The Editor

The West Australian

Dear Sir/Madame

As the multicultural debate is aired once again, I am saddened by the level of vitriol and hate that I read in Saturday's Letters to the Editor, with references to 'alien peoples and alien culture'. However, I am also disturbed by the lack of logic in arguments of this type and by the fact that those who espouse them are falling for the climate of fear that is being created for us by some politicians and media.

The anti-multuralism argument seems to assume some state of perfection and balance, a time of racial and cultural purity. But how far back do we go? When I was growing up in the 50's and 60's, the Europeans resettled after WWII (Italians, Greeks, Dutch and 'Yugoslavians'), were referred to as Eyeties and Reffos, and there were 'reds under the bed', so that can't have been it. During WWI the German-named towns in South Australia were renamed and the German immigrants were 'the enemy'. What about the Gold Rush era, a time of wealth and economic growth? But that's when the Chinese were portrayed as the danger to our culture.

Does that mean we need to go right back before 1788? Apparently there was only the one racial group here then, so that must have been the Golden Era when no alien culture contaminated Australia. So who exactly should 'go back to where [they] came from' and where should we go?

It is understandable to fear the random nature of a terrorist attack and my heart goes out to anyone affected. However, realistically we have more chance of being killed or maimed on the roads, murdered by a violent family member or to die of heart disease or cancer.

I do not have the courage to have my name and address published, given the nature of the sentiments published on Saturday. It is never far from my consciousness that the main terror attacks in Perth (the Chinese restaurant bombings) were carried out by West Australians.

Yours sincerely

Gabrielle Dean

53 Plover Drive