If you’re anything like me, you think we’ve got it pretty bloody good, here in Australia. We aren’t perfect but we are a work in progress. In my lifetime so far, I’ve seen our society become more accepting, more open-minded and more inclusive than ever before. I hope to see those attitudes reflected in law before too long. But that’s not what this is about. This is about just some of the small but noisy groups that oppose that progress.
Today is Australia Day.
Except that for many, Australia Day is known as Survival Day or Invasion Day- the anniversary of white Europeans invading the country we now call home. On this day, in 1788, Captain Arthur Phillip took possession of the colony of New South Wales and raised the British flag for the first time in Sydney Cove. Along with a British flag, they brought weapons, diseases, their own laws, religion and more. Those first invaders cast a long shadow; the legacy of their actions still impacts the lives of Indigenous people today.
Dear White People,
I address this to you because you, WE, are the main defenders of shit like this. The other day, a white lady knowingly painted her kid brown as a costume. She knew it was not politically correct and had been told it was a horrible idea but she did it anyway. She was proud of it. I can’t even begin to address the school that rewarded a kid who showed up in blackface.In painting her son, this mum hurt the person her son was trying to emulate. She hurt other people of colour. There was literally no benefit to anyone to paint her child’s skin. He could have quite easily dressed as his hero without being painted.
Do you think all lives matter?
I’m going to take a hopeful stab in the dark and say yes. I would hope that most people do. So much so that it should go without saying. Every life is important. And not because they are someone else’s partner, parent or relative; people matter in their own right, not just for who they are in relation to someone else. But the #AllLivesMatter “movement” that keeps popping up is not actually about that, since it never existed before the #BlackLivesMatter movement. So is it really about “equality”, or is it more of a derailing tactic?