Australia

Journalists Treat Obscure Australian Senator's Racist Post-Shooting Remarks As Representative of Nation's Views on Immigration

Fraser Anning is a totally discredited gadfly, not representative of Australians' popular will.

|

In the wake of the horrible mass shooting in Christchurch, New Zealand, that targeted two mosques and left 49 worshippers dead, Australian Sen. Fraser Anning of Queensland released a totally abhorrent statement in which he blamed the attack on Muslim immigration.

"Whilst this kind of violent vigilantism can never be justified, what it highlights is the growing fear within our community, both in Australia and New Zealand, of the increasing Muslim presence," said Anning in a statement. "The real cause of the bloodshed on New Zealand streets today is the immigration program which allowed Muslim fanatics to migrate to New Zealand in the first place."

Needless to say, the timing of this statement is totally reprehensible, and its substance is unambiguously racist. Blaming a mass shooting on the mere presence of its victims, who were doing absolutely nothing wrong, is the height of callousness.

Given that Anning is indeed a sitting senator in Australia's parliament, his remarks are getting a lot of attention and a lot of well-deserved scorn. However, Anning's statement is also being treated like it is representative of the views of a large number of Australians. More specifically it's being deployed to attack New York Times' columnist Bari Weiss, a favorite target of very online left-wing journalists, and who wrote a January 2019 column in which she praised Australia for its centrism and lack of toxic culture war politics.

The problem with this analysis (apart from the fact that it's naked political point-scoring in the aftermath of a horrible tragedy) is that Anning is a total gadfly and disgrace in Australian politics with no popular constituency. His election was an absolute fluke in which he got only 19 votes.

Understanding how this racist clown got elected with such a small number of voters requires understanding how Senate elections work Down Under, which is incredibly confusing.

In Australia's Senate elections, parties draw up ranked lists of candidates to stand for election. Voters are then given the option of voting for parties or for these individual candidates. Seats are won not by securing a majority of votes but by getting over a pre-established quota of votes. In the most recent election, a party or candidate needed only to get 7 percent of the vote to get a seat.

Votes that go to a party are then distributed down their list of candidates. So if a party wins two seats, the first two candidates on their list get a Senate seat.

Matters are complicated further by the fact that Australian Senate elections also incorporate alternative preference voting, meaning that voters get to rank candidates as their first, second, third choice and so on.

If you're first preference doesn't win after all the first preference votes are calculated, your vote is then transferred to your second choice; or if they don't win, to your third. In Senate elections, Australians are required to express a minimum of six preferences if they're voting for parties, or a minimum of 12 preferences if they choose to vote for individual candidates.

The confusing nature of this system, and the low vote threshold to actually earn a Senate seat, all but guarantees that obscure or fringe candidates will manage to sneak their way into parliament. Which is exactly what happened in Anning's case.

In the 2016 Australian federal elections, Anning—a nearly bankrupt hotelier—was placed third on the list of candidates for the right-wing, anti-immigrant party One Nation, founded by Pauline Hanson, which has long been controversial in Australian politics.

In the 2016 election, One Nation grabbed 9 percent of the vote in the state of Queensland (which is kind of like Iowa but with more desert and better beaches) largely on the basis of Hanson's individual popularity.

After all the preference votes were sorted out, Hanson's One Nation party ended up with two seats, one going to Hanson, the other initially going to Malcolm Roberts, who was second on the party's list. Ironically for an anti-immigrant party, Roberts was soon booted out of parliament for being a British citizen.

That meant that One Nation's second senate seat got passed down to Anning, a man who'd never held elected office before and who only 19 voters actually gave an individual first-preference vote.

That Anning entered office with such little popular support should already disqualify him as serving as a bellwether of Australian attitudes on pretty much anything. His subsequent marginalization after entering parliament should indicate what a total pariah he really is.

After referencing the need for a "final solution" to immigration in a maiden speech that also saw him endorse the return of racial and religious preferences when admitting immigrants, Anning found himself condemned and disowned by Hanson and her party (which, for Americans, is like being called out by Steve King for anti-immigrant attitudes).

He briefly joined another, even smaller populist, anti-immigrant party but was then expelled by them too, for his continued racist remarks.

He's discredited himself further in recent months by sharing racist memes on social media and by using taxpayer dollars to pay for his travel to a tiny, anti-immigrant rally outside of his home state. Despised both inside and outside of parliament, Anning will almost certainly be out of a job after the next election.

His horrible remarks in the wake of this past shooting are being condemned by the entire political spectrum.

To be clear, Anning deserves no one's sympathy. His remarks are being rightfully condemned. What we shouldn't do is use Anning's statement as evidence of widespread attitudes held by Australians, or as ammunition against a New York Times columnist everyone loves to hate.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

138 responses to “Journalists Treat Obscure Australian Senator's Racist Post-Shooting Remarks As Representative of Nation's Views on Immigration

  1. We are all Australian experts now.

    1. I get paid over $180 per hour working from home with 2 kids at home. I just got paid $ 8550 in my previous month It Sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it.
      ?????AND GOOD LUCK????? http://www.Theprocoin.com

    2. Start working at home with Google! It’s by-far the best job I’ve had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474 this – 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $77 per hour. I work through this link, go to tech tab for work detail.

      +_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+……… http://WWW.PAYSHD.COM

    1. But it does happen.

      Imagine if countries experienced complex individual actions by its citizens every day.

    2. ^ That is hilarious!! I watched it 3 times and lol’ed every time!

    3. Hilarious!

    4. They are reduced to using dogs and bare knuckles. I thought they tied me kangaroos down boys.

  2. “Journalism” is all about correcting “wrong thought” and then utilizing said “wrong thought” in order to attack your political enemies. They’re super smart people who are definitely not ignorant of the rest of the world.

    1. I do support all attacks against Bari Weiss, though.

        1. I think verbal attacks on Bari Weiss should end when she stops advocating war overseas. Seems like a fair trade.

          1. If she was being attacked for advocating war I would agree with you.

            1. Journalists never attack one another over advocating war. That’s the one thing they all agree about.

              You’re point is correct, though. I’m wrong.

  3. His existence as a Senator is good evidence against proportional representation or multi-incumbent districts

    1. There are a lot of representatives in the US who discredit the “first past the post” method of elections in the US too

      1. Well none of them got elected with 17 votes out of 2.8 million cast – ranking 121 out of the 122 total candidates (from 37 different political party lists)

        1. No. But some of them got elected by 17 votes out of hundreds of thousands. The same criticisms can be levied on both systems.

          1. You’re misunderstanding 19 (my mistake there). He got 19 votes PERIOD. He would have finished last out of all the Greens on the ballot – or the Australian Cyclists Party – or the Pirate Party – or the Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party – or the Sex and Marijuana Party – and behind every independent candidate as well. Queensland 2016 results

            1. You’re right.

        2. JFree: “Well none of them got elected with 17 [sic] votes out of 2.8 million cast

          He did NOT get 19 votes out of 2.8 million cast. He got 19 FIRST PREFERENCE votes. In order to win a seat he would have hd to win several hundred THOUSAND votes. Howevef, most of those would have been subsidiary preferences. That is, 50th or 60th preferences.

          Or to phrase that another way, Australian elections use what Americans call ranked choice voting–Australians call it “preferential voting”. You don’t just tick a box. You rank the candidates using “1”, “2”, “3”, etc. Because Australian Senate elections have an entire state as one electorate, there are large numbers of seats to be filled per election (six normally, but 12 at the last election, the one Anning got elected at). In turn that leads to HUGE numbers of candidates standing, often more than a hundred in the larger states. Which in turn makes counting complex and long-winded. (Counting can take weeks.)

          Those who win the initial seats in a state to be filled have high numbers of 1st preferences. Those in the last seats to be filled have quotas which are mostly composed of subsidiary preferences. That’s the wasy the system works.

          1. Yeah – well even the Australian papers are having to write scratch your head articles about how their voting system failed here.

            Our political system has already given Anning a voice ? one he never earned. Nobody voted for him. They voted for One Nation, a party Anning ditched as soon as he got to Canberra. The Australian Electoral Commission literally lists his share of the popular vote as 0.00 per cent. It is a humiliating number; a stinging reminder that no one asked Anning for his putrid contribution to Australian politics. You would need to add another three decimal places for him to even register.

            This wasn’t about the ‘complexity of counting votes/preferences’ (as if that’s a good thing). It was about the reality that the system is so complicated that 90+% of Australians just vote a straight-party ticket and let the parties decide who will be in the legislature even when the parties clearly don’t know shit about the people on their own party list. That is clearly a system failure for any system that purports to say that individuals get to decide which individuals represent them.

            1. JFree: “…even the Australian papers are having to write scratch your head articles about how their voting system failed here.

              So what? Didn’t many US newspapers and pundits complain about the election of Donald Trump? An election where he won the electorsl college vote but NOT the popular vote?

              The reality is, however, that under the rules now in place he won legitimately–just as Fraser Anning won legitimately. Many may not like that he won, especially given his racist comments–just as Anning’s racist comments have attracted derision in Australia. But none of that makes his election illegitimate. Or unfair.

              JFree: “Nobody voted for him. They voted for One Nation, a party Anning ditched as soon as he got to Canberra.

              That’s a fairer comment. But the problem there is less with Anning than with the One Nation party and the way it chooses and vets its candidates. Unlike America, Australia does NOT use primary elections. It uses more opaque methods, generally behind closed doors. In fact sometimes even the party members don’t get a vote. Instead the party powerbrokers “parachute” (as it’s called) a favoured candidate into a candidacy. Usually one guaranteed to win. The same people who object to Anning’s win generally have no problem with “parachuting”. They see that as a legitimate way of ensuring that only the best (*best”, of course, by their own definition) win parliamentary seats.

            2. JFree: “as if that’s a good thing”

              How are the simplicities of first-past-the post any better? Simplistic systems produce simplistic answers.

              For example, it was the use of first-past-the-post in California’s primary elections in 2019 which led to an all-Democrat field in the general election because Republicans split their share of the vote more evenly between their candidates than Democrats did with theirs. Was that good?

              It certainly wasn’t fair.

              Ranked choice voting would NOT have produced such an unbalanced outcome.

              JFree: “so complicated that 90+% of Australians just vote a straight-party ticket

              True. But the problem is easily fixed. For example, use smaller electoral districts with smaller numbers of seats apiece.

              1. But the problem is easily fixed. For example, use smaller electoral districts with smaller numbers of seats apiece.

                You mean like districts so small that only one rep is needed? So small that you don’t even need ‘party’ as some organizing/financial intermediary to reach/persuade voters – so that even if parties exist in the legislature itself they do not have the power over critter elections that also gives them power over legislative decisions?

                At least that is the sort of change that clearly increases representation rather than being some obtuse techno-fix that requires Top Men to explain how it works.

                1. JFree: “You mean like districts so small that only one rep is needed?

                  FYI, single member constutuencies can’t use proportional representation, which only works for muilti-member constituencies.

                  No, I mean a district with a three members elected per election (or six during a double dissolution election), which would be half the number currently elected per district per election (which is six in a normal election and twelve in a double dissolution election).

                  JFree: “So small that you don’t even need ‘party’ as some organizing/financial intermediary to reach/persuade voters…

                  Now you’re just being stupid. Either that or you’ve never looked at a map of Australia and so are unaware that most Australian states have large land areas. (Four of the six states are larger than Texas, while the largest–Western Australia–is roughly four times the size of Texas.) Given that reality, most single-member constituencies would still be huge; and all the more so when there would only be 6 or 12 constituencies (depending on how you organised them) per state.

              2. For example, it was the use of first-past-the-post in California’s primary elections in 2019 which led to an all-Democrat field in the general election because Republicans split their share of the vote more evenly between their candidates than Democrats did with theirs. Was that good?

                The problem isn’t the first past the post system, the problem is the state making party based primaries illegal.

                They did this to SUBVERT the first past the post system–just as Australia adopted their system to do.

                The left doesn’t win free and fair elections–so they must corrupt the process and sow distrust for the simplest method in favor of elaborate schemes that let the party make all the picks–on both sides of the aisle.

                1. Azathoth!!: “They did this to SUBVERT the first past the post system–just as Australia adopted their system to do.

                  FYI, Australia does NOT use first-past-the-post (FPtP). Not any more. It uses what Americans call instant runoff voting (IRV) for single-member constituences (eg the federal and most state lower House) and proportional representation (PR) for multi-member ones (eg for the Australian Senate, and Tasmania’s lower house).

                  It hasn’t used FPtP in decades. (The federal House of Representatives changed over in c.1918.)

                  IRV and PR are MUCH fairer than FPtP, especially for smaller parties and independents. The only people who think otherwise know nothing about such things (eg all-too-many Americans).

                  Want libertarian candidates to stand a chance of being elected? Then IRV or PR is the way to go.

                  Azathoth!!: “The left doesn’t win free and fair elections…

                  So how is the Right any better? Both Democrats AND Republicans use malapportionment and gerrymandering, amongst other tricks, to skew elections in their favour.

                  In any case, first-past-the-post is a voting system which FAVOURS the two major parties. As opposed to smaller groups like libertarians, who as consequence have to attach themselves to those large parties if they want to have a reasonable chance of winning office–as opposed to forming political parties of their own.

                  How is that in the interests of “free and fair” elections?

    2. And mandatory voting?

      1. The right not to vote is an essential part of the right to vote.

        1. +1 Zeb

        2. Casting a blank ballot is a clearer statement of that sentiment then not showing up.

          1. The Secretary of States dont typically publish the difference between cast ballots and actual votes. Just like many jurisdictions don’t spell out every write-in name or word. They lump them under “write-in candidate”.

            There are many ways to show displeasure via voting and most don’t work like you think they do.

            You know what really showed Hillary was a shitbag? She lost to Trump because people voted for Trump.
            Hillary winning but there are a few thousands incomplete ballots cast means shit.

    3. Honestly, the fact that Australia is able to elect a few actual whackjobs makes me think there’s something to the system. There’s apparently some diversity of thought even if this guy is fringey.

      1. A Thinking Mind: “There’s apparently some diversity of thought even if this guy is fringey.

        Exactly.

        Australia’s voting system is why there are large numbers of independents and minor party candidates in its state and federal paliaments. In contrast, America’s first past the post system skews its elections in favour of the major political parties.

    4. You can have a multi-member system that wouldn’t allow someone to get elected with 19 votes. I think the biggest problem with the electoral system is that using both party list and individual voting in a combined fashion is just confusing and overly complicated.

      1. Hey, if there’s a way to shoe-horn in a few more libertarian candidates, I might be on board.

        1. Libertarians running for odd-ball political positions and then working their way up seems like a decent strategy to me.

          GayJay had massive name recognition because he was NM Governor. He only won because he was a Republican. As we saw, his NM Libertarian US Senate race, he lost badly.

          I think Libertarians will have a better chance to get elected once the Democratic Party completes this implosion phase.

          Libertarians vs. Republican on election day.

      2. The problem with multi-member ideas is that it short-circuits the idea of smaller districts. So essentially it buys into both the existing distortions of overly large districts that make it difficult for a citizen to be fairly represented – and the operational dependence on parties to get elected – while proposing little more than let’s make things a bit more complicated

        1. @JFree: FYI, Australia’s Federal Parliament has both multi-member AND single-member districts. The House of Representatives uses single-member districts, the Senate uses multi-member ones.

          In short, it has the best of BOTH worlds.

          @JFree: … existing distortions of overly large districts that make it difficult for a citizen to be fairly represented

          Actually, it allows FAIRER representation, at least when used with proportional representation (PR), because rather than winding up with (say) 100 seats shared between just two large political parties they are divided among a more representative selection of parties and independents.

          Want a libertarian leaning party to have a shot at winning a seat or two? PR and miulti-members electorates make it possible. In contrast, America’s first-past-the-post voting system and single-member districts skew elections in favour of the major parties by making it virtually impossible for small parties or independents to win.

      3. Calidissident: “You can have a multi-member system that wouldn’t allow someone to get elected with 19 votes.

        Anning did NOT just win 19 votes. He won several hundred THOUSAND votes. However, only 19 of those were first preference votes. The “19 votes” is basically a smear against the voting system intended to delude and mislead those ignorant of the way the voting system works.

        Australia uses ranked choice voting–they themselves call it “preferential voting”–in (in the Senate’s case) multi-member electorates with huge numbers of candidates (often more than a hundred in the larger states).

        1. There is nothing you can say that changes the fact that 19 people, out of hundreds of thousands, had this man as first choice.

          The 19 votes thing isn’t a ‘smear’–it’s a gigantic red flag screaming that this idiocy doesn’t work.

          1. Azathoth!!: “It’s a gigantic red flag screaming that this idiocy doesn’t work.”

            It’s called ranked choice voting; and why is it an “idiocy” whan first-past-the-post, which America doesn’t need a majority of votes either to win, only a plurality? Meaning it is possible to win with only a 19th of the vote if you had 19 candidates standing for the same district, all of whom got a more or less equal share of the vote. Or for that matter a 100th share of the vote if 100 candidates stood for the seat.

          2. How many candidates were running for those 12 seats? If there were only 12 candidates, Anning was going to win under any system that didn’t allow “none of the above” as a choice. Under Australia’s voting laws, he could have been everyone’s _last_ choice and still won. Or maybe there were 20 candidates, and the other 8 were even nuttier…

  4. That dude said terrible shit. But is it “unambiguously racist” as Britschgi says? Are the Muslim people a race? It seems to me that the term racist is used too often to just mean hating on a group of people.

    Is there another word that would be better? Does bigoted apply? Or maybe just hateful?

    1. A religious bigot is probably more accurate. Some people, though, seem to think Muslim= Arab without recognizing that most Muslims are not Arab. Nor do they realize that Arab is not a race. And still others seem to think that Christian= White without recognizing that most Christians are Hispanic (also not a race, but sometimes adopted as a race) or African. Ignorance about the world knows no ideology.

    2. Colloquially, it seems, “racist” and “bigoted” are often used interchangeably, since it’s the same basic idea.

      1. Excrpt it isn’t and you’re stupid for suggesting otherwise.

        Now shouldn’t you be trying to import more rapists?

        1. buzz buzz buzz
          shoo

          1. That is how Chemjeff gets kids to get on camera.

    3. I think they’re popularly recognized as a race. Definitely in the media sphere and certainly to white-nationalists/racists like the shooter.

      1. I think it’s wrong to think of them as a race. It’s a group of people who share the same religious beliefs but they can be any race.

        It’s mental laziness. The word “racist” is being diluted and has lost its power. It’s slowly becoming an all-purpose epitaph to hurl at anyone with whom I disagree.

          1. Yes thank you.

        1. Of course. I’m pointing out how it is, not how it should be. Or how it is as far as I can see it, using the rational for how they’re portrayed in popular media as my evidence.

          When a ‘crafted’ photo is taken to show “diversity” the “hijab” has become very ubiquitous. If the Hijab is a religious symbol first, then why the attention to the Hijab? I don’t see a lot of “diversity” pictures sporting someone with a large, telegenic Star of David around their neck. I don’t even see a lot of diversity images with men wearing a Sikh turban. So from where I stand, the popular media sees Muslims as a race.

  5. A little closer to home:

    Ocasio-Cortez hits NRA after New Zealand shooting: ‘What good are your thoughts and prayers?’

    The progressive congresswoman called on communities to “come together, fight for each other & stand up for neighbors.”

    Serious question: Why do liberals use the f-word (“fight”) so much?

    1. Because every relationship in both public and private life is a power struggle.

      1. I’ve noticed that too. you can tell a lot about someone just by the words they use.

        It isn’t, I’ll support the policies you support, or we believe the same things, it’s I’LL FIGHT FOR YOU! I’ll fight against those evil people fighting against us

        JFC

        1. When I was in high school, all we fought for was our right to party. Times have definitely changed.

    2. It’s more appropriate that scrum or skirmish?

      1. What’s Donnybrook, chopped liver?

      2. Brawl would be good.

        1. can-o-whoopass would be good too.

    3. Do they use it any more than conservatives? Everyone loves applying war metaphors to politics.

      1. What are faux-Libertarian Reason staff, chopped liver?

    4. Ocasio-Cortez hits NRA after New Zealand shooting: ‘What good are your thoughts and prayers?’

      You’re right we should’ve “Green New Dealed” them to death!

    5. And what good, AOC, are your gun control laws, when they demonstrably can’t keep New Zealand safe?

    6. By implication, she wants the NRA to do something else in New Zealand other than share empathy? It’s clearly not their realm.

      Maybe she thinks she should introduce a bill in the US congress to control weapons in NZ?

    7. What does a pro-second amendment group in the US have to do with a tragedy in NZ?

      I guess someone who thinks banks operationally manage oil pipelines would come up with that.

  6. This is how the left works. Wisespread antisemitism on the left is not to blame for jewish hate crimes, but find some obscure state senator or dog catcher or pastry chef that’s a republican and that is used as a club on everyone on thee right

    Socialism (Slavery) leads to millions dead and millions in despair. Capitalism is responsible for the worldwide elimination of poverty. 2 airlines crash and we don’t know why yet, but the problem is Capitalism!

    1. find some obscure state senator or dog catcher or pastry chef that’s a republican and that is used as a club on everyone on thee right

      *cough* AOC *cough*

      1. When her own side props her up constantly as being the next coming, and many actually agree with her, then I’d say she’s fair game.

      2. That obscure member that sits on the banking committee and gets a Vanity Fair spread along with a Rolling Stones cover? Why are conservatives so obsessed with her?

      3. Jesus Christ could you miss the point any harder.

    2. To be fair, planes would never crash under socialism.

      1. To be fair, planes would never crash under socialism.

        This is absolutely true.

        They would sit, unused, save for by Party officials and their chattels

  7. I think all countries should be judged by their worst people, sure that makes the US look bad but think about what it does to everyone else.

    1. Even if Australia had 50% of its population like the Aussie shooter, I would still want to return to Australia.

      I have not heard anything since I was there before that makes it a bad place to visit.

      The Aussies were neutered by Socialism a long time ago, so I would never want to live there. Visit- yes!

  8. not representative of Australians’ popular will

    “Popular will”? What website is this?

  9. Unless you’re implying the victims were extremists, no, he did not blame the victims and he is 100% correct in identifying where this feeling of cultural endangerment comes from.

  10. Are we doing the Islam is a race thing? Again? Alright.

    1. Islam and Hinduism are the only two religions afforded that special classification, because most journalists only know these two religions from watching the movies “Lawrence of Arabia” and “Ghandi”.

      1. Awesome. Well done.

      2. I highly doubt most journalists watched “Lawrence of Arabia”. That would require them to have learned some history.

        1. You give them too much credit. They thought Lawrence was fighting the Nazis and is the good guy in the movie (they don’t grasp how this doesn’t square with their new dislike for the House of Saud). Seriously, they’re not smart. Not even a little.

      3. +100

      4. most journalists only know these two religions from watching the movies “Lawrence of Arabia” and “Ghandi”.

        What is it, 1985?

      5. Do you mean “Gandhi”?

    2. The only thing that might be more tedious the “Islam is a race” thing is the “Islam is not a race” thing–as if religious bigotry were somehow superior for not being racist.

      Then to show us how profoundly tedious atheists can be, one of them will show up to tell us how all religions are stupid–and then the cycle will be complete.

      1. “as if religious bigotry were somehow superior for not being racist.”

        Well, obviously it is superior; Racism is about discriminating on the basis of superficial innate characteristics, whereas religious bigotry discriminates on the basis of belief systems.

        Unless belief systems don’t have anything to do with behavior, it obviously makes a lot more sense to discriminate on the basis of belief systems than skin color.

        That doesn’t mean that in any given case religious discrimination is rational, but it has more potential to be rational; For instance, suppose there was a revival of Baal worship; Would it be irrational to discriminate against members who applied for jobs with nurseries?

        Mind, in theory terms like “bigot” and “racist” only apply where the discrimination is irrational. But that’s not how the terms get used in practice.

        1. Is there anything you can say that’s true of all Christians?

          There are Christians who don’t believe that Jesus really lived and was the son of God.

          There is an enormous diversity of belief within Islam, and the rules of logic apply to religious bigotry just like they do with racism.

          1. I gather you’re unfamiliar with the concept of a “statistical generalization”? And that they’re useful without being true of every member of the set?

            1. Some people join religions for the collective identity. It’s a tricky thing. They want to be associated with the positive generalizations.

            2. +10 Brett

            3. Give me an example of what you’re talking about.

              There are about 3.5 million Muslims in the United States. Make a statistical generalization about them based on their religion that’s both rational and useful.

              Then justify it within the context of the First Amendment*.

              *I’d support the Second Amendment even if gun control did reduce violent crime. I feel the same way about the First Amendment. Don’t you?

              1. For once we agree Ken. Using statistical information to make broad generalizations about groups of people is very problematic and shouldn’t be encouraged. Even if Brett’s very narrow mathematical point has some validity to it, the VAST majority of the time, these statistics are either cherry picked or mathematically abused in order to provide a veneer of respectability on an otherwise bigoted opinion.

              2. The bar for a useful generalization about Muslims already in the US is higher than for Muslims not already in the US, because they have more right to be treated as individuals. While Muslims not already in the US have no such right, at least when it comes to refusal to extend privileges to them, such as entry into the US.

                But, for example, we’re looking at roasting a whole animal for my wife’s birthday. If we decide to roast a pig, we’ll probably buy it at the nearby Mexican grocery.

                There’s an Islamic grocery nearby, too. I don’t think I’d bother going there for the pig, even though I know that *some* Muslims don’t observe halal rules. It’s a good place to go if you want a goat or lamb, though.

                Another example: If your boss is a Muslim, expect him to be somewhat irritable during Ramadan.

      2. I remember the Centuries where Atheists murdered hundreds of thousands of people in the name of No-Gods.

        1. 100 million dead in the name of godless communism, in just one century.

          Your numbers are off by at least three orders of magnitude, brother.

          1. Communism isn’t atheism, it’s just that in communism the party can’t have any rivals. Communism is atheist by accident.

      3. Of course religious “bigotry” is superior. One’s race is immutable, religion is not. Religion is a product of the mind, just as any other opinion.

        Saying someone is less valuable as a human because of an immutable characteristic is stupid, but saying someone’s opinion is less valuable vs a different opinion is how we progress.

        Religions aren’t all equal, and one isn’t a bigot for noticing or pointing out that fact.

  11. Those on the right hold ALL Muslims everywhere responsible for whatever ANY Muslim does. Turnabout is fair play; Those on the right are ALL guilty of murdering those 49 people in Christchurch.

    1. At least you didn’t generalizing. This is clearly a smart take

    2. I’m on the capitalist right, don’t hold all Muslims responsible for what any Muslim does, and, in fact, I attended mosque twice a week for years.

      Oh, and your logical fallacy doesn’t suddenly start holding water simply because you wrapped it up in an additional tu quoque. Turnabout is only fair play if you assume that fair play is fundamentally irrational.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tu_quoque

  12. Well and good, but not all bigotry is accurately described as “racism”.

    1. Maybe, but what are supposed to learn from that?

      Hitler was more of a totalitarian than an authoritarian, but so what?

      1. You can’t reason properly if the first thing you do is misuse language. You end up throwing away potentially relevant distinctions.

        1. It’s almost always an irrelevant distinction–certainly in all the ways I’ve ever seen the distinction brought up. In fact, in policy discussions, religious bigotry not being racist is even more of a red herring since there’s an 800 lbs. First Amendment sitting in the middle of the room.

          1. It’s a mistake to not talk about why we have a 1st Amendment, that Congress making no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof….

            Especially when people want America to be more religious from the government down.

    2. Religious bigotry is an ad hominem fallacy wrapped up in fallacies of composition and division. When it gets turned into policy it stops being merely stupid and starts being evil.

      Racism is an ad hominem fallacy wrapped up in fallacies of composition and division. When it gets turned into policy, it stops being merely stupid and starts being evil.

      Are you saying there’s an important distinction to be made between them?

      What is it?

      Seems like they have an awful lot in common.

      1. Discrimination is a necessary part of life. Ideally we want to rationally discriminate; Use valid statistical generalizations where individualized information is unavailable, abandon them for the more individual data where available.

        And, in fact, social science shows that this is how most people apply stereotypes. Most stereotypes that are capable of objectively being evaluated tend to be fairly valid statistical generalizations, and once people have direct knowledge about somebody, they base their decisions on that, instead of the stereotype.

        Good so far.

        Irrational discrimination is bad because it treats people according to invalid generalizations, or applies valid generalizations where specific data is available. It fails to treat people according to the content of their character instead of the color of their skin, as MLK said.

        Race is about innate biological characteristics such as skin color, and usually will be poorly correlated with behavior, because any such correlation is indirect: The innate biological characteristics aren’t causally connected to the behavior.

        Religion is a belief system. Belief systems directly influence behavior. So it is inherently reasonable to generalize from religion to behavior, and we often have a great deal of reason to care about behavior.

        1. Cont.

          So, yes, there’s a distinction to be made between them, and it’s important. Religious bigotry has much more potential to be rational than racial bigotry.

          And shouldn’t we aspire to be rational beings?

          1. I maintain that freedom of thought (as protected in the First Amendment, both religion and speech) is essential to a free society and that whatever judgements you’re making about people based on their belief system should be legal–so long as the government doesn’t make any such distinctions. I maintain, further, that just as you have the right to believe what you want about people, the First Amendment is right to prohibit the government from making any such distinctions. I maintain that the First Amendment (and Second Amendment) are a big part of what makes us both free and American, and maintain that this remains true regardless of whatever religion we’re talking about.

            Apart from that, I dare you to make a rational argument about any particular individual based on something as broad as religious beliefs. There’s this thing called individualism, and using reason, it always seems to make collectivism its jailhouse bitch.

            1. It wouldn’t be rational to arrive at a conclusion about a specific individual you had any individual knowledge of, wasn’t I saying that above?

              OTOH, it would be irrational to pretend that statistical generalizations are worthless just because they don’t tell you about individuals.

              1. Especially when the infinite rational discriminatory decisions people make every day tend to be relatively accurate.

                Dismissing techniques to better focus discriminating decisions is a mistake, IMO.

              2. “It wouldn’t be rational to arrive at a conclusion about a specific individual you had any individual knowledge of, wasn’t I saying that above?”

                Making generalizations from individual cases is the stuff that science is made of. It requires strict observation and the results we get from those observations (statistically or otherwise) are subject to uncertainty, probabilities, confidence intervals, etc.

                At least generalizations can be made from the observation of individuals with with science, statistics–and that uncertainty–in mind. Making accurate statements about individuals from a generalization is much more difficult. There’s a whole fallacy named for that–because it’s a fallacy.

                1. All Christians believe that Jesus was the son of God–except Unitarians and various other cultural Christians who are Christian in the sense that they want to talk to a priest just before they die. All Christians believe in the teachings of Jesus–except those Christians who mostly ignore what Jesus said in the Bible. All Christians believe that Jesus died for our sins–except those who believe that Jesus was God, existed for eternity before he was born and couldn’t possibly have died because he is God.

                  One we know something about individual Christians, we can start making inferences about what Christians believe in general.

                  I’ve known Muslims who drink wine but not alcohol. I’ve known Muslims who reverence the photographs of Muslim saints in ways that would give the Muslims of Saudi Arabia a hernia. Farakhan’s people believe things that would make the Shia in Westwood shake their heads and laugh–many of which are secularized. Islam is to some of them as getting a tattoo of the Virgin of Guadalupe is to a violent cholo. You’re going to have a hard time finding something that all Muslims believe, much less reach some kind of rational conclusion based on what they believe.

          2. Very well said, brett

          3. Brett, all you are doing is rationalizing why you think it’s okay to be a bigoted asshole towards Muslims. It is rationalization, nothing more.

            1. Actually, I had a Muslim boss for a while, a few years back. Nice guy most of the time, though he had a tendency to expect overtime of you during Ramadan. (If he couldn’t go home and have dinner, why should you?)

              I think as individuals Muslims are generally good people, something that’s true of almost all groups. It’s mostly the group dynamics that trouble me; Muslims are much better people in isolation than they are when they become a significant fraction of the population.

              That’s an aspect of their belief system, unfortunately.

  13. I don’t believe that Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten speak for the entirety of the Australian spectrum; in fact, crediting Malcolm Turnbull with speaking for the right side of the Australian political spectrum would be like crediting John Boehner for speaking for the Tea Party.

    Muslim immigration is not popular with average people on the right–many of whom feel totally betrayed by Malcolm Turnbull, whom they often refer to as Malcolm “Turncoat”. Many have seen him as the death of the Liberal Party (which is part of the conservative coalition over there. The capitalized “Liberals” over there are what we’d call “the right” over here).

    This is not to say that average Australians on the right approve of the atrocious statements this joker made, but let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves about Muslim immigration being wildly popular in Australia. Internal relations between Muslims and Australians have been highly problematic for many years–certainly more so than they’ve been here in the United States.

    1. Now you know why Germans wanted no part of the Balkan conflict even thought it was in their own back yard. Just hang tough while certain ethic cleansing occurs.

    2. Ken Shultz: I don’t believe that Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten…

      FYI, Malcolm is no longer Australia’s prime monster. A guy named Scott Morrison is. Turnbull got turfed out some time ago, and no longer even sits in Australia’s federal partliament.

  14. It’s not their ‘mere presence’ you disingenuous propagandist fucktard. It’s the rape, violence , and third world behavior that they bring with them.
    Take a look at what the Somalis have done to Lewiston Maine.
    It’s too bad libertarians will never understand that a libertarian society requires a high IQ, high trust, homogeneous culture. Not a mosh mash of third world detritus.

    1. If you kill your enemies, they win.

    2. Your understanding of what libertarians think about immigration appears to be pretty rigid and pretty far off the mark. Plenty of libertarians here supported Trump’s travel ban, with Somalia on the list. Libertarians elsewhere (see the anarcho-capitalists) are far more anti-immigration than your broad brush seems to allow.

      1. Not anti-immigration. Just in favor of selective immigration.

        1. +1000

    3. Libertarians are fine with self-defense but I would rather convince someone that my position is better.

      With that being said, there is not enough time in the day for the few thousands Libertarians in the USA to individually convince the 1 million+ immigrants every year that Libertarianism is better than Socialism.

  15. No troubles mate, that’s not a knife. This is a knife. There’s no room for other stereotypes of Aussies.

  16. I can’t help but note that the process that gave power to this idiot senator sounds an awful lot like a scheme that Reason/Bill Clinton’s Lani Guinier would endorse.

    A treat SH&$ – show!

  17. Islam iksn’t a race, fellas. Also, that Aussie Senator was absolutely correct. Muslim immigration is an attempt by the Moslems to form their caliphate as they are nearly accomplishing in Western Europe. The Moslems have also made inroads into the U.S. with the antisemitic and anti American congressman, Omar and Talib. The Moslmes woith their fun loving acts of terror get some of their own and not by lunatic Jews such as myself, but by their own antisemitic allies; e.g., the alt right//white nationalists.

    What happened at those mosques shouldn’t have happened. What is needed is government action such as the nuking of Mecca and then telling the practitioners of Islam that there is no reason to practice Islam anyore since it would no longer exist. Also, countries should ban public displays of Islam so they can’t spread their “kill the infidels wherever you find them” nonsense,

    If these steps are not taken, one can expect more displays as what went on in those Christchurch mosques and the next time the shooters might not be the lunatics that the alt/right, white nationalists are

    There’s no need to fear. Underzog is here

    p.s. you think those antisemites at 4 chanwill accept my;; Troll Song

    .

  18. The quoted statement as usually done by any and ALL media outlets with an agenda like this one, is incomplete.
    This is what he said after that: “Let us be clear, while muslims may have been the victims today, usually they are the perpetrators. World wide, muslims are killing people in the name of their faith on an industrial scale.”
    That is a FACTS based statement that I can agree with!

    1. Anning further stated: “The entire religion of Islam is simply the violent ideology of a sixth century despot masquerading as a religious leader, which justifies endless war against anyone who opposes it and calls for the murder of unbelievers and apostates. The truth is that Islam is not like any other faith. Is the religious equivalent of Fascism. And just because the followers of this savage belief were not the killers in this instance, does not makes them blameless.”
      Those are statements I can also agree with!

    2. Salero21: “That is a FACTS based statement that I can agree with!

      Is it? OK, consider this statement: “World wide, muslims are killing people in the name of their faith on an industrial scale.

      On what fact-based statistics was THAT statement based?

  19. His election was an absolute fluke in which he got only 19 votes.

    That statement is both INCOMPLETE and MISLEADING. Anning did NOT get “only 19 votes”.

    He only got 19 FIRST PREFERENCE votes.

    As opposed to 2nd preference votes, 3rd preference votes, etc. He wouldn’t have won otherwise.

    To understand what that means you need to understand that Australian Senate elections use proportional representation, which in turn use what Americans call ranked choice voting. (Australians call it “preferential voting”.) Britschgi’s explanation is confusing, so let me have a try.

    In Senate elections, each state is one electorate, which in turn leads to HUGE number of candidates standing. Often more than a hundred in the larger states like NSW. At the last election there were twelve Senate seats to be filled, twice more than normal, which in turn produced an even larger field of candidates. Those who win the most 1st preference votes win the initial seats of that 12. In contrast, by the time the last few seats are being decided candidates are relying on 50th or 60th preferences.

    That’s the way ranked choice voting works in elections with huge numbers of places to be filled and huge numbers of candidates standing.

    In short, that “19 votes” jibe is a smear. ANY candidate in that election who had won the same seat at the same election would have had an equally paltry number of (first preference) votes. It’s the way the Senate’s voting system works in that sort of situation.

  20. Is the middle east being over run by christians who have several wives & breed like rabbits?? He’s partially right m00slimes are usually on the other side of terrorist attacks. In the last 10 years tally up the deaths of infidels done by m00slimes vice versa.

  21. I see ‘racist’ often in this context, but never is there an explanation of how one can be racist against a religion.

    I thought the whole point of ‘Islamophobia’ was to (poorly) paint people with the brush of racism for not liking Islam, because ‘racism’ just doesn’t work.

    Please explain. Thanks.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.