Friday, January 27, 2012

Australia Day

Yesterday, 26th January, Australians celebrated Australia Day.

Celebrated annually on 26 January, the date commemorates the arrival of the First Fleet at Sydney Cove in 1788 and the proclamation at that time of British sovereignty over the eastern seaboard of New Holland.

So if you are American or Canadian or Russian or whatever, you now know.

Here is a brief list of what some people think of Australia Day

1.An insult and ongoing festering sore for aboriginal (indigenous) people who would rather not call themselves Australians. (see pic above)

2. The former county court judge Peter Gebhardt  says, 

Australia Day is, of course, an artificial fabrication designed by governments, the corporate world, media, Australia Day Councils and smug Anglo-Saxons to ensure that we forget real history. 

That Anglo-Saxon smugness is a resilient child of hypocrisy and racism. The mawkish jingoism, the noisy triumphalism and trumped-up nationalism lead to the xenophobia that treats our humanity as something special and beyond the humanity of others who are not of these shores or of those, the original owners, who live within our shores but have been relegated as relics of history, beyond imagination.
The suggestion is that flying the Australian flag predisposes us to harboring racist beliefs.

So in a fit of rage I ask myself, 

Q.What other country allows such scouring self criticism as illustrated above?
Q.What other country bends over backwards to accommodate every cultural and religious diverse group who emigrates there? 
Q.What other countries' citizens continue to stew in their own collective guilt for events concerning indigenous peoples  over which they had no control?
Q.What other country harbours such feelings of self loathing when it considers the failure in public policy to integrate stone age primitives into mainstream society? 
Q.What other country constantly examines their own navel for signs of racism?

I always thought Australia Day was a day to be proud to be Australian. I'm proud to be Australian, I was born here.
My wife is proud to be Australian, being immigrant and political refugee from a communist country, she values the freedom to think and do what she likes without having the police state look over her shoulder constantly. 
As Australians we value the freedom to express opinions no matter how naive, stupid, biased, ignorant, those opinions may be. 
At least let's be proud of that.


Jeannie said...

Canada has a lot of the same issues. But Canada Day isn't frowned on - because it's the anniversary of Confederation - not when anyone in particular landed.

Mattexian said...

Happy belated Australia Day! (I noticed it on our calendar at work, as one of our execs is from there, but he took off the whole week, so I couldn't wish him anything.)

I'd say it's a trick question, as those could be answered with "US" also, especially around Columbus Day. Altho we don't public admit to any failure of integrating any ethnic groups, as singling them out would be Racist and hurt someone's feelings.

Lexcen said...

Mattexian and Jeannie,
I find it very hard to equate what's happening in Canada and America with the situation with aborigines here in Australia.

Mattexian said...

Well, there might not be equivalancy, but there is a lot of similarity. In the US, there's a long history of subjugating the American Indians, forcibly moving tribes from historic lands to places in the ass-end of nowhere (like deserts), and the history of slavery, oppression, and segregation against the blacks, which all are now being treated thru the lens of White Guilt, with repeated calls for reparations for slavery, which by my reckoning is insane, to use tax dollars from everyone to pay blacks for what my great-great-great-etc-grandparents supposedly did hundreds of years ago. (The blacks especially feel empowered, as they have one of "their people" in the Presidency now, and any criticism of him or his policies or his administration is dismissed as racist attacks, because "he's black.") The White Guilt is also used to justify allowing the Indian Tribes to build casinos to attract gambling and tourism to the Reservations, while any other part of a state is NOT allowed gambling, much to the detriment of everyone's wallets and morality.

Lexcen said...

The reparations for slavery is something I wasn't aware of.

Mattexian said...

So far it's just the usual suspects demanding it (Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Louis Ferrakhan), it normally get shot down in short order, as it wants people who never owned slaves (everyone alive today) to pay reparations to people who never were slaves (but their ancestors were). If that's the case, I owe myself some money, for what my ancestors did to my other ancestors! I count German, British, Welsh, Irish, Scottish, and Czech as my ancestry, but I claim Texas as my homeland. (Which isn't without it's own problems, as there are many Mexicans who act on the false knowledge that the American Southwest was "stolen" from them in the 1800s.)