Lebo; Go Home!
A phrase that I’m sure many Lebanese brothers and sisters have heard is: “Go home you Lebo.” According to statistics, there are 476,300 Muslims in Australia who make up 2.2. percent of the country, slightly behind Buddhists. In fact, when you lump all non-Christian religions together, they only make up 7.2 percent of the country.
A common argument which Australians use is that Lebanese people start fights and cause crime. They are an uncivilised group who don’t know anything about what it means to be an Australian. This is a clear stereotype, or a prejudicial exaggerated description applied to every person in a category of people, namely Lebanese. Civilised societies shun any type of racism, bigotry, prejudice, discrimination, or stereotypes.
Although there are a few Lebanese Salafi’s that give everyone a bad name, for the most part the Lebanese are model citizens of Australia. The Shia Muslims are even religiously bound to follow the laws of the country.
Watch how John Oliver of the Daily Show, a popular satirical comedian, describes the racism against Lebanese people in Australia.
Read the following article that was published by the Sydney Morning Herald about a year ago:
Australia has been described as “comfortably racist” by a reporter from the popular American satirical current affairs program The Daily Show.
John Oliver, a long-serving presenter with the series, described the country as a “a coastal paradise surrounding a rocky hell” after filming here last week, reports Mumbrella website.
In his Bugle podcast, he said: “Australia turns out to be a sensational place, albeit one of the most comfortably racist places I’ve ever been in. They’ve really settled into their intolerance like an old resentful slipper.”
Oliver said he noticed that much vitriol was reserved for Australians of Lebanese origin.
“You can say what you like about Australian racism; it is undeniably specific,” he said.
“I had a couple of Australians – more than one – complain to me about all the ‘Lebos’ in the country, referring apparently to the Lebanese. Who the f— is annoyed by Lebanese people?
“In a way you have to admire the attention to detail. Not just all those Arabs, but the Lebanese. That’s like saying ‘You know who I can’t stand? Sri Lankans. Malaysians not a problem. Bangladeshis, lovely people, but Sri Lankans – I’ve got no time for them, Jose.’
“How many Lebanese people can there actually be in Australia? There’s only just over four million of these people in f—ing Lebanon.
“The one thing Australia cannot argue is: ‘There’s no room here in this country’, because that land is f—ing gigantic. That aside: fantastic place, can’t wait to go back.”
Oliver also interviewed former prime minister John Howard, describing the encounter as “an experience he didn’t seem to enjoy to his maximum capacity”.
His comments sparked a flurry on social media.
“John Oliver nails it,” one user tweeted.
“Oh he speaks such truth,” wrote another.
But another said: “John Oliver visits western Sydney and meets racist people – shocking I know.”
Other tweets included: “I’m pretty sure John Oliver could find just as many racist people anywhere he went in the world” and “Where did you go in Aus? On the Bugle it sounded like you only met bogans and John Howard. No wonder you think we’re racists!”
In the United States, The Daily Show attracts mostly young and well-educated viewers. Some commentators believe it is a primary source of news for these audiences, who are less likely to watch traditional news bulletins.