So, here’s my racist rant…
When I was just 15, in 1958, my family arrived in Australia as 10 Pound tourists, on the SS Orontes. In our Cabin, was a German lady travelling alone.
What a nice lady she was, mum (too nice), my sister (too young), and I didn’t know racist, so I wasn’t. We had lots of fun & laughter in our below decks shoebox, ditto for dad & brother in their box beneath the waves.
We sailed through the Suez Canal, and the people walked up on to the foot bridges crossing the canal, and peed on us …. They usually missed! I did see a remarkable effort once, sun-baker, snoozing by the pool! Imagine that, if you will.
Eventually we landed in OZ, Melbourne, Capital City of Victoria, freezing cold, drizzling rain and somewhat unhelpful people. They really didn’t want us there. We were the POMs (Prisoners of Mother England) and a (sorta) throw back to the Convict days. Remembered with pain and fear and anger, and because we might take their jobs.
In the beginning was the word, and the word was Iytie (Italian), POMMY (Great Brits), Wogs (Greek/ Italian), Gerries (German). Mate said with different emphasis = friend or not.
No gender bias here in Oz, we all knew our place. Pubs had 6 o’clock closing, so the men would gather outside with large beer in each fist and the ladies had to walk in the road, so that the 6 o’clock swill wasn’t interrupted.
You became a Mate when you were invited into the swill. Males only, ladies in the Ladies’ Lounge, if you please.
To be a proper racist, you really need to work through the acceptance and entry levels to mateship. You are then able (and encouraged) to look down your nose, make disparaging remarks and feel assured the THEY (the new-comers) stole or would steal your job, ruin your working conditions (less money), and it was well known that they were responsible for most crimes, attacks, rapes, drugs, you name it.
Then comes the final straw, even though you personally might not spend as much time in church as going to the footy or fishing… Do you know the buggers want to build their OWN church on the block we used to play on?? Gggrrrr, over our dead bodies! That’s not racist! That’s protecting our children’s future from integration the wrong way ’round.
These good people are not Racist, ask them! And they will tell you they are the friendliest blokes on life. They just don’t like people trying to take over. (Now, don’t start on any real history, or – gasp – mention those folk who were here forever.) That was long ago, and WE/I didn’t do it.
Their food (tucker) isn’t bad, but fish ‘n’ chips or Pie ‘n’ chips is the good stuff, and not racist …
Assimilation? What for, we’re not racist, we don’t want to be pushed around by a bunch of blow-ins. How’s your closet? Everything dressed?
Written for Gaia Scenics’ View
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