This is on tonight at 8.30; it should be very interesting.
One Sunday last December, 5000 Australians gathered at Cronulla, singing and waving the national flag as they “reclaimed” the beach. Fuelled by drink, the crowd became a mob, hunting down and beating anyone who looked Middle Eastern.
That night and the next, carloads of hundreds of young men of Middle Eastern descent headed for the beach suburbs to launch similarly random and savage acts of revenge.
The shocking TV images flashed across the world. At home, Australia’s ugliness was disowned as “un-Australian”. Political leaders called it a problem of law and order rather than racism.
So what should Australians make of the Cronulla explosion? Was it a nation-defining event that should sound the alarm about growing racial division? Or was it something less, a turf war, or a clash of tribes that some have likened to the ’60s rumbles between rockers and surfies?