aphrodite: (Default)
It's January 26th. "Australia Day", the national day of my country, my homeland.
For what feels like most of the people around me, this is a day for BBQs, swimming, getting drunk with friends and draping oneself in polyester flags. I've spent most of the day feeling worn down, teary, frightened and nauseous. Worn down and teary because of all the overt racism on forums that is cropping up. Teary because the wave of it all feels so damn huge. It seems like there are far more of "them" than there are of "us".
The racism is what makes me nauseous. People talking about how they don't care about "what happened in the past" (ignoring what is happening now, how it's an outgrowth of that). People telling me to go live somewhere else if I don't like it, that i'm too young to have an opinion that matters, that OMG I'm NOT racist!!! as if because they lack a swastika tattoo or white hood they're exempt from prejudiced behaviour, from being influenced by the whole morass of what they've grown up in.

So I flit around the internet, and find that there is a quieter group of us NOT celebrating this day. I take hope from this, that maybe the racists, both joyful and thoughtless, are not winning this particular culture war. And I thought I'd share, because a lot of people are saying what I'm feeling, with far more skill.

The Ausmerican's take.

Hoyden About Town talks about Opting Out.

John Birmingham thinks a lot of the celebratory messages amount to dumb-arsed compulsory nationalism.

And a woman called Mary writes about why she wishes you wouldn't tell her a 'Happy Australia Day'.


So yeah, I'm really sorry, white girl (who commenetd on a friends' blog) that the name "Invasion Day" makes you sad. If it's any consolation, I'm sure all the people who were killed or had relatives killed after the white people got here are feeling pretty darn sad too. congratulations, though. Your thoughtless racism was the final comment that made my whole world black out for a few seconds there, as all I wanted to do was scream out how angry and sad and frustrated and disheartened the attitudes of people like you make me.

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July 2011

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