Wednesday, February 3, 2010

rant: the southern swastika.

ill let the images set it up first. written sloppy bc im overtired but i hope u get it!

provocative yes? i suppose it is moreso if you are an Australian, and furthermore, an "aussie". what is your first reaction when comparing these photos? there is so much history that i can talk about but i will try to make my point clear.

i have heard so many people over the last few years claim the term "aussie" as encompasing the white population of Australia. this southern cross (pictured) is a portion of our national flag and somewhat a cult symbol accompanying the term "aussie". the marketing of the sothern cross has become a brand for white Australia in particular and has become an invisible remnant of the "White Australia Policy" of the early 20th century. i say this because the southern cross is a visual justifiction of a persons belonging in australian society and it is, again, a part of the homogenous white culture. it is used as a means of justifying ultimate dedication and, through its wearers, the claim to supremacy in Australias cultural climate. in deciding who is and is not Australian, the wearer of this symbol doesnt realise it but they are taking the same mentality as with the "White Australia Policy" which was a political movement towards control over both Indigenous affairs and strict imigration laws. the southern cross is claimed initially as a sentiment of pride and patriotism but is called upon in the defense of the nation as soon as critical opinions surface, is it not our right (my right) to criticise my nation?

to mould the picture into one sentiment all you would have to do is replace "Australia" with "Germany", "southern cross" with "Swastika", "Aussies" and "White Australia Policy"  with "Nazis" and bring the context towards the mid 20th century. need i say more.

 it is a huge call to bring about comparisons but i will justify it with the knowledge that in order to not repeat history you must be very aware of your history. you must be aware of world histories, as much as possible, to have a more empathetic view of issues amongst your community and country, i believe. the age of enlightenment and industrialisation have caused so much in the way of current issues within Australias culture and we have no escape as we were founded upon the principles of the last 200 or so years. 222 years i believe it is this year!

my opinion of the southern cross is that it is used without care, abused so many times by the majority of its wearers. im a proud australian but i will never be a part of the marching tattoo bearers.

1 comment:

  1. I am proud, I am Australian, but one doesn't make the other. This new patriotism is all about "us" as opposed to "them", and you're right, it's the slippery slope from there to a hateful, racist culture.

    Living here most people are blind to our shameful secret. The rest of the world sees how so many indigenous people live, but when they highlight our failure to take responsibility don't you hear the cries of indignation!