Opinion

WATERCOOLER: Is it time for a good hard look at ourselves?

YOU know what's hard to tolerate lately? Listening to politicians tell us how tolerant this country is.

And how generous we are. And compassionate. Downright bloody amazing it seems as we all nod our heads in unison acknowledging that greatness before carrying on in the opposite direction.

When America has another mass killing because of its insane gun laws we cheer about how great we are down here because we are so progressive and fixed our problem in a nanosecond. (The fact guns aren't entrenched in our DNA and we don't have powerful lobbies to contend with doesn't matter when measuring greatness).

Yet in the same fist-pumping action we fail to act in any real grassroots kind of way to the violent irony that takes place each week when women are killed at the hands of their own family members or partners.

This is happening in our safe suburban, gun-free neighbourhoods as men's violence against women escalates to the point it is now showcased on our nightly news bulletins with tally updates (it's 72 in case anyone is counting, a 51-year-old Inverell woman whose son has been charged with her murder, the latest).

Apply that to the well-worn 'per capita basis' we love to trot out to justify our stinginess or environmental vandalism on the world stage and that should be ugly enough to stop the gloats.

But it doesn't.

We continually trumpet we are not a racist country, yet we are quick to condemn whenever a minority race speaks out challenging our views because again, we are right and they are a minority.

But we don't say that to their faces because we aren't racist. We do it because they are bad sports.

Because they are cocky and need to come down a notch. Because they are taking over David Jones the department store. Because those minority groups have troublemakers and angry violent people in them, like we have, only less.

That's why we won't let go of those casual jibes and spectator insults. It's a reminder of who's boss. They just need to harden up and get over it because white people are the experts in all things racist.

We tolerate 'minorities' as long as they stay in their minority space, with their minority views and keep to their minority selves while following our majority views because they should just feel grateful to have that option in the first place.

Just because you are living the life up in the Northern Territory and refuse to move into the holy land of the Caucasian don't blame us for your plight. And if you came here on boats post-1788, don't expect us to help you if you aren't going to help yourself by turning into one of us. We all have to abide by the rules of this country introduced by white English people too, you know.

Or even if you are locked up on an island that isn't Australia but had intentions of coming here unannounced, you need to know your place. Sure you were raped and impregnated and named in the media because you couldn't make your mind up quickly enough about having an abortion, but what do you expect? And what do you mean you needed an interpreter.

Yes, that's generosity. It seems that stops short at one-off disasters or personal pilgrimages or diseases that touch us directly.

What happened to giving a measly one per cent of your income regardless of how sexy it is, or ensuring organs actually make it to a recipient, or volunteering some of your free time for your community rather than wasting it spreading vitriol in the comments sections?

But you can't blame us. If our paid representatives and their self-entitlement fiascos and back-stabbing antics are any measuring stick no wonder we have lost all ability to really see what's happening to us.

Sadly, I could go on and on, and it's hard to not be sarcastic with the daily contradictory messages flying thick and fast, choking up our airwaves and screens. This egotistical, grandstanding rot has got to stop before we all go down drowning in our own sea of greatness-ness.

Even the word 'tolerate' smacks of 'if we must' these days. Yes, we will do that because they said so and because we are 'Australians'.

Sadly the rich lustre of that once great term is developing patina so heavy and stained by policies and attitudes it can hardly see its true reflection anymore.

It's looking more like a big dark lump of mean spiritedness by the day but nothing a big mirror won't fix.

In the meantime our leaders need to stop bellowing on about how tolerant and generous we are and find some largescale compassion and empathy and implement something tangible from the top.

Then it's just a matter of that trickle-down effect we seem to love so much here in the lucky 'if you're not a minority' country. It's got to be an improvement on what's happening now.

What do you think about this? Do you agree? 

Join our daily watercooler by leaving a comment below.

Here's what you're saying on Facebook:

Michelle Fisher: "If they came to our country they should be prepared to live by our way and not try to change anything..... if we go over there we have to live the way they do."

Richard John: "If a minority race,as you have stated, challenges the Aussie way of life because it doesn't fall into their religious or ethical scope,then how can standing up for what you beleive in be called racist. They are the ones who are challenging or commenting and yet if we retort, the race card is played against us. I would suggest the original challenge should be regarded as a racist challenge as it is questioning the Aussie way of life."

Gari Wilson: "When you say "we" you actually mean "yourself" - you are not my spokesperson."

Ej Jane Densley: "Where was the minority after the Sydney Siege? Where were the minority when 2 officers were stabbed( nearly fatally)? Where were the minority when Curtis Cheng was murdered?..... Nowhere to be seen or heard. We are not a racist country BUT we wont tolerate being dictated to, intimidated or anything else by ONE certain ideology."

Kurt Tucker: "Why is the author blaming "white, English people" for all of the problems in Australia? Isn't that itself racism? We are a mutlicultural nation, and embracing/accepting all cultures includes new migrants accepting and embracing the majority Anglo and Judeo-Christian culture that has made Australia great. We should be willing to accept anyone, and of course take on aspects of their culture, but at the end of the day they must reciprocate."

Micheal Barnes: "It is crazy to keep doing the same thing and expect a different out come ! If people want to come to Australia and follow the path of the messed up country they are fleeing I say NO follow our path ! Every one any race any religion is welcome here if they want to follow our path ! If that makes me racist then so be it !"

Topics:  life as i know it, racism



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