Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Drink a cup of concrete, and harden the **** up!

Is the name of a group on Facebook. I find it rather amusing that quite a few of the people I know who have joined, could follow that advice. But that's not what I want to talk about.

Today (January 26th) is Australia Day. Captain James Cook landed at Botany Bay on this day in 1777, and claimed Australia for the British Empire. As you do. Or as they did back then.

This is one of a whole 2 days I believe should be observed public holidays (the other being ANZAC Day). I am a patriotic Aussie, and damn proud of it.

What I am in no way proud of nor impressed by, is the letter I read in today's paper. The author was a lawyer at the Aboriginal Legal Centre (or some such) in our State capital.

I don't have it in front of me (left the paper at work), but the gist was that to celebrate Australia Day is offensive to Indigenous Australians - *hackles rising* because it is the day when Australia was invaded, and the slaughter began. What the writer forgets is that they were NOT the original inhabitants of Terra Australis, they actually travelled across a land bridge from Indonesia, and wiped out the people who were here before them.

And Tasmanian Aboriginals (as I am sure this woman would identify herself) were in decline well before white settlers arrived. Yes, the whalers, convicts and cockies may have helped speed up their inevitable demise, but they didn't cause it.

But, whatever you do, don't let the facts get in the way of putting your name out there.

I am an Australian. I am of Tasmanian Aboriginal descent. I do not find the celebration of Australia Day offensive. What I do find offensive is this woman (or anyone else) - telling the world what I feel. THAT is offensive, in the extreme.

The Aboriginals were slaughtered, and the conditions many live in today are abhorrent. But that is not the fault of anyone living today. Not one of us was drawing breath in 1777, so why are we still harping on about it?

Kevin Rudd said "Sorry". For what? Being of Anglo descent? I didn't want his apology. Kevin Rudd never did a damn thing to me. Well, not in terms of my Aboriginality anyway.

The fact is, we are Australian - our background makes no difference. We are 1 nation, not 2, or 3 or 10.

It's time to grow up, let go of the past, and forge a positive future, working together to make a better world. And, while we're at it, harden the **** up!

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