Wednesday, January 26

223 years, if not now when?

In 2006 an Aboriginal elder in residence at Griffith University in Brisbane suffered a stroke at a campus bus stop and lay there for five hours in her own vomit before a group of Japanese students came to her aid. A thousand others had walked right on by without giving it a second thought. These people weren’t members of the Ku Klux Klan, they were university staff, students and State Government bus drivers.You probably wouldn’t discriminate in a professional environment based on someone’s skin colour. Not only would that be illegal, it’s also morally wrong and as a society we’ve come a long way since some Australian swimming pools were segregated in the 1960s. But racism rears its ugly head in subtle ways.
This Australia Day, spare a thought for those affected by the devastating floods. Flip them a coin if you can – they need it. Polish off a few cans of our national beverage if you like too – hell, do it in a park. But if you do nothing else, get off your arse and do something about fixing the gaping, ugly disparity between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. It’s been 223 years already. If not now, when?

This is my Australia Day. I'm afraid i cant muster any real 'national' pride as a collective nation, as individual people I can celebrate our flashes of charachter but nationally...nup. Too many racists running around swathed in flags,  old men driving Commodores with flags attached...it all just conjures paternalism and lies for me. A myopic sense of  history and entitlement. Its an unusual nation when so many have an aversion to our flag. I know I'm not the only one. On Australia Day it makes me grimmace.

6 comments:

Sarah said...

I hear you Kel - hear you...

JOC said...

I heard Ron Barassi this morning on radio national suggesting that May 27th should be Australia Day as that was when the referendum decided that the indigenous people should have the vote.
It certainly beats "invasion day" on January 26th.
Jan

Tricia said...

Yup. Know how you feel.

Umatji said...

I so agree. Spent the ten minutes after every flag spotting ranting at my poor family about if everyone who wanted to buy a flag instead worked to allow refugees humane treatment, indigenous people equal opportunity and give education and health the priority they deserve we would be a better place. Flag can go jump.

Cucipata said...

Sad to hear that such views are still so prevalent in Australia. It is not uncommon for people in such situations to walk away and avoid getting involved, but in this world of cell phones it is inexcusable to not call for help for this poor lady.

Amanda said...

Unfortunately, I agree with you, too.
On Australia Day the flag seems to be appropriated to assist in the creation of a jingoistic nationalism that just makes my skin crawl.
Several years ago we found ourselves in Sydney on Australia Day and they really take nationalistic fervour to new heights. Every single shop assistant we encountered on a lazy wander through the shops at The Rocks wished us a "Happy Australia Day"! Not something we had ever experienced before and not something we enjoyed experiencing at all.
Left me feeling a bit sick, really.