A University of Melbourne professor has been accused of racism for using the phrase “white genocide” to describe Australian society.
Key points:The professor, professor Ian Gidley, said Australians were more racially tolerant than the US but said the government needed to address the problemMore than 2,000 people signed a petition demanding Professor Ian Giddings’ dismissalThe Australian Human Rights Commission said Professor Gidleys comments had breached his human rightsThe commission said his comments were offensive and prejudicialThe statement was made on Wednesday at a meeting with students about the Australian Human Development Survey, which surveyed Australians’ attitudes towards racial discrimination.
Professor Gidkins’ comments were not in response to the survey, but instead a response to students asking about racism in the workplace.
“We are more racially diverse than we were 20 years ago,” he said.
“That’s not a racist statement.
I think it’s a statement of fact.”
Professor Giddes said he had no objection to the fact that many Australian whites were better off than those in other countries.
“I just think that the best outcome is that Australians are more tolerant of each other,” he told ABC Radio Melbourne.
“And the fact is, as a society, we’re more tolerant than people in other parts of the world.”
Professor Ian Gidding’s remarks were offensive, the commission said in a statement on Wednesday.
The commission was referring to a tweet made by the university’s deputy vice chancellor for student affairs, Dr Matthew Lewis.
In it, Dr Lewis said: “If I had to guess, it is very likely that whites in Australia are about to get a white genocide”.
“It seems that there are more whites living in Australia than anywhere else in the world,” Dr Lewis wrote.
“The next time you hear a white person say something, don’t take it as an insult.”
The university said it had no knowledge of the tweet and would not have made it if it had.