I recently wrote something on my facebook about a Q&A episode that comedian Nazeem Hussain was on recently. The discussion centred around two main points: the death of Osama Bin Laden and the Australian Government’s latest response to Asylum Seekers who arrive via Boat to Australia. In essence though, the conversation was actually about the role of Muslims as the “other” in Australia – essentially questioning their existence in White Australia.
Despite my misgivings about even having the conversation, because it buys into the polar conversation of White Australia vs The Other, I really enjoyed the discussion, particularly Nazeem’s intelligent thoughts on the matters. However, I could not help but feel that, as I posted on my facebook:
“I’m sorry, but until Australia can actually resolve issues of racism and exclusion in relation to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander issues they aren’t going to get multiculturalism right…so frankly I don’t see these discussions, such as those on Q & A, as being particularly productive – you’ve gotta have solid foundations before you can build on top!!”
To elaborate more, basically, this country has never ever set it’s foundations properly as a nation. Built on stolen land, genocide, institutionalised racism and more, Australia has never properly acknowledged or righted those wrongs. Until it does and makes strong moves towards levelling the playing field for Indigenous Australians the country will always be built on dodgy foundations. Like my sister’s house with all it’s cracks due to moving foundations – Australia is broken and you can’t populate it with more people and expect it to be okay – a melting pot we are not, more like a pressure cooker ready to explode!
And those are my thoughts on that 🙂