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Australia Liberals accused of 'racist dog whistling' over anti-gangs flyer

07:20  13 july  2018
07:20  13 july  2018 Source:   theage.com.au

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A Liberal Party flyer that claims that “only the Liberals will stop gangs hunting in packs” has been condemned by human rights activists as a case of racist dog - whistling . But the Liberals have defended the campaign material, arguing critics are in denial about the extent of Melbourne's youth

Dog - whistle politics is political messaging employing coded language that appears to mean one thing to the general population but has an additional, different, or more specific resonance for a targeted subgroup.

A Liberal flyer about gang violence has drawn controversy. © Twitter A Liberal flyer about gang violence has drawn controversy. A Liberal Party flyer that claims that “only the Liberals will stop gangs hunting in packs” has been condemned by human rights activists as a case of racist dog-whistling.

But the Liberals have defended the campaign material, arguing critics are in denial about the extent of Melbourne's youth gang problem.

The campaign flyer depicts a group of young men in hooded tops, their faces and skin colour obscured.

It has been distributed in the ethnically diverse suburb of Noble Park by Liberal candidate Darrel Taylor, who is running for the safe Labor seat of Keysborough.

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A Liberal flyer claiming 'only the Liberals will stop gangs hunting in packs' has been condemned by human rights campaigners as a case of racist dog - whistling . It’s dangerous when racism mixes with politics. This whipping up of fear is toxic and nasty. It dehumanises certain people, and will only

Liberals accused of ' racist dog whistling ' over anti - gangs flyer . A Liberal flyer that claims 'only the Liberals will stop gangs hunting in packs' has been condemned by human rights campaigners as a case of racist dog - whistling .

The image has been lifted from a 2013 article in the Evening Standard, a London newspaper, about the stabbing murder of 15-year-old boy Negus McClean by four black male teenagers.

“A Liberal government will give police the power and support they need to break up gangs and stop them hunting in packs,” the flyer reads.

It has been authorised and printed by Nick Demiris, state director of the Victorian Liberals, and carries an image of Opposition Leader Matthew Guy alongside Mr Taylor, who is a former Liberal councillor for Frankston.

Human rights activists said the flyer was racist.

“It's clearly designed to dehumanise African Australians and other migrant groups,” GetUp! Human Rights director Shen Narayanasamy said.

Ms Narayanasamy said it was “a clear dog-whistling campaign by the Liberal Party in Victoria aimed at dividing Victorian communities”.

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Racial dog whistles are often sneakily used when politicians want to speak about race specifically Instead, he drew upon stereotypes of Black people, such as the “ over sexualized woman” and the There are countless numbers of racial dog whistles that politicians use to garner support for and win

Liberals accused of ' racist dog whistling ' over anti - gangs flyer https #BetterHeadline: The Met: “We wanted to do world religions as the theme but Christianity was the only religion we could do without being accused of cultural appropriation or having to hire added security & install barriers for fear of

Roj Amedi, senior human rights campaigner at ColourCode, said that although the flyer did not specifically show black people, it used clearly coded language that “lowers people to animals, using words such as hunting in packs”.

“It’s not just targeting adults, it’s also targeting kids, which means that young African Australians will be far less safe walking down the street,” Ms Amedi said.

The Liberal Party flyer by Keysborough candidate Darrel Taylor. © Twitter The Liberal Party flyer by Keysborough candidate Darrel Taylor. Sudanese teenager Liep Gony was bashed to death in a racially motivated attack in Noble Park in 2007. One of the two killers spraypainted "f--- da n-----" on the wall of his home before the attack.

Ms Amedi said the flyer could provoke the same racist sentiment that inspired Liep Gony’s killers 10 years ago.

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Because Trump didn’t repeatedly start screaming the n-word like he does at the end of Cabinet meetings and at the end of phone calls with Omarosa, most people didn’t notice the racist dog whistles embedded in Trump’s address to the nation.

A Liberal Party flyer that claims that “only the Liberals will stop gangs hunting in packs” has been condemned by human rights activists as a case of racist dog - whistling #QandA https New fro me: Nine Network to take over Fairfax in estimated bn deal https

Edward O'Donohue, the shadow minister for community safety, told ABC Melbourne the flyer was not targeted at any race.

"What we are concerned about is gang violence and gang behaviour by anyone, no matter where they're from or their background," Mr O'Donohue said.

"This is about making the community safer," he said. "We're prosecuting the case for change when it comes to our justice system and we've got a very clear agenda when it comes to that."

The Liberal Party has been contacted for comment.

There have been several reported incidents of violent crime and riotous behaviour by African-Australian youths in Melbourne in recent months.

African community leaders and Victoria Police have both said a small core of repeat offenders have been responsible for most crimes.

Turnbull government ministers have weighed into the issue, including a notorious statement by Home Affiars Minister Peter Dutton in January that Melburnians were afraid to go out to dinner at restaurants because of African gang violence.

Noble Park is within the city of Greater Dandenong, which has one of Melbourne's highest crime rates.

Police crime statistics show there were 8167 crimes against the person per 100,000 people in the municipality in the year to March, well above the statewide average of 5876 crimes per 100,000 people.

Sudanese-born people made up about 1 per cent of the state's offender profile in 2017, the Crime Statistics Agency reported last year.

Sudanese gangs a 'major law and order problem', says Dutton .
Home Affairs Minister warns more people will be hurt until the "rule of law is enforced by the Victorian Government".The death of a South Sudanese teenager in Melbourne's CBD was a "tragic and needless" loss of young life, but indicative of a "major law and order problem" in Victoria, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has said.

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