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Analysis and Comment (52)

Some memorabilia should go under a different kind of hammer. Some memorabilia should go under a different kind of hammer. Shutterstock gravel

Should the sale of Nazi memorabilia be banned?

The sale of Nazi memorabilia is banned or at least restricted in a number of European countries, including Germany and France, yet it continues to be a feature of British auction houses. Anti-Semites in…
A lack of intent may be at the heart of everyday racism. A lack of intent may be at the heart of everyday racism. shutterstock

Explainer: what is casual racism?

There is nothing casual about racism. But the term “casual racism” has emerged over the last couple of years in media coverage reporting on more extreme forms of interpersonal racism, such as racist slang…
Mourners at the funeral of Michael Brown on August 25. Mourners at the funeral of Michael Brown on August 25. St.Louise Post-Dispath/Pool/EPA

Epidemic of rights abuse fails black kids across the US

As the world grapples with the containment of diseases such as Ebola, there is another epidemic that demands attentive responses, policies, and actions. It is one of grave proportions regarding the violation…
Anti-obscenity laws were never designed to stop racism. Anti-obscenity laws were never designed to stop racism. anguila40/Flickr

Racist rants and viral videos: why the law alone can’t end racism

Karen Bailey pleaded guilty at Downing Centre Local Court last Thursday to the crime of using offensive language. Bailey received a 12-month good behaviour bond for the offence, with no conviction recorded…
Italian striker Mario Balotelli is a pioneer in a society that still struggles to accept its multiethnic composition. Italian striker Mario Balotelli is a pioneer in a society that still struggles to accept its multiethnic composition. EPA/Kai Foersterling

Super Mario: can Balotelli defy racism to be Italy’s World Cup hero?

Mario Balotelli is already an international football star and has the potential to become one of Italy’s greatest ever strikers. But is Italy ready to accept a black player as its next football hero? Balotelli…
To dream … the impossible dream. Impossible in Northern Ireland, apparently. To dream … the impossible dream. Impossible in Northern Ireland, apparently. Paul Faith/PA Wire

Nightmare in Northern Ireland seeing race replace religion as society’s open sore

For the rest of the world, Northern Ireland already has a notorious reputation for religious intolerance and sectarian hatred. This well-worn yarn tells of ancient enmities dividing Irish Catholics and…
Australia’s cultural diversity attracts some, but scares others. Australia’s cultural diversity attracts some, but scares others. Andrew Jakubowicz

Multiculturalism faces uncertain future in our more polarised nation

Australia seems to be becoming a more polarised society. This is the simple conclusion from recent research undertaken for SBS, which looked for answers to how Australians think the country has changed…
Chris Paul and Blake Griffin of the LA Clippers. Chris Paul and Blake Griffin of the LA Clippers. EPA/John Mabanglo

NBA’s action on bigoted owner a slam dunk for anti-racism

In a scandal that has rocked the American sporting world, David Sterling, owner of the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team, was caught on tape excoriating his girlfriend for associating with black people…
The cases of Donald Sterling in the US and Dani Alves in Spain serve to emphasise that sport – and society – still has work to do to combat racism. The cases of Donald Sterling in the US and Dani Alves in Spain serve to emphasise that sport – and society – still has work to do to combat racism. EPA/Paul Buck

Sterling, Alves and why racism continues to dog sport worldwide

Two recent instances of sports-related racial abuse have seen athletes take strong, united stands against the scourge of racism. While the cases of Donald Sterling in the US and Dani Alves in Spain are…
Supermodel Gisele Bündchen: sixth generation German, 100% Brazilian. Supermodel Gisele Bündchen: sixth generation German, 100% Brazilian. Bob Bekian

Genetic research fights disease but it can be hijacked by politics

There’s a huge variety in physical appearance in Latin America: there are indigenous native Americans, descendants of African slaves, Europeans and Middle Easterners of all kinds, and Chinese and Japanese…
Why aren’t there more black professors? Why aren’t there more black professors? bikeriderlondon/Shutterstock

There are fewer than 100 black professors in Britain – why?

It is a shocking statistic that there were just 85 black professors in UK universities in 2011-12. In stark terms, this means that there are more higher education institutions than there are black British…
Roma evacuees from a Hungarian village near a far-right training camp. Roma evacuees from a Hungarian village near a far-right training camp. Bela Szandelszky/AP

Persecution of Roma in Hungary is spiralling out of control

Since the accession of Central European countries to the European Union (EU), threats to their Roma communities have escalated dangerously. This is evident in anti-Roma rallies, random violent attacks…
Australians draping themselves in the flag is part of the rise of a more jingoistic nationalism, which often rides on an ugly undercurrent of racism. Australians draping themselves in the flag is part of the rise of a more jingoistic nationalism, which often rides on an ugly undercurrent of racism. AAP/Damian Shaw

Australia Day nationalism walks in the footsteps of ugly precedents

The decision by Aldi and Big W last week to remove their government-approved Australia Day T-shirts from sale followed a social media-led backlash against the slogan on the shirts: “Australia Est. 1788…
It is now for history to judge Nelson Mandela. It is now for history to judge Nelson Mandela. Paul SImpson

Heed Mandela’s example as struggle for his legacy begins

It is as the iconic figure of the struggle to end the repugnant system of apartheid that Nelson Mandela will be most simply, fondly and longest remembered. What type of society South Africa has become…
Time to tackle the Redskins. Time to tackle the Redskins. Alex Brandon/AP

Redskins is a racist name and the US must face up to its past

Since Europeans first arrived in the Americas, native peoples have been decimated. In North America, where assimilation was rare and conquest or theft of land has been the norm, things were particularly…
AFL clubs Collingwood and St Kilda will play an annual match to celebrate the legacy of Indigenous trailblazer Nicky Winmar. AFL clubs Collingwood and St Kilda will play an annual match to celebrate the legacy of Indigenous trailblazer Nicky Winmar. AAP/Hamish Blair

A game whose time has come: Winmar, Goodes and race in the AFL

The best photos do more than freeze time. They capture a moment and take us there, making witnesses of us all. Here lies their power to inspire, touch and transform; a power tied to the stories, hopes…
Focus for discrimination: Roma people in France. Focus for discrimination: Roma people in France. Alain Bachellier

It’s time to take the human rights of Roma seriously

Two families in Ireland will have spent last weekend trying to forget the drama that engulfed their lives last week. Garda officers arrived on their doorsteps and took away young children on the spurious…
Yaya Toure: subjected to racist chanting. Yaya Toure: subjected to racist chanting. van Sekretarev/AP/Press Association

Football racists score own goal against the beautiful game

It has been suggested by Sepp Blatter that Jeffrey Webb, FIFA’s vice president and the head of FIFA’s anti-discrimination task force, might succeed the Swiss administrator as President of FIFA. This support…
Science is not always a safe space for women. Science is not always a safe space for women. George Joch.

Call to arms: racism and sexual harassment is still rife in science

Martin Luther King said, “On some positions, Cowardice asks the question, ‘Is it safe?’ Expediency asks the question, ‘Is it politic?’ And Vanity comes along and asks the question, ‘Is it popular?’ But…
Spurs fans: language reclaimers? Spurs fans: language reclaimers? Peter Byrne/PA

Tackle antisemitism, not the ‘Yid Army’ chants

Is it always wrong to use racial epithets, regardless of the context? It’s an old debate, recently revived and applied to football fans. The Football Association (FA), anti-racism campaigners and Jewish…
Rapper Kanye West’s new album Yeezus reflects on race and discrimination in present day America. Rapper Kanye West’s new album Yeezus reflects on race and discrimination in present day America. EPA/Ferdy Damman

Yeezus saves: Kanye West, hip hop and the language of slavery

This month, rapper Kanye West’s highly anticipated new album Yeezus was released at perhaps one of the coolest launch events ever. His latest single New Slaves was simultaneously featured on 66 screens…
True change requires that our perspectives are altered from within. True change requires that our perspectives are altered from within. Ferran

Are you racist? You might want to change your avatar

Is racism a matter of perspective gone wrong? And, if so, how can we fix it? A new study in Consciousness and Cognition demonstrates technology may be able to offer part of the solution: donning the skin…
The media coverage of the Eddie McGuire racism controversy is instructive in showing how far we have to go to combat racism. The media coverage of the Eddie McGuire racism controversy is instructive in showing how far we have to go to combat racism. AAP/David Crosling

Racism in the AFL: Eddie McGuire and the media prove there’s still a long way to go

The AFL world has had a tough week, with racism rearing its ugly head again. For an organisation that likes to think of itself as a leader in combating prejudice, the repeated comments about Adam Goodes…
Eddie McGuire has found himself trying to explain away his ‘brain-fade’ where he vilified Sydney player Adam Goodes. Eddie McGuire has found himself trying to explain away his ‘brain-fade’ where he vilified Sydney player Adam Goodes. AAP Image/David Crosling

Eddie McGuire, Adam Goodes and ‘apes’: a landmark moment in Australian race relations

Collingwood president Eddie McGuire’s week has seen him go from - to use the American sporting vernacular - hero to zero. Having been lauded for his response to a young female Collingwood supporter calling…
Most us know that calling someone an ape is racist, but few of us understand why. Most us know that calling someone an ape is racist, but few of us understand why. The Hornet magazine, 1871

The ape insult: a short history of a racist idea

Most us know that calling someone an ape is racist, but few of us understand why apes are associated in the European imagination with indigenous people and, indeed, people of African descent. To understand…
The racist taunt aimed at Sydney player Adam Goodes from a young fan provides an opportunity for education rather than humiliation. The racist taunt aimed at Sydney player Adam Goodes from a young fan provides an opportunity for education rather than humiliation. Twitter/Channel 7

The AFL’s Indigenous Round and the innocent face of racism

Friday night’s AFL match between Collingwood and Sydney marked the opening of the code’s Indigenous Round. Yet the chance for the contribution of Indigenous footballers to the game - both past and present…
The failure of the entire political class to stress the positive contribution of migrants is taking us back to the 1950s. The failure of the entire political class to stress the positive contribution of migrants is taking us back to the 1950s. Cathal McNaughton/PA

The truth about migrants – they want to work, pay tax, make friends and integrate

If you listen to UKIP, you could be forgiven for thinking migrants are coming to Britain to access our foolishly generous welfare benefits and care nothing for integration. But that’s simply not true…
North Melbourne’s Majak Daw, the AFL’s first Sudanese-born player, has been subjected to racial abuse from fans in his first few senior games. North Melbourne’s Majak Daw, the AFL’s first Sudanese-born player, has been subjected to racial abuse from fans in his first few senior games. AAP/Joe Castro

AFL: Majak Daw shows we’ve come a long way on racism, but the journey is far from complete

The more things change, the more they stay the same. A young man playing for AFL club North Melbourne wows the majority of watchers with breathtaking football talent. But for a few observers, the colour…
The ‘Islamophobia’-related responses to last week’s Boston bombings have been somewhat measured in comparison to 9/11. The ‘Islamophobia’-related responses to last week’s Boston bombings have been somewhat measured in comparison to 9/11. EPA/CJ Gunther

Boston bombings: beware the multi-million dollar Islamophobia industry

Local commentators have variously described reactions to the Boston Marathon bombing, which killed three people and injured 183 others, as “restrained”, “refreshingly honest” and wholly different to what…
New Sunderland manager Paolo Di Canio is facing a storm of criticism over his stated ‘fascist’ political views. New Sunderland manager Paolo Di Canio is facing a storm of criticism over his stated ‘fascist’ political views. EPA/Filippo Monteforte

Fascism and racism: does it really matter what Sunderland’s Paolo Di Canio thinks?

The resignation of senior British political figure David Miliband as non-executive director and vice-chairman of English soccer club Sunderland A.F.C. - in protest at Paolo Di Canio’s appointment as the…
The treatment of Quvenzhané Wallis at this year’s Oscars highlights prejudices that still exist in Hollywood. The treatment of Quvenzhané Wallis at this year’s Oscars highlights prejudices that still exist in Hollywood. Michael Nelson/EPA

Quvenzhané Wallis, race and misogyny at the Oscars

Young actress Quvenzhané Wallis was one of many women subjected to derogatory misogynist “jokes” during this year’s Academy Awards ceremony. Those directed at her were particularly vicious. When the satirical…
Victoria Police will hold an inquiry to investigate its treatment of different ethnic groups, after settlement of a civil case involving allegations of racial profiling. Victoria Police will hold an inquiry to investigate its treatment of different ethnic groups, after settlement of a civil case involving allegations of racial profiling. AAP/Julian Smith

Mistreating minorities: Victoria Police and racial profiling

Victoria Police recently announced an inquiry into their public relations and cultural awareness training, after a group of young African Australians claimed they had been victims of over-policing and…
Queensland MP Andrew Laming’s inflammatory comments about violence in Logan were insensitive and misdirected. Queensland MP Andrew Laming’s inflammatory comments about violence in Logan were insensitive and misdirected. AAP/Lukas Coch

Unemployment not the cause of Pacific Islander violence in Logan

Mobs tearing up Logan. Did any of them do a day’s work today, or was it business as usual and welfare on tap? That’s how MP Andrew Laming responded to recent violence in Logan between Aboriginal and Pacific…
Our implicit associations reveal more about our true attitudes than what we explicitly state. Our implicit associations reveal more about our true attitudes than what we explicitly state. Image from shutterstock.com

Are you racist? You may be without even knowing it

The infamous Youtube video capturing a young man abusing women on a Melbourne bus for the crime of singing in French, and being supported in his violent tirade by fellow passengers, raises the uncomfortable…
Among American institutions, it’s the military that has done most to eliminate racial bias. Among American institutions, it’s the military that has done most to eliminate racial bias. DVIDSHUB/Flickr

The hidden world of medical racism in the United States

The idea that discredited, repugnant ideas about racial differences might play a role in medical diagnoses and treatment today is one that doctors ought to find profoundly disturbing. The racially biased…
Tommie Smith and John Carlos carry the coffin of Peter Norman, who died in 2006. Tommie Smith and John Carlos carry the coffin of Peter Norman, who died in 2006.

“I will stand with you”: finally, an apology to Peter Norman

Sporting celebrities and stars have always featured centrally in the psyche of the Australian nation. Our athletes are portrayed as positive role models and many of their indiscretions and behaviours are…
Former England captain John Terry was cleared of racially abusing Anton Ferdinand last Friday. Former England captain John Terry was cleared of racially abusing Anton Ferdinand last Friday. EPA/Facundo Arrizabalaga

Twitter, John Terry and the Sunshine Tigers: how racism dogs the world game

As iconic sporting images go, there are few finer specimens than the picture of Brazilian genius Pele shaking hands with England captain Bobby Moore, after their teams battled to a 1-0 victory for Brazil…
Could drugs temper the unconscious racial attitudes of these men? Could drugs temper the unconscious racial attitudes of these men? Flickr/Wyoming_Jackrabbit

Heart disease medication: can it really affect subconscious racial bias?

A drug used to treat heart disease may have the additional effect of reducing subconscious racial bias, a study has found. Researchers who gave people the drug propranolol found that they scored much lower…
It’s unlikely the war hero would be fazed by Styne’s comments, but the public was appalled. It’s unlikely the war hero would be fazed by Styne’s comments, but the public was appalled. AAP/Martin Philbey/Australian War Memorial

Yumi and Ben: the militarisation of Australia and the democratisation of hate

Last week the world became a very scary place for television host Yumi Stynes when she quipped that Victoria Cross recipient Corporal Ben Roberts-Smith, looking buffed, ripped and tattooed in a public…
A toilet wall has more than meets the eye. A toilet wall has more than meets the eye. Flickr/ukslim

Women’s toilets in Australia: the writing is on the wall

La Trobe University’s Dr Jan Schapper recently completed a study into signage and writing on women’s toilets in Australia. The research, just published in the international journal, “Gender, Place and…
We should take a closer look at the history of the Constitution before reforming it. We should take a closer look at the history of the Constitution before reforming it. Flickr/Rusty Stewart

Indigenous recognition and the Section 25 quandary

The one recommendation of the Expert Panel on Indigenous Constitutional Recognition that everyone appears to support is the repeal of section 25 of the Constitution. Section 25 says that if a State law…
Italian-Australians deserve an apology for their mistreatment in internment camps in World War II. Italian-Australians deserve an apology for their mistreatment in internment camps in World War II. Australian War Memorial Collection

Why Australia must apologise to Italians interned during World War II

Last month, the South Australian parliament unanimously accepted a bi-partisan motion moved by Labor member, Tony Piccolo, to acknowledge the wrongful internment of Italian civilians living in Australia…
Andrew Bolt has a presence across a variety of media platforms. Andrew Bolt has a presence across a variety of media platforms. AAP

Andrew Bolt, racism and the internet

Already the Libertarian Right have begun to marshal their traditional arguments to cover Andrew Bolt’s disgrace by the Federal Court. Bolt himself has screeched freedom of speech in the wake of his ascerbic…
Prime Minister GIllard launches the Australian Multicultural Council in Canberra. Prime Minister GIllard launches the Australian Multicultural Council in Canberra. AAP

The politics of the Australian Multicultural Council

Multiculturalism may not be flavour of the month, but the launch by Prime Minister Gillard on Monday of the Australian Multicultural Council (AMC) marks a step forward in a policy project restarted by…
The lawyer for the self-confessed Norway killer, Anders Breivik will enter a plea of insanity AFP photo/Facebook - Youtube. The lawyer for the self-confessed Norway killer, Anders Breivik will enter a plea of insanity AFP photo/Facebook - Youtube.

The lone mad man? Breivik’s lunacy label stops vital questions

Societies, if we are to take the Freudian line, prefer to subordinate chaotic urges in favour of dull order. Civilization implies stability. By the nineteenth century, human society was digesting a range…
Tony Abbott learnt the hard way that retro chic doesn’t extend to a 1970s sense of humour. Tony Abbott learnt the hard way that retro chic doesn’t extend to a 1970s sense of humour. AAP

The problem with jokes about Irishmen

Q: How do you confuse an Irishman? A: Put him in front of two shovels and ask him to take his pick Q: How do you get an Irishman on the roof? A: Tell him drinks are on the house. Q: Why did the Irishman…
Majak Daw has been praised for his measured reaction to racist abuse. Majak Daw has been praised for his measured reaction to racist abuse. www.kangaroos.com.au

Racism in footy is not as bad as you may think

This week the media in AFL states have been discussing racist comments made by members of crowds at Australian Rules games. Sudanese-born North Melbourne rookie Majak Daw was racially abused while playing…
The government says it’s on track to release all children asylum seekers in detention soon, but other policies need to be changed urgently. The government says it’s on track to release all children asylum seekers in detention soon, but other policies need to be changed urgently. Flickr/Takver

Australia’s wake up call from the UN: Yes, we’re a racist country

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights says Australia is racist. And she’s right. Racial discrimination in Australia is not idiosyncratic; it is enshrined in laws, policies and practices…

Research and News (2)

Research Briefs (13)

Reverse racism in America

White people believe that they have replaced African Americans as the primary victims of racial discrimination in the US…