-doubt in her.

When Ms Asthana did get a job at a top tier Australian law firm, she was one of only a few people of colour, and she often felt marginalised.

She says other employees had "studied at the same private schools, watched the same TV shows [and] barracked for the same AFL teams, which I didn't really follow". "I was constantly feeling isolated."

Working there took a toll on Ms Asthana's mental health and, after a year and a half in the job, she started suffering anxiety.

But Ms Asthana's story could have been entirely different.

However, she says we are slowly "gathering the data on what racism looks like in the workplace".

And it's important to understand that "even if we're not racist … our practices in our organisations might be".

"People immediately think anti-racism is about me not being a racist, an individualist attitude [or] prejudice that we can train out of people," Dr Fernando says.

She says it's much broader than that. Being anti-racist means addressing racism in "your practices, your procedures, your policies, the way you do things, how you put your communications out to the world".

"Race is about exploitation. Race is about putting somebody down. Race is about creating those ladders of upper and lower. It's an active thing."

'We lack the language'

Better understanding the power of race and the impact of being racialised requires gaining "racial literacy", Dr Fernando says. "Race is not taught. We don't get taught to understand race the way we got taught maths or we get taught about civics."

Consequently, she says "we don't have the words [to] actually talk about it. So [the conversation] is silenced. "We lack the language, we lack the critical thinking."

Dr Fernando says race education needs to be taught, and workplaces are an excellent place to do it.


The astonishingly woke Australian Academy of Science

Peter Ridd

The Australian Academy of Science (AAS) recently released a report Reef Futures Roundtable, which is ostensibly about the doomed Great Barrier Reef. However, the report only demonstrates that the AAS, Australia’s peak science body, has become not just unscientific, but anti-scientific. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it has also become astonishingly Woke.

The AAS report predictably concluded that the Great Barrier Reef could already be ‘irreversibly’ damaged. The fact that UNESCO has just declared it not endangered did not rate a mention, and neither did the latest two years of statistics showing the reef is at record high coral levels. Remarkably, the report does not contain a single fact or figure to support any of its claims about the reef – except the area of the reef is 340,000 square kilometres. There are no figures, no percentages. Nowhere does it mention that coral grows 30 per cent faster for every degree increase in water temperatures. Or that there is 100 per cent more coral on the reef today than in 2012. Or that just 1 per cent of the reef has the potential to be impacted by farm sediment, fertiliser or pesticides, even in the slightest way. Or that the sea level has fallen by 1 metre in the last 5,000 years.

The problem with this completely unanalytical approach is seen in the ‘interventions’ it recommends to fix the reef. Their impracticality is breathtaking. For example, it suggests ‘solar radiation management’ – shading the reef from the sun with man-made fog and clouds to prevent the water heating up and causing coral bleaching. The only number cited in the entire report – the area of the reef, which is as big as Germany – should have given them a hint that this is crazy. How are you going to make a cloud as big as Germany and keep it anchored over the reef for the whole summer over the next few hundred years? And you will also have to stop hot water flowing into the reef from the Coral Sea at the same time. That would require a dam 2,000 kilometres long and 100 metres high.

While a simple calculation is all that is required to reveal the absurdity of this idea, modern science is full of people who are almost completely non-quantitative and, as such, impractical and virtually useless as scientists.

Next there is rubble stabilisation. The supposed experts worry that the Great Barrier Reef will break up from climate change. Each of the 3,000 reefs is an almost solid lump of calcium carbonate rock (fragments of coral glued together over eons) a few kilometres wide and 100 metres high. How this is going to be broken up by some climate change magic is unexplained. But even if that were to happen, are they seriously suggesting we can wire it back together with steel reinforcing and concrete? Just do the calculation on how much concrete and steel this would entail.

The unscientific nature of the AAS report is largely a result of its anti-scientific approach. The report is actually a parody of wokeness and romantic mythology. This starts with the way the roundtable committees of ‘experts’, whom they questioned about the reef, were formed. Each roundtable had two chairs, a non-Indigenous chair, and a specially selected Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander chair. The romantic mythology about the special knowledge of any person with Indigenous heritage pervades the entire document, and starts in the foreword by the head of the AAS.

As the Academy approached the task of planning this project it became immediately obvious that there was no separating nature and culture when it comes to the GBR. Land and sea cannot be separated. No priority can be selected on an ecological basis alone. Having a Traditional Knowledges co-Chair in each roundtable allowed for different sources of knowledge to be shared and to form a basis for a number of the observations featured in this report.

Having a diversity of ideas and scientific thought would have gone some of the way to curing the AAS of the groupthink which renders its report risible. And the views and experience of people from the coral islands of the Torres Straits and northern Great Barrier Reef could have been used to great effect. These people tend to be deeply practical about the reef – like almost all seafaring people who live and work on the reef. And practical people know you cannot bolt the reef, which is the size of Germany, down to the seafloor. But selecting people for their ‘roundtables’ on the basis of their ethnicity rather than their scientific or real-world experience is a fundamentally anti-scientific approach.

But it gets worse. The dearth of statistics about the reef are made up for by an abundance of data on the gender identification of all those who participated in the ‘roundtables’. There is also the Indigenous percentage. And not just of those who participated, but also of those who were invited to participate but did not. One could quibble and point out that those claiming to be male or female added up to exactly 100 per cent in all categories, indicating a terrifying lack of diversity on the LGBQTI+++ spectrum. But there is no question, on the important matters for the Woke brigade, that this report is brimming with instructive statistics.

The AAS ascribes such importance to facts and figures on gender and race, but not to scientific facts. This demonstrates it is anti-science. Science is about evidence and logic. It does not matter whether one is male or female or whatever else, it is still impossible to make clouds as big as Germany for the next hundred years. That is called a fact, and facts do not vary with race, gender, or any ideology.

I have been saying for some time that many of our science institutions have become totally untrustworthy. By its wilful abandonment of quantitative analysis, the AAS has destroyed its reputation as a source of useful scientific advice. The media loves a bad news story – they should focus on what has happened to a once-esteemed organisation.

The Australian Academy of Science is now a joke.


Children made to write apology letters in school to Aboriginal Australians 'for taking their land'

Children as young as 10 are being made to write letters in school apologising to Indigenous Australians for 'taking their land', pictures reveal.

The images taken by a parent were sent to One Nation Senator Pauline Hanson, who posted them online on Thursday evening.

The letters, written by primary school children, were put together on pieces of paper shaped in the form of a megaphone with words referencing the nation's colonial past.

'We are sorry for everything that we have done,' one letter reads.

Another said: 'We are sorry to Aboriginals. We took your land and we have now we feel sad of what we have done.'

'Aboriginal people should have many more rights and should be treated nicely they should be also be a aboriginal voice to parliament [sic]'.

Senator Hanson said teachers should 'hang their heads in shame' for psychologically burdening children with historical guilt.

'Under no circumstances should innocent children bear the guilt of historical events, especially events that occurred long before they were even conceived. 'This is not education; it's emotional manipulation,' she argued.

'What legacy are we leaving for future generations if we instil in them a sense of guilt and shame for things they had no part in?

'Rather than moving toward unity and social harmony, we are planting seeds for further discord and division.'

It comes after a mother on Thursday revealed how her daughter was told by teachers at her school to 'go home and influence your parents to vote Yes' for the Indigenous Voice to Parliament.

The Australian mum named Julie told 2GB's Ben Fordham on Thursday that another of her daughters - she has two in a Catholic high school - was also upset that she had a political agenda pushed on her while she was at school trying to learn.

'I've got two children; one in middle high school, the other in senior. They are two strong young women, and I'm very proud of them,' Julie said.

Julie said while the directive to speak about the Voice would have been 'from the top down' and she did not blame teachers, she felt insulted her children were being used as a campaigning tool.

'My daughter at senior level had a retreat day where two prominent staff members spoke to them about the Voice for about 10 or 15 minutes,' she said.

'They were talking about the misinformation on social media and with the No campaign and how it's really important we say Yes.

'They said go home and influence your parents and older siblings who can vote to vote Yes.'


Indigenous Voice to Parliament: Pat Anderson says advisory body will 'share power' with parliament - and putting it in the constitution means lawmakers will be 'forced to listen' to their demands

One of the architects of the Indigenous Voice to Parliament has been called out for claiming the advisory body that would follow a successful 'Yes' vote would 'share power with parliament'.

The claims about the real power of the Voice are made in an interview between humans rights advocate Pat Anderson and Search Foundation's Luke Whitington.

The video reemerged on Thursday when it was posted to Twitter by One Nation leader Pauline Hanson.

In the interview in June 2022, Ms Anderson says there had been a lack of progress on Indigenous issues 'since the first boats' brought settlers to Australia on January 26th, 1788.

'That's why we have to have the Voice, to manage and be in control, so we can practice real self-determination,' she said.

'And this time we'll have ... the authority and power, sharing power with the parliament of the day.'

She also dismissed claims the Voice will only be an 'advisory body' saying placing it in the constitution means lawmakers will be 'forced' to listen to their demands.

'Are we going to sit back and wait for them to ask us (what we are concerned about) ? Of course we aren't! We are going to say, these are our issues, these are our priorities, this is what needs to happen now.

Ms Anderson was then asked about the Voice being the first step in a sequence.

A Voice to Parliament is just one part of the Uluru Statement from the Heart - which was established in 2017.

If Australians vote to enshrine the Indigenous advisory Voice into the constitution at a referendum later this year, then a special commission known by the Aboriginal word 'Makarrata' is the next step.

The Makarrata Commission would seek a treaty between the federal Government and the First Nations community.

Ms Anderson said 'somebody has to take charge of the Makarrata' and that the Makarrata 'and the truth' went together.

But she said while a Makarrata could be set up any time, without the Voice in the Constitution it could be done away with by the government.

'We need the authority that we'll get from the Constitution to have our own Voice, so we can then do the next bit ...

'That's the whole point of putting it in the Constitution. They are forced to listen to us, forced to include us.'

Ms Anderson said if the referendum passes, 'We (Indigenous people) want to work out its role and function so we can manage the business of the Voice and also setting up Makarrata and going to treaty.'

'We want to head up the conversation,' she said.

'The activist acknowledged that many Indigenous people are annoyed by the use of the word advisory.

'I know why they're saying that, because (it can mean) they don't have to listen to you at all.

'But once it's in the Constitution ... they are duty bound by the law to listen to us. We're not going to sit back and ... wait for them to ask us.

'Of course we aren't. We're going to say 'These are our issues, these are our priorities, this is what needs to happen now'.'

She said passing the referendum, which will be held on October 14, would mean Indigenous Australians will no longer have to wait to be invited to contribute to decision making at government level.

'We will be there at the beginning and the end of every decision and all of the policies that affect us.

'So, gone are the days of the nation state sitting at our kitchen table, with their legs under the table, their interfering and intruding into all aspects of our lives.

'Those days are now over,' she said.

Ms Hanson also had a message for the Prime Minister, writing that 'Anthony Albanese told Ally Langdon on @ACurrentAffair9 that #VoiceToParliament was 'just an advisory body'.'

She said Ms Anderson's interview proved this is not the case, 'Yet Albanese claims the Voice is only a powerless 'advisory body'.'




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