The first time I saw one of these bumper stickers I was stunned. Where does all this venom come from?
These seem to have popped up at the time both major political parties were using asylum seekers as a whipping boy. It might also be fair to say I saw it in a ‘most-likely-to-have-rednecks’ suburb. Thankfully, I’ve only ever seen them on about 4 different cars in as many years.
Does it reflect racism of the ‘every non-Anglo is scum’ variety, or is it simply an anti-immigration message?
The truth is
is, in a manner of speaking, full. Compared to other countries – developed or otherwise – we have an extremely low population density. We also have an extremely limited pool of natural resources. Australia
Unless someone actually does some proper planning, we cannot absorb too many of the world’s 12 million displaced people without suffering a substantial reduction in our own standards of living. If we fling the gates wide open and place no restrictions on immigration, our population will eventually stabilise at a level where we are only marginally better off than those already living in displaced person camps elsewhere in the world.
We can benefit from some growth if that growth is properly planned, resulting in a win-win situation. With the current paucity of leadership or good government I doubt we could do this properly. The infrastructure we have is inadequate, falling into disrepair, and being steadily sold off to private enterprise.
The ‘go away we’re full’ sticker is so thought provoking I could go off on a thousand tangents, but I remember now which tangent I was originally planning to follow: Who or what is an Australian?
I would be a liar if I did not say that a sudden influx of Asians in the 70s didn’t shock me; or a sudden increase in the number of people from the Indian subcontinent; or a marked increase in the number of people who probably visit mosques more than the Westernised Muslims who've been here from the beginning.
I grew up in a white [or red haired/freckled skin] world.
I really do not care what people look like – unless they’ve got filthy fingernails, or their face looks like a bulldog’s collar.
A different physical appearance is simply a visual reminder to me that change is happening.
I’m not totally resistant to change, but I would like some reassurance about what form that change might take. I’d like some reassurance that if the changes will be horrible I’ll be dead before they happen.
I’d like people to be a little freer to discuss important issues without being cut off by pc Nazis.
The other night on the train I was watching a half a dozen Caucasian gentleman playing their nightly game of 500.
At some stop near Franger a bunch of Caucasian kids boarded the train. I’d say the youngest was about 14 and the oldest 16 or 17. They were dressed in a manner that betrayed no sense of any sort of style which, at the very least, Goths or Punks usually display. They were obnoxious potty-mouths, openly guzzling alcohol and were already drunk or under the influence of drugs [or both].
The chap that keeps the scores for the card game said to one young lady “Would you mind putting your cigarette out, please?” He was older, neater, and probably a CEO or close to it, and exuded authority.
The girl that was smoking replied “Would you mind getting fucked, please?”
At Frankston the Police were waiting and used the under-aged drinking problem as an excuse to instantly put pressure on them. As I passed through the turnstile, I saw the smoker, in handcuffs, being frogmarched down the ramp and, although she was separated from her friends, she still wouldn’t let go of her tough persona.
Continuing towards my car, I recalled another passenger’s automatic reaction had been "They should be at home with their parents” and wondered what on earth would be the point? I know parents take an inordinate amount of blame for the sins of wilful children, but I suspect home is where it had all started to go wrong a long time ago.
Where did these kids get the idea that tough and foul was an ideal to strive for, and that this is the very best they could hope to be? From the same sorts of parents I hear screaming “don’t you effingwell talk to me like that you little $%*&^# ” to their kids at the supermarket?
And then I recalled the times I’ve been on a train and surrounded by people from the Indian subcontinent, or Asian looking people whose first language is not English, when yobbos like this have climbed in, shouting and screaming and dropping empty beer or spirit mixer bottles and throwing up.
I thought about how we have an Anglo Australian culture that’s long been obsessed with alcohol. I thought about the times I’ve heard young adults describe their first taste of drugs as a rite of passage.
These are not the Australians who “built” and moulded the country I think of as mine. These are not the values I think of as Australian. But the behaviour of a great many non-Anglo Australians seems far more Australian than that of these lost kids.
We’re not too full, and there is plenty of room for more good people.
In the car park, I noticed the ute parked next to my little matchbox toy had one of those “we’re full” stickers, and for the first time I began to get an inkling of how our first peoples have felt and, for the most part, still do. And I think I need a little self inking stamp so when I see one of these stickers I can attribute the message to someone who thought of it a lot earlier. Maybe someone like Jandamarra.