Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Australia Day 2015

Mmm. Been a while...

This article: http://theconversation.com/the-day-i-dont-feel-australian-that-would-be-australia-day-36352

...

Is a good article.

Makes some good points.

But, sadly, I'd have to agree with the PM on the arrival of the First Fleet as being “defining moment” of our national identity.

Only...

Not for the reasons he thinks.

The FF was the point from which took root the absurd notion (that is, I fear, often at the core of many Australia Day celebrations) that you can unceremoniously dump one culture on top of a second, pre-existing culture, and somehow, magically, have everything work out OK.

The moment those ships arrived with the intent of setting up shop for keeps, they set in motion wheels that are still spinning today. Wheels that spin out the lie that Australia is a place where the disadvantaged, those who have been marginalised by the powerful accruing more power, the 'underdogs'--get a 'fair go'. Wheels that tell the tale of "Australian history" like it started in 1788, and that moments like the Stolen Generations, the various assimilation policies, and the constant degradation and exploration of Indigenous culture and heritage for the gain of everyone _not_ Indigenous-- that moments like these are just that: moments. Small blips on the larger radar of Advance Australia Fair--rather than the hot, bright (dark?) points in a centuries long travesty of fear, ignorance, and multiple attempts at genocide.

Wheels that, like the spinning jenny of the Industrial Revolution, cripple and maim the hopes of future internal peace and accord on what it means to be "Australian" (defined in *all* the pain and beauty of the past 50,000+ years right up to today)--wheels that destroy that future for the infinitesimally vanishing benefit of maintaining current prejudices and power structures.

Abbott is right, when he calls the First Fleet the“defining moment” of our national identity. And I weep every time I know it to be so.


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