I’ve been procrastinating on this post all day. Not because I don’t believe 500% in it, but because it’s just hard to rock the boat and step out of where it’s comfortable. I could just keep my thoughts to myself, but then where’s the solidarity in that.
So here goes:
“It may not be what you want to hear.
Australians are proud of their tolerance yet can be perplexed when challenged on race, their response often defensive”
Since moving to the US and landing right in the middle of racial biases, prejudices, systems and privilege that I really had no understanding of prior, I’ve been simultaneously challenging and questioning my understanding of indigenous issues in my own country.
I did take a lot of pride in our tolerance, our multiculturalism….but it didn’t take long for me to suddenly realize that we’re actually more about assimilation…and it’s just hit me how deeply rooted that is in our history.
I picked up this book by Stan Grant when I was home in August and have finally just read it.
I have a lot of reflections but for now I want to echo the tag line on the cover – this is the book ‘every Australian should read’
There are so many narratives in our history that need correcting, truths that we need to awaken to and acknowledge, and much work that needs to be done.
It is uncomfortable, and we do get defensive. I get defensive, I want to bring up all the excuses and justifications. But at the end of the day, I am just trying to fit someone else’s story and experience into my worldview, into something that I can understand and package into a nice neat box, and mark “dealt with” and go back to things the way they were.
Of course it would be so much easier to turn away, to not rock the boat, to stay where things are safe and make sense and not dig up the past…to all just move on – the problem is, that’s easy from where I sit…. We have got to get better at listening, and I am absolutely speaking to myself here – really listening, and staying where it is uncomfortable longer than we want to.
I have more that I want to find the words to say, but for now – my fellow Australians, please read this book and sit with it for a bit.