Wednesday, January 30, 2013
A Very Aussie Australia Day?
On the surface we couldn't have been any more stereotypically Australian...
A friend and I discussed how this year, on Facebook, the "bogan pride" Australiana posts were thick and heavy. In fact many were all-out racist. Vitriol along the lines of Cronulla Riot -esq slogans like "we grew here, you flew here". It was shameful that this was what *some of* my fellow countrymen were publishing for the world to see.
Recently I heard it said that Australians pride themselves on being multicultural, however believe they are actively so by simply enjoying foreign food. I know many people who would claim to have a great relationship with the man down at the their local Vietnamese takeaway and in the next breath complain about boat people "stealing our jobs". This Australia Day I was a little ashamed to be Australian.
The other night we sat on the couch and read through some of the comments on a post by Australian cricketer Glenn Maxwell after this incident. Glenn grew up in the same town as the Rooster who proudly came home to tell me before Christmas that for the evenings charity Twenty20 cricket match between the footy and cricket clubs, "Maxy" had joined in to help out the football team. The Rooster ended up batting with him and old Maxy had a bad innings- my ginger-headed muscle man made more runs than he did. The Rooster even recited the cheeky dig he'd given Glenn about it. You'd think all his Christmases had come at once!
Whilst all was reported to be well and resolved between the two national cricket teams, the comments between Sri Lankan and Australian supporters on Facebook were absolutely disgusting. Truly base jibes from each side: "lowest common denominator type of insults that don't require much intelligence" as Mumsie would say.
I don't claim to have the answers, but sometimes I really wonder. How long will it take us to get past this? Is it even possible?