WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT HITLER
Brought up in the years just after the Second World War I was taught to hate the cruelty and barbarism of the evil Nazi philosophy.
Hitler was the anti-Christ. His cruelty to minorities was the justification for the horrors of the Second World War.
I knew that Australia was a great country with morals and a conscience and a willingness to lend a hand to help out the disadvantaged of the world. I was taught that in school and I read it in the Newspapers.
While I did not study his writings at school William Henry Elsum* was a prolific and Nationalistic poet.
One example of his thinking was published in the Bowral “The Southern Mail”, Friday 6 May 1932″
THERE are few futures like to ours. Within the heart of our young Commonwealth there lies the germ of mighty greatness; it awaits the great strong Man to come ; and when he speaks, see how the huge inert young giant stirs; list how he answers to his Saviour’s voice. — William H. Elsum.“
He had not moved far from his thoughts of 1911. when he wrote in “Australia And Other Poems“;
“a brotherhood ; The welding;
a stock supreme and strong;
elect from the English brood.“
Elsum saw little wrong with pushing that White Australia Policy when he wrote
“From tropic Queensland’s tracts of wealth;
From sea-washed Tasman’s isle;
From where the Yarra creeps by stealth
By many a splendid mile;
From far-west mines of golden dream ;
From Sydney’s lovely shore;
And by the Southern Torrens stream
Australians come to war.
We’ll hold Australia for the White.“
It was not just the poets who had this attitude.
We all know from our modern experience that cartoonists are reflectors of popular feeling.
Even well known Australians were not very polite. Even though they were respected elder poets who had a sideline in cartooning. This from The Bulletin in 1902.
Other cartoonists were just as prejudiced. Marquet in 1902 foresaw our modern dilemma.
We were not even very polite about other Europeans coming here. These Yugoslavs arrived in 1924.
Things were very little changed fifty years later after the White Australia Policy was abandoned. Patrick Cook of the National Times saw this in 1977. The Jack Boots had the power.
So there has been little in Australia’s national psyche to allow us to be holier than thou with respect to the Hitler atrocities.
WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT SCOTT MORRISON
Australia’s current attitude towards “Boat People” is not an abberration. It is not something new.
We have always been racist. We have always discriminated against “The Other”.
Whether that “Other” is Black, Yellow, Brown, Gay, Muslim, Catholic, Female, Non-English-speaking, “Arty” or Red-Headed. All have been discriminated against in this “tolerant” Australia of mine.
So where does the comparison with Hitler come in?
It is in our Immigration Department which bans so many asylum seekers, sending them back to their homeland to face death.
It is in the Serco employees who carelessly bully asylum seekers within the system.
It is in the care-less bureaucrats who nearly pushed my friend Robyn over the edge.
It is in our alternative Immigration overlord, Scott Morrison, who has a track record of hatred for “The Other”. He has a particular hatred for Lebanese Christians who win pre-selection against him. One wonders how Scott gets on with that other prominent Middle-Easterner, Joseph Hokeidonian.
Bugger Godwin’s Law. We have a Nazi emergency here in this wide brown land!
The “vote for Scott Morrison” Gif was found on the Independent Australia site
The cartoons were sourced from Jonathon King’s most excellent “A Cartton History of Australia”
*William Henry Elsum – Prolific pre and Post WW1 poet from Box Hill. Secretary of the Australian Poets Society for a while. I know of him because he is my wife’s 1st cousin 2 times removed. Although she will hide her head in shame at this revelation!