Posted on December 17, 2023

Discovering Race Realism in the Land Down Under

Molly Verglas, American Renaissance, December 17, 2023

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This is part of our continuing series of accounts by readers of how they shed the illusions of liberalism and became race realists.

Even as a child, I understood the orthodox views of race and culture. How could I not? I was a Generation Z Australian child, and I lived in North Shore Sydney, one of the most progressive, whitest, and better-off parts of the nation. 

Orthodox thinking in regard to race and culture was embedded into my education from primary school. We had “Harmony Day,” a yearly celebration of multiculturalism and diversity. Students wore traditional cultural costumes and brought in their traditional foods. We Anglos wore orange, the designated color for those who didn’t have a traditional costume. It was understood implicitly that we vanilla Anglos weren’t part of diversity.

This had a sheen of racial equality, one must understand. More “diverse” Europeans were able to participate, such as Greeks and Poles. In my time, some people of Irish background, descendants of early convicts, managed to wiggle through. Today it is no longer implicit; the school website explicitly lists all cultural costumes — except those of English heritage. I wonder if the Irish still get through.

Implicit or not, we still understood the core principle; those who were culturally and ethnically different were owed our respect. This seemed reasonable, to a younger me. All people deserved to be treated well, didn’t they? And yet, they never seemed to owe us respect back.

Respect for diversity was fundamental to our country, we were taught. The Australian nation is often said to be built on the premise that all its citizens were given “a fair go.” All contributions, all cultures, were equal.

All the same, pride of place was given to the Aboriginal People, or First Nations, the inhabitants of Australia prior to settlement. They, as chronologically the first ethnicity and culture on the Australian continent, were owed extra respect.

The First Nations people were the custodians of the land. Through their thousands of years of nomadic life and mystical connection to Country, they had attained knowledge of the Australian environment no settler culture could dream of. This also made sense, really. Knowledge was accumulated with age. As a culture, we were told, the Aboriginal nations made understanding and preserving the land their highest spiritual duty. The only Aboriginal people we saw in the flesh were those hired by the school on certain days to present to us about Aboriginal culture. To my memory, these involved a lot of clapping sticks, gum leaves, Aboriginal folklore, and some didgeridoo performances, but they seemed to support the idea that Aboriginal people were generally a wise, thoughtful group.

This was reaffirmed by the ever-present “Acknowledgement of Country” and “Welcome of Country.” For non-Australians, an “‘Acknowledgement of Country” can be done by anyone. However, only Aboriginal people are allowed to “Welcome” others to Country, and, I later learnt, are usually paid to do so.

One or the other is performed as a sign of respect at most sports games, performances, and presentations. They are also par for the course in school assemblies – weekly school assemblies. At the beginning of each assembly, a statement would be made, acknowledging the traditional ownership, by people I had never met, over the places where I had lived my entire life. That seemed normal at the time, too, if rather dull to a child of nine.

This ethos was supported by teachers and peers, by family, and by family friends. It was embedded in one’s mind that racialist thinking was not just verboten, but intrinsically immoral.

Typical of the North Shore, the attitude was also imbued with snobbery. Bigotry is the archetypal behavior marking the working class, what we in Australia call the “bogan”: the uncouth, backwards person who drinks excessively and talks with too much slang. “Cultural diversity” grants those of other backgrounds respect. The white bogan may be a friend or uncle, the tradie one trusts when the plumbing breaks or they get locked out. But bogans are never given the same deference.

My education in orthodoxy accelerated in high school. I went to a girls-only Catholic school, an exceptionally “progressive” one. Dedication to social justice was promoted as a key part of the Catholic faith.

Non-whites were considered inherently disadvantaged due to our mistreatment, and for none was this more apparent than the Aboriginal people. Settlement, the creation of our society, was only an act of criminal theft from them. There was the common sentiment that Australians could not complain about immigration or the loss of their country, because Aboriginals had implicitly lost the same, and in that sense the destruction of “so-called Australia” was something owed.

They had lower education rates, higher unemployment and incarceration rates, we were told, as a result of colonization that we had inflicted on them. Alcoholism and violence, we were taught in religious studies, were the results of disconnection from their sacred land. The solution could only be granting them power over the land they said was theirs and the fulfillment of tribal religious obligations.

Feeling lost in my teenage years, I found my place in the world on the internet, and specifically on the leftist internet, religiously following The Guardian and other leftist media. I studied analyses of the Far Right, and then I started looking at the Far Right sources themselves, driven by a fascinated horror. I found American Renaissance. The content was outrageous to me at first — bare bones racialist thinking without any deflection and denial. And yet I found that I simply could not prove the fundamental arguments for race realism false.

I had had an avid interest in ecology from childhood, and race realism fit with its every example and principle. If different subspecies of other animals showed different characteristics, why did one presume homo sapiens to be any different? If one presumed that Aboriginal people had been isolated on the continent for thousands of years, the natural assumption in biology would be development of different traits, wouldn’t it? If different breeds of dog and cat and horse showed differing temperaments, the obvious conclusion would be that descent could indeed affect temperament, right?

These sentiments were all deeply “immoral” according to the progressive ethos, and yet I could not say they were false. They provoked a sea change in my thinking. I reevaluated my understanding through a different lens, and all too often my previous conclusions I found lacking.

I studied the history of my country again, and with new eyes, I found it beautiful. A ragtag assortment of Britons and other sundry Europeans had been called to a home outside Europe, and convicts and free settlers formed together to conquer the continent they would bequeath to their children. I saw that for most of our past, Australians had seen “a fair go,” not as an invitation to hand our country over, but as the insistence that our nation’s bounty should be shared among all who worked toward it.

I looked into the art and literature our nation had created, which had, with few exceptions, never been taught to me at school. They represented a culture of hardy strength and courage, which had been replaced by the worship of “multiculturalism.” That culture included Wattle Day celebrations and bush poetry, now all but forgotten outside of historical societies.

And although I now realize how my country is fighting for its life, I still have hope. The recent referendum for an Aboriginal Voice resulted in a sea of political hectoring, with all major businesses and sporting associations either supporting the constitutional amendment or remaining neutral. All the same, the referendum was defeated, both nationally and in every state. From the change in language heard around our country, I see others undergoing a sea change similar to my own.

I’ll finish with a quote from an old poem I did get to study at school:  “A Federal Song,” by George Essex Evans, written in 1809, prior to the formation of the Australian federation.

We have flung the challenge forward: “Brothers, stand or fall as One!” She is coming out to meet us in the splendour of the Sun.

From the graves beneath the sky

Where Her nameless heroes lie,

From the forelands of the Future they are waiting our reply!

We can face the roughest weather

If we only hold together,

Marching forward to the Future, marching shoulder-firm together, For the Nation yet to be.

My forefathers indeed made that nation, and yet it is now dying alongside its siblings. Whether they can live again is the question the world poses to us. And as the poet said, our ancestors are waiting for our reply.

If you have a story about how you became racially aware, or about your firsthand experience with race, we’d like to hear it. If it is well written and compelling, we will publish it. Please feel free to use a pen name and send it to us here.