A possie in Aussie

February 16, 2009

Unemployment, migrants and mindless media

Filed under: Immigrant workers,race relations — Nayano @ 8:13 am
Tags: ,

‘They took our jobs’ was the rallying cry of the residents of South Park when they demonstrated against refugees from the future. It was funny because it reflected a painful reality- many people really do think that immigrants take their jobs.

Dave Bennion asks a blindingly obvious question in his recent blog : “Why then, do you blame your co-workers, who still earn less than you and are struggling as much if not more than you, and not your employer who breaks the law and takes advantage of all his/her employees?” 

Why indeed?

And why chant ‘They took our jobs’ when it is recent immigrants who inevitably bear the brunt of financial downturns? The US recession is already having an especially severe impact on employment prospects for immigrant Hispanics, according to an analysis by the Pew Hispanic Center, a project of the Pew Research Center. The unemployment rate for foreign-born Hispanics increased from 5.1% to 8.0%, or by 2.9 percentage points, from the fourth quarter of 2007 to the fourth quarter of 2008, white the unemployment rate for all persons in the labor market increased from 4.6% to 6.6%, or by 2.0 percentage points. Australia will follow the lead of the US into recession, just as it has in everything else –  same, but smaller and less dramatic.

Since unemployment is rising in Australia, and people will feel the pressure of less disposable income, or the threat of less income, expect to hear ‘They take our jobs’ more loudly and more often. This will happen even when recent immigrants are losing their jobs, and will ‘justify’ all kinds of racism.

Be ready to speak out. Blog. Comment on blogs. Write to the press. Especially send letters and comments to blogs and media you wouldn’t normally watch or read. There are many people – people you know – who form their opinions from information from the likes of Alan Jones, Andrew Bolt & Janet Albrechtson. Perhaps they’ll read your comment too.

I’ve just made myself very nervous. How about you?


1 Comment »

  1. […] What’s a ‘possie’? Unemployment, migrants and mindless media […]

    Pingback by Migrant workers save jobs! « A possie in Aussie — February 17, 2009 @ 7:41 am | Reply

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