Wednesday, January 26, 2011

my thoughts on Australia Day.

While I get the whole point that Aboriginal people have good reason not to want to celebrate the current Australia Day, and I get that Jan 26th is the day the British landed here, not the day Australia was formed as a nation, I don't get the inflammatory and accusing tone of the whole 'Invasion Day' thing.

I, for one, am sick to death of this assumed collective guilt that some (mostly non-Aboriginal) sections of society seem determined to force upon all of us.
"We" did not invade Australia.
I wasn't even here then. Were you?
In fact, I'm 'only' a 3rd generation Aussie. And I come from mixed German and Danish heritage on my mothers' side, so half of me isn't even of British heritage.
And I'm tired of feeling pressured to assume a guilt I don't feel and haven't inherited.

Don't get me wrong. I don't believe that the Aboriginal people were treated fairly or well. They lost their lands, their culture, and their lives. They deserve national recognition of that. They need to shake off the remnants of that enforced heritage, and national recognition of the crimes committed against them is a huge part of that.

But there are two parts to this story.

Noel Pearson says " It is a terrible thing to encourage people to see themselves as victims. It concedes defeat, and it can literally kill. Victims do not take responsibility for what they eat and drink, for their health and mental well-being; their families become dysfunctional and their children are damaged.

We need a proud and principled defence against racism. Many Aboriginal people possess this dignity and strength. We must make it the dominant outlook of our people and abolish the absurd notion that "my rights depend on you fulfilling your responsibilities to me."

How does it serve reconciliation to keep forcing us (all Australians) into this position? Why can't we all just be Australians first? instead of having to decide how much guilt we own? whether we're invaded, or invaders? victim or victor? black, white or Asian? Christian, Muslim, or atheist?

We all live here now. The past has happened. As someone wise once said, "If you live in the past, you're doomed to repeat it."

If you feel pressed to comment, remember -- mean people suck.


  1. So nice to meet you and AWESOME! Especially love Noel Pearson's quote. (And as an aside I also laughed when I saw your bit on the side "Not a Chic but still Cool..")


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