ONTD Political

I guess nobody told her the Australian PM is a woman and an atheist

10:20 am - 11/08/2012
It must be quite a shock for Julia Gillard to find that President Barack Obama's re-election somehow transformed her into Australia's male, Christian president who "actually supports what he says".

Confused? So was Kristen Neel, a teenager from Georgia, who gained Twitter infamy in Australia in a matter of hours on Wednesday evening.

After news President Obama won four more years, the 18-year-old tweeted: "I'm moving to Australia, because their president is a Christian and actually supports what he says."

She has since deleted her Twitter account, but search tool Topsy showed she was retweeted over 1500 times.

Before she went offline, Ms Neel tried to explain.

"I was referring to the prevous (sic) office that actually had a moral position," she wrote.

Australian political and media observers didn't take long to pounce, sending out numerous tweets.

koken23 8th-Nov-2012 12:56 pm (UTC)
Not so homogenous as all that. Australian media is so white it glows in the dark, and doubtless this skews perceptions enormously, but statistically...we've got one of the highest rates of mixed-race marriages in the world, and a HUGE proportion of people not born in Australia.

(I fit into both categories. I'm a first gen migrant, Latina, Australian citizen married to an indigenous man. I, my husband and my son have had a LOT more trouble from a racial perspective living in Britain - as we currently do - than we ever did in Australia)
skellington1 8th-Nov-2012 04:48 pm (UTC)
My impressions was that even as a (white) tourist in Britain the nationalism (and accompanying racism) was really impossible to ignore. If someone with racial privilege who's only in the country for a week can see it, it's gotta be bad over there. :( Perhaps, despite the bad behavior by so many US citizens, there really is something to being a 'nation of immigrants.'
mirhanda 8th-Nov-2012 07:05 pm (UTC)
I'm from Alabama, and I had never experienced first hand such blatant, in-your-face, racism as I saw in Australia when I lived there. Maybe it's because I'm from Alabama that the racists felt free to demonstrate it in front of me, IDK, but I was completely shocked and appalled.
skellington1 8th-Nov-2012 07:08 pm (UTC)
Guess nowhere British-settled is safe. :( How depressing.
koken23 8th-Nov-2012 09:07 pm (UTC)
My experiences (as a non-white Australian) really don't match yours...

The problem exists, but it tends to be unthinking rather than malicious. If they know you've hurt you, I've always found Australians to be pretty good about the whole thing. Certainly, I've found Britain MUCH worse.
mirhanda 8th-Nov-2012 09:10 pm (UTC)
Oh this was definitely malicious. Maybe they felt freer to express racist stuff thinking I would be on board with it. I've never had a poker face, so I know my horror registered on my face, but no apology or anything. But if you're non-white, they probably wouldn't be so free to express negative thoughts about non-whites to you. IDK. I just never saw anything so overt and just outright disgusting in my life. And my home state isn't exactly known as a bastion of liberal thinking.
koken23 8th-Nov-2012 09:19 pm (UTC)
They would have said it thinking you were an American redneck, to ingratiate themselves with you.

Day to day, I've found Britain worse. When I was in the United States, I found that much worse. I dunno, but in seventeen years...I've never had a serious problem, even as a non-English speaking, not white migrant in a mixed race marriage where my husband's not white either.
mirhanda 8th-Nov-2012 09:24 pm (UTC)
No, I don't think that's even close. I heard racist drivel from some Australians even before they knew I was Southern. Also my relatives down there say that's just the way it is. Not only that we see many examples of it coming through this community. My husband was treated horribly by racists when he was coming up as a boy in Sydney as well.

TBH, I don't know how you've avoided it unless perhaps you're on the "model minority" list. Or maybe you just have a thicker skin than I do. I do know that a lot of Australians tend to stick their fingers in their ears and shout "LALALA I CAN'T HEAR YOU" when their own racism is pointed out. So it may be that you are seeing what you want to see. Coming from outside though, it's the most overt, in-your-face racism I've ever been exposed to. (And as I said before, I am from Alabama, so I've seen some examples of racist behavior before.)
koken23 8th-Nov-2012 09:33 pm (UTC)
Model minority? LOL no. I'm Hispanic, they hardly know what to do with me. My husband and son are indigenous, which goes RIGHT down the bottom of the pile.If anyone would get crapped on in Australia, it's my son, and he never has. We had more problems in a month in Britain than we had through several years in a mixed relationship in Australia.

If you're going to say that your time as a tourist trumps mine on the ground, as a first gen-migrant who remembers coming...
mirhanda 8th-Nov-2012 09:39 pm (UTC)
No, I wasn't a tourist, I lived there. I didn't ever say I was there as a tourist. My husband is FROM there, his family emigrated there when he was a toddler. Are you trying to say I didn't see what I saw? That my husband and his entire family never experienced what they experienced? Yes, the Aboriginals were indeed the target of the most vicious racism that I witnessed, but Asians got a lot too. Strangely, African Americans were seen as "cool". Go figure.

Since you are married to an Aboriginal man, that's probably why you haven't seen it. I doubt they'd be so crass as to use the words they used to describe Aboriginals to your faces as they would to mine. I personally heard Aboriginal people referred to as "coons" "bloody abbos" "filthy drunks" and other choice epithets that I won't even repeat because they are so disgusting. I'm glad your son hasn't been exposed to it, and I pray to God that he never will. My husband was the victim of racism when he was growing up in Sydney, and I can still see the effects it had on him.

ETA that we have a lot of family in the Sydney suburbs and are planning on moving back there in the future.

Edited at 2012-11-08 09:40 pm (UTC)
stevie_jane 8th-Nov-2012 11:36 pm (UTC)
You're living in an English village, right? Those types of people are frequently a complete fucking nightmare, and a lot of them seem to think they're too middle class to be racists. They take the route of ~we don't mean to sound rude that's just the way we are around here!~ while gossiping behind people's backs. It's a horrible thing for anyone to go through.

Aussie racism is just another flavour of the same vindictive shit. I guess it just depends how self-aware or cautious people are about expressing their true feelings to anyone they read as a minority or ~foreign~. White Aussies around other white people tend not to hide it well when they're racists.
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