This planet is amazing. It’s backpacking around the solar system with a tilt of 23.5 degrees and now we’re in the throes of seasonal change. In Australia the street trees are dropping gold on the ground and the natives are hunkering down for the impending cold, while my friends in the northern hemisphere are emerging from winter depression to celebrate the first faint rays of sun.
But I’m contemplating a subject that’s neither warm or fuzzy, the Big R of Racism, so perhaps you’ll skip off to the next blog or check your apps. There’s no shame in that. However, I am staying here for now, in my autumnal moment of introspection, as the Prime Minister of Australia makes unashamedly racist comments about aboriginal people. I love this country in all her seasons but I’m ashamed to be Australian. Us white-skinned Anglo-Saxon types have dominated the land and the original inhabitants since Captain Cook claimed the east coast in 1770 and unleashed 245 years of colonization. I could begin with some statistics, hard-hitting facts about aboriginal dispossession, massacres, poverty and deaths in custody and move on to the recent claim by our PM, Tony Abbott, that aboriginal people on remote communities are making a ‘lifestyle choice’ … but I doubt if readers would last the distance.
So let’s celebrate the sun and watch the moon. Let’s stand together for compassion, tolerance and understanding as the earth tilts on her axis and ushers in change.
‘We Stand against the Nuclear Dump’, Oil on canvas, 90cm x 90cm, copyright Jeni McMillan