Sorry Australia, but on the issue of refugees and immigrants, we’ve been as bad as Trump long before Trump was ever POTUS.

It’s a shame to say it, but everything I just said is true. Ever since the government of John Howard, we’ve had a policy to reject people fleeing wars we’ve been a part of in their home countries. Yes, okay, most of those wars were kicked off by the USA, but as we have in every war we have been involved in since WW2, we just blindly, and misguidedly follow the good ol’ USA in.

So, what do we do? Firstly, under John Howard, we started turning refugee boats around 100’s of miles from shore, making them go back to their point of departure. And just to rub salt into the wounds of those people fleeing wars we have been antagonists in, we use our Navy to turn them back at gunpoint. Oh so generous, Australia.

Then, when that doesn’t work (now we are told that we aren’t allowed to know how many still try, because those are “operational matters”), we indefinitely detain these people, who, by right of international law, actually haven’t committed any crime. For more than a decade, we have had people locked up on small, impoverished Pacific Ocean Islands, not allowing them to leave, not allowing them to move on with life, denying them basic health and accommodation needs, and to be honest, we are just acting like right royal bastards.

Now, let’s look back a few more years, prior to John Howard. Yes, no multicultural society is perfect, but geez, every multicultural society is rich. Rich in knowledge, diversity, and guess what, rich in a monetary sense too, because those who flee dire situations that are beyond their control, usually want to thank the new nation that gives them a safe haven by working damned hard.

Most of the Vietnamese boat people from the 1980’s now have established booming restaurants, market gardens, and enriched our cuisine by bringing foods and flavours to our tables that just didn’t exist in this country prior to their arrival. They didn’t steal someones job, they created businesses and their own jobs.

The huge influx of Italians, Greeks and British after WW2, people fleeing war zones, did exactly the same thing. There virtually wasn’t a green grocer in Australia during the 1980’s that wasn’t a Greek or an Italian, they were growing and selling what we ate. They didn’t steal anyone’s job, they created their own. The British as well as Italians, Greeks, Polish and other European refugees of WW2 built the Snowy Hydro Scheme, they didn’t take jobs away from us, they built our nation and made it possible to make the Riverina in NSW a fruit bowl of Australia.

Before that, Muslims from Afghanistan and other Middle Eastern Countries transported our goods, wool, wheat, and other wealth creating goods across the vastness of Australia’s interior on the backs of their camels. Life in Australia’s interior and north would have been impossible otherwise. They didn’t take anyone’s job, they created their own.

I guess now, you probably are seeing as pattern here. All those who have immigrated to this country in the past, and those who have been successful in recent years, have built our country. They don’t take anything from anyone, they give us more than we can imagine. And, unless you have Australian Aboriginal heritage in your genes, guess what, you are the result of immigrants fleeing oppressive and dire situations too.

So, before we get on our high and mighty horse, and go bashing what Trump is doing, realise he is only copying what we have been doing in Australia since the John Howard years. I despise what Trump is doing just as much as what my own country is doing. These policies are founded on nothing but fear and racism, and come on folks, this is the 21st century, not the Dark Ages, where knights in shining armour go looking for a magical cup, killing everyone who stands in their way, only to find out that the magical cup doesn’t exist and the story behind it is all a fairy tale. We are supposed to be smarter than this, we live in an age of technology where you can find the truth about anything you want using Google and a few hours, and a bit of critical, and logical thinking.

Just because someone has a different accent or even speaks a different language, just because they have a different skin tone, just because they might eat things you have never heard of, just because they believe in something different to you, doesn’t mean they are any less human than you. I would even go as far to say, that if you have any problem with any differences someone from somewhere else has compared to you, then you probably are less human. Humanity is everyone, not just white, not just black, everyone. We all love, we all hurt, we all get scared sometimes. We all need to eat and breath, there is nothing to justify any of us treating anyone else differently to what we would expect for ourselves. Although I am not a religious person, doesn’t the Bible express the idea to “do unto others that you want done to you”, or in other words, don’t do something to someone else that you wouldn’t want done to you ?

Look, I have read the Bible from front to back, I am not religious, and trust me, the Bible convinced me not to be, and I am yet to find the bits that say harming others is actually the right thing to do. Let’s stop being arseholes, and look after our brothers and sisters who, after all, just want to live, be happy, and get on with their lives peacefully, just like us.

Andy.

Advertisements