Africans Having to Fight Against ‘History of Failure on Blackness’

Shane Green, The Age (Melbourne), April 27, 2011

AUSTRALIA’S inability to accept “blackness” is working against the settlement of African refugees, according to an eminent community leader.

Dr Berhan Ahmed, head of the African Think Tank and the 2009 Victorian Australian of the Year, also said Australia’s humanitarian assistance was “stopping at the airport”, and failed to provide African migrants with the skills to find jobs and engage in society.

Dr Ahmed was speaking out after two brawls involving the Sudanese community, both of which followed a beauty pageant and ended in violent attacks on police.

He condemned the violence as “appalling and shameful”, but said it was important to analyse the problems that led to the incidents.

Africans experienced racism daily, said Dr Ahmed, a refugee from Eritrea who arrived in Australia in 1987. “Australia has a black history with black people, and Africans coming with a black skin, they are just copping that sort of Aboriginal black treatment.

“We should have been ambassadors of change and acceptance for blackness. The system still has a problem accepting that blackness.”

Australia has a history of failure on blackness, he argued, “and that’s what’s halting Africans in their settlement”.

Dr Ahmed said African refugees were encountering racism when trying to find work. “People are changing their names to apply for a job. They are putting a different name to be called for an interview. And when they see their face, they tell them, ‘Oh sorry, we’ll call you again’.”

The Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission last year reported that young African Australians were suffering entrenched racial discrimination. After consultations in Dandenong, Commissioner Helen Szoke said “systemic barriers” restricted job prospects for young African Australians, who also said they felt targeted by police.

Anecdotal reports suggested that some employers tried to avoid hiring refugees by framing job descriptions that effectively excluded them.

Dr Ahmed, who last month gave evidence to the Federal Parliamentary inquiry into multiculturalism, said another problem for migrants was boredom and lack of engagement. This resulted from a lack of adequate training and education to equip Africans for jobs.

He argued that refugee policies had not changed in line with the shift in Australia from a manufacturing to a knowledge and service economy. Previous migrant intakes were absorbed into factories, and it was not unusual to hear of people who had not learned English throughout their working lives.

“Now our economy is a knowledge and service economy,” he said. “On the first day you have to be able to speak and write [English]. You have to have the qualifications and skills to fit into the system.”

Dr Ahmed expressed a growing frustration with the inability of politicians to address this issue. “It’s all been meeting and meeting and meeting. For the last four or five years, we’ve been meeting.”

Refugees were getting up to six months’ training, then returning to unemployment, he said. “Families are not getting anywhere. Their kids are also feeling that frustration.”

The issue is not new. In 2007, the then immigration minister Kevin Andrews created a storm when he admitted the Howard government had squeezed the African component of the refugee program because “some groups don’t seem to be settling and adjusting into the Australian way of life”.


A third brawl within Melbourne’s Sudanese community in as many days has left three people hospitalised.

Police are investigating whether the incidents are linked to a machete attack on a man at a Clayton party on Sunday night following the Miss South Sudan Australia beauty pageant.

Officers were called to a brawl between a group of Sudanese men in a carpark at a hotel in Melbourne’s east about 10.30pm (AEST) on Tuesday.

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The group scattered as police arrived at the East Ringwood car park, with three men requiring hospital treatment for cuts and bruises.

The latest stoush follows a brawl of up to 100 Sudanese men in Braybrook early on Tuesday.

Police were pelted with bottles when they arrived on the scene. One officer was hit on the face with a bottle and another punched in the back of the head.

Both were treated by paramedics at the scene and were able to continue their shift.

Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner Ken Jones says difficulties among migrant groups as they adapt to the laws of their new country are common.

“This isn’t about racism, this is about groups getting out of hand over a pageant and over a party, confronting our cops and it turned into a very, very ugly and nasty incident and the law will be enforced,” he told Fairfax Radio on Wednesday.

Sir Ken said his own experience in the UK had indicated groups from war-ravaged countries in the Horn of Africa often took a long time to settle into their new communities.

“It has to be acknowledged you’re not comparing like with like and people need a lot of help to integrate and assimilate.”

African Think Tank chair Berhan Ahmed says there are not enough employment opportunities for Sudanese youths in Australia, causing them to turn to high rates of alcohol consumption.

“The problem is not a police problem, the problem is opportunities,” Dr Ahmed told AAP.

“But by any standard what happened is not acceptable and should not happen in the future.”

Premier Ted Baillieu said he had spoken with the African Think Tank leaders and he hoped to talk with them again.

“We do have to recognise there are some problems in some communities and they do have to be addressed,” Mr Baillieu told reporters.

“Any community that is arriving here faces challenges.

“What we need is young, local leaders in all these communities stepping up to the plate.”

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  • Question Diversity

    The issue is not new. In 2007, the then immigration minister Kevin Andrews created a storm when he admitted the Howard government had squeezed the African component of the refugee program because “some groups don’t seem to be settling and adjusting into the Australian way of life”.

    Just Africans? That’s true for every group other than white people. Australia’s Arabs and Orientals really don’t seem to be adjusting to the Australian way of life. The only kind of people who can are its founding stock English-Irish population, with a few Germans and Italians scattered in.

  • Graham Richards

    Here we go again.

    Africans have failed to come up to standard in USA, UK, Europe & even on their own continent. Failure in Australia was inevitable.

    Funny how it’s always the same excuse, racism. Well guys we don’t want you here for the simple reason that until you learn to assimilate, which means you must leave all your African customs behind & become a 1st world citizen, something which African communities worldwide have never achieved.

  • AmericaFirst

    I am sure I will be neither the first nor last to say this, but why don’t the Sudanese go to a BLACK country? And why is only white nations that are expected to be humanitarian or altruistic?

    White nations are to provide homes, shelter, money, medical care, education, etc., for people that are without work or living skills suitable to a first world nation, and it is the fault of the HOST COUNTRY? What kind of insanity is this? Send the Sudanese (and the Somalis, and everyone else not Western or Westernized) to geographically, ethnically and religiously similar places.

  • sbuffalonative

    AUSTRALIA’S inability to accept “blackness” is working against the settlement of African refugees, according to an eminent community leader.

    Once again WE are the problem, not the Africans.

    The problem is not us. The problem is them coming to Australia.

  • Spartan24

    It is always about “accomodating”, “welcoming” or “acceptance” and nothing about helping refugees fit in with the new country that has so graciously allowed them to settle. If most jobs are service or knowledge based doesnt this moron realize that a working grasp of English would be required? Most manufacturing jobs have unfortunately gone to third world countries and China so those jobs are all but gone. Obviously these people do not want to put forth the effort to learn the language and social skills to live in Australia Not to mention that Somalis move to an area to colonize it and live in a replica of the hell hole they escaped- with full welfare packages. Bottom line is that Somalis need to stay in Somalia.

  • john

    Given the evidence all around them (to which there are no exceptions anywhere in the world), Australians are utterly stark, raving mad to allow the immigration of black Africans.

    There are simply no instances, by contemporary standards, of successful and productive black African societies. Not one, be they comprised of native Africans, immigrant Africans, or formerly enslaved Africans.

    Australians have trouble enough with their own native aborigines without importing more.

  • John

    I live in Melb and have watched this problem with Africans going from bad to worse.

    And as we keep bringing more of these refugees this is going to get worse. I have had one very tough and experienced policeman here on the front line tell me this is is going to get a whole let worse and we often dont hear all that really goes on until something on this scale happens.

    Other ethnic groups and Aussies do indeed cause crime as surely there are decent law abiding Africans. But I think the growing number of these people here and there growing penchant for US style gang mentality is a real worry. I am sure we will see more no go areas in Melb like you have in the States in cities like Detroit and other parts of the US ,,,,(where by the way some so called get rich Aussie idiots are buying homes in areas no decent person would want to live).

    Its the same classic game going on here as in the States and elsewhere. The minute you start to talking about what to do blacks start saying its all our fault that they are fighting each other with machetes, knives ,broken bottles etc.

    Of course senior police here have to toe the PC line and say things in a different way to those police on the front line copping the violence.

    There’s a link here from a local well known journalist, Andrew Bolt…

    http://goo.gl/7wKa3

    …which states clearly that recent Sudanese and Somali immigrants have the highest crime rates for their community in this state.

    As its often stated on this site African are their own worst enemy but if we are to hint this in any way the the racism card is played. We cant win either way. The idea we have to take in a certain amount of refugees every year according to the UN charter is a furphy for rampant third world immigration which is going to see a lot more of this going on.

  • Jay

    “and failed to provide African migrants with the skills to find jobs and engage in society.”

    – This is one of the main problems. They come with no skills at all to survive in a modern society, and then they demand that they be taught how to do this or that, and on top of that, they demand special preferences and affirmative action.

    Native citizens don’t get any help for free. They have to pay for everything. They have to work in menial jobs and put themselves through trade school or college to get a useful career, and then they are often saddled with debt on account of it.

    Foreigners from primitive goat herding societies demand it all for free – and why? Because they are honoring us with their presence and ‘vibrancy’.

  • Hands Off Our White Privilege!

    My race realism immersion therapy is meditating upon the durability of black failures and the resistance of blacks to “change,” and how their weakness for indolence makes fools of White do-gooders.

    O’Reilly just interviewed an NAACP black preacher thug in a White suit re Obama’s visiting another radical black church, and was noticeably and painfully more deferential with this black than any other guest. The black was intimidating, which is called “dignified”. He told O’Reilly that America is not post racial, and never will be until it gets “therapeutic help”.

    Okay, folks, that’s the new catch phrase they will use to attack Whites. “If you haven’t received our therapeutic help for your racism, you’re still a racist, and we will destroy your career, and our black Affirmative Action friends at the HUD and DOJ will destroy your neighborhood through the Voting Rights Act and Section 8. There’s nothing you can do about it. Even if you undergo our prescribed therapy, we’ll still do the same things to you, in the name of social and restorative justice. Your lily White children will give you mulatto grandbabies thanks to us.”

    You know I’m right.

    Transcend diversity, embrace Whiteness, beware and prepare, because you really do know what’s coming next…

  • Seneca the Younger

    The title should read like this:

    “Africans Having to Fight Against ‘Common Sense, Human Nature, and Facts'”

    “We should have been ambassadors of change and acceptance for blackness. The system still has a problem accepting that blackness.”

    Don’t the Orwellian psuedo-Communists have enough govt. jobs?

    “Australia has a history of failure on blackness”

    So does the rest of the world, including Africa.

    “This isn’t about racism…”

    Wrong, it is about racism. Well, your “racism”. We whites are “racist” because we don’t let you come into our countries and take over like the plague you are and hand over our white daughters on a silver platter. How racist of us to give your native country free food and money so you can have 8 kids and not have to work or starve. My bad.

  • Jacks eternal rage

    This is great. The whole White community is being blamed for blacks fighting each other with machetes. (I thought this behavior was traditional.) The blacks inability to take respectability for there actions is appealing. Play the race card and that’s diminished responsibility – only if your black of course. The race card trumps intelligence.The labor government has failed Australia. Time to reinstate White Australia policies. All opposed go live in Africa you degenerate traitors.

  • Brave1 (SavetheWest)

    No one ever held a gun to these Africans & told them they had to go to Australia, unlike their ancestors 400 years ago. It’s getting a bit ridiculous to hear these people whine their lives away. It’s called a GLOBAL ECONOMIC CRISIS. Not just some fairy tail that is made up by right-wing extremists. I don’t listen to the MSM about too many things but it’s obvious that jobs (yes, 3rd worlders,even in White nations) just aren’t available. If you don’t like that reality then don’t leave your homeland.

  • alexander

    “We should have been ambassadors of change and acceptance for blackness. The system still has a problem accepting that blackness.”

    The system has a problem accepting the behavior and lack of impulse control and intelligence of blacks period.

    It’s foolish to say that blacks are not wanted, because people just don’t like their color. Nobody wants a bunch of primitives around who are stupid, rude and behave badly.

    That’s true wherever these unruly, stupid people live. But China knows how to take care of them FAR better than the West.

  • Anonymous

    Why should there EVEN BE African blacks in Australia? They contribute nothing. Indeed they have nothing to contribute. I don’t see Japan or South Korea burdening itself with these troublesome people.

  • AvgDude

    It’s not the blackness of an individual that bothers them. It’s the inevitable spikes in violent crime, robbery, and welfare demands that come when too many blacks are around. They are designed for a prehistoric lifestyle; not a modern civilization. They’ll never fit in as a group because too many of them are utterly base and unusable in the modern world.

  • James N.S.W Australia

    You guys have no idea how quickly Africans have shown up in Australian rural communities. It has occured overnight; I only have to think back about three years ago and I probably didn’t see a single one walking around when I was out. Now there is always a pack roaming the streets whenever I go out. I don’t know how many are here or why they are moving to rural areas. I think the government is encouraging them to do so.

  • on the lam from the Thought Police

    Racism persists because it is reinforced by the behavior and performance blacks exhibit everywhere they live and everywhere they move.

  • Brian Cooper

    I have had enough of these spooks walking around where I live. They seem to wander aimlessly, they look really stupid in the clothes they wear and I am afraid that I can not, and will not extend the hand of friendship to any of these invaders. What do they expect us to do so they can get a job…all of us in Oz learn Sudanese to make the transition from the 3rd world to Oz? Pigs might fly.

  • Anonymous

    Africans experienced racism daily, said Dr Ahmed,

    Well, THAT is what one would call an inconvenience.

    Experiencing AFRICANS, on the other hand, is death itself.

    Or worse.

  • Anonymous

    — John wrote at 8:03 PM on April 27:

    I live in Melb and have watched this problem with Africans going from bad to worse

    —————————————————————–

    John, is it true that Ausies have been forced to surrender their guns and gun rights to the government?

    A friend told me this…I was a bit incredulous.

    If so, it makes me very sad. If there’s anyone with whom traditional Americans have had an affinity for, it is Australians. We have long liked eachother. We have long seen eachother as cousins, which we are.

    Americans have long admired Aussie toughness, pluck and humor.

    Did your government sheer you like sheep?

    Tell me it ain’t so.

  • John

    I heard on the local radio here in Melb today from an ex Victorian Premier,Jeff kennett,that most Sudanese and Somalians who come

    here are just given an eye test before being dropped in a house

    in suburbia with a family pension and other subsidies to look

    after them.How some of the most violent,crime prone people coming from one of the most hell holes places of a hell hole continent

    Africa, are let loose on our society without any orientation/familiarization of Australian society and culture

    just makes the mind boggle.Admittedly we would still have a problem no matter how much cultural awareness and training we gave these people.

    It just goes to show how criminally negligent our immigration policies and govt is in foistering this upon us.

    I used to pride myself on living in a beautiful,safe city where I could walk virtually anywhere without getting mugged or assaulted

    Not any more.

    Even the very tough copper I referred to in earlier posting says

    hes scared what we are coming to.I am sure the two coppers

    that were ambushed by 100 Sudanese youths with bottles,machetes,knives etc the other nite felt

    the same way.Actually they were extremely lucky to get out with just a few cuts and bruises.

    If any good comes out of this its that more Aussies

    are becoming more racially aware and hopefully we can take action in the future to stop this mindless open door refugee

    policy disaster.

  • Anonymous

    “He condemned the violence as “appalling and shameful”, but said it was important to analyse the problems that led to the incidents. Africans experienced racism daily”.

    Please do analyse this Australians. What led up to and caused the incident? Africans moving to Australia, by chance? I really think the one guy is misquoted. Surely he really said (because of his respect for truth, justice and the Australian way), “Africans express racism daily”?

  • Anonymous

    “He . . . said it was important to analyse the problems that led to the incidents.”

    The problem that led to the incident was that someone went to considerable expense (taxpayer money) to transfer thousands of Africans into Australia. If they had not been purposely brought to Australia, there would be no problem.

    Africans benefit Australia in no way. They have no skills or potential. They will continue to cause problems and cost money for generations to come. Why do our governmental leaders bring them to Australia? What is their goal?

  • Anonymous

    It is not up to Australia to deal with a ‘history of failure on blackness’. We must get past the WWII attitude that conquest and civilization are some kind of act of imposition upon people of color, whether native or abroad.

    We can solve Africa’s problems (if they will let us) _in Africa_. We cannot do anything but sicken our own cultures and destroy their integrity by bringing blacks here.

    That has always been the bald faced truth to this issue. If white nations (i.e. corporations) were truly interested in helping out Africa, even one country at a time, we could do it in a century of investment _there_.

    It would not be the equal of our societies. It would not have to be. But inviting trouble is worse than allowing it to happen to someone else, somewhere else. And refusal to develop technologies and implementation plans that save Africa for Africans while giving them a -semblance- of our world (child like mentality, remember) is the signature of corporate globalism: “Here, you take them, pay for them, endure their unpleasant company.”

    Politicians are elected by the corporations. Media and social welfare groups are run by them. Anything which seems to argue for a socialist dictatorship ‘because we won’t accept another boatload of trouble’ is _propaganda_.

  • Brian Cooper

    Anonymous wrote at 4:23 AM on April 28:

    ————————————————————————————————-

    John, is it true that Ausies have been forced to surrender their guns and gun rights to the government?

    A friend told me this…I was a bit incredulous.

    Tell me it ain’t so.

    It is TRUE. Some nutcase killed 35 people in Tasmania (Port Arthur massacre) and because of this, the government changed the gun laws and bought back all manner of illegal weapons from the honest and law abiding citizens, which left the crooks with all the high powered illegal weapons. So now, it’s truly a place of ‘cops and robbers’ where both sides are armed and most of us in the middle have nothing to protect ourselves with. Work that out.

  • Seek

    Exactly why is it the Aussies’ responsibility to address the special “needs” of people who have no intention, in any meaningful sense, of becoming Australian? Yes, I know about the Aborigines, their equivalent of our Indians, but even there, taxpayers ought not be on the hook. Let the Somalis and other Afros enjoy being in the majority — by returning to the countries whence they came.

  • Sylvie

    There has been quite an influx of Africans in my neighbourhood in recent years and whilst I have had no direct dealings with any of them, I can provide a couple of examples:

    1) While I was stopped at a red light, I observed an African (in American-style track-gear of course) struttin’ down the road. Then, he stopped and pulled it out and urinated right in the middle of the foot-path of a major road where pedestrians walk up and down regularly. Needless to say, this isn’t exactly in the realm of machete attacks and whathaveyou, but in my experience, even the roughest Aussie would never do that!

    2) I applied for some some fill-in work a number of years ago at an employment agency, The only other person there with me for the induction was an African. When asked by the supervisor whether drugs and alcohol were allowed to be used in the workplace – he got the answer wrong! The supervisor blanched briefly, regained her composure and passed his induction, thus letting this imbesile loose on Australian workplaces!

    Even the most stupid Aussie that was a habitual drug-user and even used drugs whilst at work would answer correctly anyway!

    Also, regarding the disarming of the average Australian, it’s true. I’m sure all of you know about Martin Bryant? The Port Arthur shooter that poster 25 (Brian Cooper) mentions above. Some nut goes ballistic and kills 35 people (we’ll leave the conspiracy theories out at the moment) and the government’s response is to effectivly disarm the ‘ordinary’ population by telling them to hand in their guns…no wonder the conspiracy theories are thriving!

  • SKIP

    I’ve related here before that in 1968, planning to go on R&R to Australia from Vietnam, we were told we couldn’t go there because the Australians wouldn’t let blacks off of the plane in Australia!!!! Bet the Australians are sorry they ever changed that law.

  • katana

    Aussies need to bring back the White Australia policy in some form or another.

    It was a common sense policy that recognized a biological truth, that a society prospers best when all its members have the same roots.

    There’s absolutely no need for any imported blacks in Australia. Aborigines are more than enough of a cross to bear.

    What but masochists would bring in Sudanese or Somalis to their ‘homes’?

    Why is it that whites have done a complete back flip from being empire builders and conquerors to whimpering fools and bed wetters?

    Why is it that whites are taught to hate themselves while praising and raising up non-whites, the darker the better?

    ‘Racist’ countries like Japan, for example, are fiercely proud of being ‘Japanese’, in all its racial and cultural essence.

    They keep the ‘purity’ of Japan by severely limiting the number long term foreigners allowed in, to only those that benefit the country.

    Japan is a country with an extremely low level of crime even by current (but declining) Australian standards, plus a level of social togetherness that makes it seem like a paradise compared to most Western ‘diversified’ countries.

    I can say proudly that I am by current definitions a ‘racist’. Thinking realistically about race is enough to be labelled a racist.

    Australia needs to restrict non white and third world peoples into the country.

    Send them money, send them food if it makes people feel better.

    Allowing the smart and educated in is just a perverse kind of cruelty, for it just deprives their home countries of the very thing they need.

    If Australia needs more people, bring feminism to heel and all it’s anti-family consequences.

    Whites need to break out of their suicidal ways. Beyond the multiculti rainbow of lies, is a pot called ‘reality’.