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02 July 2011 @ 07:46 pm
"Australia - if you don't love it, leave!" That's the message on a bumper sticker I've seen around lately, and it's really disturbing. Sure, on the surface it's harmless enough - if you're moving here from overseas, you'd better decide you love your new homeland or you might as well go back where you came from. But look a bit deeper. Who wouldn't "love" Australia? The freedom of speech, the opportunity to get ahead, the beautiful countryside - I defy anyone to stand up and say they don't love Australia, after living here for a while. And that's not to say we have our problems, because we certainly do, especially in regards to our treatment of indigenous Australians over the centuries.
But this bumper sticker actually conveys a much darker meaning. What it's really saying is - you'd better assimilate, and quickly. We have no tolerance for you if you're different. You have to learn our ways, speak our language, worship our gods, revere our sporting teams. In fact, nothing short of complete assimilation is acceptable.
What are we, the Borg?
Current Mood: cynicalcynical
byslantedlight: JJD headdesk (agentxpndble)byslantedlight on July 2nd, 2011 10:16 am (UTC)
Oh god, that's truly scary... Mind you, so was Pauline whatsername, and that sounds like her sort of thing... I'll be really interested to see all this close up when I get over actually, and get the "feel" of it rather than just the reports... Is there a widespread feeling that it's okay to say that sort of thing out loud? (Mind you, I suppose you know where the idiots are, when they use bumper stickers... *g*)
miwahni: Pros Talk to the handmiwahni on July 2nd, 2011 10:34 am (UTC)
Pauline Hanson, and it's exactly her kind of thing. Sad to say but there are pockets of extreme racism and bigotry even now. It's worse in the lower socio-economic groups; almost as though they, being pretty near the bottom of the ladder, needed to find another group to despise.

(edited to answer the rest of your question) No, fortunately, it's not widespread, and in most circles it's not acceptable at all.

Edited at 2011-07-02 10:36 am (UTC)
Newsy: mad as hellnewsy891 on July 2nd, 2011 01:35 pm (UTC)
By contrast, here in the US, it seems more and more like there are pockets of inclusion and acceptance among the overpowering norm of -isms and bigotry, at all socioeconomic levels really. The people who say "if you don't love America, leave" are saying "you'd better know English, be straight and be Christian, and it really helps if you're white but as long as you meet the first 3 we'll grudgingly let you exist" - and that lines up pretty well with the social viewpoints of at least half the country.

So yes, I already love Australia, warts and nutbars and all. =)
miwahni: boosh old greggmiwahni on July 3rd, 2011 08:04 am (UTC)
you'd better know English, be straight and be Christian,...
yeah... learn our ways, speak our language, worship our gods! Personally I don't know anyone who attends church; not that that is the definition of a Christian, of course, but it's worth noting that we still consider ourselves a Christian country even though, according to Wikipedia, 64% of all Australians call themselves Christian and less than a quarter of those attend church weekly. You get more people at a footy match than at church.
We sure have our share of warts and nutbars too, so you'll really love it here.... *g*