Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Aussie flag flyers more racist: survey

Aussie flag flyers more racist: survey

Updated January 24, 2012 15:17:27
People who fly Australian flags on their cars have more racist views than the rest of the population, a new study has found.
Many flag flyers also support the now-defunct White Australia Policy and are afraid the Australian culture is under threat, researchers from the University of Western Australia say.
Researchers surveyed 513 revellers among the 300,000 gathered to watch the Australia Day fireworks in Perth last year.
One in five of those surveyed said they had attached Australian flags to their cars.
WA University anthropologist Farida Fozdar says those flying the flags expressed more racist opinions on a number of issues.
"People who had flags on their cars, 43 per cent of them believe the White Australia Policy had saved Australia from problems that other countries had experienced," she said.
"Fifty-six per cent of those with flags on their cars feared their culture and its most important values were in danger compared to 34 per cent of non-flag flyers."
Professor Fozdar says of the people surveyed who do fly flags, the common factor was fear.
"You can't actually ask outright a question about 'do you feel fearful?' I guess the question that I asked that was closest to that was the one about fearing the loss of one's cultures and most important values," she said.
"Certainly 56 per cent of people with car flags agreed with that statement, but there was definitely a feeling of, I guess, being under siege."


  1. I must have missed the smoking gun that led to the conclusion that these people are racist.

    Thinking that a certain policy saved a country from certain social problems doesn't mean that you would support the policy.

    Ask that question if you want to get at that answer: "Do you think people should be allowed into Australia on the basis of race, with people with white skin being given priority?"

    And then ask a follow-up question to make sure that it is actually the *race* factor that is prompting that position and not some other factor.

    And a sociologist, who apparently seems to think that fearing that your culture and its most important values are in danger is evidence of racism (a complete non sequitur), thinks that flag flyers are "bound together by fear" because just over half answered yes to that same question about 'fearing' a loss of a culture's most important values.

    This is just 'conservatism as pathology'. People whose primary motivation is to preserve their heritage because they think it is valuable are most likely to answer 'yes' to the question that they fear it being lost. Those who don't value it are most likely to answer 'no'. And then there'll be some who value it but take 'fear' in that question differently and so also answer 'no'.

    If you want to find out if they are bound by fear, you need much better questions than that one.

    If this report is a fair account of Flarida Fozda's conclusions and the reasons for them including any caveats and nuances she offered (and given the quality of Australian journalism I won't take that for granted) then it says more about her than the data.

    I'm not a fan of flag waving on your car - not my thing, and I'm not a fan of racism - shouldn't be anyone's thing. But this, as it is written, is a hit job. And it doesn't even manage to connect the hit to the target.

  2. I was about to post something similar, but Mark has hit exactly what I was going to say.

    I'm sure there are plenty of racists who put a flag on their car, but (as always) correlation does not imply causation, and this article doesn't even imply correlation between flags and racism.

    Disclaimer: I think less of people with flags on their cars (except the Queen, she's great).

  3. A related survey found that people who put reindeer antlers on their cars at Christmas were more likely to believe in Santa Claus.

  4. OH, hooray! For some reason today I can finally see the comments after the blogger changes left me with only a white screen every time I press the comment button. Hooray!

    What if you wear thongs and have a BBQ on the day? Is there a survey for that? I was going to drink tea instead of coffee. I wonder what deep insight that might reveal. I thought I didn't have a flag on my car because I hate buying cheap plastic things that either have to be stored (are you kidding me?) or go to landfill after use and didn't feel the need to waste money and resources. Now I realize it actual means I'm a more caring, civilised person who embraces a range of different cultures. Doesn't it?

    I love to know who funded the research.

  5. Predictable. As was my checking your blog to make sure it made it here!

    1. I posted it just for you Dave! But you knew that.

  6. My girls wanted me to get reindeer antlers at Christmas and asked for Aussie flags today. I didn't get either I actually like the idea of both but I don't want to buy them and then throw them away when the cheap plastic breaks.

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  8. I'll try again. It may be a bit loose in it's interpretation, but it's probably not too far of the mark- patriotism is idolatry and the last refuge of cowards. Which is not to say love of country is wrong, but the type of bozos who use the flag as a method of intimidation is evil whether done by countries or individuals. At least the ABC is way more accurate than the toilet paper printed by Murdoch's "journalists". Just as faux "Christian political" parties use the woird "family" to hide their dodgy politics, so any political party that uses the flag as it's main symbol usually is a thinly disguised outlet forracist anti-refugee/immigrant sentiments. I think I've had more experience with this than I'd like...

  9. Happy Australia Day everyone, from a patriotic non-idolatrous Christian who is only cowardly every second Thursday.

    And a special thank you to Simone for opening up the same issue as last year. Very retro, and gave me a chance to wish everyone a happy Australia Day.

  10. Yes. Happy Australia day.

    I think flag sales will be down this year because of the rain.