The Policy Dimension of Race in the United States
... The Policy Dimension of Race in the
We've seen formal policies passed that target
minorities in order to prevent them from
We've also seen recent policies that attempt
to rectify past and current discrimination
White Australia policy
The term White Australia Policy comprises various historical policies that intentionally favoured immigrants to Australia from other English-speaking countries, and, to a lesser extent, from certain European countries. The term, although widely used, is a misnomer, as many white ethnic groups (especially those from Eastern and Southern Europe) received unfavourable treatment under the policy. This was an attempt of Australians to help shape their own identity after federation. It came to fruition in 1901 soon after the Federation of Australia, and the policies were progressively dismantled between 1949 and 1973. Australia's official First World War historian Charles Bean defined the early intentions of the policy as ""a vehement effort to maintain a high Western standard of economy, society and culture (necessitating at that stage, however it might be camouflaged, the rigid exclusion of Oriental peoples).""Competition in the goldfields between British and Chinese miners, and labour union opposition to the importation of Pacific Islanders into the sugar plantations of Queensland, reinforced the demand to eliminate or minimize low wage immigration from Asia and the Pacific Islands. Soon after Australia became a federation it passed the Immigration Restriction Act of 1901. The passage of this bill is considered the commencement of the White Australia Policy as Australian government policy. Subsequent acts further strengthened the policy up to the start of the Second World War. These policies effectively allowed for British migrants to be preferred over all others through the first four decades of the 20th century. During the Second World War, Prime Minister John Curtin reinforced the policy, saying ""This country shall remain forever the home of the descendants of those people who came here in peace in order to establish in the South Seas an outpost of the British race.""The policy was dismantled in stages by successive governments after the conclusion of the Second World War, with the encouragement of first non-British, non-white immigration, allowing for a large multi-ethnic post-war program of immigration. The Menzies and Holt Governments effectively dismantled the policies between 1949 and 1966 and the Whitlam Government passed laws to ensure that race would be totally disregarded as a component for immigration to Australia in 1973. In 1975 the Whitlam Government passed the Racial Discrimination Act, which made racially-based selection criteria unlawful. In the decades since, Australia has maintained largescale multi-ethnic immigration. Australia's current Migration Program allows people from any country to apply to migrate to Australia, regardless of their nationality, ethnicity, culture, religion, or language, provided that they meet the criteria set out in law.