Andrew Bolt as victim of prejudice

Yeah, Andrew Bolt is a pretty soft target. But it was amusing to see him complain that white males like him were being called names without harsh punishment. And invoke “Afghan female lawyer[s]” to elevate the double standard to the status of Real Social Problem.

I don’t suggest that the people he quoted weren’t being rude. (For that matter, as we know, there’s been far worse hurled at minorities.) But Bolt’s belief that he and people like him are actually the victims of Multicultural Australia is just so much more devastating. It acts a distraction, an excuse to not act on the prejudices that actually harms real people — prejudices that affect whether they hold down good, secure work and move up the ladder.

Look at it this way. Nothing that Bolt quoted substantially affects opportunities for people of his demographic. They’re overrepresented in Australia’s elite and will be for years. But the lack of urgency against discrimination that Bolt creates — and frankly, encourages — actively ensures that opportunities for disadvantaged demographics remain far more limited. The pay gap between men and women has stopped shrinking. It’s accepted wisdom that non-Anglo names are seriously disadvantaged when employers go through CVs.

In other words, Bolt’s regular drivel makes solving Real Social Problems (as opposed to the slights that drives him to such outrage) that much harder.

Of course, people of his political persuasion will remain influential for a long time. Until then, we should get used to foreign comedians joking about how “comfortably racist” Australia is.

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