The ABC Resuscitated John Howard So He Could Deny That Racism Is An Issue In Australia
What exactly did he think was happening at the Cronulla riots?
Last night John Howard popped up at the end of the ABC TV special Australia Talks 2021 to remind us that he is still a huge denier of racism.
The show ran through the biggest findings of the latest Australia Talks national survey, with a bunch of other special guests. The ABC first ran this 600-question survey in 2019, with this year’s findings coming from around 60,000 Australian respondents.
John Howard was on the show because wildly, Australia Talks 2021 named him Australia’s favourite Prime Minister of all time.
The same survey also told us that 76% of respondents believe Australia has a big problem with racism.
Nazeem Hussain — who was co-hosting the show and was listed in the TV guide as Waleed Aly (again) — put this stat to Howard, who famously spent his career refusing to acknowledge that racism exists, openly promoting the most damaging “black armband” history rhetoric, and creating Harmony Day.
Not again… pic.twitter.com/AVJmbLMT8C
— Nazeem Hussain (@nazeem_hussain) June 20, 2021
Never one to miss an opportunity to deny the existence of racism, Howard said,
“That has not been my experience. I have to respectfully, to that 76%, say I don’t think there is underlying racism in Australia.”
If that wasn’t enough, he went on to reaffirm his 2005 response to the Cronulla riots saying, “my view about the Cronulla riots was it was not an example of underlying racism, I think that is a supremely pessimistic view of the Australian community”.
John Howard is the oldest living former Australian Prime Minister. He’s an 81-year-old white man. He joined the Liberal party in the 1950s and was first elected as the member for Bennelong, the 26th richest electorate in the country where the average net wealth per capita is $543K.
Racism has not been his personal experience and Twitter has responded.
— Peter Murphy (@PeterWMurphy1) June 21, 2021
When John Howard says that racism hasn't been a problem for him, he is 100% right. He never let racism prevent him from being racist, from denying racism exists, or from suspending the Racial Discrimination Act on 3 seperate occasions in order to pass overtly racist legislation.
— Pearson In The Wind (@LukeLPearson) June 21, 2021
If Cronulla riots weren’t race riots what actually were they? #auspol
— Patricia Karvelas (@PatsKarvelas) June 21, 2021
Australia has serious problems when it comes to structural racism, rampant climate denial and a brutal ruling class hellbent on crushing the collective power of ordinary people pic.twitter.com/xyuugpabSy
— Tom Ballard #80aday (@TomCBallard) June 21, 2021
So does racism exist or what? #AustraliaTalks
— Adam Liaw (@adamliaw) June 21, 2021
John Howard voted our “best PM” by #australiatalks -over the significant, sweeping social reforms of Whitlam, Hawke, Keating.
Howard made Australia a mean, xenophobic country. The ONLY PM who refused to attend the National Apology for the FORCIBLE removal of Aboriginal children
— Dr Tracy Westerman AM (@TracyWesterman) June 21, 2021
— Jack Macpherson (@latts92) June 21, 2021
White old guy hasn't experienced racism… what a shock. And this is our fav pm 🙄 #australiatalks
— 🎗chris (@___Paralysed___) June 21, 2021
Any one else think John Howard is senile? #australiatalks
— JulieT 🦅✳️ (@Julie56T) June 21, 2021
Racist Australia votes John Howard number 1. What a farking suprise. #australiatalks
— Daniel Moye (@DanielMoye8) June 21, 2021
Breaking: John Howard has not experienced racism #australiatalks
— Joanne Faulkner (@JoanneFaulkne17) June 21, 2021
Howard being asked if there is a racism problem in Australia. “That has not been my experience”. Well yes, obviously. #australiatalks
— Liz Hicks (@LizHcks) June 21, 2021
76% say there's underlying racism in Australia.
John Howard disputes that. Says It's not been his experience.
— Agnes Mack (@AgnessMack) June 21, 2021