TUMBY BAY - Australia certainly has a multicultural society with a wide range of different cultural and ethnic groups among its population – 278 in all.
However Australia has an unsuccessful multicultural society mainly because of the power imbalance between 277 of those groups and the old Anglo-Celtic establishment.
You only have to watch television or look at the composition of the Australian parliament to see this imbalance. You might bear in mind that 54% of Australians are officially classified as Anglo-Celtic.
I did a quick case study on the cultural and ethnic makeup of early morning breakfast programs on television and compared Australian programs to those in other countries.
Sunrise on Channel Seven has a line-up of Anglo Celtic/European talking heads but the American version, which they screen earlier, has a mix of African Americans, Latinos, Asians, Polynesians and Europeans in their line-up.
A formal study of 81 TV news programs (19,000 separate news and current affairs broadcasts) found, of the 270 people who appeared, 76% were Anglo-Celtic, 13% were European, 9% non-European and 2% Indigenous.
Among Australia's 40 university vice-chancellors, 85% have an Anglo-Celtic background, 15% European and no others.
A report by the Australian Human Rights Commission which examined corporate Australia's cultural diversity found that 97% of executives are Anglo-Celtic or European.
Although rife with racism, America has a much more successful multicultural society than Australia by a long shot.
This may not seem significant but I believe this disparity between the composition of our society and what is portrayed as our society has the potential to be quite dangerous.
The danger involved is evident in what is happening politically in both Australia and the USA.
In America, Trumpism and the Republican Party have created such a severe schism between white and most ethnic populations that people fear the tensions may be the precursor of another civil war.
In Australia, in a desperate bid to win the current election, prime minister Morrison is trying to create a divide between largely conservative and less well-educated white regional areas and more multicultural and better educated and progressive suburban areas.
At the same time, he is ratcheting up his rhetoric about the threat of China.
He hasn’t yet resorted to describing China in terms of a ‘yellow peril’ but there’s still time for him or his defence minister to resort to such desperate, emotive and racist terminology.