Ruh-roh! Racist cartooning in Murdoch press

[via stephiepenguin]

The Western Suburbs Weekly is News Limited’s trashy local rag for Perth’s western suburbs – the posh part of town.

According to the WSW who bills its distribution population as “Affluent, well educated, professionals”, 74% of people in the area were born in Australia, the UK, or Ireland. 6.5% are immigrants from Asia, and I know from experience that racism is rife in the leafy part of town – there is plenty of resentment that “new rich Chinese” are moving in and taking “our land”, especially land in Dalkeith, home of Jutland Parade, which used to be the most expensive address in the country.

Western suburbs residents, being the most affluent people in Perth, are also likely on average to be the biggest consumers. There’s plenty of green talk, but this tends to involve driving to the Claremont strip in an enormous shiny black Jeep, then feeling virtuous about the organic hemp shopping bags.

The WSW ran this cartoon yesterday.


[Description: a fat Chinese caricature straight out of the Gold Rush/Yellow Peril racist cartooning tradition sits behind a large, shiny desk. His deskplate reads “CHINA STEEL Co.”, and there is a small Chinese flag on each corner of the desk. The picture window behind him shows a dim, smoggy sky with factories spewing smoke.

The man is holding a cigar in one hand and a newspaper in the other. The newspaper headline reads, “AUSTRALIA TO ADOPT CARBON SCHEME”.

The man is saying: “HA… HA… R’OSE AUSSIES JUST QUACK ME UP ...”]

Categories: environment, media


11 replies

  1. …sadly, the first thing that leapt to my mind was, “R’ose? What kind of fake-Chinese is that?”
    I think the answer is: that just goes to show that stereotypical accents make about as much sense as the stereotypes themselves.

  2. The fact that the WA middle classes (including most of their readers, I would imagine) are cruising on a wave of mineral exports to China adds a crusty layer of hypocrisy.

  3. Crusty and smelly, Helen, crusty and smelly.

  4. Without wishing to trivialise this, I must confess that when I first read the title of this post, ‘Ruh-roh!’ made me think it had something to do with Scooby Doo.

  5. Yeah – we’ve been watching a lot of Scooby-Doo lately. It was the ridiculous “R’ose” that brought the Scoob to mind for me.

  6. Needless to say that many Chinese families can trace back their ‘Australianess’ further back than many of us ‘Anglos’. The Gold Rushes date back to the 1850s and I understand that people of Chinese origin were here even before then, if my xenophobic, 70s, school history and my memory, serves me at all.

  7. Sing together now, “I’m so rhone-ree…”

  8. I thought the R’OSE had something to do with Rose Hancooky? No? Oh…

  9. Assuming you mean Rose Porteous, formerly Rose Hancock, how would that make any sense? Would you explain the joke, please?


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