Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Choosing your identity

January 26 marks the Australia Day public holiday, a day when most of us don’t have to go to work or school, and when some of us celebrate the fact that we live in a privileged and relatively free country, where we aren't subject to a rich man sitting in a big white building, thousands of kilometres away, deciding he would like to drop a bomb on us because terrorism

The choice of celebration this Thursday will typically range from staying home and doing fuck all to wrapping yourself in an Australian flag, getting drunk before noon and generally making a complete cock of yourself. 
          
I wrote some words a couple of years ago about why January 26 is not an ideal date to celebrate the beginning of a 220+ year demolition of our Indigenous peoples’ culture, so I won’t repeat it today.

A.B. Original (Briggs, Trials and featuring Dan Sultan) eloquently explain the general feeling in the video below.

Lyrics (for context) are here  

You can buy a copy of their album - Reclaim Australia - here or here.

It may not be surprising to you that the plentiful supply of cocks on the internet will voice their displeasure at humans such as Briggs and Trials. As is typical with sad, pathetic cowards, they’ll try to convince you that it’s not the artists’ message they are offended by, that they suggest (jokingly) that they’ll piss on your late Nan’s face, it’s the fact that their skin is not as dark as the cocks would like it to be. 

They will say that, because Briggs and Trials are “almost white”, that they have no right to be angry or to stand up for their cultural beliefs.

Of course, to an ignorant moron, that opinion might have some sort of perverted merit, but to anyone with a skerrick of common sense and knowledge of Australian history, it’s absolute nonsense.

For obvious starters, Aboriginal melanin is not a dominant gene. There is no atavism or ‘throwback’ to dark skin in offspring whose parents are from differing racial backgrounds. This fact was identified fairly quickly by colonists who thought it was mighty handy in their attempt to breed the Aboriginals out of existence. Pair female Aboriginals with white men, and after a couple generations, no more black fellas.

Blaming Aboriginal people for something the white man did to them is a common theme among ignorant cocks.

We therefore have a situation in Australia where some Aboriginal people, with strong Indigenous identity, but relatively light skin, are made to feel inadequately Aboriginal or undeserved of the attitude they may hold toward the disadvantage their people are subject to. 

In the eyes (eye?) of the cock, the fair-skinned Aboriginal is not allowed to feel aggrieved at the widespread poverty and chronic diseases that are rife in their people. Yes, it is clearly fucked up.

As it happens, my youngest has blue eyes and light brown hair. To the casual observer, he is a little white boy. And that he is, but from a genetic viewpoint, he has genes originating from cultures including Aboriginal, Dutch, German, English, Irish, Filipino and Welsh. As to what percentage of each makes up his whole, and what constitutes the largest proportion, is irrelevant to his identity as a person within his family and community. Calling him 10.45% Aboriginal is more indicative of your lack of intelligence than anything resembling reality.

My boy, and my other slightly browner offspring, will grow up knowing where their ancestors originated from. They will be influenced by their Dutch grandmother, Aboriginal mother, grandfather and cousins, and their white-mongrel Dad. Whether they will immerse themselves in their Gurindji ancestry and identify proudly as Aboriginal, I have no idea. They may just as easily travel to Maastricht, learn to speak Dutch and work in their distant relatives’ Tapas Bar. Either would not surprise or bother me in the slightest and they may not consciously make a decision either way.

What I can say with a fair amount of certainty is that, if they were to identify as Aboriginal, they would likely be mocked by stupid cocks for doing so. I would hope my kids have the strength of character and identity to ignore the stupid.

We should all ignore the stupid. 

For fuck's sake, change the date.