Intolerance mapped

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Last updated on July 27th, 2017 at 02:36 pm

The SMH publishes a map of Sydney racism:

Residents of Mosman and Woollahra have joined those in the Sutherland Shire as among the Sydney people least tolerant of cultural diversity and multicultural values, a map of the city’s racial attitudes reveals …

The survey is part of work by Associate Professor Jim Forrest, of Macquarie University; Kevin Dunn, of the University of NSW; and others, from which Professor Forrest has produced the map.

Here it is; the chilling map itself. Naturally, according to Professor Forrest, “the least accepting groups were in outer suburbs where populations are mostly solidly Anglo.” So let’s look at the means by which this damning socio-cartography was produced:

In the survey on racial attitudes, residents were asked to respond to two statements: 1) It is a good thing for society to be made up of different cultures. 2) Australia is weakened by different ethnicities sticking to their old ways.

A little simplistic, don’t you think? After all, would the people who agreed with the first statement also agree that, say, white supremacists (a different culture) added to society’s goodness? Would the tolerant Green voters of inner Sydney welcome to their suburbs differently-cultured fundamentalist Christians? Would a culture of difference indicated by female circumcision be a good thing?

As for the second statement (which one must reject to signify tolerance) what of the “old ways” represented by opposition to female employment? Or homosexuality? What if the ethnicity sticking to its old ways happens to be Anglo-Saxon? Speaking of old ways, the survey upon which the SMH’s story is based seems to have been completed in 2001:

Responses to other statements by 5056 people in Queensland and NSW immediately after the September 11 attacks showed 12 per cent held beliefs akin to racial supremacy.

More details about the original survey here. The only new element to the SMH’s front-page lead might be the map. Which would mean the SMH headline (“After the riots: city’s map of racism”) isn’t exactly honest; the data for that map was collected more than four years before the riots.

Editors with a little tabloid finesse may have been able to sneak this bunch of crap past sleepy Boxing Day readers. The SMH, as usual, can’t fool anybody, any time. Oh, and there’s this sidebar piece on a multicultural festival:

At about 2.30pm, said Jamal Daoud, a Blacktown community worker who thought up the festival as a gesture of reconciliation, about 10 “Anglos” gathered near his group in a menacing way. “One of them said something racist but we could not quite make it out.”

But he knew it was racist! Possibly the speaker was someone from a different culture, bitterly sticking to his old ways.

(Compiled with massive assistance from J.F. Beck)

Posted by Tim B. on 12/25/2005 at 01:24 PM
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