As I write this, I am somewhat perturbed by the villainy of hysterical outbursts of key board warriors who peddle hate by demonizing something or someone alien to their environment. Great Britain in the Seventieth and Eighteenth Century were sending their recalcitrant members of society to the far flung corners of the world hoping to get rid of them. I therefore ask myself what the fabric that binds our Australian society is. A copy of the article may be downloaded by clicking on: IS CITIZENSHIP THE THREAD THAT BINDS AUSTRALIANS
Our alleged political masters so to speak have taken upon themselves to take the easy road out and deport those members of Australian society that have not conformed to our way of life and in doing so have diluted our laws, institutions and what we as Australians believe in. They in their righteous minds have succumbed to the minority who believe that deportation is the way to go.
Those who know my origins are aware that I have two cultures embedded within me and that no conflict of interest has ever been the source of disagreement between my brothers in arms or of those I have corresponded with amicably over the years. On the occasions that I have come to blows with others, it has always been on the premises that one or the other lacked the wisdom, emotional maturity and the understanding of the other. In other words disagreements arose out of simple fear and the feeling of not wanting to be an outsider. It is the same today. So much has been written by those who pontificate what punishment should be meted out to those who don’t fit into an Australian environment.
I notice with amusement the same old protagonists, do gooders, preachers of hate, isolationists, bigots, academics, the uneducated, misinformed, know it all’s and wannabee community leaders sprewking their vitriolic comments. They all have a point to make and like concealed online guerrillas delight in seeing their commentary being valued by an audience who want to belong to the majority. I see very few Australians of any background stand up and say what they believe in for fear of being called a racist, a bigot and a nationalist. Much of what is being fed to us is based on fake and/or a misrepresentation of the truth.
Having stated the above, I now question the validity of some of our Australian brethren and wonder whether their allegiance to this nation is based on self-interest, pursuance of power, materialistic or one who truly believes in the security and longevity of this nation. I write this because, am not convinced that everyone who makes this nation home is a true believer in contributing to the well-being and economic longevity of their new home. Yes it is true that we pay our taxes, abide by the laws and follow the guidelines of it’s the institutions without impinging on our own self-worth as individuals or dilution of our core values and cultural origins. After all, whether we like it or not, Australia is home.
Like many other Australians who have been overseas or have returned back from their place of origin, I have always breathed a sigh of relief when I have touched down on Australian soil after an extended period overseas. It is not uncommon for most us to reminisce or romanticize our trips overseas and make out that the life we led whilst absent from our nations shores was better than that of home. If we did, our trips overseas would be elongated and our memories of Australia would indeed become dimmed with age.
This nation of ours has so much to offer that we take it for granted that we deserve a handout because we are simply Australians and that those seeking to settle in Australia do not deserve such assistance in time of need. Therefore, my advice to those who decide to make Australia home is to endeavour to learn about its culture, its people, its laws and institutions and live within those parameters without impinging or diluting their own cultural origin. Time will take care of the rest and the dominant culture will prevail without the need or forced assimilation which is tantamount to slavery of the mind by other means. Integration is a far better word as it creates a strong and unified conglomeration of different threads that make this nation strong and competitive in today’s global economic structure.
Many years ago, my mates who had seen service in Vietnam came back from their overseas service with utter hatred for the Vietnamese and went to great lengths to put a stop to the refugees coming to the shores of this nation. Today those same Vietnamese have blended in well into the Australian environment and rightly so. On the other hand there are many Australians who have returned to Vietnam, married local girls and made Vietnam home. The Chinese during the heady days of the gold rush were made scapegoats and hounded out of establishments because they looked and acted different. Today, Australians of Chinese origins from that bygone era are an integral part of Australian society.
The Kanakas of Queensland that were brought to Australia to work on the Sugar cane and cotton fields were enticed or captured by Australians and adventurers who were out to make money at the expense of the South Sea Islanders. Where are the Kanakas now we wonder? Were they all deported or did they simply die after they were used mostly to work under slave conditions. The aboriginals of the far North of Australia who were massacred in their thousands because they dared to defend themselves against white settlers who encroached upon their lands; where are the remnants of those aboriginal tribes. Most of North Queensland had already been carved out by the indigenous peoples for thousands of years before the arrival of the white man.
The Germans who came out prior to World War one and made Australia home, were also prosecuted, hounded and placed in concentration like camps while their sons went off to War fighting against the might of the Austrian Hungarian and German armies. How did their sons feel about the treatment their parents were receiving, what went on in their minds during those horrendous years. The interesting item here is that hatred for the Japanese was far greater during World War 2 than the hatreds against the Germans which then questions whether those hatreds were also based on physical traits as well as cultures and fear of the unknown.
Why were those from the Mediterranean, Baltic, Balkans and Eastern European countries more palatable and acceptable to Australians? Is it because of physical attributes, similar culture, and religion or merely were they just accepted as a new labor force to create new industries, infrastructure and a base for grater agricultural prowess. One must have an unbiased view when making judgement on the merits of why Australia encouraged such whole sale migrations from cultures that were alien to the Anglo Saxon mentality and white Australia policy relevant at the time.
I can understand the Australian mentality, only because I have lived my whole life in researching the origins of the nation that embraced me and discovering the struggles hardships endured by the early pioneers. While with the same breadth, history is the judge whether their actions were right or wrong in carving out a new civilization in a hostile environment. An environment populated by the First Peoples, our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. Australian history is full of pioneers who battled the elements and of tales of heroism, courage, endurance, tenacity, bravado, adventurous, risk, deprivations and hope of a better life for their children. While at the same time we cannot hide from the fact that the early pioneers did in fact carry out a genocide against people who were merely defending their land.
Today there are thousands of Australians of aboriginal background, whether they are full blooded, or not who have served this nation in so many different fields that it boggles the mind, and yet, we still fail to acknowledge them as equals until they demonstrate behaviour similar to our own. Who therefore has the right to speak on behalf of Australians who make this country home?
Those who have been here for the past 25000 years, those who have been here for the past 250 years, those who have been here for the past 150 years or do we, just say that only those who have served this nation in one capacity or another has the right to be called an Australian. Something to think about and should be considered by those who carry out racist acts of intimidation on Australian modes of transport thinking that they and only they have the right to be Australian. We still have much to learn.
I cannot for the life of me understand why those who come to this country cannot integrate or make attempts to acknowledge that life in this country is different to the one they left behind. It is also understandable that any attempts to change the way Australians live is a matter for Australians to decide and not by the influence of those who do not believe in its laws, institutions and way of life.
The Italians, Scots, Maltese, Indians, English, Chinese, Lebanese, Greeks, New Zealanders, Vietnamese, Irish, German, Turkish, Africans and many other cultures have contributed to the economic security and longevity of this nation over the past 100 years built upon a culture of the First Peoples whose way of life we as Australians are only scraping the surface to understand them and their way of life. The only reason we did not integrate well with the First peoples because we had succumbed to an elitists approach that our way of life was superior to that of the aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander. In any case we encroached upon their land did we not?
Today we are blessed with the many nations that live within our borders and somehow we always manage to rise above the antagonistic and hate fueled bigots who cannot and will not accept that cultures alien to our way of life can only strengthen and enlighten our society without losing our Australian characteristics which makes us unique in the eyes of the world. Yes we are a special people and we will continue to be special as long as we learn that our culture is still developing, building upon the harsh realities of the First Peoples and that of the early settlers and pioneering spirit of a bygone era.
I do not apologise if my views appear somewhat to the right of conservatism, values that have their foundations on security, respect, family, love and affection for our fellow man. I would prefer to believe that although we do not live in a perfect world, the environment in which we currently live in, does not constrain or unduly influence our freedom to challenge the paradigms of a bygone era. We are so fortunate that are located in a region of the world that is unique, exotic, challenging with much room to grow and develop without the encumbrance or baggage of the past to bind us.
As Australians, we may appear to be racist to some, strong willed to others and isolationist to many because we will only accept those that we want, using a selection criteria that enhances our society. I see absolutely nothing wrong with that concept and i challenge anyone to show me or demonstrate to me what other nation on this earth does not have its own nationalistic views.
Therefore I am of the opinion that once obtaining citizenship in this country, it should not be taken lightly and neither should it be taken away as a result of our actions. Citizenship, should be the most highly sought after, the strongest fibre, the most brightly coloured thread of the fabric of Australian society. Diluting it, watering it down and/or devaluing the bonds that bind us is not conducive to longevity. In closing, may I ask, why is it that we cannot use the values of citizenship, our people, the bonds that bind us and the vast natural resources, to make this nation shine as an example to others that no matter our origins we truly are one people? Australian.
Can we do that or will we fall on our sword of bigotry, hatred and violence. Remember that Great Britain which has endured the many changes throughout its history is considered to be the greatest example of cultural integration without losing its dominant culture. Is therefore citizenship the strongest, brightest and most coloured thread of the fabric our society? I believe that it most certainly is and it should not be taken for granted.
As always, apologies to purists for my poor grammar and savagery of the English language. I wish you all well and hope that this article does not cause ambiguity in the minds of those who read it.
Peter Adamis is a Journalist/Social Media Commentator and writer. He is a retired Australian military serviceman and an Industry organisational & Occupational (OHS) & Training Consultant whose interests are within the parameters of domestic and international political spectrum. He is an avid blogger and contributes to domestic and international community news media outlets as well as to local and Ethnic News. He holds a Bachelor of Adult Learning & Development (Monash), Grad Dip Occupational Health & Safety, (Monash), Dip. Training & Assessment, Dip Public Administration, and Dip Frontline Management. Contact via Email: [email protected]