Kneel before the great white god

There are times in our lives when we witness or hear something that belittles an individual, the act of which repulses us yet the memory of it lingers with us over the years.  These cruel acts offer an insight into how people who are different to us cope with the attitudes that persist in mainstream society.

Having spent many years working in Indigenous affairs and blessed to have many Aboriginal Australians in my group of close friends, I have been exposed to the horrors of racism and the sickening dogma of white supremacy.  Two events stand out.  They are horror stories, made seemingly more horrific because the racism and white supremacy was inspired by the church.

I have related these stories on this or other blog sites over the years, but feel the message behind them would be more powerful grouped as one into a post.

The first involved my friend George.  George isn’t his real name, but being a shy bloke who might well be reading this, I don’t want to cause him any embarrassment.

George lives in country South Australia and has done all his life.  Until a few years ago he’d never ventured beyond the borders of SA apart from the annual trip to Alice Springs to play in the Imparja Cup; a national Indigenous cricket carnival.  It was thus with much great excitement that he had the opportunity to visit Canberra recently – his first big interstate trip.

One day we were at a busy bus stop in the city.  I was looking at the direction from which the bus would approach but kept talking to George, who stood behind me.  After a couple of minutes a bus came into view and I turned to George to let him know this was our bus.

He wasn’t there.

A line had formed behind me and there he stood at the very end, letting a dozen or so people move ahead of him.

I beckoned him to come up the front with me.

He refused.

I beckoned again.

Still he refused.

I walked up to George and asked why he wouldn’t come to the front of the line – a spot he had earlier occupied.  I was not prepared for his answer.

“Aren’t I supposed to let the white people on first?”

It’s very hard to relate the emotions that ran through me.  I can say that I felt like crying.  The sadness turned to anger when he told me why he thought he had ‘to let the white people on first’.

George was raised in a mission.  The Christian Father – apparently God’s representative – taught the Aboriginal kids from an early age that as black people they weren’t as good as white people, though assured them that “God still loved them”.

Wow. Kneel before the great white god.

The second incident was told to me by one of my greater inspirations in life, Dr Maryann Bin-Sallik.  From humble beginnings, Maryann spent part of her early life in a mission in the Kimberleys.

One year the mission sent a teenage girl to work on a nearby pastoral station for the summer break.  Upon her return to the mission she was frightened, distraught, crying.  She told one of the nuns that the ‘big boss white fella’ had raped her.

What did the nun do?

She whipped the girl for telling lies.  “You mustn’t tell lies about a white person”.

The following year she was sent to the station again, despite her please not to go.

Again she returned frightened, distraught, crying.  Again she told the story of being raped.

Again she was whipped for telling lies.  Black people, apparently, tell lies about white people.

Three months later it became evident she was pregnant.  She was carrying the rapist’s child.  What did the nun do?  She whipped her for being pregnant.

All kneel before the great white god.

Civil War

Please allow me to quote the famous yet chilling words spoken by Robert Menzies to his fellow Australians at the outbreak of World War 2:

‘It is my melancholy duty to inform you officially that, in consequence of a persistence by Germany in her invasion of Poland, Great Britain has declared war upon her, and that, as a result, Australia is also at war.’

We are again under threat.  Not since the Japanese bombing of Darwin and the advancement of the Japanese forces as they swept through our northern neighbours have we faced a greater threat to our country, our freedom and our future.  At great cost, we survived the Japanese onslaught but that threat pales in comparison to the destiny that awaits us.  We are facing total annihilation, this time from an enemy within and I am forced to borrow those haunting words of Robert Menzies:

It is my melancholy duty to inform you officially that, in consequence of a persistence by Her Majesty’s Opposition and the right-wing media that the sky is going to fall down, we are at civil war.

Do not underestimate their rabid gallantry.  Or their cunning.

As we saw in World War 2, preceding any invasion was the flooding of propaganda material aimed at convincing the beleaguered victims that a better life awaits them if they submit peacefully.  Mr Abbott has repeatedly warned that our impending torture would be averted if another Federal election could be held before July 1 and the anointed of him as Prime Minister.  He failed.  We are hence now at war and the right-wing propaganda has begun in earnest.

This morning the first of the propaganda leflets fell from the sky.

Renewable energy targets are adding m ore than $100 a year to household power bills and should face a wholesale review, a key regulator warned as it approved an 18 per cent rise in NSW electricity prices. The price rise sparked immediate outrage from the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which warned business was facing a “perfect storm” as power prices were driven higher by the carbon tax . . . Of the 18.1per cent rise in electricity prices, 8.9 per cent was attributable to the carbon tax.

Brisbane lord mayor Graham Quirk has blamed the carbon price for increasing rates by 1.9 per cent.

Families are in for a larger than predicted power bill shock, with a quarter of households to pay more than $400 extra a year from July 1. And almost half the rise is due to the carbon tax.

The state government needs to increase help to households most exposed to rising power prices, welfare groups have warned, after the pricing regulator yesterday approved double-digit rises for electricity and gas bills from July 1. Part of the increase is due to the carbon tax.

A mechanic already forced to lay off two workers because of increasing costs yesterday lashed out at having to pay hundreds more to keep the lights on and tools working at his business. Corey Siviour from Port Macquarie will pay above the average of $555 extra for a Country Energy small business customer from July 1. Of the 19.7 per cent rise for Country Energy customers, 9.4 per cent is due to the carbon tax and Mr Siviour will not be compensated.

At the time, the government maintained it was because the Liberals had promised to block the corporate tax cut in the Senate because it was supposedly to be paid for by the proceeds of the evil mining tax.

He said when the Rudd Government announced the 40 per cent Resources Super Profits Tax, a more extensive forerunner to the MRRT, orders from mining firms dried up, with none for two months and just one in the third. “When the first (version of the) tax was announced, everything went dead, orders just stopped,” he told The Advertiser.

Meka says government policy read the introduction of the minerals resource rent tax and the carbon tax have turned investors away from Australia.

That’s a lot of propaganda in one morning and I expect it to fall from the sky like heavy rain for the rest of the month.

Mr Abbott, surprisingly, has been very quiet and is no longer seen bravely darting around the battlefront.  Maybe he’s staying indoors so the falling sky won’t flatten him. Closer to the truth is that he’s probably run out of targets to ambush.  His terror campaign of fronting up to businesses warning them that they’d be ruined unless his ‘occupation’ of The Lodge was achieved peacefully has been ignored. Or maybe he simply ran out of business enterprises to verbally snipe at.  Let’s face it, it was a robust and relentless drawn out campaign.

Now his heavily-backed troops in the media have taken up the fight.

Peace can only be achieved when they see Abbott instilled as dictator leader of this country, when people can afford to switch on their lights, when when mines don’t have to close, when towns won’t be wiped off the map, when butchers, bakers and candle stick makers don’t nail shut their doors, when people can venture outside safe in the knowledge that the sky won’t fall down.

Until that time, we remain at war.

It is my melancholy duty to inform you officially, that, we are undermanned and under resourced .  The war is going badly for us.  WE NEED MORE TROOPS.