It’s that time of the year that white australians tell Aboriginal people that they should be grateful for the white man coming. I’m sick of it, each year the vitriol gets worse and you can’t escape it. Allies tend to show their true colours, yep they’re not real allies after all. They might call for us to get Land Rights, or an apology, but ask them to give up a boozy week-end and they tell us it’s time for healing and for us to move on. Why the hell can’t the white people move on?
Honestly, just stop and think what is expected of Aboriginal people at this time of year, we are asked to attend re-enactments of our people being killed. We are expected to welcome invaders into our lands. This is all traumatic and white australia wouldn’t expect this from other white people. It’s akin to asking Jewish families to forget the holocaust. Expecting the children of those murdered to stand in Auschwitz with open arms and welcome people into the place and take selfies, while they drink too much and have a Bar B Que.
We have the scares of our mothers and grand mothers, raped as they were forced into servitude as domestics or cattle and farm hands. We bear the scares of birthing children who were taken away from us and sent to institutions and homes where they were abused physically and psychologically. We carry the shame of our men feeling they could not protect us as they were beaten and made into slaves. We shed the tears of our Ancestors who cried as they saw their culture and people dying off and a strange new reality become this country.
The 26th of January isn’t sacrosanct when you consider that australia day has been celebrated on the 30th of July, and each state or territory choosing a different day to celebrate. In 1935 the country as a whole changed the date to 26th of January. the 26th is a celebration of a colony of prisoners rather than that of a nation, it wasn’t the date of a unified country.
Celebrating this day with faux patriotism is a new invention, started in the 1990’s, coincidentally it’s also the era of the rise of white supremacy becoming more acceptable. As a child I remember australia day as a long week-end after the 26th. How was it celebrated? Did flags wave? Were their patriotic street parades and parties? Nope, many people went camping or had a 3 day binge. Nothing speaks aussie pride than being so drunk you piss your pants.
So why disagree with a date change that has been done before? The people who don’t want to see the date changed are the same ones who used to get drunk over the three-day long week-end. Are they not the same people who disagreed when things changed and you had to celebrate on the day? No more long week ends.
I guess this love of a booze up to celebrate rape and pillage comes from the convict past of the white australians, the troopers were just as bad if not worse than the criminals they watched over. This country had a rebellion over rum. Why not celebrate your boozing with a rum rebellion day on the 26th then you can justify getting drunk. That will leave the door open to a respectful debate over changing the date of australia day.