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The Recent Obsession With “African Gangs” (Read 6953 times)
Raven
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The Recent Obsession With “African Gangs”
Jan 6th, 2018 at 2:21am
 
Betrays A Sad Reality About Australian Politics.

Footy, kangaroos, meat pies and shameless displays of racist fear mongering in an election year — ah, the quintessential Aussie experience.

Over the past week the Australian media has been losing it over a supposed gang crime wave orchestrated by “African youth”. The Herald Sun has been running front page story after front page story calling on the state Labor government to take stronger action against “out-of-control African teens” and The Age has called for a “whole of government response” to “African gangs”.

While the media has whipped itself, politicians on all sides, and no doubt a decent chunk of the public, up into a frenzy the Victorian Police have actually been begging everyone to stop using the term “gang” because it doesn’t accurately represent the nature of the problem, and could actually make things worse.

To get to the crux of what’s really going on here it’s important to understand two things. Firstly, Victoria is having a state election later this year, and secondly, if there’s one thing conservatives love doing in an election year it’s breaking the emergency glass and pushing the giant red button labelled “race”.

Before we get into the politics of the situation, it’s worth taking a sober look at the crime stats to see if we can figure out what everyone is getting worked up about.

Over in The Guardian, Calla Wahlquist has pointed out that the overall crime rate has dropped in Victoria in the past 12 months, as has the proportion of crimes being committed by people under the age of 25. So on first glance, there’s not much evidence to suggest any kind of youth gang crisis.

Sudanese Australians, who are the cohort the media is generally referring to when they talk about “Africans” in this context, make up about 1.5 percent of Victorian criminal offenders. While that technically means that community is overrepresented in crime figures (they make up 0.1 percent of the population), again the raw numbers don’t seem to align with the intense media and political response to the so-called crisis.

There are a bunch of factors that help explain the overrepresentation of Sudanese Australians in the criminal justice system, including poverty and a lack of job and education opportunities, but the number of offences being committed doesn’t explain all the attention the issue is receiving.

The current flare up is reminiscent of the Apex gang stories throughout 2016 and 2017. According to the media, in particular the Herald Sun, the alleged gang was made up of young Sudanese men and responsible for a raft of brawls, riots and petty crimes across Melbourne.

The Herald Sun continued to report on gang last year even though police said back in April the group was a “non-entity” and was never predominately made up of people with African backgrounds.

So we’ve got a pretty well-established pattern where sections of the media are willing to ignore crime stats as well as the police in order to construct a narrative about alleged migrant crime. All that’s missing are a few politicians willing to escalate racial tension in order to snare a few extra votes. Thankfully, since this is Australia, we didn’t have to wait long.

Back in the mid-1990s former Prime Minister John Howard was regularly accused of “dog whistling”. It’s a political metaphor used to describe policies and rhetoric that use coded language to tap into the anxieties and fears of a particular subset of voters. Howard deployed these kinds of tactics regularly, especially on issues of race and immigration.

The thing about dog whistling is that you aren’t supposed to say “I think black people are criminals and we should jail them all”. That kind of gives the game away. Instead you talk about stuff like the need for “strong borders to protect Australia’s integrity”. Sounds more reasonable, but you’re basically saying “bugger off, we’re full”.

On New Year’s Day the federal environment minister, Greg Hunt, said that “African gang crime” was “out of control” and blamed Premier Daniel Andrews. Now that’s less a dog whistle and like that enormous speaker from Back to the Future Marty blows up at the beginning of the film.

Sure enough, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull followed suit and similarly blamed the apparent rise in gang crime on the Victorian government. The federal government even threw its support behind the Victorian opposition’s plan for tougher sentencing laws, just in case you weren’t clear enough that this extremely obvious intervention was about damaging the state Labor government in an election year.

The insidious thing about this kind of craven political campaigning is that the details and facts don’t matter. The conservatives think that as soon as the topic shifts to law and order, as opposed to things like health and education policy, they win. When both sides start talking about getting “tough on crime”, the thinking is that voters will drift towards the Liberals, because they trust them to be “tougher” more than they trust Labor. The trick for Labor is try and avoid fighting on this confected law and order turf in the first place.

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Quoth the Raven "Nevermore"

Raven would rather ask questions that may never be answered, then accept answers which must never be questioned.
 
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Raven
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Re: The Recent Obsession With “African Gangs”
Reply #1 - Jan 6th, 2018 at 2:24am
 
Continued...

So far it appears that the Liberal’s gambit has paid off. The biggest debate in the country is about an ‘African gang crime crisis’ that even the police say doesn’t exist, and they’ve managed to get at least some in the Labor party to dance to their tune.

But of course it was going to pay off. It always does. Politicians love using immigrants and Indigenous Australians as punching bags when they’re desperate for votes. Look at Abbott’s embrace of ‘”stop the boats” in 2013, or the NT intervention in 2007. Ripping into minorities to try and win elections is part and parcel of our political DNA.

One of the common straw man arguments used by conservatives in this discussion is to accuse people who aren’t buying into the narrative of an African gang crime wave of “burying their heads in the sand”. The left, they argue, is so desperate to be “politically correct” they won’t even condemn crime.

But this isn’t about denying the existence of crime. It’s about injecting reality in the discussion, and questioning whether a particular community deserves to be demonised for base political reasons, just because a small proportion of that group have been found guilty of committing crimes.

If you’re still not convinced this is about race, let’s take a look at the nature of the crimes committed by the so-called gangs.

In the past month young Sudanese Australians have been accused of trashing an AirBnB property, assaulting a police officer and taking part in a street brawl. These incidents are essentially the genesis for the current crop of “gang crisis” stories flooding the news. Questioning whether these incidents deserve the the focus of the national media and federal representatives of both major political parties isn’t the same as saying “no crimes have been committed”, as conservatives try to argue.

Compare the response to these alleged crimes to the way the media covered the huge beach brawl in Sydney on Christmas Day. Three thousand people, predominantly backpackers, gathered on Little Bay beach, broke the law by drinking in an alcohol free zone and scuffled with police who were attempting to break up the party.

Two people were later charged after assaulting police officers and throwing bottles at them. It took the police nearly three hours to clear the area.

The media referred to the largely English backpackers as “Christmas revellers” (if their skin was a different colour I imagine we would have called them “rioters”), no state or federal politicians felt the need to respond, despite the fact thousands of immigrants had broken the law and two police officers had been assaulted, and the story disappeared after one day.

A sustained media and political campaign against the backpackers would have been absurd and ultimately useless, even if the differing reactions point to a hypocrisy in the way Australia talks about crime. But what are the potential consequences of the current campaign against alleged gang crime in Melbourne?

The Victorian opposition, with the support of the federal government, is calling for harsher sentences, stricter bail conditions and more police resources. Hopefully Labor will resist the pressure to take a ‘lock them up and throw away the key’ approach, and acknowledge that investing in education, employment and poverty reduction is a smarter solution to reducing crime than jailing kids.

After all, surely the only thing worse than desperately flicking the switch to “we’re tough on crime” in response to a gang crisis is doing it in response to a gang crisis that doesn’t exist.
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Quoth the Raven "Nevermore"

Raven would rather ask questions that may never be answered, then accept answers which must never be questioned.
 
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salad in
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Re: The Recent Obsession With “African Gangs”
Reply #2 - Jan 6th, 2018 at 7:01am
 
Over in The Guardian, Calla Wahlquist has pointed out that the overall crime rate has dropped in Victoria in the past 12 months, as has the proportion of crimes being committed by people under the age of 25. So on first glance, there’s not much evidence to suggest any kind of youth gang crisis.

We all know how the crime rate 'drops' in Victoria.

Keeping appearances on immigration


Consider now the brawls in the Sudanese community, or the young Somalis returning "home" for jihad.

The Howard government's last immigration minister, Kevin Andrews, did warn in 2007 of the violence among African refugees, only to be howled down by the usual screams of "racist!".

Worse, Victoria's then chief commissioner, Christine Nixon, rebuked him with a falsehood, claiming "Sudanese refugees are actually under-represented in the crime statistics".

In fact, her private data showed Sudanese were four times more likely to be charged with crimes.
If you want anecdotal corroboration, here are news reports of crimes from around the country for just this month.

https://www.perthnow.com.au/opinion/keeping-appearances-on-immigration-ng-ea6377...

Who wants a healthy dose of 'inclusiveness' so that new arrivals feel they are part of the Australian community. Here's a nice slice of 'inclusiveness':

There is indeed a problem, as the winner of this year's bloodied
Miss South Sudan Australia
title, Nyakor Tut, admits: "Our leaders and young people are worried about punch-ons in our community, but we don't have the resources to deal with this."
** from the same article above.

Are we to presume that the Miss South Sudan Australia is open to all? And these people scream 'racism' at every opportunity.

Want more 'inclusiveness'? Cop this:

Crime prevention programs for culturally and linguistically diverse communities in Australia


Police and Afghan Youth Camp

Police and African Youth Project

Women’s Only Swimming

Burmese Refugee (Karen/Chin) Police Information Sessions

Etc.

http://www.aic.gov.au/publications/current%20series/rip/1-10/18.html

Women’s Only Swimming...that's sure to achieve 'inclusiveness'.

So many programs to highlight how our immigration program is a failure and with so many programs in operation how does that achieve 'inclusiveness'? Want to know how come the health or education budgets have been snipped? You can see where the money has gone.
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The ALP, the progressive party, the party of ideas, the workers' friend, is the only Australian political party to roast four young Australians in roof cavities. SHAME! SHAME! SHAME!
 
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Grendel
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Re: The Recent Obsession With “African Gangs”
Reply #3 - Jan 6th, 2018 at 7:04am
 
Does the recent obsession with African gangs have anything to do with the recent arrival of African gangs?
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red baron
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Re: The Recent Obsession With “African Gangs”
Reply #4 - Jan 6th, 2018 at 7:54am
 
What obsession..African gangs are running amok in Victoria

People are scared to go out of their  own homes

What obsession?
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cods
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Re: The Recent Obsession With “African Gangs”
Reply #5 - Jan 6th, 2018 at 8:36am
 
red baron wrote on Jan 6th, 2018 at 7:54am:
What obsession..African gangs are running amok in Victoria

People are scared to go out of their  own homes

What obsession?



Sunrise had a very interesting group on this morning   I do hope you may have seen it...

two members of the Sudanese community   with different attitudes... one was very vocal as he should have been   calling  a spade a spade the first one  pompously claimed crime has no color......the other guy snapped back.. YES IT DOES....and it need dealing with NOW...he said to sack all those who are claiming funding for helping troubled youth... because the youth were not getting it....he claims they are lining their own pockets... Roll Eyes Roll Eyes  old habits maybe ...

it was really refreshing to see a black guy calling it for what it is..... a shambles all they top guys do is point fingers at each other....

so now the Cops are calling them gangs....seriously   that will make all the difference... Roll Eyes Roll Eyes Roll Eyes

Victoria your hopeless! Angry
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Bobby
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Re: The Recent Obsession With “African Gangs”
Reply #6 - Jan 6th, 2018 at 8:39am
 
red baron wrote on Jan 6th, 2018 at 7:54am:
What obsession..African gangs are running amok in Victoria

People are scared to go out of their  own homes

What obsession?




We are scared to live in our own homes -

home invasions are still happening.

How do you deal with 6 or more armed Africans inside your home?
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Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.
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Sir lastnail
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Re: The Recent Obsession With “African Gangs”
Reply #7 - Jan 6th, 2018 at 10:00am
 
The obsession is because no other race conducts themselves like this on a regular basis.

Can we at least get rid of them ? Nobody wants that shite here and nobody would care if they were dragged back to where they belong. I wouldn't.
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"When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours." - Luke Muehlhauser
 
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Re: The Recent Obsession With “African Gangs”
Reply #8 - Jan 6th, 2018 at 10:05am
 
Bobby wrote on Jan 6th, 2018 at 8:39am:
red baron wrote on Jan 6th, 2018 at 7:54am:
What obsession..African gangs are running amok in Victoria

People are scared to go out of their  own homes

What obsession?




We are scared to live in our own homes -

home invasions are still happening.

How do you deal with 6 or more armed Africans inside your home?


A high capacity magazine?
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Wokka Wokka Wokka
 
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Re: The Recent Obsession With “African Gangs”
Reply #9 - Jan 6th, 2018 at 10:08am
 
Sir lastnail wrote on Jan 6th, 2018 at 10:00am:
The obsession is because no other race conducts themselves like this on a regular basis.

Can we at least get rid of them ? Nobody wants that shite here and nobody would care if they were dragged back to where they belong. I wouldn't.


X2...................... Cool
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1. "There has never been a more serious assault on our standard of living than the carbon tax." Ajax
2. “Scratch the average homosexual and you will find a pedophile" Kevin Bishop (homosexual)
 
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Bobby
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Re: The Recent Obsession With “African Gangs”
Reply #10 - Jan 6th, 2018 at 10:17am
 
Gordon wrote on Jan 6th, 2018 at 10:05am:
Bobby wrote on Jan 6th, 2018 at 8:39am:
red baron wrote on Jan 6th, 2018 at 7:54am:
What obsession..African gangs are running amok in Victoria

People are scared to go out of their  own homes

What obsession?




We are scared to live in our own homes -

home invasions are still happening.

How do you deal with 6 or more armed Africans inside your home?


A high capacity magazine?



One of these would be handy but they're illegal:

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Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.
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Re: The Recent Obsession With “African Gangs”
Reply #11 - Jan 6th, 2018 at 10:19am
 
cods wrote on Jan 6th, 2018 at 8:36am:
red baron wrote on Jan 6th, 2018 at 7:54am:
What obsession..African gangs are running amok in Victoria

People are scared to go out of their  own homes

What obsession?



Sunrise had a very interesting group on this morning   



Now there's something I never thought I'd hear.

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Re: The Recent Obsession With “African Gangs”
Reply #12 - Jan 6th, 2018 at 12:03pm
 
"make up about 1.5 percent of Victorian criminal offenders. While that technically means that community is overrepresented in crime figures (they make up 0.1 percent of the population), again the raw numbers don’t seem to align with the intense media and political response to the so-called crisis"

The apologist media at its finest.......  Grin  Grin  Grin  Grin  Grin
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“Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.”
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Re: The Recent Obsession With “African Gangs”
Reply #13 - Jan 6th, 2018 at 12:14pm
 
Ye Grappler wrote on Jan 6th, 2018 at 12:03pm:
"make up about 1.5 percent of Victorian criminal offenders. ..."


Actually, 1.5% of criminal offenders who have been caught.

This list of unsolved crimes is endless - who's committed those offences?
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Re: The Recent Obsession With “African Gangs”
Reply #14 - Jan 6th, 2018 at 12:20pm
 
Obsession or not, this policeman still has a lot to say about the "thugs" ("thugs" mentioned at 2:10mins)

Watch video

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-01-02/street-gangs-are-a-problem-in-melbourne-po...
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