Lederne i samfunnet ignorerer de etniske motsetningene, helt til de slår ut i åpen vold. Når de har utviklet seg så langt, er de uhyre vanskelig å reversere, skriver tidligere politimann Tim Priest om opptøyene i Sydney.

Det er det depressive budskapet både om Frankrike og Australia. Tegnene har vært der i lang tid. Men det å gjøre noe med det har vært ubehagelig: bedre å gå utenom. Når konflikter mellom etniske grupper blir åpen vold, vil det selvfølgelig påvirke forholdene også her i landet.

Sunday’s events are the start of what could become a long, drawn-out war of racial and social division that may be harder to cure than any of us can imagine. If we addressed the problem a decade ago when it first appeared, we may never have seen what we witnessed on Sunday.

Alas, such acts of violence will roll on intermittently for a great deal of time and in a manner few of us could have imagined in our lifetime.

For a future glimpse of Sydney, look back at recent events in Paris. No amount of mealy-mouthed rhetoric from the Government or tough talk from inexperienced police commanders is going to make the slightest bit of difference.

Om hvordan spenningene har bygget seg opp, skriver Priest:

If the police and the state Government are to learn anything from Sunday’s riots, it is this: people largely do not believe what comes out of the mouths of senior police and government ministers.

Of course, the usual claque of agenda-driven ethnic community leaders were quick to condemn the Cronulla incidents as un-Australian and racist. Never mind the multitude of racist attacks on young Australian men and women during the past decade, which have now manifested into full-blown racial retaliation.

In an article on this page nearly two years ago («Don’t turn a blind eye to terror in our midst,» January 12, 2004), I argued that the increasing frequency of racially motivated attacks on young Australian men and women – including murders, gang rapes and serious assaults by young men of Lebanese Muslim descent – would rise dramatically throughout Australia. These problems re2_kommentar widespread and have been documented in the ensuing two years.

Tim Priest: Blame race riots on police force neglect