Sunday, January 27, 2013
Australia Day: Black Thoughts & Imagined White Crimes !
It's never Australia Day without someone bitching about our shameful past or complaints about why we are not yet a republic. Though not actually an Independence Day like those celebrated in many countries, Australia Day commemorates the Arrival Day of the English First Fleet with boat loads of settlers, ''transported'' criminals and Marines to guard them. To the natives of ''terra nullius'' it's marked as ''Invasion Day'' with a flag burning but this year they refrained from that act thankfully and hopefully will let bygones be bygones. Especially now, since our past Prime minister, Kevin Rudd, officially apologized for past transgressions in Parliament in 2007.
Unfortunately, some people can't leave well enough alone and The Age newspaper, to celebrate in it's usual negative way, published this years' dirge by a white former judge, Peter Gebhardt: '' What might an Aboriginal person say of Australia Day? It was the day that marked the theft of a land, the day that marked the abduction of a people, of a culture, the day that initiated the pathways to the Stolen Children and, to our ultimate shame, the deaths in custody. It is a day that stands as a reminder of massacres. The wind-stench of bodies burned in bonfires hangs upon the nation's conscience and in the clouds.''
Aborigines might well be grateful to The Age for getting a white writer to sum up what they are all collectively thinking - everyone of them (sic!). After all, much better for The Age to have a white ''fella'' describe their thoughts than to let some Aboriginal writer speak for themselves and risk him or her straying off the ideological reservation. But let's address the extraordinary Gebhardt hyperbole. In fact, ''Stolen Generation'' activists to this very day still cannot name even 10 children stolen just for being Aboriginal. Alas, a royal commission found Aborigines are no more likely than whites to die in custody, and black prisoners are more likely to die outside of jail than in it. And which bodies were burned in bonfires exactly...you idiot?? Me thinks this judge should be more careful with evidence.
On Friday, Deputy prime Minister Wayne Swan called for a renewed ''national conversation'' about Australia becoming a republic, though Labor has no immediate plans to hold a referendum. Mr Swan laments that the republican movement has ''fallen from the national agenda over the past decade. I think our national conversation is sold short when it doesn't include a debate about our relationship with the Crown.'' What Swan fails to understand is not that people have stopped talking about the republic, but that the rest of us barely bother any more to listen. But it would entitle us to a real Independence Day after all.
I feel a more appropriate debate for Australia Day was brought up by opposition Immigration spokesman, Scott Morrison. He reignited a much needed debate over multiculturalism, declaring a shift away from diversity to a more inclusive national identity being more appropriate. He outlined the Coalition's plan to reframe the debate around multiculturalism and ''restore some balance by emphasising what Australians have in common rather than social, ethnic or cultural differences. We Australians have our own culture to be proud of, and those coming to live in this country should accept it, get use to it and leave their old country's baggage behind or go home!'' Outlining his vision for a post-multicultural approach, Mr Morrison said Labor had spent too much time promoting the virtues of diversity and it's succeeded in dividing our citizens; causing friction.
The Way I See It....while there is broad acceptance of the benefits of cultural diversity, there is also growing frustration and disaffection among Australians living in areas of high ethnic concentration (we should call them ghettos), caused by perceived social and economic failure in these communities (who bleed our welfare system), and an increasing level of what I would term self-imposed cultural withdrawal (''non-assimilation disease'').
This ''condition'' has led many European countries to ''wise-up'' and discard the multicultural approach and reeducate and, if need be, even deport those ethnic groups that don't or won't assimilate into their country's cultural heritage. Bravo I say, especially when you see the Muslim community in their insular neighbourhoods with their second generation turning to criminal activities. Or the welfare-fueled Sudanese youth gangs playing havoc with a growing percentage of crimes committed. It surely cannot be the purpose of muticultural policy that Australians elect to disengage from their society for anybody else's religious, cultural or ethnic reasons. This sounds a WARNING about the need to provide a greater focus on selecting immigrants and promoting to those we accept what we have in common, rather than highlighting how different we are.
NOTE: This Australia Day we had a record number of immigrants (17,000+), from over a 100 countries, elect to become citizens of Australia and enjoy its benefits for themselves and their families. Welcome!