Tag Archives: islamophobia

Media Statement on Christchurch

Program Tackles Far Right Extremism in NSW to Prevent Violence and Support Communities

All Together Now is shocked but not surprised about the far-right terrorist attack on two mosques in Christchurch on 15 March 2019.

Our thoughts are with the victims of the attack and their loved ones. We stand in solidarity with our Muslim brothers and sisters across Australia and Aotearoa.

We have been condemning racist and Islamophobic rhetoric from our country’s leaders — and the media that feeds and amplifies it — since our organisation’s inception. Racism is both deeply engrained and ignored in Australia.

All Together Now has been working since 2012 to specifically undermine far-right extremism, white supremacy and white nationalism in Australia.

While in 2016 CAPE received funding from Multicultural NSW, previously CAPE was largely run on a volunteer basis by All Together Now.

CAPE is one of the projects funded under the Multicultural NSW COMPACT program, which aims to inspire and empower young people to stand united against extremist hate, fear, violence and division.

CAPE focuses on increasing community awareness about far-right extremism.

Under the COMPACT program, CAPE currently provides training to frontline workers in NSW, specifically youth workers and social workers who work with young people who are at risk of being recruited by far-right extremist groups, both online and offline.

The CAPE training aims to enhance the capacity of frontline workers to recognise the full spectrum of far-right extremism in Australia, identify the worrying signs and respond to young people at risk of recruitment.

Since mid-2016, we have also reached out to young people at risk themselves, employing evidence-based approaches aimed at enhancing their critical thinking skills about race and racism and their ability to resist weaponised narratives of the far-right, in particular online.

Background

All Together Now will not be responding to further media enquiries about CAPE at this time because we want to centre and amplify the voices of victims and their families and Muslim communities everywhere, as well as to protect the safety and security of the staff and volunteers who work at All Together Now.

Who Watches The Media?

New research conducted by All Together Now and University of Technology Sydney has found that 62 opinion based reports potentially breached at least one of the media Codes of Conduct due to racism. 

The full research findings are available at alltogethernow.org.au/media-monitoring.

Priscilla Brice, the Managing Director of not-for-profit organisation All Together Now said, “Among the publications we tracked during this six-month study, negative portrayals of race were most frequently published on News Corp’s online newspapers Daily Telegraph, The Australian and Herald-Sun.”

The research conducted between January to July this year, found that Muslims were mentioned in more than half of the opinion pieces, and more than twice as many times as any other single group mentioned. Of these, 63% of reports about Muslims were framed negatively.

“Anecdotally, we know that negative portrayals of Muslims in the media is having adverse effects in communities, with Muslim families (and particularly women wearing hijab or other head coverings) being victimised. All Together Now’s research provides data to show that of the highest-rated news outlets, News Corp is the primary perpetrator. News Corp has a lot of work to do to improve their editorial policies to ensure their journalists don’t target people based on their race, nationality, religion or other cultural attributes.”

The study focused on opinion-based articles published by the four most-watched current affairs TV programs, and the four most-read newspapers nationally, as determined by ratings agencies.

Currently, under some media regulations, audiences have only thirty days in which to make a complaint. The research report recommends that this deadline be removed to allow audiences to make complaints about racist media content at any time, and for the definition of racism be broadened in the Codes of Conduct to include covert forms of racism.

It also recommends that news agencies support journalists to discuss race sensitively. They can do this by providing training, recruiting more journalists of colour, and ensuring that their editorial policies are racially aware.

The full research findings are available at alltogethernow.org.au/media-monitoring.

10 signs of casual racism

While everyone is quick to recognise overt racism when we see it—we share it on social media and read about it in the news—many of us overlook a subtle form of racism that’s often disguised as a joke, stereotype or subconscious decision we make. Here are 10 signs you might have inadvertently done something ‘casually’ racist:

1. You start a sentence with “I’m not racist but…”

Prefacing a potentially racist statement with “I’m not racist but” doesn’t make it less offensive. So next time you feel the need to start a sentence this way, remember: it’s unlikely anything good will follow those four words…

2. “I’m not a racist. I have black friends.”

Having friends from an ethnic minority background does not give you permission to make racist comments. What might be acceptable to your close friends, may be offensive to someone outside of your trusted circle.

3. “You speak so well for an Asian.”

While you genuinely think you’re giving someone a compliment, what you’re also saying is that Asian people (or other ethnicities) have an inferior grasp of English. And even as Australia continues to welcome new migrants into our society, the fact is many people of Asian backgrounds are Australians who were born or raised here.

4. “Yes but where are you really from.”

This innocent question stems out of curiosity, but also implies that people who don’t have white skin or an Australian accent can’t call Australia home or couldn’t possibly have grown up here. As a multicultural society, it’s important to respect every resident’s right to call Australia home. We suggest asking the less derisive question: What’s your cultural heritage or background?

5. You get nervous around Muslims or Hindus on airplanes.

Racial profiling happens every day and it’s not just by law enforcement officers or airport security staff; many regular Australians also hold prejudices towards people of certain cultural or religious identities. What you may call a ‘harmless stereotype’ often impacts the daily lives of entire groups of people.

6. You cross the road to avoid people of a certain race.

See number 5.

7. You don’t see color, just the human race.

While it may come from a well-intended place, this form of ‘colourblind racism’ dismisses society’s history of racism, system of white privilege, and the everyday experiences that people still face because of racism. Even if you can ignore skin colour, society does not.

8. You are more offended by “reverse-racism.”

Some white people get upset by what they call “reverse racism”. They believe white people are adversely affected by policies designed to help minority groups in society. If reverse-racism gets you upset and defensive, this educational video might help reverse the situation…

9. When someone’s offended, you tell them to “take a joke.”

With Australia’s laidback culture, it’s easy to dismiss those offended as uptight people who ‘can’t take a joke’. Instead, try to see it from their point of view or learn about their experiences. Remember: we don’t have the right to choose who gets offended by our jokes. Impact is more important than intent.

10. Avoiding somebody because of their race, nationality or ethnicity.

This is the subtlest form of casual racism but it can be as hurtful as calling people racist names. Avoiding somebody can make them feel as if they don’t belong in Australia.

What Exactly Is Casual Racism?

Casual racism is racially-insensitive behaviour that often goes unnoticed in everyday interactions. It’s often hard to spot, because casual racism is so commonplace and normalised that it sometimes forms part of our daily lives.

Casual racism can include jokes or statements that highlight (in a negative way) cultural differences such as physical appearance, cultural practices or accents. It can also be expressed through beliefs, prejudices or behaviours that we sometimes don’t realise we exhibit. To learn more, read Explainer: what is casual racism– a piece written by our academic partners Jacqueline Nelson from the University of Western Sydney and Jessica Walton from Deakin University.

How It Affects People

Casual racism is more than a ‘harmless joke’ or comment. It often leads to subconscious discrimination, marginalises those who stand up and ultimately helps real racists in our community validate their views. By normalising racial stereotypes in society, we also help to perpetuate the next generation of schoolyard and office bullies.
This evocative video, made by anti-depression organisation Beyond Blue, explains how casual racism can also affect people’s health.

Also Read: What is White supremacy and how do white supremacist groups operate in our community?

How Can You Help?

Empathise – Whatever your race, showing empathy is a good place to start. This means listening to people affected by racism, hearing about their everyday struggles, and understanding the effects of privilege. To put yourself in the shoes of someone experiencing racism, try our Everyday Racism app.

Speak up – Discover ways you can safely speak up against racism.

Keep the conversation going – One of the best ways to make casual racism more visible is to talk openly about it. We encourage you to share your experiences at work, in social situations and on social media. By speaking up together, we can work towards making casual racism unacceptable in our everyday lives. What do you think? Share your thoughts on our Facebook page.