I did it, I unfollowed some of my Facebook friends, because I think it’s the best thing for my own mental health. “Sorry, not sorry.” – as the kids are want to say.

As part of my resolution to not respond to ignorant posts on social media I had to unfollow some people, including my own dad! I’ve grown tired of people who don’t live here in Victoria posting articles and stories detailing how bad the “African gangs” are here in Melbourne. It’s just not a problem we’re really seeing, but it is a story that the media is running with and some of my Facebook friends are tirelessly posting, even to the point that some of them are sending me links to stories or other Facebook posts via messenger.

Most of the links are to posts by groups that are routinely racist but existing under the guise of “patriotism” or “being dink-di Australian”. But really, when the things they target are Australia’s First People, Asylum Seekers, and anyone else who isn’t white (and mostly male, cause they seem to be very anti-feminist too).

A recent post about our apparent epidemic of the African crime sprees that Melbourne is suffering showed examples of crimes committed by people of African decent. It showed about three of them, from across the last two years. Surely if we’re living in fear of our lives because of the overflowing crimewave there would be heaps of these examples to pull from.

Also in recent weeks we’ve seen instances where these “patriots” are antagonising groups in the “known hotspots”. There was an incident at a beach in St Kilda where a group of people of “African appearance” were kicking a soccer ball around on the beach and these “patriots” put themselves amongst those playing soccer putting their cameras in their faces and interrupting play. They were deliberately being confrontational in an attempt to get the African youth to respond in an aggressive nature so they could get it on camera.

Police attempted to intervene but the “patriots” refused to stop filming the soccer players, and of course those who had cameras shoved in their faces were annoyed. They were clearly frustrated that the police weren’t doing anything and one of them did indeed strike out and will likely face charges for interfering with a police officer.

It’s a situation that never should have happened and it’s a situation that was caused by the actions of these self determined holders of “Australian values”, and it’s not the first time we’ve seen it.

Racism is at the core of these people, and racism is endemic in the Australian psyche. And sometimes that racism is put on hold when it serves their purpose: Such as with the vile St Kilda Beach far right gathering we saw recently. These racists, stood shoulder to shoulder with the Vietnamese community who were facing attacks by people of African appearance in recent times. These same “patriots” would likely have been the same groups that have previously been infuriated by Vietnamese migration.

The simple fact is over reporting by the media, does not equal over representation in the statistics. The media outlets of the right panders to those who live in fear to get the views for their stories. In the past we haven’t typically had a large contingent of African immigrants, so the enemy we needed to fear were the Italians, those from the Baltic nations, then the Chinese, Vietnamese… but people from the African nation, those who have dark skin, they are easier to point to and go “there’s us and then them” and the “them” are coming to get you. But really they aren’t for the most part.

There are bad people of all races, it’s humans that conduct crime and in no case is a whole racial group responsible for the actions of the few. Let’s live our lives the best we can without the judgement of others based on things they really can’t change about themselves. Let’s not make the lives of others worse by propagating incorrect or inflammatory information which tars a group of people with a single brush.

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