It's yet another example of the way that Australia Day has become dominated by race politics. Here's another example. A rising young tennis star, Bernard Tomic, has a luxury $150,000 car that, as a probationary driver, he is only permitted to drive to and from training. On Australia Day he apparently breached these conditions and was pulled over several times by police. He is now claiming that he is a victim of racism (he is of Croatian descent):
Bernard Tomic allegedly accused Gold Coast police of harassing him because "you think I'm not Australian" as he was pulled over three times yesterday for breaching driving restrictions in his high-powered BMW.
Tomic, a rising star of Australian tennis, was fined $600 and copped enough points to lose his licence.
The claims began a bizarre spinout from the teenage P-plater, who can only drive his bright orange $150,000 V8 BMW M3 to and from training.
He appeared to defy police and did laps of the trendy Broadbeach restaurant strip with a mate before locking himself in his home.
Police sources said Tomic alleged officers pulled him over because it was Australia Day, referring to his European heritage.
Again, I find that extraordinary. Tomic is one of the most privileged young people in Australia. He has money, fame and public adulation. And yet when something goes wrong he immediately claims that he is a victim of racism - for being Croatian of all things.
And to return to the Aboriginal incident again, it was disappointing to read the comments on the story from Daily Mail readers. Many of the most upvoted comments spoke about Aborigines being treated as second-class citizens in Australia. It makes me wonder what people overseas have been taught to believe about the treatment of Aborigines in this country. Are they aware of the vast tracts of land owned by Aboriginal tribes? Of the positive discrimination in education, such as free tutoring and mentoring, university admissions programmes and liaison officers? Of the encouragement to Aborigines to identify positively with their own tradition, an encouragement not offered to the mainstream?
At an official level Australia Day just isn't working as a day of national celebration. Lawrence Auster made a brief comment about my Australia Day posts that "Australia sounds far more PC than America" and if you were to jet in during the lead up to Australia Day and read the papers and watch the TV you'd most likely agree. But at an unofficial level it's not so bad; there seem to be young people, in particular, who take the chance to get together and celebrate the day more positively.
What can you do if you identify with the mainstream tradition in Australia? A right-liberal like Andrew Bolt would argue that everyone should just forget about race, ethnicity and nationality and interact on a purely individual basis. But that means giving up on our larger identities; it's a solution based on an impoverished identity.
Left-liberals believe that the mainstream is a dominant group which practises racism to uphold its privileges. So the left-wing solution is for the mainstream to give up its racism and its privileges. But as we've seen many of those who push these ideas are much more privileged than the average person in the mainstream. Tomic the tennis star is more privileged than I am; so is Professor Fozdar who complained about Australians flying flags on Australia Day - she has a plum job as an academic and has received $2 million worth of grants so far in her career; so too is leading neurosurgeon Dr Tao who complained about racism in his Australia Day speech.
In other words, it doesn't seem to matter that other groups are becoming more privileged than the average Anglo - the claims of the newly privileged classes to be racially oppressed just keep growing.
So what should we do? I don't think we should give up our identity out of frustration with the abuse of racial politics. That's too high a price to pay and won't stop the attacks anyway. Nor should we think that if only we treated other groups more nicely that the attacks would go away - that's clearly not going to happen as evidenced by the Aboriginal protest yesterday.
We just have to act in a resilient, principled way, which means continuing to identify positively with our own tradition and rebutting any unfair attacks on it. We might also have to learn to close the newspapers and turn off the TV at times, and celebrate our identity in our own way, unofficially, as many young Australians seem to do.