Shame

I haven’t been able to marshal my thoughts especially coherently regarding the racially motivated riots in Cronulla. Without some beatup by the media and indiscriminate text message forwarding, this would have just been another gang-fight at Cronulla, not much different from any other gangfight in the last fifty years. The unusual situation that Cronulla is the most racially homogeneous beach suburb in Sydney coupled with being the only beach with a rail station two blocks away providing quick and easy public transport from the western suburbs has made Cronulla a natural flashpoint for generations of thin-skinnned resentment from Anglo locals towards the immigrant daytrippers du jour. But what was different this time was the attempt to wrap up racism in the Aussie flag. Disgusting.

Best rant comes from a woman who presumably lives close by Cronulla. From the letters section in today’s Sydney Morning Herald:

A view of Cronulla from behind bolted doors December 15,
2005

To all the organisers of the rally at Cronulla last Sunday: thanks. No, really. I love what you’ve done with the place.

Where I used to be able to sit out on my balcony at night in peaceful and serene contemplation, now I cower behind locked and bolted doors. Where I used to be able to pop down to the supermarket for some groceries any time, now I wonder if a dash to the servo on the corner is a good idea – what with thugs setting it on fire and all. Where I used to feel untroubled living in a relatively non-secure apartment block, now I feel a measure of security only when the riot police are brandishing their batons and shields outside my front door.

And it’s all thanks to you. Well done, gallant heroes. Not.

Apparently you drunken, bigoted knights in flannelette from Cronulla desire to defend your women, your beach and your Australian way of life. I’ve got news for you: keep your day jobs. The women do not feel safer. We are scared. We are sickened. We are disgusted.

You call Cronulla your beach – I don’t see your name written on it.

And what about my beach? I can’t safely look at it, walk on it or swim there now thanks to your thuggery.

And you know what? It was a lot prettier without the riot police guarding it.

I love those guys but they just don’t blend in real well with the bikini babes and surfer dudes.

A few disgusting things said, a wolf whistle, an insult – they are not good enough reasons to justify what happened. I go to Cronulla all the time. I’ve had just as many leers and wolf whistles from Caucasian males as any other race. You know what I and many other women do? We ignore them. Simple. Big mouths are looking for a reaction, so don’t give them what they want.

And don’t defend our way of life by preaching hatred, violence and racial vilification which beget more hatred and violence. The question is: how much further are you willing to push it? Until our possessions are looted, our homes are burnt to the ground or our bodies are lying in coffins?

The people who began this stupidity are the ones who must end it. You can stop the violence and hate. End it today, now. Please.

Rachel Rogers Suburb withheld

Onya Rachel. Get it up ’em, mate,



Categories: social justice, violence

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