Both groups descended on Melton last weekend. Both earnestly eager for another clash of wills. Both with members donning masks and caps in their midst. Both, sadly, featuring children in the wings looking on, fearfully wondering what mess their parents had sent them stumbling into.
The ugly protests were as predictable as they were cringe worthy. Little one must wonder of the intention of people who disguise their appearance whilst attending these rallies – their intentions are made clear by their concealment.
Alas, the same script played out. Punches were thrown and police had to resort to pepper spray to subdue some crowd members. Seven people were arrested, and once again, moderate Australians were left shaking their heads at the mindless thug culture poisoning our society.
Once again, street warfare gave way to any meaningful dialogue, as extremists from the Far Right and Left became blind in the certainty of their dogma. None of this does anything for Australian public life.
Reclaim Australia is marked by ignorance and a close-minded view of what, for them, is a very simple world. Meanwhile, No Room for Racism is mired by a characteristic typical of the hard-Left, an unwillingness to accept nor tolerate views different from their own.
It is this intolerance that leads proponents of No Room to seek and indeed disrupt rallies held by Reclaim Australia and other anti-Islamic groups like the United Patriots Front. The very act of seeking and following renders No Room guilty of inciting conflict, and conversely, validating their opponents’ views as something worth giving attention. In their attempts to silence the ‘patriots’, they offer them prime time coverage by fast tracking violent clashes like Melton onto our television screens and our social media feeds.
The tactics employed by No Room for Racism are counter-productive to their cause. No doubt, they are reaching for the moral high ground, and no such status can be afforded to either of these groups when they serve little more than ugliness and hate from their respective trenches. We, the rest of us, deserve better. We deserve civilised and constructive discourse. Engage in debate, not warfare.
Intelligent debate with the key members of Reclaim Australia would be the most effective course for redressing their views, since such an action is the very opposite of their tactics. Reclaim feeds from the phenomena of threat, of fear, and of conflict. Australia’s values are under attack. Our way of life is threatened. Political correctness and migrants are eroding the fabric of our society. These are notions built on the premise of an Us Vs. Them mentality. Any violent clash in the suburbs is merely addressing them via the means by which they are most familiar – conflict.
The sad truth is that both groups share the same ignominious shame. They are both the very extremists they purport to hate, and they are both a threat to the social fabric of the nation that they seek to protect. They are equally dogmatic and violent, and they are equally ignorant and unwilling to empathise with the other. Strangely, they are united by an often used label: un-Australian.