I watched the first episode of the show Dumb, Drunk and Racist the other night. It was entertaining, but I don't think it shed any light on the question it purportedly sought to answer: Are we really dumb, drunk and racist?
Well, who's this "we" that host Joe Hildebrand kept talking about? Hell, there are over 22 million individuals, and numerous cultural, racial and religious groups in Australia ... Or was he talking about the country's official government policy?
Obviously, there are many racist individuals, and even some overtly racist groups here. While many of these people are white -- that is, of Anglo-Celtic or Western European descent -- many are not. (I know that PC lefties find this impossible to comprehend, since they can't see non-whites as fully human individuals in their own right and so believe they are incapable of racism -- a patronizing attitude that is a kind of racism in itself.) But these white bigots, while quite numerous, are surely very much in the minority.
Sure, the Australian government was officially and overtly racist when it had the White Australia policy. But it's certainly not officially and overtly racist now -- although there are some elements of politically correct racism (you know, the compassionate, well meaning kind) that have exacerbated racial tensions, or even created some that didn't already exist.
The whole idea of taking four Indians to a racially and culturally diverse country where many thousands of their countrymen are already living, working and studying seems utterly pointless. I mean, obviously it's not a racist country, because if it were, they wouldn't have been let in in the first place, right? Or if the people here were overwhelmingly bigoted against Indians most, if not all, of them would have quickly found it intolerable and buggered off, wouldn't they?
I know the reason the show's producers chose Indians who haven't been here before was because they wanted to test the very negative stereotype of Australians currently being widely promoted in that country. But surely it would have been equally valid to just ask some Indians who lived here already if all the outrage back home was justified.
Well, there'd be no journey, no confrontation, no drama, no "colour and movement" then. You have to have people cussin' an' fightin' for it to be good TV, don't you?
And there certainly was quite a bit of that. Firstly, there was the clear, vile racism of people abusing Indian call centre workers. That was the classic white racism that people normally associate with the term. Sadly, there's plenty of that here, but I have no doubt that most white Aussies are appalled and disgusted by it.
Then there was the clear, vile racism of the Muslim passerby who was outraged by the "Say No to Burqas" mural in Newtown.
Watch that scene closely. It's fascinating. If my memory serves correctly the Muslim guy calls the mural's creator, Sergio Redegalli a "wop, dago c**t". He also calls one of the Indians Sergio's "little lap dog", something that understandably riles the visitor.
Of course, hand-wringing lefties will ignore all of that and say that the mural's creator was the real racist. Well, if you believe that, you're conflating race and religion. Cloth is not skin, remember.
And it's a lay down misere that the sneering hipsters with the most frothing foam in their mouths about that mural will be just the kind of people who gleefully applaud the provocative trashing of Christian religious symbols such as crucifixes and nun's habits. But with so many Christians across the globe being non-white (perhaps even the majority?) then by their own logic that would be racist too, wouldn't it?
Er, no. Lefties are special, see.
But back to Redegalli: Yes, there may be some submerged racism in his motivations for creating such a mural. But it's clearly not the main driver. If he had a big time bug up his ass about Middle Eastern people then the mural would read something like "Bugger off Arabs!" right? Hell, he's gonna be accused of racism either way, so why wouldn't he just say what he truly believes?
Nope. Redegalli is being disingenuous when he says he doesn't want to provoke people -- and he's certainly religiously intolerant. But his mural is not racist in itself.
This outrage about "anti-Muslim racism" (a nonsensical term if ever there was one) says more about the fulminator's own prejudices than anyone else's. Classic case of projection, I reckon.
Hilderbrand's own reaction was revealing too. When the artist gave security reasons for condemning the burqa after originally citing freedom of speech issues the host accused him of being inconsistent and confused.
Eh? So you're only allowed to have one reason for creating political art now?
Then when Sergio drives his car -- emblazoned with anti-Muslim slogans -- through Lakemba and doesn't get any reaction Hildebrand says of the Lakemba locals: "Seems like they're more tolerant than you are."
But hang on. Hilderbrand himself was right there when a Muslim passerby chucked a tanty over the mural. And it's an established fact that it has been defaced scores of times.
The host then contradicted himself again by farewelling the artist with a handshake and the words: "You're a brave man."
That said it all for me. That episode revealed more about the doco makers' fear of offending Islam than it did about whether "we" (whoever the hell that means) are dumb, drunk and racist.
Wonder what the next episode will reveal? I'll be keen to find out.