Australia seems to be suffering from a national Identity crisis. From the constitutional crisis that surrounds citizenship to local governments clashing heads over the date of Australia’s national day with federal government. What is going on?
Now I apologise for painting all whitefullas with the same brush in the headline as there are clearly some members who are pushing for change in Australia. We applaud those community and council members in Fremantle, Lismore and Melbourne who have started pushing for change towards Australia’s national day. To everyone else in Australia who doesn’t want things to change and especially those in federal parliament, we only have 3 words for you… GET OVER IT!
Seriously, get over it! Australia isn’t what it was back in 1901 when the constitution was formalised. Australia definitely isn’t the same country that it was when the national anthem was written in 1878 or even when the first fleet arrived on Jan 26th 1788. So why are you clinging on to these outdated national symbols and the values these symbols represent?
Back in 1901, Australia’s population consisted of only 3.7 million people. This was not including Indigenous people of course, because we were not even considered human back then. Today’s population is around 25 million and the majority of this population has no connection to early English settler history whatsoever. It’s time to get over the past! Australia has changed. Since the time of the second world war, Australia has grown with huge migrations from Greece, China, Italy, Vietnam and countless other nations. The inability of some to accept these changes are causing fractures in our society. Your anthem, your (very British) flag and your constitution are all outdated in the eyes of millions. However to the 2% Indigenous population, your core symbols of nationalism are insulting, discriminatory and embarrassing.
Please, you have to stop living in the past and get over it.
You have a constitution written by a group of all white men that directly discriminated against all Indigenous people. You have a flag that is just an old revamped Royal Navy flag from days gone by, a national day that celebrates the theft of a continent and attempted genocide, and an anthem that was so openly racist you had to cut out some of the verses. Wouldn’t it make more sense to just change the song?
Now, we know your argument to this: “Symbolic changes, won’t change a thing”! Well how does that work? You can’t deny that the power of symbolism has played throughout the course of human history. Symbolism has played massive roles in Religion, Politics, Sport, Education, Entertainment. Symbolism has the power to dominate our lives and right now, Australia is being dominated by outdated, openly racist discriminatory symbols. Why would symbolism suddenly become meaningless right now in Australia? Your weak one line arguments are what I call bricks; bricks that have built up Australia’s great wall of ignorance that many people choose to hide behind. Your other famous one liner is, ‘If you don’t like it, then leave’! The only people who should have the right to say this are Aboriginal people, but we aren’t saying this at all…So what gives you this right?
It should no longer be a matter of ‘if’ Australia decides to remove these symbols. It should be a matter of ‘when’. I can tell you now that it is going to happen. The only thing standing in the way are the people who are clinging on and refusing to move on from the racist past. Through change, Australia will be forced to accept the reality of what Australia is today and at the same time, educate new generations about our nations past. A new national flag and anthem would force people to embrace and understand the nation that Australia is today. A new national day would create respect. We would create true reconciliation by coming together as humans and drafting a new national document that reflects our basic human rights and cultural values and if anyone is allowed greater say in this document, that privilege should only be given to us as Indigenous people. The people who have been shaped and nurtured by this land for thousands of years.
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