Saturday, November 22, 2008

Saturday Soapbox

I'm just flabbergasted. And I have to admit, a little sickened and hurt.

I just got around to reading our little local newspaper this morning (it comes out on Wednesdays and is one of those "freebies" they put in your mailbox.)
There is a "comment" section where anyone can write in with their "thumbs up" or thumbs down" comments. Stuff like thanking local business for donating to fete's and sporting clubs, complaining about dogs pooping on the grass kind of things, ya know?

Well... let me tell ya, I'm more than a little upset that this particular kind of thing is STILL going on and that it seems to be totally acceptable in this country.

This thumbs down says:

"To the delinquents who came to our home on Halloween to "trick or treat". When we replied that we did not have any candy and in fact we did not support the American festival of Halloween, they vandalized our property by stepping on some plants we had just planted. It's disappointing to see such a lack of respect from young people who believe they are above reproach, but we blame the infiltration of American culture in this country for the way our youths act. American input has no place here in Australia."

Okay, this ticks me off on several different levels.
For one, Halloween is NOT a purely American festival. It's roots go way back to the Celts... and the English and Irish are the ones who brought the idea to America in the first place. See, America accepts and embraces traditions and cultures that vary from their own. They're open minded that way.
(read here )

Secondly, It bothers me that people who claim to dislike " the infiltration of American culture" simply don't have a clue as to what they're saying. They like to eat at McDonald's and KFC, don't they? They drive Fords and go to the movies. They wear Levi's, Nike's and Croc's. Their children own PlayStation's and Wii's.

Yet they think that "American input" has no place here in Australia. Get it right folks.

Thirdly, would the paper have published that comment, if instead of "Americans", that person was complaining about Muslims or Jews ? Of course not. That would have been seen as vilification. It would have been seen as a racist comment and not allowed. However, in this country, American bashing is an accepted thing and it goes on all the time.

I've been told to my face that I'm disliked. I've been asked when I'm "going home", in spite of the fact that I've been here for 13 years, have a wonderful partner that I love dearly, I own my own home and have worked here and contributed to Australian society for over 10 years.

I've had parents ( I work in family daycare ) tell me to my face that they don't want to place their children with me in case they start picking up on my horrible American accent. (these are the same parents who told me that they let their young children watch The Simpson's every night, because Bart is soooo funny!)

C'mon now... Would life as we know it in Australia cease to exist if a few kids said "ba-Naan-a" instead of "ba nah-na or they said to-may-to instead of to-mah-to? I'm a decent, caring person and if I didn't have an accent, no one would have reason to say a single word against me.

Now that Obama has been elected, I'm getting comments like "goodonya for finally electing a Black President". Now, to tell you the truth, I don't vote ( for religious reasons that I won't go into here) but I would fervently hope that Americans had elected their upcoming President solely because they truly think that he is the best man for the job... and not based on the colour of his skin. I pray that he does well, but I find it sad that I'm now being congratulated and semi-accepted as an American, simply because we elected a black man.

Don't get me wrong, I love it here in Australia and truth be told, 99% of Australians have been nothing but kind and friendly towards me. I have heaps of lovely Australian friends who love me as I am and who accept me for who I am. And I consider them friends as well. Not Aussie friends... just friends.

But I've got to admit... That tiny little one percent, who openly spout their ignorance and hate, can certainly spoil my day.


Anonymous said...

Hey, Tater's Mama! I'm sending you warm American greetings! If we were in your neck of the woods, I would want Tater Tot in your room in the daycare! :)

Thanks for the note today. I've always heard that the first year without someone you love is the hardest. I hope it's true, because I can't imagine a more difficult one.

I'm sorry for your loss, too, and hope you have good memories of your Dad. There's nothing like a good Daddy!

See you around the Tater blogs!

Out Back said...

What the? That is awful Tatersmama.

Just letting you know that most Australian's are not of that opinion. It is sad that a small minority can spoil things for the majority.

We are all one in this world.

Very well posted by you, I couldn't agree more.

Sherri said...

It just amazes me how some people blame what's wrong with todays youth on other influences, other then their own. If my son Sam starts running around jumping on top of people and stomping on toad stools I guess I might beable to blame that on Nintendo. Obviously that won't happen, I've taught my kids to know what's real and what's not, and they have enough common sense to know the difference.


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