A week late, but still counts. Here are some thoughts on Australia Day.
My personal perspective on the politics of Australia Day as a Non-Indigenous person.
So I get into trouble for being too passionate on the book of faces. Which is why I’ve been off for so long. And I think it’s a healthy place for me to be.
But art-journalling has kept me back on there. And hey, I do enjoy being all opinionated and stuff. So I’m still looking at the book of faces, wayyyyy toooooo much.
SO the latest thing to give me the shits is Australia Day.
I live in Australia.
Australia is not the most progressive place if you are say… black, POC, a woman, a minority, disabled, differently abled, vegetarian, emotional, creative, thoughtful, intelligent, religious, not-religious, a religious-minority, or anything other than middle-class-white(-probably-alcoholic)-male.
And all the white men have been jumping on their privilage bandwagons and complaining about one council’s decision to move Australia Day.
Yes folks. ONE local council out of the hundreds in Australia is moving Australia day to celebrate a more inclusive, less divisive day, that includes and welcomes all Australians… ONE. Can I just repeat that… ONE. Of the 561 local government authorities, ONE of those has stood up and said, “you know what, that day that we all celebrate… that day that celebrated when our Indigenous and First Nations people were masacared, slaughtered, raped, murdered, decapitated, hung, hunted, poisened… well maybe that’s a day that would be kind’a insulting” *full disclaimer, this may not be a literal quote.
But out come the “Aussie Patriots”… who are all like “this is our day, if you don’t like it, go back to where you came from” which is just ironic because I’m actually sure that would be a perfect outcome a few hundred years ago to avoid all the trauma and abuse that has, and continues to happen daily.
- Kudos to Fremantle City Council and Mayor Dr Brad Pettitt who coped a ridiculous brunt of crap coming his way. Bold move Freo council. Well done!
It is a massive “us and them” as long as the “them” is quiet enough to not disrupt the “us”. “They” can be happy to be Aboriginal if it means food and cute dancers for “us”, maybe a dot-painting to colour-in during 3rd grade. “They” can be Aboriginal if it means that white people can get stuff… and be vindicated or some other patronising bullshit. As long as the “they” doesn’t hurt or otherwise inflict difficult emotions to the “us”… you know… the feelings that “they” feel every day…
Also. Side note. Just because you have that one black/Indigenous / disabled/autistic/ female / etc etc etc friend… doesn’t mean you get a free pass on shitty abusive opinion sprouting.
Also. Indigenous people are “allowed” to have… wait for it… opinions (!) Like, just because this day is offensive to a significant proportion of Indigenous people, doesn’t mean that it is for everyone. And doesn’t mean that there is only one magical solution that every single Indigenous person must agree on for this to be an “authentic” thing. Stop using Indigenous people’s argument to fuel stupid racist garbage.
Grow up people. Australia Day is changing. And it’s about time.
- Freo council offered an inclusive alternative day of celebration here. Check out the turn out! https://cofremantle.wordpress.com/2017/01/30/one-days-photos-news-and-views/ Well done Freo!
Also another side note: up until 1935 there was no such thing as a national day of Australia. Australians were still British subjects until 1984 with the God Save The Queen stuff and all. AND There was no public holiday or consistency until 1994. After I was born! This sh!t isn’t even 30 years old yet. This is what you are getting your knickers in a knot about? Something that is so “sacred” that it isn’t even 30 years old.
But like, the 50 000 year old continuous culture and sacred expression that is actually date-verifiable was “all the in the past” with a nice dose of “get over it”…
Actually all this “true-blue-aussie” bullshit is pathetic.
And hypocritical. But mostly pathetic.
You can be proud to be Australian. You can be all patriotic. Go for it. But you don’t have to be a racist history-denying dickhead about it. And part of that is knowing, and acknowledging that Australia Day is a tremendous reminder of how seriously we are failing our Indigenous people. Oh and dispossession. Rape. Torture. Murder. Slavery. Kidnapping. Forced marriages. A reminder of that.
The Day of Mourning, and Change-The-Date campaigns challenge us to consider how the fuck past wrongs are supposed to be apologised for and reparations received when they are still happening. How the actual fuck can healing even begin to happen when we are still here? Still fighting to be seen, and heard?
Australia Day is a joke!
Who would celebrate such horrendous genocide? Who would be proud of that? What gutless, heartless mole would be proud of that?
And until we have made amends, and have reconciled… deeply, statistically, spiritually, actually… that is what celebrating Australia Day is. A joke.