I begin with an analogy. When Lego produced its blocks there were only two sizes, and they fitted universally. Children were able to make anything with them, limited only by their imaginations. Then Lego got smart and began making specific blocks for specific models, increasing demand and stifling creativity. Blocks could no longer be used universally.
It was a prime example of planned obsolescence, but that’s not the point I wish to make. The point I make is that humans are universal. They are able to fit into any milieu. They have survived for millennia, through ice ages and ages of global warming, while other species became extinct because they could not adapt to changing environments, or were limited to one area on the globe. We are adapting to the heating planet without completely realising it. Thirty years ago 30* heat was considered a heatwave in sub-tropical Queensland. Now we can cope comfortably with 40*.
A few hundred years ago the world was a smaller place. Now Australia is a cosmos of the world. We are not a British colony as some die-hards might believe. We are certainly not ‘fair’. We are black, white and brindle and every shade between. Geographically we are part of Asia, but we are uniquely Australian. We are a mix of Caucasians, whom some would sneeringly call “white supremacists’, the go-getter race; Asians, those with the work ethic and doggedness that again some cynically sneer at as sullenness or secretiveness; a smattering of Africans whom some fear as ‘warlike’ without getting to know them; some Middle Easterns, and smallest in population, but first in arrival, the spiritual Aborigines. This melting pot has the potential to make Australia a great nation.
Some outsiders, and even some dubious Australians, accuse us of being ‘racist’. It is a term that is easily bandied about, particularly by the politically correct, who are afraid of giving or accepting offence of any kind. It is natural for small children to be wary of anyone or anything different in their environment. It is a biological instinct of survival at play. Those who say that racism and all the other isms have to be taught are talking twaddle. The isms are a biologically inbred fear which a child has to overcome. The same, or similar, goes for adults. They have to become acquainted with the person or thing which is different, become accustomed to it, to learn to realise that he, she or it it is not an object to fear. This fear can take one of several forms: bullying, with the premise that the best means of defence is attack: paranoia, believing that the stranger means ill-will and one therefore becomes cautious, withdrawn and suspicious; or defensive.
We do not overcome this fear by avoiding the object of it. Nor is the accusation of ‘racism’ helpful. The accuser is undoubtedly suffering from another ism. The fear is overcome only slowly by mutual understanding and patience.
Some Muslim women, for instance, wear the hijab, the nijab, or even the abaya. Such women are horrified at the seemingly brazenly revealing clothing of some Australian women. Muslim women understand and respect the fact that men do have stronger passions than women, though their fear that Australian men (or normal, healthy Australian men) would take advantage of what they might see as ‘advertising their wares’ is sad. Australian society may one day come to a compromise. Thoughtless women who do ‘flaunt their wares’ may take responsibility for it, or learn to cover up a little, and timid Muslim women may learn to trust the majority of Australian manhood. We can all learn something from each other.
Our first Australians are unassuming folk from a pre-historic era. I am not talking about the half-Caucasians who have inherited the go-getter gene, or the half-Asians, whose subtle and dogged ways earn them success*. I am talking about full-blood Aborigines whose surviving tribes we have driven into the desert regions of the country. They are not un-adventurous. They came in canoes thousands of years ago from Gondwanaland as intrepid sailors, across Torres Strait, and spread out and conquered this vast territory. But they were no match for the people who came after. Their societies were built on mutual trust and they have not the mentality to understand the greed and frequent duplicity of capitalism. They are even preyed on by some of their half-breed kin, who ironically use the term ‘racist’ to further their own agendas. Others of their kin, like the late Eddie Mabo and the present Noel Pearson, work quietly to bring them justice. We could at least borrow their form of democratic communism to live by, as I suggest. That would be one way in which we could make use of their contribution to Australian society.
These are personal opinions. You are welcome to add yours to the debate. A computer person has obligingly made my site virus-proof and hacker resistant.
*In case African and Middle Eastern migrants think I am slighting them by omission, I must say I don’t know any African or Middle Eastern migrants well enough to form an opinion on them as yet, but I am sure they are as varied in their dispositions and characters as are any other races.