Thursday, 11 September 2008

The Real Land of The Free, Do You Hear Me

CB Disclaimer: This post may offend some people and is sure to diverge from its original point and go down the ranting path. It will be long, most of you will drop off like starving refugees along the way and are unlikely to reach the end.*

…I actually intended this post to tell Comrade not to compare Indigenous crime rates with that of South Africa or an American ghetto but already I’m going to deviate from the point and write something else.

We came here in chains, as animals, bitter, angry, frightened, the hated scum of another place. Slaves under another name. That’s what we were and that’s how we treated you.

We brought our diseases and consequently killed over half your families.

We tried to survive in a place considered akin to hell. The flies, the dust, the suffocating heat, no rain, no water, no food and with the brutality of the place where we were born we used you and killed you.

That’s what our society had taught us, take and destroy. Remember to pillage before you burn.

Collectively I guess we moved on, or some of us did. I know there are still places that are racist, homophobic and sexist, like Townsville. But it seems, to me, looking back, that we, the White migrants, learnt some compassion, developed a sense of humanity, realised that it is wrong to treat others as less than yourself based on something as insignificant as your skin tone.

I don’t know where I’m going with this, it’s weird to talk about. It is taboo.

I want to say I’m sorry for the actions of my ancestors. I’m sorry we took your land without asking. I’m sorry we treated you so badly. I’m sorry that so many migrants, White or not find it so hard to look you in the eye when we pass you in the street. I’m sorry so many of us are afraid to talk to you. I’m sorry that we continue to follow misconceptions without asking for the truth.

When I was younger I wondered if I could leave, go back to Europe, one less person living on land that is not theirs. But that is silly. It would make me immensely unhappy and solves nothing. This is my home, Australia is where I was born, it’s where I’ve grown up and it is the place I love more than anywhere else. This is the country of my citizenship, I have no where else. This is me. I am Australian and when you leave, your country means all the more to you. When you’re gone and you meet someone else from your home, no matter how fleeting the relationship is, that person will have an innate and almost complete understanding of you. It’s a shared history, a shared humour, we know the same sounds, same tastes, same smells, we know the intricacies of our culture.

Our history is shameful and I have felt ashamed in the presence of Indigenous Australians. I am Irish Australian and my white skin speaks for me, it tells you where my ancestors are from, it screams hundreds and hundreds of years of unacceptable cruelty. Black people say we put them down, made them feel less than animals, slaughtered them and it’s true. But through all that you were never in the wrong. Wait till you open a history book and realise that every single thing in there is White people senselessly and horrifically killing anyone who wasn’t White enough. All that pain and suffering caused by people you’re so obviously related to. No wonder White people don’t want to look at their history, it’s pure hatred and violence. I don’t want to look at an Indigenous Australian and know that someone from my past killed or raped or beat someone from their family. And so for years I hung my head in shame when ever I walked past any Indigenous person. I couldn’t look at them, the guilt was too much, I didn’t want to acknowledge it.

I shouldn’t feel ashamed though. Just because my skin is White doesn’t make me a bad person and though my ancestors did terrible things to humanity doesn’t mean I have to follow them and I shouldn't make other people, however unintentionally, feel ashamed of who they are. So for once as I passed an Aboriginal lady in the city I smiled at her, instead of looking away like everyone else was doing. She looked so shocked and I felt as shocked as she looked, my heart was beating wildly, I was worried she would dislike the fact that I had so obviously taken notice of her, since it isn’t normal here, I didn’t know what the reaction would be but I worried needlessly. For a few moments she just looked shocked and then she smiled back, it was a huge smile, hell, it wasn’t even a smile it was a massive grin! And I loved every second of it!

Screw feeling guilty and ashamed. I accept that the country Australia has a terrible history but it is history, don’t make it the present. Move forward. Don’t follow the stereotype. It doesn’t matter if you’re Indigenous Australian, German Australian, Sri Lankan Australian, Malaysian Australian, Ugandan Australian or Irish Australian, we’re all Australian, we all matter and we should treat each other with respect. Mostly we all went through a lot of crap to be here too, the Indigenous put up with terrible treatment and most of the migrants came as prisoners or fleeing starvation, war or corruption. If it isn’t enough for Australians to treat each other the same simply for being Australian then the fact that we ALL have grandparents who suffered for us to be here should be enough.

*Country Boyi disclaimer, though the post didn’t reach the length nor did it step on as many toes as I intended, I’m leaving the disclaimer anyway. In fact this post totally deviated from my original plan. But I realised you can read facts and figures in the history books, Blogs are for the feeling behind the statistic.

Up there, that girl is Samantha Harris. She is fucking gorgeous. Sorry Comrade, I can no longer marry you, I’m afraid Brothers GUG and WildeY will have to go without their cows and cars because I’m marrying an Aboriginal so I can have a kid who looks like her. Plus there is no better way to find peace, merge so there is no one left to blame ;-)


  1. Ok DeTambs
    Deep stuff

    and yeah Samantha is quite the looker
    does she got an African (read Ugandan) Boot-ay??

  2. b2b u are fast!! i came here as they were posting!!
    i like the merge bit so there is no one left to blame?....... well detambs the we all pay for our father's sins so no matter the merge u will have to pay ask some indian kids during the mabira saga they had a ugandan mom and they almost paid for metha's mistake!

  3. @B2B: She is hey :-) Very nice. No, B2B, Aboriginals don't have booty like Ugandans. They got damn awesome tits though! And so long as you got cleavage it doesn't matter which way it's facing.

    @Danny: We shouldn't pay for our fathers sins. That's the point of the post. And you know what, we don't have to pay. Break the damn trend. Stand up for yourself and don't take crap or give it based on DNA. I know about Mabira, and bashing someone to death for the way they look is wrong. It's even worse than just ignoring them.

  4. you are so right detamble... what happened recently to bring this all out? or did it just happen?

  5. It's just a phasse. Been thru it before with Eva Mendes, but I'm out now.

    I have always been very interested in Australian/Aboriginal news esp since the days of Olympic Athlete Cathy Freeman flying both flags.

    I watched a movie: Rabbit Proof fence that was so enlightening (if twas true) but it just seemed all so sad and hopeless.

    But that was then...see, she carries both flags. U.N.I.T.Y

    Right, It doesn't matter who u are. U are who u want to be.

    DeT, nice post. Sorry I posted a post here.

  6. hey Dets,
    i am confused about a few things. are you a girl or a boy? why would you want to marry a girl if you were a girl? but then the thought twists with the cows and cars from GUG and 27th. Am lost at the point where am looking both sides of the road to not step on identity toes.
    "it was a huge smile, hell, it wasn’t even a smile it was a massive [is the word "toothless" missing here?] grin!"

  7. @Sybella: I've been thinking about it for years, I just never knew what to write.

    @Cheri: A phase? Ohhh Samantha. Actually I like Kate Maberly.
    Rabbit Proof Fence is true, totally, those girls are famous here. We study them in school. They're part of the Stolen Generation and yes, they really did walk all that way. Actually Molly, the eldest did it again years later with her own children. And feel free to post here whenever you like!! :-)

    @Spartakuss: I'm a girl, I just turned 20. I meant I'm going to marry an Aboriginal boy so I can have a daughter who is as beautiful as Samantha Harris. GUG has a joke that he's going to marry me off to 27th :-)

    Toothless? LOL no!!! She had a fine set of teeth.


    Post of the week. Took the words out of my brain :)

    One side of my ancestors stole the other side of ancestors land and killed their children and burnt their huts, and the other side killed the whiteys and burnt their houses... etc.... then I was born- the 'messiah' and I brought world peace and solved that mess in the Middle-East :)

  9. SockS! (thanks Cheri)

    @De'Ts; it takes people like yourself to make the much needed (overly dressed) difference in this world.

    Post of the Week indeed!!!!

  10. wow. great post. now off to read it over, again.

    sense i see.

  11. Random, sporadic and yet completely focused.
    Love the style you used. :-)

    That bit of you smiling at that lady has stayed with me. A bit like Rosa Parks not giving up her seat. :D


  12. tambles! this is a fantastic post! such passion. and such truths you speak here. I agree, this post should go up for something in the annual bloggers awards. and since you will be here by then, you will qualify in the uganda category. so, what do ugandan Aussies look like?

  13. Apparently, you aren't as unrepentant as you'd like us to think. This is beautiful and I'll try not to say anything to spoil it.

  14. Very very beautiful post DeT. Kind of relate to it.

    I liked this line "I’m sorry so many of us are afraid to talk to you."
    I have seen that fear in many white people's faces.

    I went for mass today and some goon was "pleasant" enough to warn me that I would find it filled with whites

  15. i came by coz its been too long dint get fininshing the post

  16. detamble, this boy comrade has his own issues... that was history and people only repeat history by never letting go of the past, yeah, it was bad, it happened so what? will we go killing the other party coz justice was never done... guys we have justice waiting at the end of days! so lets leaave it alone already shall we?

  17. Wow DeT. Am actually moved to comment, though I don't have anything to say.

  18. reminds me of that guy that knelt and somewhere some guy saying he woould not vote obama cos he would make them pay for what they did to the black people by turning them into slaves.instead of apologising the fool thought us that low!as in hell bent on revenge.thanks though apology accepted.that gal is hot nice lips and eyes!

  19. Lady, these lulls are beginning to scare me. Are u there? Fine?

  20. Melbourne in Jan... am counting down.
    might just meet your mom if ur already in Kla city