As a coloured female in Australia, I am very familiar with the double standard.
One notion that has really impacted on me as an adult trying to engage in commercial activities to improve my quality of life (i.e earning an income) I have come to realise something about Australia. I do wonder if it is uniquely Australian?
My realisation: Non white migrants were not meant to sit on top of the dung pile with Anglo Saxons. Ah-ah, no no.
Why? Because the Restricted Immigration Act 1901 did not want coloured people making any economic gains in Australia that may increase their participation in power making decisions. This was true of Chinese people and the Kanakas in Northern Queensland. Let’s get it plain and straight: Non white people were/are brought into Australia because Anglo Saxon Australians are lazy. Too lazy to come up with economic policy to increase productivity other than to dig minerals out from the ground. So the easiest and quickest way out is to get all those rich non whites into the country to increase the tax base- the truth of this is that migrants are hungry for socioeconomic mobility. They will work hard to ensure they aren’t on the dole queues and that their kids are well educated and professional. They are hungry to provide their kids a life they didn’t have. There was never ever, for one moment in Anglo power thinking an inkling that Australia would be represented by an Aboriginal face , a mixed race face or a non Anglo face. Never. Which is why so many government policies, institutions and media companies made sure that mixed race / coloured people would never advance to take up any position of power and would never come to be an ‘Australian’.
Snapshot to the Brits and whites (read South Africans) from elsewhere- why do they come here? So they can take all the plum top executive jobs in banks, government, media companies etc and have a ‘lifestyle’ – live in affluent leafy suburbs with harbour views, drive expensive cars, kids in private schools and of course the mandatory size 10 blonde wife. The more ‘charming’ she is, the higher the brownie points. For a white person Australia is a ‘lifestyle choice’. The red carpet is rolled out- the more you look like ‘us’ (read Anglo), the more you’ll have economic freedom to rise to the top of the dung pile. The ‘White Entitlement’ from white migrants in other countries to Australia never ceases to astound me, their arrogance and confidence only reaffirmed and supported once they reach Australia.
For most coloured people, Australia is represents a stable government, a sense of freedom (albeit covertly limited) and running away from persecution (religious, ethnic, linguistic etc). Many coloured migrants have given up status and respect from their home countries to give it a go in Australia and many end up realising Australia is great but will never afford them the same status and respect if they are non white.
Sadly, this is definitely the case for Australian Aboriginals. How much of a slap in the face is that for people who have every right to be here and every right to sovereignty and power but denied this everyday? There in lies the double standard here in Australia- you’re not white enough you don’t stand a chance and especially if you are an ethnic female or an Aboriginal, the original First People of this country. Why is this truth lost on so many people in Australia?
Like ‘Terra Nullius’ how unbelievably convenient.