Johnno

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

A chain e-mail that really rattled me.

I received the below e-mail from a guy at work. I thought he was pretty cool. He's an old time surfer now in his mid 50's still sporting a yin/yang ear stud who loves his surfing and can ride a motorbike like a twenty year old. He has a mailing list which he sometimes sends the typical chain e-mail stuff, "funny pictures" etc.

This one was actually published in the Murdoch owned letters to the editor..... no surprises there.

Australia- The Right to Leave

Our Country - YOU Have the right - the right to leave !

After Sydney not wanting to offend other cultures by putting up Xmas
lights.

After hearing that the State of South Australia changed its opinion and
let a Muslim woman have her picture on her driver's license with her
face covered.

This prompted this editorial written by an Australian citizen.
Published in an Australian newspaper.

Quote:

IMMIGRANTS, NOT AUSTRALIANS, MUST ADAPT. Take It Or Leave It
I am tired of this nation worrying about whether we are offending some
individual or their culture. Since the terrorist attacks on Bali, we
have experienced a surge in patriotism by the majority of Australians.

However, the dust from the attacks had barely settled when the
"politically correct" crowd began complaining about the possibility
that our patriotism was offending others. I am not against immigration,
nor do I hold a grudge against anyone who is seeking a better life by
coming to Australia.

However, there are a few things that those who have recently come to
our country, and apparently some born here, need to understand.

This idea of Australia being a multicultural community has served only
to dilute our sovereignty and our national identity. As Australians, we
have our own culture, our own society, our own language and our own
lifestyle.

This culture has been developed over two centuries of struggles, trials
and victories by millions of men and women who have sought freedom.

We speak ENGLISH, not Spanish, Lebanese, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese,
Russian, or any other language. Therefore, if you wish to become part
of our society, Learn the language!

"In God We Trust" is our National Motto. This is not some Christian,
right wing, political slogan. We adopted this motto because Christian
men and women, on Christian principles, founded this nation, and this
is clearly documented. It is certainly appropriate to display it on
the walls of our schools. If God offends you, then I suggest you
consider another part of the world as your new home, Because God is
part of
our culture.

If the Southern Cross offends you, or you don't like " A Fair Go",
then you should seriously consider a move to another part of this
planet.

We are happy with our culture and have no desire to change, And we
really don't care how you did things where you came from.

This is OUR COUNTRY, OUR LAND, and OUR LIFESTYLE, and we will allow you
every opportunity to enjoy all this.

But once you are done complaining, whining, and griping about Our Flag,
Our Pledge, Our National Motto, or Our Way of Life, I highly encourage
you take advantage of one other great Australian freedom,

"THE RIGHT TO LEAVE".

If you aren't happy here then LEAVE We didn't force you to come
here. You asked to be here. So accept the country YOU accepted.
Pretty easy really, when you think about it.

I figure if we all keep passing this to our friends (and enemies) it
will also, sooner or later get back to the complainers,
lets all try, please.

No matter how many times you receive it... please forward it to all you
know.


It really ratlled me. I was genuinely upset, one because I hadn't thought he had bought into this and two because I was upset that there may be people on his list that agreed with him. I'm not one normally to rock the boat.... but this one for some reason really turned my world upside-down. I could have let it rest but I felt a need to draw a line in the sand to let him and others on the list know where I stand.

I'm not sure if this is "left" thinking. I just think of my thinking as that of acceptance and as my blog is titled "open-mindedness". It seems sensible. Perhaps it is "touchy feely" and out of whack with some sort of mindset, I don't care. I was genuinely angry that this arrived in my mailbox.

If I lose a friendship because of an acceptance of this attitude, I don't care.

I don't care about the consequences, pieces of filth like this I'm not in the mood to slip by. I suppose I went into counter propaganda mode. Shoot a gaping hole in an untrue "fact" then go on and provide some real world examples.

Here's my response.

The clueless author attributes Australia's motto as "In God we Trust". It is
actually the motto of the USA. Australia has no motto.

http://www.dfat.gov.au/facts/coat_of_arms.html

There again, as the 51st state of the good ol' US of A I suppose it is
fitting we adapt their motto, along with their foreign policy and seige
mentality.

My maternal grandfather got out of Europe before WWII when he saw the
writing on the wall when letters such as these and other bits of xenophobic
nastiness (supported by government policy at the time) were circulating in
the general populace in the late 30's.

His foresight saw him missing a one-way trip to the gas chambers.

G. is Danish, D. is Greek, B. is Irish, M. is Philippine and I'm
more than likely part Yid. The melting pot which saw our parents and
grandparents has its advantages in the friendships forged.

I actually was talking about something along these lines with G. on
Sunday, we came to the conclusion that arseholes know no national
boundaries. His neighbour, a Lebanese mechanic had done some work on B.'s car, not charged him for labour and trade prices for the parts. An
introduction to this guys mates saw G. being treated as a long lost
friend.

I have no issue with the multicultural islands that exist for support and
some sort of assurance for those who have arrived. Homesickness will exist
no matter how wonderful the country you are in. Whilst in France I welcomed
a conversation in English and the homesickness saw me craving for a burger
with the lot. A friend of mine living in Denmark commented recently how his
last English conversation was last Christmas, he MISSES his mother tongue
terribly.

A couple of generations and the support isn't required, assimilation is not
and overnight phenonema. D. for example can't speak a word of Chinese.
Yes he still may have a circle of Chinese friends but there again he'll go
out fishing with a Samoan (S.)..... again friendships are forged which
overcome the blinkered prejudices of racial stereotypes.

And the upshot? I can get a great cup of coffee because of the influence of
the Italians, I can go to Ivan's Butcher's shop in Chester Hill and get some
of the best smoked meat ever, some of the best AFL players have come from a Greek background, I can learn what it was really like in Vietnam from the
other side from D., I don't have to book a plane ticket and go overseas to
experience Asian culture...I can just take a quick trip to Haymarket.

If there was no multiculturalism we'd still be the white bread, meat and
three veg society of the Menzies 50's.

So, in summary...... the author neglects some of the more admirable traits
of Australia in my worldview.

Tolerance and acceptance.

I'll get off my soapbox now :-)

John

8 Comments:

  • Mr. Open-Mind. I hope, someday, you might consider getting invloved with your government, and running for office. The world needs people like you in their parliments.

    Why I should wish such misery on you, is beyond me ;-)

    By Blogger Peter (the other), at 10:07 am  

  • That appears to be an adaptation (or vice-versa) of one that has circulated here in the States. While there are a few points I can flow with (example below), the letter loses much of the intended impact by taking extreme positions, wrapping them in venom, and finishing with a ribbon made of cutesy.

    One item I can go with is language. It started here in the USA as ESL (English Second Language) programs in elementary schools to teach immigrant children (overwhelmingly Spanish speaking)to speak, read, and write English IN ADDITION to, not as a replacement for, their native language. No problem with that.

    But the politicians, bureaucrats, and conservative right-wing PC crowd have bastardized the program and pushed it into almost every facet of our culture. We fear their unstated goal is ESL for all Americans. Which begs the question: which laguage will be numero uno?

    By Anonymous Winston Rand, at 9:20 pm  

  • Politics...... pffffft. I'd get chewed up and spat out! One of the guys at work suggested another option of misery in the form of JOURNALISM..... yikes.

    Thanks for the tip Winston, I've received 1 naysayer and 4 letters of support so far which is a relief. And yes I like you am in support for the ESL, makes things a little more manageable for the new citizen.

    By Blogger Johnno, at 8:07 pm  

  • Excellent response! People forget how bad the food would be in Anglo countries without multiculturalism and immigrants!

    By Blogger The Daily Heretic, at 6:47 am  

  • Yes, that letter seems to model itself on a letter that passed around the US. Unfortunately, I live in the area of Florida that putthrough an "American First" agenda in the school system -- which happily got shot down before the school year ended.

    Please don't think all US citizens are represented by the current government. That election was 51 to 49...

    By Blogger Sherri, at 12:32 am  

  • Yes, the food seems to be the first thing that crosses over cultural lines. A life pre olive oil, chilli sauce, rice noodles and Turkish pide was one I care not to remember! A trip last year to France saw me hanging out for Asian condiments and spices which have made a big impact downunder. However they had their African influences which you don't see much of here.

    Sherri, trust me most Americans I know are very much dis-similar to the guys at the top.

    By Blogger Johnno, at 12:13 pm  

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