People with advantages are loath to believe that they just happen to be people with advantages. They come readily to define themselves as inherently worthy of what they possess; they come to believe themselves ‘naturally’ elite; and, in fact, to imagine their possessions and their privileges as natural extensions of their own elite selves.’ –
Wright – Mills, 1956
This post is dedicated to all the people on my Facebook page and other social media sites who like to post insults, bigotry and racist hate speech. You might be familiar with their work: “Go back to where you came from”, “Be a real Aussie mate” and they possess the elitist ignorant attitude of: ‘I’m happy to see refugees go to other countries, just not in my backyard’ type of attitude. They hide behind quotes and photographs on social media and are highly offended when anyone challenges these beliefs. In the words of Catherine Tate’s character ‘Nan’, how dare you? How very f***ing dare you.
Well I have news for you punk, you just got lucky, that’s all. You only ended up an Australian by pure chance. Unless you’re an indigenous person, you probably have your house because your ancestors were given a free land grab back when they came out to Australia as convicts. That’s right you probably come from boat people too! You’re just lucky punk, that’s all. While you say you have made your own luck, it only happened because along the way you got some good fortune, a chance and opportunities others didn’t.
Please stop with ‘I made my living through sheer hard work and determination’. Well part of you might have, but another large part of you just got lucky somewhere along the line.
Lucky enough to be born in a country that allowed you freedom, which means you live in relative safety and you have been provided with opportunities not afforded to others in the world. You didn’t have to face war on your door step, and you have not been traumatised by seeing your family raped, murdered and tortured by fellow citizens.
Us Australians are made up from a hugely diverse range of backgrounds. The brilliant Tasmanian Comedian Hannah Gadsby, (that’s right I’m claiming her from the small Island) recently did a documentary on ABC about Art and the Australian Identity. She explained that every Australian is from a widely diverse background, yet we are obsessed with finding the typical Aussie. This typical Aussie is usually depicted as a man in a hat riding a horse, a war veteran or a good bloke, sometimes depicted as a Bogan bloke on the back of a Holden ute with a Boags beer, an Aussie flag and ciggie in hand. This is the National Identity that is projected to us and has been force feed to us for the last hundred years via mainstream art and the mass media.
Here’s the thing Punk, there is no one type of typical Aussie, no bloke in blunnies that represents all of us. The problem with this obsession of ours for national identity is that the cookie cutter fit they we are currently using just doesn’t work for most of us. It doesn’t work because we can’t see ourselves in this identity or as Hannah puts it we can’t see ourselves in the white man in a hat on a horse. If you’re Indigenous, black, Asian, a women, Muslim or even if you don’t get AFL, you might find yourself slightly excluded from what is considered ‘Australian’. Reality is that exclusion is happening, especially if you don’t fit into the ‘ideal Aussie’s boots’. In this Country at this time this is cray cray, and far too wide spread thanks to the tool of social media. Once upon a time the bigot down the road with the big racist mouth could only tell a handful of people at the pub about their hate fuelled ideas. Now, however they have a world wide audience, which is worrying to say the least, I mean imagine what the rest of the world thinks of us now. Social media has given these people a microphone to be heard loud and clear by all the other racist hate filled people in the world.
Our Prime Minister recently said “It is not compulsory to live in Australia. If you find Australian values, you know, unpalatable, then there’s a big wide world out there and people have got freedom of movement,” In some respects he right, but what are our values now? Who sets this agenda? If someone who is born here, like me, is asking this question it’s time to review the old Australian ideas and values on national identity.
At least the current Prime Minister has managed to bench the whole idea of team Australia, I’m thankful for that because most people I know did not want to be on Team Australia to start with.
So now let’s take a closer look at this invisible racist keyboard warrior. Usually this person is uninformed about most matters they are talking about; but to give credit where credit is due they may have done some research, with the aide of (ACA) A Current Affair.
They love to tell us how hard they have worked for their staff, their car, their job and their family, like they have done something no one else has ever done before. The more clever and devious of the of the bunch tend to hide behind social media quotes that show their beliefs in full fury. They get hole heartily offended when someone dares to challenge them on their beliefs, even when they make them public. They think that this Country belongs to them and they deserve to be here, live how they want, and choose their neighbours; they revel in the perceived power. They love showing of their Aussie icons to prove they really are Australian. They post the Aussie flag and even hang it on Australian Day; they don’t recognise the indigenous people who actually belong to this land. In fact they think their good christen ancestors saved them (sorry I just spewed in my mouth). Hell they might be part of the Reclaim Australia groups. They have often never been out of their state except to attend a football game; some of them may not have even stepped outside their town, so their world is small. Their compassion is reserved for their immediate family (the real Aussies) and they do not or want to understand different religions or cultures besides AFL or Rugby league. These racist keyboard warriors are not just one type of person, if they were it would be easy to identify them. They are the Real Estate agent by day, the local Shop Owner, the old person peering behind the curtains at number 10 and the young adult sprouting what he heard his parents say.
Some of these people don’t necessarily shout loud on social media, some simply stand by and say nothing when their friends and relatives write hateful things on public sites. While this is not as direct as the punk with the keyboard, it is still not ok; it is still not making the world a better place.
Here’s the thing punk! People don’t put their children on leaky boats and risk death to get to Australia to try a lamington or two. They are desperate for freedom from war and torture. Our Indigenous population are not dying 20 years younger than white Australians just because of genetics; it’s because of the destruction of a culture and attempted genocide of a race by your white ancestors. Muslim’s don’t hate you, why hate them?
Living in constant fear makes people take risks, like putting your family on a leaky boat bound for safer lands. You too Punk, act out of fear and ignorance, but instead of doing something useful like getting informed and being of help to people who need help, you sprout your everyday racism on social media, cloaked behind bad racist quotes and Australian flags . Well I have news for you Punk, we know who you are and we will call you out every bloody time because real Aussies don’t accept this not for one minute mate.
10 things you can do with your racist friend in the holidays to make them a better person:
- Disconnect their social media account for the holidays.
- Take them to a club where they are exposed to a different culture, a different way get them to see there are real people involved.
- Take them to a show by Anh Do.
- Take them to meet an Aboriginal elder
- Show them a game of soccer, netball anything but football.
- Take them to a war zone.
- Get them to watch Go back to where you came from SBS documentary.
- Have them retrace their family history to see they too might have come from boat people.
- Introduce them to your Muslim friends at dinner.
- Challenge them to live a week in the shoes of a newly arrived refugee.
- Have a movie night and watch Mary and Mohammed.
If all this fails put them on a leaky boat bound for Syria.