If there is one positive thing to come out of the violence in Cronulla, it will be a long hard look at how schoolchildren are educated about Australian culture and what they are taught about their responsibilities as members of a civil society.
Judged by the age of many of those involved in abusing women, the mob violence at Cronulla beach and the subsequent destruction of personal property, many would have been of school age during the 1980s and 1990s. While Al Grassby and Gough Whitlam sowed the seeds, this was a time when governments under the leadership of Malcolm Fraser, Bob Hawke and Paul Keating spent millions on the multicultural industry.
With the support of left-liberal academics, teacher unions and curriculum writers, the prevailing orthodoxy uncritically promoted cultural diversity, denigrated or ignored Australia's mainstream Anglo-Celtic tradition and taught children that our society is riddled with racism, inequality and social injustice.
The national Studies of Society and Environment curriculum developed during the Keating years argued that children must be taught "an awareness of and pride in Australia's multicultural society" and "develop an understanding of Australia's cultural and linguistic diversity".
The 1993 Australian Education Union's curriculum policy argued that children must be taught that they "are living in a multicultural and class-based society that is diverse and characterised by inequality and social conflict".
Not only was the then academically based school curriculum, especially in subjects such as history and literature, condemned as Eurocentric, patriarchal and socially unjust, but examinations were seen as favouring rich, white kids and culturally biased against recent migrants.
Fast forward to more recent years and little has changed.
The 1999 Australian Education Union policy on combating racism argues that government policies "are founded upon a legal system which is inherently racist in so much as its prime purpose is to serve the needs of the dominant Anglo-Australian culture".
The AEU also states that racism in Australia is both overt and covert and that "both forms of racism are still widely practiced in Australian society", especially as a result of the school curriculum supposedly being based on "the knowledge and values of the Anglo-Australian culture".
On reading curriculum documents developed during the 1990s, once again, it becomes obvious that all adopt a politically correct approach to issues such as multiculturalism and how we define ourselves as a nation.
Cultural diversity is uncritically celebrated and students are taught, in the words of the Queensland curriculum, to "deconstruct dominant views of society" on the basis that the Australian community is riven with "privilege and marginalisation".
In Western Australia, as evidenced by the Curriculum Framework document, students are told they must value "the perspective of different cultures" and "recognise the cultural mores that underpin groups and appreciate why these are valued and important".
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