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?

John Howard

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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 armbandhistory rhetoric, and creating Harmony Day.

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.