22 September 2014

Reactively racist

We're all fired up in Australia again about Muslims because some idiot came up with a half arsed plan to behead a random stranger all in the name of a group of people who are using Prince as a role model when it comes to naming themselves.

And Tony Abbott is war mongering and conveniently the media are no longer reporting information about your pensions being slashed, the cost of education, the fact that we prefer coal mines to wind farms, or any of the other stupidity which has made his first year in politics look a bit embarrassing. His own party are saying so, so it's not just me. Terrorism as the biggest threat to Australia is highly unlikely - the buffoon in charge is a little more worrying to all of us.

And while we are all hating on Muslims again because one idiot declared jihad (which most people don't even know the definition of, including some of the people declaring it) and we're all worrying that our Christian values are being eroded by the infidels (conveniently overlooking that most people don't go to Church or even believe in any gods), we're in danger of being reactively racist.

This is when we repeat things we once heard about a Muslim that we never met that we know is true because we read it in a paper or on the internet or in fact we may have made it up based on a Monty Python sketch your dad adapted when you were in third grade.

And people start to worry all over again about women in burkas robbing banks and get indignant that they aren't allowed to wear their motorcycle helmets into supermarkets even though most of them don't even have motorcycle licences so I'm unsure what this clamouring to wear a helmet places is all about.  I have a motorcycle licence and a helmet and it's not the kind of thing you want to wear just for fun.  It's bloody heavy.

And we start throwing around phrases like 'them' and 'us' though to be fair you're unsure how to pick a Muslim these days because their beards look exactly like your inner urban lumberjacks and you can't quite remember if a turban means you're a muslim or just in the process of drying your hair. So if your Muslim neighbours aren't getting about with a big sign saying 'ME - I'M MUSLIM', you're not exactly sure who you hate anyway.

And if a woman is wearing a scarf around her head is she Muslim or just keeping her ears warm. And it's not even like you can pick a Muslim lass on the beach in a burkini anymore now that Nigella Lawson brought them into the mainstream and they are worn by lots of people not wanting to get skin cancer.
Or one of 'them Muslims' could be saving your life. #justsaying
So basically, we're at a point where we were probably feeling a bit too lucky living in a country where we have nothing much to worry about and have decided to protect our way of life like we did when we were Anzacs.  Once again, conveniently overlooking the fact that we were actually protecting another country's way of life.

So what are we upset about?  I hear you yell look what's happening in the Middle East? What about the planes shot down? What about the Boston Bombings? 911? London in 2005.  Sure.  All valid examples of extreme acts of violence.  Acts of violence perpetuated by extremists which profoundly impacted a number of lives.  Acts of violence committed in the name of religion.

Also profoundly impacting lives here in Australia are the 52 women are killed each year by their current or former partner; the 70,000 women each year physically assaulted by a partner; the 1500 people killed in car accidents; the 30,00 injured each year in car accidents; the 5,500 that die each year because of alcohol.

Extremists are dangerous.  They do inflict pain and agony and distress. But they're not exclusive to the Muslim community by any stretch.  Can I be so bold as to mention the IRA?  Or the idiot recently discovered with 120 kilograms of explosives he planned to leave outside a building in Sydney? You may not have read much about him because he was referred to as a 'wannabe bomber' not a terrorist - probably because he was not Muslim.  Why aren't we collectively calling for the expulsion of all bogans, particularly the ones with no friends who live with their mothers, to be barred from banks and supermarkets?

Is it perhaps because we're not actually sure why we're hating on anybody?


Exactly.  Have a great week people and remember - #dontbeadick.

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