Modern racism has its origins in the development and global eruption of Western colonialism. An ideology was needed to justify the slaughter, enslavement, inhuman exploitation and dispossession of entire peoples in the Americas, Africa, Asia and Australia. Racism — the idea that the colonised peoples are inferior to the colonisers — was constructed to do the job.
In Australia, racism justified the settlers’ murderous takeover of Aboriginal lands and the destruction of their society. It underlies the brutal bipartisan ‘Stop the boats’ policy in force today against refugees. And now we see the emergence of a far-right movement seeking to divert popular anger over capitalist neoliberal policies against some of the most vulnerable sections of our society.
This pamphlet explains the origins and rise of modern racism globally and in Australia. It also suggests what we must do today to effectively fight against it.