Your Papers, Denison?

Word is Australia Day is in line to be changed to Citizens’ Day. Two issues; one) officials and everyone else will almost certainly leave out the possessive plural apostrophe, two) Citizens’ Day sounds like we’re living under military control.

Wouldn’t be nice to live in a country where groups of immigrants stopped complaining about one another? Where the people we currently coin as Australians stopped complaining about asylum seekers and expats, where Indigenous Australians stopped complaining about other Australians, where the people pre-dating Indigenous Australians stopped complaining about them…

It’s difficult to believe sometimes that in a world bent on throwing itself into another war that we could still be concerned about black and white, new faces, different languages. Weren’t we supposed to have gotten over that? I understand fear of strangers is a human defence mechanism, but where is the acceptance that to the stranger you’re afraid of, you are just as strange? Where is that baseline of self awareness? Do people still honestly believe that they have more right to be in a place than anyone else?

The solution must be education. It must be awareness. Communication and involvement and engagement. Yet I have to say that with a little doubt, because my own parents are notoriously against what they still call “boat people”. I can’t count the arguments I’ve had with them. Less than 5% of refugees arrive by boat. That’s 95% by air. Asylum seekers have every legal right to be here. We could accept far more than we do. 1 in every 100 applicants for relocation in their country of original are moved. That’s 99% who have to stay in danger, or escape using illegal means.

And yet my parents, and so many people like them, from any age group, insist on believing that asylum seekers are here to steal our jobs and our welfare.

Such a double-edged blade. On one hand, if an asylum seeker settles in their new community and gets a job, they’re stealing Australian jobs. On the other hand, if they don’t find a job, they’re stealing welfare. Maybe we should be looking at creating more jobs and so lessening our reliance on welfare altogether.

I think this country can be great. I really believe that it can. It has so much potential. But until we leave behind us this bickering, this ignorance people pride themselves on, of all the bizarre things, then we will never be a great country. We’ll just be a bunch of superstitious idiots stuck on an island together. Pointing sticks and pointing the blame. And that is far from the best we can be.

-_-; so, if you got through that. Back to the photo which sparked this (and I wish it was a picture of a multinational group all holding hands, but it’s far more literal and less noble than that);

Picture of the Day 53: Denison Bridge

2013-01-29 18.13.19

This is the most impressive of three bridges spanning the river park. We pass this neat little sign most days. Denison, it’s your time to shine!

Sorry about the rant. I could rant a lot more. It’s a very frustrating issue. And I don’t know the solution. I don’t know the solution at all.

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About Anneque D. Machelle

Anneque "Dangerpus" Machelle (rhymes with ranger wuss) is a rebel and a rogue from way out west. Strictly banned from interactions with other human beings, she spends her days amongst molluscs, dogs and lizards, whom she counts as her closest friends.
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