taking care of the place

stop stopping the boats

stop stopping the boats
Written by Cathoel Jorss,

Could our fear of brown-skinned asylum seekers with unfamiliar cultural origins actually be self-hatred? Years ago it was embarrassing in Australia to confess to “the taint” of convict ancestors. Then it came to carry a cachet. It’s true we would undoubtedly respond with more compassion as a nation if boatloads of stricken Finns, Belgians and Scots were finding their way to our shores. But I also think we are not a confident nation and this reflects in a kind of arrogance-paired-with-self-loathing. It is sad to hate boat people when we are boat people. More than 90% of us are descended from recent migrants – that is, arrived within the last two centuries. And the waxy hysteria over a few hundred vessels reminds me of the hatred of sexuality which infests certain fundamentalist churches: the Catholic Church, for example. No hatred is more personal, more poisonous, than the mother of them all: self-loathing.

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