The rise of “the rise of anti-white racism” in Australia

7 Jul 2021

Luke Pearson eviscerates the groups that would impress upon us that there is 'anti-white' racism and speaks to its origins and the farce that is "the motion."

There has been an increase in anti-white racism in Australia in recent years – sorry, that’s not true because ‘anti-white racism’ isn’t a thing. What I meant to say is that there has been a significant rise in racist white people complaining about anti-white racism, usually as a direct or indirect justification for their own racism. 

So, before we explore where and why this seemingly new and nonsensical dog whistle is taking root in Australia, it might be useful to do a quick refresher on what racism is and isn’t. This will also help to clarify why ‘anti-white racism’ doesn’t exist. 

For a very long time, racism was defined as a belief in biological categories of race where different groups could be seen to have distinct racial traits and, crucially, that these traits created a hierarchy where certain races could be seen to be superior and others inferior. This type of neutral definition ignored that this belief was particularly popular amongst one race in particular or that they used it to justify countless atrocities and amass untold wealth at the expense of every other racial group that they had decided were inferior. 

In more recent years, this definition allowed people to deny claims that the obviously racist things they were saying and doing were not racist simply because they did not personally believe in a biological construction of race or in the superiority of one race over another. 

The most common shift of this was to say that it’s not about race, it’s about culture. 

This shift allowed people to maintain all of the same beliefs and attitudes and justify the same practices of discrimination while denying their racist intent. 

Some are so confident in the cover provided by swapping constructs of biological race for culture that they will happily talk about ‘cultural superiority’ as though it has no relationship to the beliefs, attitudes and practices of racial superiority. 

“Cultures are not all equal. We should be ready to proclaim the clear superiority of our culture to one that justifies killing people in the name of God.” Tony Abbott

In recent years, this definition of racism (that racism is a belief in the biologically defined superiority and inferiority of different races) has been refined to include two important additional contexts and considerations. 

Firstly, that racism also includes ‘behaviour or attitudes that reflect and foster this belief’ – meaning that if you justify and perpetuate racist beliefs, attitudes and practices in others then that is also racism, effectively taking away the “I’m not racist because I don’t believe in biological defined white superiority – I think white people are superior for entirely different reasons” excuse.

The other important inclusion is an acknowledgement that this belief exists outside of being merely an individual problem and has had formative impacts at a societal level over the past few centuries, creating vast differences in systemic power and privilege.

This acknowledgement of societal racism and institutional racism is at the heart of current debates around critical race theory. It also debunks the concept of ‘anti-white racism’ as there is no societal power imbalance skewed against white people. 

The “I’m not racist but” crowd has a huge problem with any consideration that maybe the civil rights era did not eradicate racism from society apart from in the hearts of minds of a few wayward individuals. To do so would acknowledge that we have not swapped white supremacy for meritocracy, that we still have a long way to go in creating justice, eliminating discrimination and vilification and, in the contexts of Indigenous peoples, recognising and respecting our status as sovereign peoples and the specific Indigenous rights that go with that status. 

This leads us back to the ‘rise of anti-white racism’ in Australia. 

Pauline Hanson’s 2018 ‘It’s OK to be white’ motion was aimed at condemning “The deplorable rise of anti-white racism and attacks on Western civilisation”. 

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The motion was narrowly defeated (by only 3 votes) in the Australian senate as the Coalition government voted in support of it. Once people started to become more aware that the slogan has a reasonably long history as part of white supremacist campaigns they denounced their support, claiming it was an ‘administrative error’ basically arguing that modern politics is full of mindless automatons who will vote for whatever they are told to. Presumably this excuse extends to the idea that politicians are merely actors on a stage, improvising lines to unthinkingly support or denounce whatever they are ordered to, since several senators championed their actions online and in various interviews as an important anti-racist action. 

Faux concerns over ‘anti-white racism’ are becoming increasingly frequent in Australia’s racist media circles too, with Andrew Bolt evoking the term in his ongoing campaign against the scourge of Aboriginal people who aren’t Black enough for his liking. I say ‘his ongoing campaign’ but in reality this campaign has been raging since the early 1900s. Andrew alternates his concern between that of wanting resources and opportunities to be reserved for ‘real Aboriginal people’ and wanting to eliminate legislated constructs of race and therefore racism. However, the desire to police the boundaries of when an Aboriginal person should be officially declared white has long been an issue of great importance to white people. 

At a 1937 national ‘Aboriginal Welfare’ conference, ‘Chief Protectors of Aborigines’ from each state and territory, along with various other white experts and government officials,  met to discuss the ‘Aboriginal problem’. Like Andrew, they were greatly concerned with exactly who is and is not Aboriginal. They were also concerned with how the population of ‘full bloods’ and ‘half castes’ could eventually be wiped out, with the latter absorbed into the white population. As Dr Cecil Evelyn Cook, anthropologist, biologist, bacteriologist, chief medical officer and ‘chief protector of Aborigines’ in North Australia, put it, “My view is that unless the black population is speedily absorbed into the white, the process will soon be reversed, and in 50 years, or a little later, the white population of the Northern Territory will be absorbed into the black”.

After a breathtaking amount of the most hard core eugenics racism ever crammed into a single room, they passed a resolution, “That this Conference believes that the destiny of the natives of aboriginal origin, but not of the full blood, lies in their ultimate absorption by the people of the Commonwealth, and it therefore recommends that all efforts be directed to that end”. 

As for the issue of exactly who should or should not be allowed to be a ‘Native’, a conversation took place between L. L. CHAPMAN, Under-Secretary, Victoria, Vice-Chairman of the Board for the Protection of Aborigines, A. O . NEVILLE, Commissioner of Native Affairs, Western Australia, and J. W. BLEAKLEY, Chief Protector of Aboriginals, Queensland. In this convo they discuss who is or is not a ‘Native’ and discuss the exemption certificate process where it can be determined that someone is or is not Aboriginal for the purpose of legislation. (I am including the convo in full at the bottom of this article because it is well worth the extra 90 seconds of your time). 

In 2021 however, it seems Andrew is keen to declare himself our chief protector and become the arbiter of who should be made exempt from their Aboriginality. To deny him this right I can only assume is a prime example of the sort of ‘anti-white racism’ that is becoming rife across our country.

The idea of ‘anti-white racism’ itself has a long history in white supremacist troll circles and is designed to capitalise on the resentment that has been aimed at policies and practices that have arised since the civil rights era – drawing false comparisons between the ‘whites only’ signs on places of business, essential servies, public amenities, and educational institutions with ‘affirmative action’ practices designed to create opportunities that did not magically appear the moment those signs were removed. Losing the right to enforce overtly racist policies and practices and maintain strict racial hegemony is at the core of fear of ‘reverse racism’ and ‘anti-white racism’ – both terms that speak to the clear understanding that racism was designed to benefit white people exclusively. 

“It’s OK to be white” is a perfect example of how racist trolls attempt to create the illusion of anti-white racism. When known white supremacists say “It’s OK to be white” they are arguing that somehow it is not OK to be white, completely ignoring the systemic discrimination that has long served whiteness at the expense of everyone else. When someone calls them out on this they pretend that objecting to the phrase “It’s OK to be white” is proof that it is not OK to be white, and thus it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, in appearance at least, and anti-white racism is born.

Pauline Hanson made exactly this argument before she put forward her motion, saying: “If we cannot agree on this, I think it’s safe to say anti-white racism is well and truly rife in our society”. 

It is an effort to co-opt the language of the oppressed with all the finesse and sophistication of children playing dress up and pretending to be doctors.

The ‘All Lives Matter’ movement uses the same tactic to pretend that Black Lives Matter is a ‘Black supremacist’/anti-white sentiment and that ‘All Lives Matter’ is an anti-racist/pro-equality slogan. 

This framing is essential to the “Anti-racist is a code word for anti-white” crowd. 

Is the status quo in society one of racism or is it one of equality? 

If the current status quo is that racism no longer exists (and that it was never that bad to begin with), then attempts to eradicate racism can be framed as attempts to discriminate against white people.

This is also at the heart of the rejection of Critical Race Theory. 

So, where does the phrase ‘anti-racism is code for anti-white’ come from? 

It originates from a 221 word racist ‘essay’ of what white supremacists call the ‘mantra’.

The basic idea is that multiculturalism and immigration amounts to a concerted attempt to eradicate white people, more commonly referred to as ‘White Genocide’. This is their other slogan – ‘Diversity is code for white genocide’. This framing allows white supremacists to claim hero status, fighting to protect the white race, and avoid the obvious reality that they are the villains of the story. 

Are we the baddies

In completely unrelated news, Andrew Bolt opposes multiculturalism. Most recently he attempted to blame the spread of the coronavirus in Melbourne on multiculturalism because of course he did. He was found to be in breach of the Press Code for this on two points, ‘ensuring that factual material is balanced and fair’ and ‘not causing substantial offence, distress or prejudice’. 

I’m sure both Bolt and Hanson would find these comparisons unfavourable, and would ardently deny any connection between their views and those of overt white supremacists. If we look back to the amended definition of racism though which considers ‘behaviour or attitudes that reflect and foster this belief’ to also be racist then it’s not hard to see that even though Bolt and Hanson would deny they are on the same side of white supremacists, many white supremacists on the other hand see themselves as kindred spirits. 

Bob Whittaker, the author of ‘the mantra’, who passed away in 2017 was, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Hatewatch, ‘a former economics professor and Reagan appointee to the Office of Personnel Management’ who had a lifelong opposition to civil rights and desegregation, and who also had a very high opinion of himself, writing in 2014 “I AM a genius. I was born with one hell of a brain, and I scare our enemies because I am so smart I can laugh them to shame. I am at so high a level that a PhD or a big-time news anchor doesn’t mean a thing to me”.

Of course, he did not invent the idea of white people being swept away by invading hordes, being breed out by miscegenation, or being outnumbered or overrun through immigration. Most of those fears were also discussed in that same 1937 conference I mentioned earlier (you really should read the whole thing – it’s fucking hectic). These ideas weren’t invented then either though. The Great Replacement Theory, White Genocide, whatever you want to call it, is a longstanding white fear which I have previously called ‘invasionkarmaphobia’ – a phobia unique to white people whereby they are terrified of having what they have done countless times to others done to them. In true white people fashion, this fear often manifests itself in popular culture as alien invasions (because the only way they can imagine themselves being invaded by ‘superior’ beings is if those beings come from another planet) and in zombies (hordes of unthinking, unrelenting barbaric savages who cannot be bought or bargained with and want for nothing more than death and destruction).

Just because white people couldn't do it, doesn't mean it was aliens

So while Bob Whittaker did nothing more than find yet one more way of articulating this great white fear, his legacy was summed up on the cartoonishly racist Nazi website ‘Stormfront’ where one member wrote “Perhaps his most important, and most lasting, legacy is that his incessant promotion of the term ‘anti-white’ is now slowly but surely going mainstream … A very important corner to turn indeed, as it is the rebuttal of the accusation of racist”.

The proponents of ‘the mantra’ may be relatively small in number but have a history of being aggressively and incessantly active online, appearing in droves to troll individuals and flood timelines and comment sections with slogans and memes designed to paint white people as the innocent victims of this ‘new racism’ – a racism designed by the unrelenting anti-white cabal who are trying to commit genocide by multiculturalism against them.

So, wittingly or unwittingly, politicians like Pauline Hanson and blogists like Andrew Bolt are continuing the work of white supremacists like Bob Whitaker by seeking to validate the idea of ‘anti-white racism’ and sow that fear amongst white Australia. A fear that, if people try to learn more about it by taking to the internet and typing in the words ‘anti-white racism,’ will very quickly take people down the sort of white rabbit holes that have radicalised violent white supremacists in the past with devastating results. They sow the wind, confident in the belief that they will be safe from whatever whirlwinds they cultivate.

And while the slogan ‘anti-racist = anti-white’ was designed as part of a war against multiculturalism and immigration in an era where ‘islamic terror’ and ‘illegal immigrants’ were key media and government targets, the broader purpose that it become a ‘rebuttal of the accusation of racist’, means it can readily be used against any conversations that arouses white fear, be it immigration, assimilation, or Indigenous rights and sovereignty – by reframing them as an attack on white people’s rights and freedoms; most significantly, the right of white people to be the dominant group. 

Labor’s Joel Fitzgibbon recently said that “We need to tackle discrimination, racism, and bigotry and all those terrible ills but not in a way which threatens the rights of those, the overwhelming majority, who do the right thing every day” implying that an inherent risk in combatting racism is that it might take away white people’s rights in the process. Not to mention that he simultaneously claimed that racism is an individual bad apple issue and that ‘white people’ is synonymous with ‘hard working’. 

But what rights are white people at risk of losing? The most obvious answer lies in George Brandis’ infamous ‘People do have a right to be bigots” comment which he blurted out in defence of the government agenda of the day to remove 18C from the Racial Discrimination Act – the provision that had gotten Bolt in trouble when he was, as the judge said at the time, “at worst, dishonest and misleading and at best, grossly careless” in publishing factually inaccurate and misleading information in his attempts to racially vilify a number of fair skinned Indigenous people. 

Framing racism and bigotry as a ‘right’ of white people (even under the guise of free speech) and framing the rights of everyone else as a zero-sum game whereby the only way to eliminate racism is to take rights away from white people is conditioning white people to be scared not just of multiculturalism and immigration, but of Indigenous sovereignty and the rights that are inherent to Indigenous peoples. 

Inciting fear of ‘anti-white racism’ validates white supremacy while disenfranchising everyone else, which is the point of white supremacy in the first place.

So, from a ranting white supremacist ‘mantra’, to white supremacist trolls on sites like 4-Chan and Stormfront, to headlines in national newspapers and narrowly defeated motions in the Australian Senate, the rise of ‘the rise of anti-white racism’ seems likely to continue to rise further before it falls. 


NB: As promised, the ‘Definition of Native’ conversation from the 1937 Aboriginal Welfare conference: 

Mr. CHAPMAN.—I think it is desirable that the Conference should agree upon a suggested definition of “natives”. 

Mr. NEVILLE.— In the West Australian Act, the position is set forth very clearly. One section states that — There shall be a department under the Minister to be called the Department of Native Affairs, and to be charged with the duty of promoting the welfare of the natives, providing them with food, clothing, medicine, and medical attendance, when they would otherwise be destitute, providing for the education of native children and generally assisting in the preservation and well-being of the natives. Another section defines ” native ” as follows :— ” Native ” means— (a) any person of full-blood descended from the original inhabitants of Australia; (6) subject to the exceptions stated in this definition any person of less than full-blood who is descended from the original inhabitants of Australia or from their full-blood descendants, excepting, however, any person who is— (1) a quadroon under 21 years of age who neither associates with or lives substantially after the manner of the class of persons mentioned in paragraph (a) in this definition unless such quadroon is ordered by a magistrate to be classified as a native under this act; (2) a quadroon over 21 years of age, unless that person is by order of a magistrate ordered to be classed as a native under this act, or requests that he be classed as a native under this act; and (3) a person of less than quadroon blood who was born prior to the 31st day of December, 1936, unless such person expressly applies to be brought under this act and the Minister consents . . . 

Mr. McLEAN.—Even after five or six generations, the progeny of the continued marriages of half-castes will still be half-castes. 

Mr. NEVILLE.— Yes. But there is provision to exempt them from the act. All cases are judged on their merits. The provision covering such cases is as follows:— The Minister may issue to any native who, in his opinion, ought not to be subject to this act, a certificate in writing under his hand that such native is exempt from the provisions of this act, and from and after the issue of such certificate such native shall be so exempt accordingly: But any such certificate may be revoked at any time by the Minister, and thereupon this act shall apply to such native as if no such certificate had been issued. Provided that any native who is aggrieved on account of the refusal by the Minister to grant such certificate or of the revocation by the Minister of his certificate under this section may appeal to a magistrate in the magisterial district in which he resides. The magistrate may make such order regarding the issue or revocation of the certificate as in his opinion the justice of the case requires, and such order shall be given effect by the Minister. Such appeal shall be in accordance with the regulations, which may prescribe the time for appealing and the procedure to be followed. 

Mr. BLEAKLEY.— The Queensland law extends a similar privilege to half-castes, but not to full-blooded aborigines. Western Australia is also ahead of Queensland in that it makes provision for appeal against the Minister’s decision. 

Mr. NEVILLE.— In Western Australia, the Minister exercises the prerogative of the Crown and can act contrary to the opinion of the department. He has the power to withdraw the privilege, if it is abused, and has done so. 

Resolved—• That the definition of “native” in any uniform legislation adopted by other States or the Commonwealth, be based on the definition contained in the Native Administration Act, 1905-1930 of the State of Western Australia.

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