Monday, January 25, 2010

Patriotism is code for racism

Without so much as a glance at the calendar it's obvious Australia Day is near -- the antipodean internet is flooded with leftist missives designating anyone expressing patriotic love of country, or even daring to display the flag, as racist. These same lefties, who see 9/11 as a reaction to "root causes", fail to acknowledge the possibility of a cause and effect relationship underpinning the rednecks' loud and forceful declaration of love of country.

Thus there's this from the ABC's Marieke Hardy:

Long before a handful of excitable Alan Jones fans took a nice day out at Cronulla beach a little too far, the term "patriot" began being less a term of misty-eyed endearment and more like the sort of thing a footsoldier of White Australia might use as a pseudonym on an internet dating site. Chin-jutty bullish types everywhere justified "F-ck Off We're Full" t-shirts by claiming simple adoration of way of life was to blame. "It's alright mate, I love my country. I'm a patriot," they'd smilingly and patiently explain to anyone who dared challenge them.

Would it be acceptable to the public if these same people got about in a hat that read "I HATE CHINKS" or "STOP THE IMMIGRATION EXPLOSION: STAB AN INDIAN TODAY?" It really does start to seem increasingly possible, particularly if said clothing items were a) "just a joke", b) worn on Australia Day, and/or c) proudly paraded in the name of patriotism. It's become a dirty word, the sort used to disguise a panoply of offences, including race-related violence, scare campaigns, and the kind of jokes even Mahatma Coat might baulk at for being "a little bit too racist". Southern cross tattoos and "We Grew Here/You Flew Here"-type accessories are not merely a fashion statement, they're a way of saying f-ck you to a society where the term "politically correct" is constantly - and incorrectly - equated with being humourless.

For Hardy it is inconceivable that the "Alan Jones fans" might have had legitimate gripes about the behaviour of a particular minority which revels in being non-Australian. Nope, white Australians hate people of colour just because they're different.

Similarly, the ABC's Jonathan Green yearns for the unpatriotic past:

For most of my life expressions of national pride were seen as gauche and unfortunate embarrassments. We used to look at the rampant flag waving of Americans and raise a sardonic eyebrow. We'd happily admit to our Australianism but in a quietly understated way.

That's no longer the fashion for many in our community, no longer the fashion in particular among that vocal, demanding common denominator who seem to be the trend setting cohort in our culture, the populist mass whose fickle political preferences and aggressive self assertion make them the target market in much of the national discussion.

Both Green and Hardy lament that so called "average" Australians now embrace patriotism. If Green and Hardy weren't blinded by their own prejudices they'd realise that the masses are reacting to an Australia they perceive to be changing, and not for the better. And who's to say they're wrong?


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