Sunday, July 29, 2007

Did you hear the one about the Racist, the Anti-Semite and the Suburban Australian Family?

This is a bit of a lame post, really, but rest assured I’m working on something a bit more worthwhile and more likely to make a contribution to society, which I’ll post in the next day or so. This post, on the other hand, is a bit of an interactive jobbie ‘cause I need some opinions.

Y’see, I’ve been a bit emotionally sore and sorry for myself these last few weeks, owing to the fact that I am still in transit on my way to Tibet, and my enforced exile in Melbourne, which should be making me feel great, is, apart from the SPECTACULAR coffee, making me feel lonely, alienated and arrogantly uppity.

It all stems from my catching-up with friends and loved ones over the last few weeks, many of whom live reasonably affluent lifestyles in the outer suburbs, and all of whom seem to be pretty free with their opinions. Me? I tend to cower a bit with my opinions, but lately, having reached the limit of what I will let through to the keeper, I have been sticking up for myself and my beliefs, which has certainly resulted in a degree of ill feeling between myself and certain parties … the consequences of which, unfortunately, are me feeling lonely, alienated and arrogantly uppity.

So I have been questioning my recent actions, and had been coming to a decision that I was just going to have to shut up and hope that it will all go away, however this week I have read a couple of blogs of people who it would seem have similar views to my own, and it gives me a little bit of hope that I am not alone in this world, and that in some places, and amongst some people, there are still intelligent people with informed views and opinions.

Geez, Donkey, will you wipe the rabid foam from your mouth and just get on with it? OK, so this is some of the stuff I’ve heard over the last few weeks, and I just wanna know if you think the following comments and opinions are OK, right and proper for a modern, learned, informed society. So, here we go;

- In reference to a neighbour: “The squinty-eyes next door…”

- As a joke, in front of his children, in response to his wife’s nagging: “I’m sorry, did I fall into a bucket of black paint? I must look like a nigger the way you keep telling me what to do tonight…”

- Regarding local governance: “The council is run by Jews and they all look after each other. If you wanted to open a childcare facility, you’d never get it through council, but if it was for Jewish kids, it’d be approved tomorrow”

- In regards to seeing the Indian foreign minister on TV saying that his government will not stand for the continued incarceration of Dr Haneef in Queensland: “But I bet it’d be OK if you wanted to send a bit of money his way”.

- In regards to Muslim women in Australia not being prepared to remove burquas or headscarves, “When they’re in our country they have to adopt our customs … this is a Christian country after all”.

- Regarding government-funded, public education versus (increasingly) government-funded private education: “People who say they haven’t got enough money to send their kids to private schools are probably the ones who don’t really value education as important for their kids”.

- In regards to public shower cleanliness: “In our country, they should have to adopt our customs, or not be allowed to use the showers”.

For this roving Donkey, it has been a difficult process to return home recently to a government who has finally noticed something wrong with the health and social systems in indigenous Australia, and thinks that the best way to prevent further child abuse and improve indigenous health is to send in armed soldiers; accordingly I have been increasingly dismayed at the rising tide of hatred and xenophobia that seems to have infiltrated the suburbs.

It almost feels to me like some of these enclaves of white Australia have become like those Biospheres; y’know the ones, where nothing (such as good ideas and reality) gets in, and nothing gets out (at least we can be thankful about the latter, although I am fearing that their ideas seem to be leaking through some undetected crack in the dome!).

So, tell me, am I wrong to feel down and outraged about this? Is it just a case of the times moving along, and me being slow to catch up? - it wouldn't be the first time Donkey had been caught napping while the world flew-on by, as evidenced by my pink side-winders and bright orange pair of pants. Has the re-emergence of global terrorism changed society so much that it's now acceptable and normal to opine hatred and intolerance of cultures and beliefs which don't mirror our own? It's possible that this is the case, but I still can't help but think it's a tad irresponsible to bring up children with a sense of what is right and wrong, and then just throw it all out the window when it suits and say that all those immigrants, Muslims, Jews, protestants (Geez, don't get me started on what I've been hearing about those guys!) and everyone else are fair game for mistrust and abuse.

I suspect this prototype for outer suburban planning could be good for both sides of the political spectrum; it locks the racists inside and keeps out any of those disgusting, drug-smoking, free-loving lefties with their ideas about equality and racial tolerance. A win-win situation, if ever there was one. Pic:


The Man at the Pub said...

Sounds like you need some new acquaintances. Rascists are often quite outspoken due to their inherent insecurity. This can give the appearance they are everywhere. But intolerance and ignorance is not exclusively an Australian trait and pervades all cultures, as I’m sure you are well aware. It is sad though because being from an affluent and supposedly well educated culture, we really should know better.

Kate S said...

Wow, Donkey, for a minute there, I thought you'd moved to America. I was going to invite you 'round for coffee so we could talk about the neighbors. :P

DonkeyBlog said...

Heh heh - I'd come 'round for a coffee with you anytime, Kate. It's lovely to know that you are still lurking. These recent realisations about one's surroundings can be quite disheartening, but as I said, I'm sesnsing, at least in Blogdom, that not everyone is like that.

Pub Man - I agree. S'a funny thing that racism might actually increase with affluance ... hmm, not sure - PhD anyone?