- Reporter: David Eccleston
- Broadcast Date: February 16, 2010
Reverse racism. What is it, are you a victim of it?
Have you been sacked or refused a job because you're an Anglo Saxon Australian?
While other countries are busy branding Australians as racial bigots - the truth might be far more frightening.
For example, what does the law say about an employer who hires only Indian or Chinese workers?
This year over 35,000 people who came to Australia on temporary 457 Visas will be granted permanent skilled visas to stay in the country.
For years as a nation we've been battling, and rightly so, to stop the mistreatment of minorities, but some are now saying we've gone too far.
Craig Whitney was working at a meatworks in Ipswich - he says his employers started stripping shifts from white workers in favour of cheap foreign labourers less likely to complain that they're paid less to work more.
"It felt like a crime to be White Caucasian, they definitely wanted to get rid of me," Craig said.
"It was planned all along, to get rid of the Aussies because, I believe, the Australians were too expensive to hire and if they get the cheaper labour in they cut costs."
"One to two days of work were all us Aussies were on, where the Chinese or foreigners were on forty hours a week guaranteed."
Craig wants it known he's not racist. In fact, he and his Thai wife Rattiya now run a Thai restaurant in Brisbane.
Andrew Ferguson is from the 120,000 member strong Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union. His CFMEU says that because new migrants speak little English, and they've come from third world countries, they have no idea about award rates and penalties. In other words, they won't complain when they're being shafted - most are not union members.
"There is workers now complaining about wage cuts, not having work, and a threat to living standards. We can see it is only going to get worse in future years," Andrew said.
"Without a doubt there is reverse racism. There is employers that get gangs of workers from a particular language group, use them as cheap labour, exploit them and undermine labour standards."
Mr Ferguson points says its not just taking place in factories. He says it's taking place at the carwash, the supermarket and the takeaway.
Darrin Hodges represents the Australian Protectionist Party which claims the Australian way of life is under threat. The party is campaigning for a 'one in one out' immigration policy. And to protect the jobs of Australian workers.
"Reverse racism can be called positive discrimination or affirmative action and it's basically the idea that there's a sense of political disenfranchisement for the majority... who, even though they're like a majority, politically they're like a minority," Darrin said.
"If it's racist for the protectionist party to advocate on behalf of their identity, then groups like the Lebanese Muslim Association must also be racist, they're advocating on behalf of Lebanese Muslims."
"It would not be a problem if the same standards were applied to a business that wanted to employ solely white Australians."
National race discrimination Commissioner Graeme Innes maintains the union movement and Mr Hodges are compromised by self serving interests. He's calling for a new multicultural policy to stamp out entrenched workplace racism and celebrate diversity.
Innes says we should get a start on making new arrivals feel welcome, valued and safe.
"Newly arriving immigrants in Australia have not been welcomed and celebrated over many, many years," Graeme said.
"People in minorities in Australia, where the persistent pockets of racism occur, are not getting a fair go."
"Indian students are not getting a fair go. The 20 per cent of people who experience race hate talk are not getting a fair go and that's why I say racism is un-Australian."
So, are the views of Darrin Hodges racist?
"No.I don't hate anyone. I'm simply here as part of the protectionist party to advocate on behalf of the majority of Australians and the majority of Australians are people like me, in appearance... So if that's racist them maybe I'm racist," Darrin said.
"We need to dispense with this idea of multiculturalism. We need to go back to the idea of assimilation where we encourage people to become a part of the general Australian society instead of saying to them, look there's an ethnic enclave that's populated by your group, you go and live there and you can be outside of the Australian mainstream society."
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