On Trump

Peter Wotton writes: Re. “Rundle: you have 7 weeks to get ready for a Trump presidency” (yesterday). Just what is Rundle on about Trump? Current cab driver polls in  our current travels in USA run 1:3 against Trump gaining the presidency. Most US polls still give Clinton a safe win and that is before the debates and increasing knowledge of his personal use of the Trump Foundation for family assistance.

On the rise of anti-Muslim sentiment

John Richardson writes: Re. “Now we know, racists may well represent the ‘silent majority’” (yesterday). For my money, Shakira Hussein’s explanation for the rise of anti-Muslim sentiment in Australia fails to expose Australia’s long history of racism or the culpability of a host of conservative politicians since John Howard who have endeavoured to undermine & discredit multiculturalism & revive our failed “White Australia” policy. In his 2007 paper “The Rise of anti-Muslim racism in Australia: who benefits?” Rick Kuhn argued that since the mid-1990s, Australia has experienced a cascade of moral panics & racist campaigns against Aborigines, Asians, Arabs, refugees and Muslims. More recently, in their open letter to New Matilda readers, Amy McQuire, Michael Brull and Samah Sabawi argued that we don’t have a Muslim “problem” in Australia but a racist problem and that an attack on Muslims is an attack on us all. Like the resurgence of Pauline Hanson and One Nation, the Essential poll reminds us that sadly, the real problem has always been our own intolerance.

On Bill Leak

David Edmunds writes: Re. “The nine-step Bill Leak outrage cycle” (yesterday). I used to be a fan of Bill Leak.  He is an excellent draftsman and artist, and the best of his cartoons years ago used to have that mix of whimsy, irony and connection that characterise really good political cartoons. However, the cartoons that are attracting outrage retain some of the artistry, but are otherwise simplistic and banal.  This comment is not about the political content, it should be possible to draw interesting and amusing cartoons from any political perspective.  It is just that Bill Leak is not drawing interesting and amusing cartoons.

There is something a bit sad about Bill Leak’s current situation.  A cartoon that depicts rainbow coloured Nazis is hardly amusing. It is not subtle, and as with most references to Nazis, immediately loses any argument that he was trying to make.  Similarly, his depiction of Aborigines and his even more ridiculous cartoon justification are not really up to publication standard. The question as to whether he is drawing as directed or actually dreaming up his own subjects is interesting, but largely irrelevant.  He was a talent, but now something has gone dreadfully wrong.

Peter Fray

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