Racism Discrimination Prejudice Essay

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Racism is the term used to describe discrimination or prejudice based on race. It disempowers people by devaluing their identity. It contradicts the democratic principle of equality that entitles all to be treated fairly (Conference of Education Systems Chief Executive Officers, 2009). Whether or not Australia currently holds racist attitudes has been a frequently debated topic. However, there is no debate in stating that the "peopling", or populating process of Australia since 1788 has been dominated by a racist discourse. This is a fair statement and clearly expresses the views evident in a myriad of historical events and policies since British colonisation, and effectively highlights racist ideologies towards non-white societies. Such events include the mistreatment of Aborigines upon arrival in Australia, and the British Authority's attempt to control, assimilate and exterminate Aboriginal groups. Similarly, the exploitation and degradation of Asian and Melanesian immigrants in Australia during the discovery of gold also suggest ideas of British superiority (Bullimore, 2008 ) . The introduction of the White Australia Policy further emphasises a resonating theme of racism and xenophobia amongst Australian society and depicts the desire to keep Australia a predominantly "white" population. The Aboriginals were treated as a second class race and were considered inferior and primitive by the British upon their arrival in Australia in 1788. This is evident in the treatment of Aborigines through exploitation, protectionism, assimilation and cultural absorption policies which lead to the eventual repression of aboriginality altogether (Becket, 1994). The British settlers forcefully overtook the most productive lands off the Aboriginals in order to produce land for farming and grazing. The Aborigines made up almost half the population of labourers working in the

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