If you don’t love it, leave…

Australian?

My Social Media feed has been awash with this photograph, or cropped versions of it without the;

‘If you don’t love it, leave

If you don't love it leave

Do you feel this is ‘Australian’?

If you are not Australian, do you feel this is a ‘sentiment of loving one’s own nation’?

Advertisements

82 responses to “If you don’t love it, leave…

  1. My Mum once posted a “love it or leave it” thing on her FB and I was none too happy. She didn’t really know what she was doing though. I explained that it’s not so much about the words themselves (although they are somewhat problematic) – it’s about the kind of people that you are associating yourself with once you share something like that. To me, “love it or leave it” is just something people say when they don’t have the guts to say “fuck off we’re full”. So it’s nasty, ignorant AND cowardly.

  2. I don’t have to love everything there is about my country, no problem with that. But the context in which that Tshirt was put out (if I remember correctly) is bang on – wouldn’t want haters living off the soil of my country while dissing it.

    • Thanks for taking the time to comment Kunal 🙂

      You’ve provided another timely reminder about how differently we all perceive things. I value that. We’ve had some great discussion about this in this thread and so I’ll present a bit of a collage of those points;

      When I first saw this photograph posted, the context was racial profiling. An obvious application of contemptuous stereotype, specifically against Muslim people. It came through my FB feed as something someone commented on. ‘If you don’t Love it, Leave’ had been conveniently cropped out.

      To establish the full story, I googled the graphic. I then saw the complete ‘un-cropped’ picture.

      If I remove the racial context & wholistically apply it to everyone, of every race & gender, I continue to view it as bigoted – intolerance towards those holding different opinions. No matter who it is directed at, I feel the statement is divisive.

      There have been policies implemented by Governments (on both sides) that I’ve fundamentally disagreed with. I’m not going to leave Australia because I think some federal & local government policies are off the mark and could do with a review/overhaul. I’m going to provide feedback and suggestions and work to make a positive difference. I’m going to make informed decisions at the Polls and make my vote count. That is my right and responsibility as a citizen of this beautiful democratic country.

      If I collectively sat down with ALL the people in my life and asked them how they felt about a variety of subjects relating to our country, I honestly feel each one of them would have something they felt could be done better or should change. I might not agree with their view points, but I would not think it appropriate that they should leave the country because I disagree. Peoples opinions do not = change.

      There would be no one left in this country if everyone that didn’t love something about it left.

      Australia is so wonderfully diverse, I don’t think our ‘nation’ can be defined by any single religion, culture or book of laws. Our nation is not nostalgically planted. It changes with the sum of it’s people, our ideas and with time.

      I’d love to see something on a singlet that says; ‘If you don’t love it, work together to make it better’.. lol

      • Well, to be completely honest, even though you do have a point, I think one should respect the country one lives in. Moreso, if they’ve immigrated. To take the example of your country, no, I cannot understand how someone like Khalid Sherrouf (have I got the name right?) be tolerated. Or, Anjem Choudary in the UK, or some of our separatists in Kashmir. To them, I would say, leave! Either one lives within the norms of civilised society and believes in what the nation stands for, or one foregoes the right to live within. Disagreement/dissent, etc are all par for the course in a democracy, but I would expect gratitude and ‘belongingness’ in return. I don’t know if I’ve been articulate enough, or even coherent, but these are my views.
        Cheers!

      • Thanks again for taking the time to further explore your thoughts (and mine).

        The norms of civilised society and what a nation stands for are open to interpretation based on an individual’s collective experience. The rule of law, not so much.

        I understand the individuals you mentioned have broken laws they adhered to when they became citizens of the countries they reside in? In cases where individuals have broken the law of a country, that is unacceptable & needs to be dealt with by the respective judicial system so they are held to account. (Note; if we remove citizenship, then that limits our country’s judicial systems ability to hold them accountable)

        At least when someone is breaking the law, there is usually a clear mandate for how that needs to be addressed.

        This is not the case with memes such as ‘Love it or Leave’. It’s a ‘generic’ application and the ‘justification’ for using it is open to ‘vast’ interpretation.

        For example; if a teenager of middle eastern appearance is assaulted & vilified because he is ‘deemed’ to be a terrorist based on his appearance, & his parents present their concerns to the school he attends, then file a police report – is it fair that the family is then presented with ‘Love it, or Leave’ by some members within our communities as a consequence?

        I personally don’t think so. ‘Some’ people do.

        Who’s right?

        When someone (of whatever origin) ‘says’ something, someone else doesn’t like, or presents concerns about something happening in their community, it’s quite an assumption to say they don’t respect the country they are residing in. Citizens of any country have a responsibility & a right to voice their concerns, and advocate for change if they feel something is not right (within the rule of law.)

        ‘Love it or Leave’ is a cop out, shutting down communication. Communication which could be beneficial to help resolve problems affecting our communities.

        Sure, we can say it, but what purpose does it really serve?

      • Hmmmm, we’re gonna get into political space now, and a verrrry looking discussion! I don’t agree with everything you say but respect your opinion. Can we leave it at that? 😊 You have a lovely day and keep writing!

      • Of course. 🙂 Thanks for taking the time to share your personal views, I do appreciate it & enjoy hearing various perspectives, as they help to inform my own, which sometimes change as a result of new information. 😀 (True story.. lol)

        I’ve no issue with political conversation, (and many of my posts refer to Government Policy) but appreciate that sometimes people aren’t as open to it as I am.

  3. Meh. As an American, if I were to move to Australia, I wouldn’t expect the country, or the people that are citizens there, to jump through hoops to accommodate me or sustain me. I haven’t lived there, any contributions I’ve made directly have been recent and minuscule compared to the generations of citizens born there. While some themes are implied and other themes are outright asserted (and contort what I think the real theme is), I believe that the real theme of the “don’t love it, leave” is more of a “support the success of our country or get out”. It is a bit more inclusive than one would think, because most Americans do not have a problem with people who immigrate legally, and become productive and self-sustaining members of society.

    • You make good points, thepillarsoftheearth.

      But you do seem to be unaware of the local context of the sentiments on this t-shirt.

      Here in Australia, ‘if you don’t love it, leave it’ has long been associated with bigotry and intolerance.

      ‘Loving it’ generally requires that one assimilate to a certain narrow range of behaviour that comply with how some people define the status of ‘Australian’. If one deviates from those unrealistic standards, one is not welcome to stay.

      Perversely, it generally excludes our native Australians, unless they comply by acting in accord with the standards required.

      So for just one small example, ‘loving it’ means that we all need to celebrate ‘Australia Day’, which is the anniversary of the invasion of Australia by the British on 26 January, 1788.

      Many indigenous Australians do not believe that the loss of their rights, land and culture is worth celebrating. Some prefer to call 26 January ‘Invasion Day’ as a result.

      Although I myself am not a First Australian, I do call it Invasion Day as I am not terribly proud of the history of my country.

      Even though I was born here, and I have lines going back eight generations before me, I have been told to ‘go back where I came from’ because I have dared to disagree with the intolerant attitudes on display by so many.

      One can be called ‘unAustralian’ for being a vegetarian, for not drinking beer, for not eating meat pies or for not playing (or at least barracking for) the right sports.

      ‘Love it or leave it’ is a divisive slogan that is too often parrotted by people who in truth want everyone to be the same shade of white as they drink beer and eat lamb chops from the barbie after a game of cricket.

  4. I think the USP of such messages is the shock value…they don’t represent any sensible citizen of any country…So nice of you to stir so many souls.

  5. That sentiment seems more American to me than Australian, generalisation I know but many Aussies I have known have been forthright but very welcoming people.

  6. I get sick of the jingoistic attitude of the US especially, even as a born, bred, contributing citizen here. I have no allegiance to a country “just because” anymore.

    • Thanks for commenting. I think Australia is wonderful, mostly and I feel great about living here. I still acknowledge there is always room for improvement. 🙂

  7. I don’t know about whether that’s australian or not but hmm…I haven’t seen you in my stream! It says I’m following you but maybe everytime I open the reader (I follow so many) I’ve missed you. Hope to see you around soon!

    • I have been mostly absent for 6 months – and trust me when I tell you, you haven’t missed a thing.. lol

      I’m trying to do better but decided against committing to a resolution that I’d blog more regularly, because I probably wouldn’t just to self sabotage. *groans*

      I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and New year. Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment.

      ML
      xx

      • Well now I know why I haven’t seen you! I hope everything’s ok.

        I keep saying I won’t be attached at the hip to this thing but I’m still here. It took all my will power not to post an image yesterday and today! LOL

        Happy new Year!

      • The aliens took me.

        lol

        Seriously, I was considering doing that end of year stat thing word press makes available. I wouldn’t be suprised if it spat out something like ‘You’re 6 months of half assed blogging is cancelled out by your 6 months of desertion.

  8. I have a new and creative idea on how we in Australia may be able to address this growth in these awful white supremacist t-shirts, towels, eskies and ute rear windows…

    Perhaps we can seek permission of our First Australian colleagues to institute the original systems of Law in this land.

    Now, I understand that one punishment for stupid or bad behaviour is the use of a spear that is thrust into the thigh of the guilty party. This is far more compassionate than it at first sounds.

    In traditional culture, with small communities relative to the size of our contemporary towns and cities, the victims of the crime would then have to tend to the wounds, and let the guilty know what trouble and suffering they have caused.

    Each and every day, they could be a little rough in their handling of the wound, dressing it, undressing it (and no Monty Python references here about making exciting underwear) and giving the guilty party a ‘what for’ or ten along the way.

    Then when the anger had subsided, the wound had healed, the victims of the crime would know they have been heard, their humanity would eventually have been touched by the unremitting agony of the punished offender and forgiveness would be the order of the day.

    Then the offender would have a wound on their thigh — in a clear and obvious place that was forever ‘in their face’ — and perhaps a limp and a twinge on cold morning to remind them of their crime and of the hurt that they caused their neighbours.

    So, if we can obtain the right permissions, or perhaps we could ask some indigenous councils to actually dish out the justice, we could have the chance to use this against the white supremacist troglodytes who use these stupid slogans without employing a single bit of rational thought in the process.

    “You may say I’m a dreamer..”

    • ERRATUM: I apologise for any misunderstanding for my little error. The spear is not thrust INTO the thigh, but THROUGH the thigh.

      We need to get that clear. Those barbs only go one way.

    • Exciting Underwear or not, I think that particular method of punishment might have people thinking about things alot more prior to acting. Certainly.

      #AmazingCulture
      #PolkaDottedPanties
      #WontDoThatAgain

      • I think the other great thing about it is that it is an assertion that outsiders should not be allowed to come in and change the local laws, traditions or ways of life!

        Oh, I so want a punishment spear!

  9. Reblogged this on Jambo Robyn and commented:
    I could hardly believe my eyes! After a curious 2014 resurgence in the popular local pastime of telling me to leave the country, we find that someone has taken the trouble to print up these beauties. I am sooo tempted to go prancing around the streets of Melbourne dressed in one of these… LOL. Seriously, what the hell is wrong with us?

  10. What a great article – I had no idea such a thing existed! Could you imagine if I got around in one of those singlets. I would leave a trail of crashing cars and broken minds in my wake. LOL! Do you mind if I reblog?

    • Bwahahahaha Robyn, I do imagine it would create a bit of a stupefied staring frenzy..

      Absolutely feel free to reblog. I put it up to create some conversation because as soon as I saw it, I experienced #Judgement #Disdain #Annoyance and #Frustration, feeling that the statement was arrogant and divisive.

      I find that hearing other perspectives helps to keep me somewhat grounded, however I still categorically feel the statement is unnecessary and divisive and serves no useful purpose.

      Thanks so much for dropping by – always love to have your comments on my posts. Hope you had a wonderful Christmas and New year!

      ML
      xx

  11. I’m not an Aussie but my flag has red, white and blue also. Along with 13 stripes and 50 stars. We have a slogan similar to yours:” Love it or Leave it.” It was especially big during the Vietnam War. But what does that mean ?
    Those who use the slogan usually mean “Don’t criticize anything or get out”. But is that what “Love it” really means?
    Should we not be critical of our governments when we think they are doing something wrong? Isn’t that “love” whereas keeping your mouth shut is a form of apathy…or “hate”. What is more hateful than not caring at all ?
    I protested against the Vietnam War and the Iraqi Occupation. Some people might think I hate my country. Nope. I just have a responsibility to lend my voice to oppose my government. After all, democratically elected governments claim to represent me, don’t they ?

    • Right! What does it mean when we say ‘Love It or leave it?’ Love what exactly? And who defines what constitutes as love? Is claiming to ‘Love’ everything about our countries indeed apathetic? Wouldn’t ‘loving’ everything about countries prevent us from growing and developing as a nation – of progressing and improving life as we know it?

      I absolutely agree with your sentiment in terms of it being our responsibility as citizens to raise concerns we have, and although that may not lead to change as we would like it, it can certainly be very valuable to have the conversation and provide information about our personal experiences – ensuring that decisions that ARE MADE, are at least well informed ones.

      Thanks for your comment Joseph – another great point of view that gave me some insight into an angle I hadn’t considered.

      ML
      x

    • josephurban,

      I can so very easily relate to what you say here.

      I think what it is really all about is that some people lack the ability to tolerate dissenting views, and they also lack the capacity to critically evaluate their own ideas. This is why they have to mindlessly parrot the same ‘clever’ slogans over and over and over again.

      That is what constitutes, for them, ‘argument’.

      Democracy does require of us that we disagree. When I see a loved one doing the wrong thing, it would be wrong of me to go along with that. So I believe that having anger and disgust in one’s country is a profound act of love.

      I am always suspicious of lovers who never disagree.

  12. have to say as a proud Aussie I think this slogan is “ugly” for want of a better word! Considering much of our country was built by migrants and our recent history is shameful to say the least (stolen generation was only 40 or so years ago). Think we need to be very careful about these types of slogans. My opinion is there are much better ways of been patriotic about our country! Sadly, when people like Pauline Hanson (who I’m sure would own a t-shirt with this slogan on it) rose to prominence she had plenty of support. What I found most interesting was that the bulk of her supporters were in fact migrants.

    • Thanks for dropping by and sharing your views, Antony.

      I agree there are a range of wonderful ways we can show how much we love our country – without being antagonistic or divisive.

      With regards to Pauline Hanson, I do not know the exact numbers of supporters she had, nor do I have any idea about whether or not the majority of supporters were migrants. However I like to think with regards to many of her suggestions, the support was a minority that was covered very well by the media due to the controversial nature. If this was the case, then the coverage could have provided an ‘illusion’ of more support than there really was?

      Thanks again, Antony.

      ML

    • I have read most of the comments here.
      I may be stupid (well, my stupidity is well-documented).
      But, I really do not understand.
      Is there an article?
      I looked. Did not find one…
      Anyway..

      Well, I wanted to throw up a photo of a Texas Flag (my nation), but alas, this blog won’t let me, but you know the image.

      Anyway… I am completely with you, and as you know, I have been to Australia. Aussies were the only people who did not spit on us when we came to town (US Navy) during that particular deployment: -’89
      .
      And in fact, I actually had ‘old folks’ come up to me and thank me!
      Thank me?!
      For what?
      (I was in uniform)
      “For WWII!”
      “Oh, That. Yer welcome.”

      ML,
      I would be honored if you could sometime find the time to read my ‘Shonnie, The Biker’s Wife of Bath’ post.
      It is easy to find….

      http://texantales.com/2015/01/08/ok-now-it-really-is-thursday/

      No hurry, but I do admire the way you think.

      Cheers,
      Lance

      Oh screw it! I am a-feared this was just a shameless begging for you to read.
      Obviously you have better things to do.
      WoW!
      Your posts generate so many comments!
      -L

      • Thanks for clarifying that you were ‘fishing aka begging’ for me to read/comment on your post.

        There is no single article for this post – and there is not a specific article written by me. This blog was merely a prompt – to engage people in a conversation about what this means to them.

        I found it very useful as it helped me gain perspective about the reasons why people feel a certain way about this issue.

        As I have mostly been absent for the last 6 months, things have been quiet in my neck of the woods 🙂

        I’ll be sure to drop over and check out the post you have put up.

        ML

  13. I’m not Australian but I do share a tiny corner of your flag. It seems, on this side of the globe, there is a great deal of griping about how awful Britain is, much of it by people who have decided to make England their home. Working in customer services I often hear the words “it’s so much better in (insert name of country of origin).” Seems to me the words on your flag are very apt.

    • Thanks for sharing your personal opinion and experiences, Marie.

      I’ve never heard anyone express ‘it’s so much better in (insert name of country of origin)’, which I can understand would influence your views. Perhaps if I had heard it enough it might influence my personal position on this as well.

      Knowing about a persons journey helps put things in perspective, even if we don’t agree. One of the things I love, living in a diverse Australia, is having the opportunity to befriend so many amazing people who all have their very own stories to tell.

  14. These words say …if you don’t love it – leave. I see nothing more and nothing less and certainly no reference to the indigenous people or how they were treated etc. My father was an immigrant and worked hard to contribute to this land. I abhor those who do come here and try to change the ways, the laws, the culture, the religion. This is what I feel this shirt says, instead of trying to change who we are as a nation.. You’re more than free to leave.

    • I think there are a few problems with that, ramblingsfromamum.

      It presupposes that there is some single notion of how Australia ‘is’ that must be forever locked in stasis, never changing, never growing.

      The fact is we are a nation of mostly immigrants, but we also do include indigenous peoples.

      The British boat people never learned the local lingo, never adopted the local customs, and never respected the local ‘ways’. They forced their religion onto them, showing no respect for the local faiths. Perhaps it is we British descendants who should go back to where we came from?

      They also changed the culture, forcing it upon the First Australians. Many of the First Australians have never fully caught up with the effects of the non-consensual imposition of what is to them a hostile and invasive culture.

      Please correct me if I am misunderstanding you, but your argument appears to be that it was the British, and only the British cultural imposition that was okay, but if anyone else tries to do what the British did, they are immoral or wrong? How does that work without being a double standard?

      As for changing ‘the ways’ — specifically, what ways? What are the ways we are never to allow to change? Is it an offence for me to fail to eat three veg, meat and gravy for my tea? Am I to be expatriated because I won’t drink beer, eat meat pies or barrack for some sporting team?

      Change the laws? I know there is nothing specific in these sentiments referring to indigenous culture and rights, but where does First Australian Law fit in with ‘not changing the laws’?

      Change the culture and religion? How is that possible unless we prohibit freedom of religion in Australia? That is what we as a nation have done towards our First nation colleagues. So is this advocating for the establishment of a theocracy in Australia?

      Who sets the rules as to what constitutes an acceptable religion? An acceptable culture? An acceptable law or acceptable set of ‘ways’ (whatever ‘ways’ means)?

      Technically, we are a secular society, and in a secular society, any and all faiths need to be equally welcome.

      And historically, the sentiment on this shirt is actually associated with white supremacist attitudes. To use this sentiment, this restating of ‘my way or the highway’ is inherently aggressive. Who has any right to tell another person, another Australian, to leave, because they don’t like the way that other person bears their attitude towards this country?

      I have much anger in my heart towards the Australian Government regarding the treatment of innocent people who have committed no crime (being a refugee and arriving as such is not an offence, despite the manipulative rubbish spread by successive governments) but have run for their lives to escape persecution. This country of the ‘fair go’ has decided to be cruel in order to ‘teach’ refugees to die on their home soil. We have actually committed crimes against humanity by sending refugees back to their deaths. That has been documented. Sentiments like these bolster the abuses, by creating exclusionist mindsets.

      And I really do feel the need to ask: does my anger at the Government mean I am to be deemed to ‘not love’ this country? Am I therefore to be sent out to… well I have no idea where. I was born here and have never had any other form of citizenship.

      How does one define ‘not love’? Because for this sentiment to have any real meaning, that is something that ought to be asked, and that really, really ought to be answered.

      And, again, who gets to be the judge of this?.

      Who is the arbiter?

    • Thanks for your comment Jenny. You’ve provided a timely reminder about how differently we all perceive things, which I very much value.

      When I first saw this photograph posted, the context was racial profiling. An obvious application of contemptuous stereotype, specifically against Muslim people. It came through my FB feed as something someone commented on. ‘If you don’t Love it, Leave’ had been conveniently cropped out.

      To establish the full story, I googled the graphic. I then saw the complete ‘un-cropped’ picture.

      If I remove the racial context & wholistically apply it to everyone, of every race & gender, I continue to view it as bigoted – intolerance towards those holding different opinions. No matter who it is directed at, I feel the statement is divisive.

      There have been policies implemented by Governments (on both sides) that I’ve fundamentally disagreed with. I’m not going to leave Australia because I think some federal & local government policies are off the mark and could do with a review/overhaul. I’m going to provide feedback and suggestions and work to make a positive difference. I’m going to make informed decisions at the Polls and make my vote count. That is my right and responsibility as a citizen of this beautiful democratic country.

      If I collectively sat down with ALL the people in my life and asked them how they felt about a variety of subjects relating to our country, I honestly feel each one of them would have something they felt could be done better or should change. I might not agree with their view points, but I would not think it appropriate that they should leave the country because I disagree. Peoples opinions do not = change.

      There would be no one left in this country if everyone that didn’t love something about it left.

      Australia is so wonderfully diverse, I don’t think our ‘nation’ can be defined by any single religion, culture or book of laws. Our nation is not nostalgically planted. It changes with the sum of it’s people, our ideas and with time.

      I’d love to see something on a singlet that says; ‘If you don’t love it, work together to make it better’.. lol

  15. Pingback: If you don't like it, leave...·

  16. I detest singlets and comments like the one above. They’re divisive, nothing more and nothing less.

    As an Australian, I, like a number of other commentators am horribly embarrassed by our current government’s attitudes to our indigenous fellows, and those seeking refuge on our shores. I am truly looking forward to the next federal election. In fact, I’m almost counting the days.

    Sadly, I see more and more posts coming through my Facebook feed as you’ve described.

    We are a land of immigrants – there’s no getting around that unless you wish to stick your head in the sand. I often try to imagine what I’d be like, migrating to a different country, trying to learn a new language and cope with differing dress styles and an alien culture.

    I like to think that I’d do my best to learn to live as a true resident of the new country, but I’m sure I’d resent it if the new country told me I had to stop speaking with an Australian accent, or only drink Starbucks coffee (Yuck!) I’d be unhappy, and if I saw someone wearing a singlet like the one above telling me to put up or shut up, i’d feel completely rejected.

    The shirt above represents ‘The Ugly Australian’ to me. I choose not to be one.

    • My views are consistent with yours.

      I too am looking forward to the day of the next election, where I hope people take the time to inform themselves of policies and do not make their votes based on 3 & 4 word slogans…

      • The problem with this being that, in so many ways, including refugee policy, it doesn’t matter which of the major parties wins.

        Both majors promise the same cruelties.

        For whomsoever gins power, the politicians win; and the people, truth and human dignity loses.

  17. It has good intentions but seems to suggest “us” or “them”. I try to see the good and not be offended but i also see the natives in my country be hurt by ignorant sentiments like this…

  18. I have heard this kind of remark from people in US as well. I do not like this sort of remark. In my opinion, it implies it is my way or no way at all ; undemocratic.

  19. Sadly I think the teeshirts are just a sign of the right wing expressing their We want white people only and if it’s not done my way, it’s not done at all. Same problem as we have in the UK. Unnecessary aggression that only makes immigrants fear trouble, not without good reason.

  20. I have no brilliant answers, only the observation that we’re having the same sort of thing here in the States. It’s happening in lots of places… Europe, all over Asia, India, South America… and I’ve heard it said that the root causes are in “globalization” (or ‘globalisation’, if you prefer), the economic crisis that makes people feel insecure and prone to defend the tribe, and just plain old tribalism and circling the wagons against “the Other”. The last time things were as churned up globally was in the 1930s, and look how that turned out.

    But the kicker this time around is the vast unknown effect of climate change. A recent study says we can expect the oceans to rise between 2.5 and 6.5 feet (0.8 and 2 meters) by 2100, enough to swamp many of the cities along the U.S. East Coast. More dire estimates, including a complete meltdown of the Greenland ice sheet, push sea level rise to 23 feet (7 meters), enough to submerge London. But how many millions in the rest of the world live on the beach, so to speak? Where are they gonna go when the water’s rise? Here, some models predict southern Florida north of Miami will be under water or revert to swamps. The refugee flow north is bound to create massive social unrest in Georgia and the rest of the Southern states, already burdened by poverty and racial unrest and regressive thinking.

    • Thankyou for taking the time to read and comment. You’ve raised some valid points I find myself considering. I worry we are our own end.

      Sadly, here in Australia we have taken a step ( or five) backward recently when it comes to our environment and dealing with the climate change.

    • One interesting aspect of climate change is that it poses a risk that Australians may eventually become dispossessed of their flooded towns and cities.

      I wonder how we’ll be treated when we try to apply for refugee status in some other high-altitude country?

  21. Hello, Miss Lou!

    I have been very preoccupied of late. I have missed you terribly painfully!

    When I go to my nearest railway station, I often see a large 4WD ute with a neat, white Australian flag emblazoned upon the rear window, that also has neat white lettering that reads “I eat pies, I drink beer. I speak English” and I ponder the wonders of such a brilliant mind capable of achieving such a feat of mental gymnastics. To be able to eat pies, drink beer and speak English all at the same time is such an acto of consummate genius! Boy, we need more people like that in this world!

    This must separate this person from we mere untalented hacks out here, what with all our tofu-eating, chai-swilling, semaphore-speaking subversions of Australian nationalism. I must say, I get into quite a mess whenever I try to eat tofu or drink chai whilst having an animated semaphore argument about religion or politics with one of my many like-minded friends. I just hope the genius with the patriotic ute doesn’t speak with his mouth full!

    I have recently begun to formulate the theory that we Australians are becoming the new Germans, and our Kiwi friends are becoming the new Swiss.

    What I mean by that is that if I ever have to travel overseas, I am going to have a hard time identifying myself to others as being an Aussie, and, just as many postwar Germans claimed to be Swiss whilst travelling overseas (due to the embarrassment of the Third Reich) I do feel the need to claim to be from New Zealand.

    What with our vile practices in relation to our indigenous colleagues, combined with the crimes we are even now committing via our institutionalised cruelties to those who seek refuge from other brutal regimes, I am thoroughly shamed to call myself Australian.

    These yobs only make it worse.

    We have always had yobs in this country, and we always will. but increasingly, our flag is being used as a symbol of extreme, even overtly white supremacist values.

    I do subscribe to the ‘black armband’ view of our national history, for most of it is a national and humanitarian disgrace. I will actually be wearing a black armband this coming Invasion Day (just 22 sleeps before that one, kiddies) to express my disgust and my support for the First Australians.

    But to answer your question, do I think it is Australian?

    Sadly, I do.

    We are, after all, the nation who’s sense of racial superiority motivated us to deliberately seek to eradicate the Indigenous cultures in our midst. To throw Tasmanians over cliffs, or shoot them under Government bounty (₤5 per adult, ₤2 per child in c1840). To beat, sodomise and torture small children into not talking their ‘jibber-jabber’ (language) and into not practising their culture and religion.

    We are the nation that authored the United Nations’ legal definiton of what constitutes ‘genocide’ at a time in our history when we were one of its biggest practitioners.

    We are the nation that argued against South African apartheid at the time when many First Australian people still needed to have passes to walk, live and work outside of the mission stations and reservations.

    Then we are also the nation that still acts in law as if there were no people living here before 26 January 1788. Our terra nullius excuse for the invasion of this land does bear more than a passing resemblance to another country’s notion of the Untermensch.

    So your picture does portray a very common form of petty, unimaginative thuggery associated with this use of the flag.

    So that is why I definitely agree it is genuinely Australian.

    • Of-course I started off reading your comment with a pathetic grin as you described the terribly painful pain you’ve experienced missing me.. *Snorks*

      Admittedly, I didn’t know I missed your witty sarcasm until I started reading it in my comments again.. #PleaseDontBeatMeWithALyricalStick

      Sadly, being an untalented hick, like you, and lacking that brilliant mind capable of achieving feats of mental gymnastics, I relate and agree with everything you have written.

      Someone will show up now screaming ‘Sheep’ at me’ *waits*

      • Well, I have the anticipated ‘sheep’ references covered.

        I will explain that that is why our cupitull is culled Wullington.

        After the boots, you see.

  22. People are frustrated by others coming into my/your country and trying to change it. It is only a very few malcontents I believe. Most people who immigrate add to the character of the country. Actually weren’t we all immigrants once?

    • This picture has been used as a tool to both highlight Racism and then deny Racism. I’ve seen some articles/comments with people stating the singlets are the ‘sentiment of loving one’s own nation’…

      I personally don’t see it as ‘Australian’ in sentiment at all.

      And yes, you’re right, we did, with the exception of our indigenous peoples, all begin our generational journey as immigrants, here in Australia.

      • The main problem with those who claim it is an expression of love for their nation, is the aggressive use of ‘leave it’.

        This is another way of saying ‘my way or the highway’.

        And just what is meant by ‘love’?

        Does that mean agreeing with one particular view?

        Is recognising the quashing of First Australian rights a pre-requisite for ‘loving one’s country’?

      • To those who suggest this singlet is a way that we might ‘Love our nation’ , I’d state we can’t do that by being divisive.

        Our ‘Australian Way’ of life means that people DO have the right and opportunity to speak up when they feel something is unjust.

        This singlet is a ‘slap in the face’ to Australians and our way of life.

      • I agree totally.

        One thing I must say as well: who on Earth can possibly, rationally believe that there is a singular ‘Australian way’?

        Back when I was in school, we had an assignment to write an essay about ‘the average Australian’. The point was, even in the ’70s, there was no such animal. We have long been such a diverse lot.

        With such a diverse population, I would think that our ‘way’ is to tolerate and even embrace a range of ‘ways’.

        We did, once upon a time, regard ourselves as egalitarian. We were the people who would proudly sit in the front seat with the cabbie and have a chin-wag.

        Surely we can become big-hearted enough, and big-minded enough to be a people of many ways.

        “Imagine all the people…”

Whaddya Reckon?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s