Deveny writes a regular column for The Age, a newspaper which claims to be Melbourne's quality broadsheet. Her latest effort is an argument against the baby bonus, a payment of $5000 to mothers on the birth of a child.
This is Deveny's gentle introduction to the issue:
From July 1 our Government will be bribing nice white, or almost white, women with $5000 to have a baby. When I say white or almost white, I'm referring to breeders born here or breeders deemed by the Government as acceptable to live here.
Deveny is shocked that white women might be encouraged to have children. It would be better, she thinks, if they were paid not to have kids. Why would you encourage white women to have families of their own when there are non-white families who could be brought here? The answer must be the evil racism of whites:
I see the baby bonus as an extension of the White Australia Policy ... What I don't understand is why the Government is trying so hard to get the Aussie girls breeding when there are hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers with young children gagging to live in Australia ... No one has any answers for me. Here's my answer. Racism.
Deveny herself is a white woman with three children. Is she therefore an evil white breeder? Her answer is very close to a yes:
To be honest, had I known about the environment what I know now, I never would have had three children ... I've met many people who've decided not to have kids ... Whatever the reasons, good on them. Give them a "no baby bonus" I say.
Having just made clear her opposition to family formation, Deveny then offers advice to the Government on how best to support families. Despite being an anti-market leftist, she wants family roles to be commodified:
If government was committed to families, it would be setting up low-cost, high-quality child care in conjunction with fully paid parenting and paid grandparenting ...
Read the whole piece if you want to get the ugly tone of it. Two things are particularly striking about the article. First, it doesn't matter to Deveny that both major parties are committed to very high levels of non-white immigration. In her mind, whites are the dominant oppressor group and therefore society is structured in a systemic way to maintain their privilege. Ideology trumps reality.
The second striking thing is the disdain and contempt for her own coethnics that this ideology produces. She is troubled by the thought of white babies, despite having several herself. Why would any self-respecting white person sign on to such a self-destructive leftism?
What's really happening in Deveny's mind? I suspect that she has absorbed the theory that a white ethnicity was artificially constructed for the purpose of power and domination. Whiteness is therefore to be treated as a uniquely evil phenomenon.
It's not a difficult theory to challenge. It's much more likely that the different Western ethnic groups developed over time in much the same way that the non-Western ones did. In both cases, ethnicity was valued primarily as a source of identity and meaning. Although Western ethnic groups have dominated others at various periods of history, so too have non-Western groups been dominant over others.
Deveny is an end product of an unlikely ideology. The first impression on reading her column is a sense of what is unhealthy and unviable in her mentality. It's difficult to miss, too, the inconsistency in what she herself has chosen to do (have a family) and what she suggests it is politically correct to do (remain childless).
It seems reasonable to doubt the moral authority of a writer like Deveny and to choose instead to subject her political beliefs to critical scrutiny.