By MESHEL LAURIE
Mia, my mentor, friend and inspiration – I must respectfully disagree with some points raised in your piece about the “Racist Delta Tweet” situation. (Editor’s note: You can read Mia’s original post, which explains the context of this particular debate here.)
I’m one of those people who refer to the “invasion” of Australia, rather than the “settlement”. I believe Australia Day is a hurtful and inappropriate talisman of the whitewashing of Australian history. I believe we are living in a kind of apartheid in this country that makes a mockery of any claims we make against the human rights records of others.
I am that person, and as that person I attract a lot of criticism from white Australians whenever I express my views. As I grow older, I express my views rarely unless I’m with like-minded souls because I can’t be bothered with the blowback. Today though, I feel I must come out of my cultural closet in defense of Aamer Rahman and Nazeem Hussain:
I’ve experienced many times the stunned confusion and sometimes unbridled fury of white Australians at the suggestion that this country has a problem with racism. Frankly, I’m just as confused that they don’t realize it, but I don’t bother pursuing the conversation because I am a fortunate white woman who has the option of ignoring it and getting on with my life.
Australian racism doesn’t affect my employment opportunities, or my nights out. The media doesn’t ignore my problems, or those of my ancestral homeland.
People don’t openly fear or mistrust me because of my color. I’m not followed in shops by anxious staff. Taxis don’t pull up at my house and then drive off when they see me walk towards them. No one tells their kids not to play with mine. No one worries I might be a terrorist.
As a fortunate white woman, I don’t believe I have the right to decide what isn’t racist in Australia. I’m not the one hurt and belittled by it. Honestly, I find the telling of racial minorities that they are over reacting about racism demeaning.