We shall fight them on the beaches..
I was astounded. The main photo on yesterday's SMH was of a crowd of ockers pummeling some Lebanese beachgoers with beer cans and fists. I thought we were safe from this sort of mob violence and I was wrong.
Naturally it's been big enough to catch world attention as there is a post on the Straight Dope message boards about it. Though I couldn't join in the conversation as they now charge. But I did have a say on the Triple J forum.
My take. Lebanese gangs started this - not 'youths of middle eastern appearance'; a useless euphemism that is more trouble than it's worth. It may or not be connected to the pack rapes of a couple of years back but it is a consequence of gangs menacing this area, shouting obscenities, and generally being obnoxious; it is definitely as a direct result of the jerks who bashed lifeguards that stopped them playing football on the beach. That kind of behaviour just won't fly in Australia.
Is it fair that the actions of a few should result in innocent Lebanese - and other races; the mob not being the brightest - being bashed? Decidedly not. It is appalling that they should indiscriminately tear the veil off a thirteen-year-old girl. What could she possibly have had to do with the actions that lead to this?
But I hope that those in authority within the Lebanese community take this opportunity to bawl the gangs out for bringing this down on their heads. It would be disingenuous for them to react to the reactionaries; that would only escalate the violence and the mistrust. Action has to come from within.
You see, there is no point in being namby-pamby and pretending that this is not race-based on both sides. The authorities are constrained in the actions they can take and that is why the 'Anglo'hooligans felt they needed to take things into their own hands.
I understand the liberal sentiments of those who say punish on a case-by-case basis. But the plain fact is that the Lebanese pack rapists specifically identified themselves by their race so why wouldn't their detractors?