When I first started this blog it was meant to be an all encapsulating ‘lifestyle’ blog, but over time it became a predominantly fashion blog (mainly also because the other aspect of it being a partly foodie blog never took hold as I preferred to eat my meals rather the photograph them).
Since those tragic events in Christchurch just over a week ago, there had been something I feel quite strongly about. In short, there is something I’ve been wanting to say. And I can’t hold it in any longer.
We all know a few facts: The tragic events occurred in New Zealand. The perpetrator is Australian.
While there was widespread condemnation of the attack here in Australia (with the exception of a particular racist Australian senator – he deserved that egg) and widespread coverage on the perpetrator and his antics (in keeping with New Zealand’s prime minster Jacinda Ardern who will not speak the perpetrator’s name, nor will I), but there had been remarkably little soul searching, or shame even, here in Australia on how Australia could produce such a twisted, vile man.
Instead, Australian news outlet focussed on reporting the ‘disbelief’ of locals in Australia.
Disbelief is there is nothing short of denial of what a racist country Australia has been, and still is.
Anyone growing up in Australia who isn’t ‘white’ will remember being yelled at all the time with the words ‘go back where you came from’.
It isn’t just the words that are being yelled at: these episodes often happen in public places and I have always noted that white passer-by seem to shrug it off as nothing has happened. In short Australia is racist and the general public has always tolerated its racism.
(This statement had always perplexed me, as the people – or assholes, if you prefer – yelling them are always white. Which meant that, unless they were indigenous, they too had come to Australia from somewhere else too. So I am never quite sure what gave them the right to yell at me to ‘go back where you came from’…)
Public tolerance of racism in Australia probably has roots in our White Australia Policy. And it seems our politicians still think there is a White Australia Policy. At every election Australian politicians will play the race card and you can be assured limiting immigration and ‘border security’ will come up as an election promise on EVERY FRIGGIN major Australian political party’s agenda. And if you think an Australian politician who expresses his election promise to ‘limit immigration’ is directing it at white South African farmers migrating to Australia or white English migrants, you are wrong – if you are white you are welcomed, but if you are ‘Asian with a PHD’ then this is who their immigration policy is directed at.
While New Zealand’s Prime Minister provided a graceful, thoughtful master-class on how a national leader (ANY national leader, for that matter) should behave after such an incident, ours, on the other, merely attempted to say the right words (although one could give him credit for at least trying – contrast this with a particular racist Australian senator – once again he deserved that egg).
Australia should start doing a little soul searching, start feeling a little shame, and start asking herself the pervasive of the behaviour of its politicians and its policies that had provided this ripe but twisted environment for producing such a twisted, vile man.
(P.S. And one more thing, our Australian Minister for Home Affairs had been pretty keen to ‘strip terrorists of their Australian citizenship.’ Just to be fair, maybe our Australian Minister for Home Affairs should also strip the perpetrator in Christchurch of his citizenship.)
#NewZealand, #Australia, #Christchurch, #JacindaArdern