Sunday, February 26, 2006

I hate racist Australians

I am so p*ssed off at racists. Not just because they are dumb and stupid and cringe-worthy and dangerous and pointless. But because they have stopped me being able to enjoy my own little bit of daggy kitsch Australiana fashion.

As you may know, I have a collection of Australiana knitting patterns, mostly from the 1980s. I also have a few Australiana knitting tote bags and a bandana in the colours of the Australian flag. I love going into tacky souvenir shops and selecting Australian-themed pens and notepads and erasers and tea-towels and caps and t-shirts to send my long-suffering inlaws in America. A few months ago all this meant was that I was a certified dag. Harmless.

But ever-since those racist moronic thugs in Cronulla (beach in NSW) decided to adopt the Australian flag to wear as an emblem in their intimidation of the Lebanese and other immigrants, wearing or carrying the Australian flag has become a political statement I do not want to be associated with. The reality of this struck me when I was in a souvenir shop last week contemplating a tote bag with a giant Australian flag last week. It would have made a perfect knitting bag. It cost $5.95. But I couldn't buy it because if I was seen carrying it around the streets, people who didn't know me would see me as politically supporting the racist anti-immigrant morons instead of being a daggy patriot. In fact I now have to be really careful not to carry around bags with giant Australian flags on it. Which is really really annoying.

I wonder if there was anyone in Germany in the 1930s who really liked the design of the swastika and was dismayed at how it was being used politically?


Pamela Lee said...

Funny that you should mention the swastika in this context...

My Dad once told me that his mother had once owned a beautiful brooch with a swastika design which she loved to wear, and how upset she had been when the Nazi's use of the symbol effectively made her brooch unwearable.

Marg B said...

My dad lives next door to a very nice and religious Asian family. I was totally taken back when I saw swastikas on their door amongst a whole lot of other decorations. My dad explained that the swastika was used by Buddhists for hundreds of years before World War II!