Have you met anyone, ever, in the history of time, who has suggested that their opinion was influenced by a social media stoush?
I don’t know that it happens, period. You have your opinion, I have mine. No matter how passionate we get, the twain is unlikely to meet in the middle – period.
For this reason, I’m not one to participate in Facebook argy bargy.
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Except. Well, yesterday I couldn’t help myself, because the comment I read was so incredibly thoughtless.
The subject was – wait for it – Pauline Hanson.
The feisty flame-haired politician used her maiden parliamentary speech to say about Muslims, “If you are not prepared to become Australian… and respect our culture and way of life, then I suggest you go back where you came from”.
Her comments prompted a walk out by Greens Senators.
Which prompted a friend of a friend to comment on Facebook something along the lines of:
“The Greens are spineless. I agree with Pauline. Why is she labelled as a bigot and a racist for simply asking migrants to fit in to Australia and adopt an Australian way of life?”
When people say, “If you come here you need to fit in”, it always fascinates me. Because, quite simply, Australian would not be Australia without migrants.
Our food, our culture, our recreation, in fact our entire way of life is borrowed and assimilated from the dozens of different cultures that come here and share their way with us.
The true ‘Australian way of life’ is indigenous, and I don’t see many people spearing their own fish for dinner?
I know the idea of letting refugees in the ‘age of terrorism’ scares people. And I know that people are desperate to counter that fear, and the idea of ‘banning Muslims’ seems like a decent solution.
This is the same line of thinking that has led to us rerouting desperate asylum seekers to torturous conditions in Papua New Guinea, where kids are being openly abused. It is government-sanctioned abuse and it’s mind-boggling to me that the Australian public tolerates it, because the fear of terrorism overrides all common sense.
Just as banning Muslims, as Pauline suggests, is nonsensical. It may seem like a good solution, but it’s not. It’s short-sighted, and intolerant, and kind of (actually, incredibly) bloody disgraceful.