Housos, Bogans and White Trash
While talking to fellow public tenants on the issue of housing I met a very friendly young man. He had neck tattoos and teeth missing.( Many people cannot afford proper dentistry nowadays ) He had a scarred bull-terrier with a face which, in his own words, ‘only a mother could love’. We had a great chat about housing and the rise in homelessness. Afterwards he said, “Have a nice day love”
He was a person that a lot of people would label a ‘bogan’. I am not a fan of political correctness which hides a multitude of hypocrisies. I think we should all feel free to poke fun at each other, but there is a line which, if crossed, descends into ridicule and vilification.
It is not acceptable to vilify people on the basis of their race, religion or their sexual preference, and it is equally not acceptable to vilify people because of their class.
I have read comments on social media that incite hatred against the Anglo-working class, talk of ‘flushing them out’, stopping them from ‘breeding’, ‘getting rid of them’ and referring to their ‘feral, convict past’ … generally indulging in a hate-fest that would come under fire if it occurred against any other group of people.
There is also an erroneously held opinion that ‘bogans’ are the receptacle of all racism in this country which is a middle-class prejudice.
On the housing estate where I live there is very little racism to speak of, and Anglo working class, refugees and migrants all live together, cheek by jowl, quite harmoniously. So let’s explode a few myths here.
The attack on ‘bogans’ is extremely important to recognise now. I expect the media bogan-bashing to increase, because there really is a ‘class war’ going on. The privatisation of public housing – by trickery and stealth – is a major part of it. Maggie Thatcher may be dead, but her legacy is still very much with us.
Professor Nick Haslam from Melbourne University has made the following observations,
‘Inequality is everywhere. Even the forms of prejudice are unequal. Racism, sexism and homophobia are staples of the academy, but ‘classism’ has largely escaped attention.’
‘As venerable social psychologist Gustav Jahoda wrote in his book Images of Savages, the rural and urban poor are sometimes viewed much as colonised “savages” were seen in centuries past.’
‘Class stereotypes are just one manifestation of a form of inequality that demands greater attention from my field.’
Another book which examines this disturbing trend – this ugly, stupid and mean-spirited superiority complex towards ‘bogans’ is the UK best seller ‘CHAVS – The Demonization of the Working Class’ by Owen Jones.
A CHAV is what we call a HOUSO in Australia.