WHY I REJECT CERTAIN PATRIOTISM.

There are countries around the world that I admire, but that is not to say that I agree with everything they do. As an autistic, one of my special interests is Japan, but that does not mean I support commercial whaling (I don't) or the Taiji Dolphin Slaughter (I don't). I can remember some idiots on the far-right of politics saying, "Oh, but Japan doesn't have this problem with terrorism (Hello, Sagamihara) because of its immigration policy." Well, the number of immigrants to Japan is very low, and they do discriminate against the Korean minority and take very few refugees. I can support international bodies, such as Greenpeace (it has a Japanese branch, too) but I can't, as a non-citizen who is not a resident of Japan, set up a petition demanding that Japan accept more refugees and modify its immigration policy. So why do I seem willing to accept this from Japan yet not from my native Australia?

Well, as an Australian of European descent (with a bit of Caribbean) I have to accept that I was born in Australia, not because my ancestors had been here for thousands of years, but because the country was colonised on the basis of Terra Nullius by Britain and the original British settlers arrived in chains, some of whom had death sentences commuted, and later free settlers arrived from that same European country. The arrival of these European settlers saw the First Nations Peoples murdered and some survivors enslaved by the Europeans.

The right-wing ignoramus, who is wrongly given airtime by the media in this country, has said that if she had her way, there would be no Aboriginality in this country. She wants to have all people united under one flag. Well, sorry, that will not happen, and nor should it!

This right-wing ignoramus also said that there has been an increase in the number of people claiming to be Aboriginals. Well, what could be the motivation for this? Well, up until 1967, the First Nations Peoples were not even counted in the census, and if a person had some First Nations Peoples heritage, in some cases they were made to keep silent on it. With attitudes changing today, and research into ancestry becoming more popular and information more readily available, an increasing number of Australians are learning that they have First Nations Peoples ancestry and are seeking to connect with what they lost.

Whether or not a person who has some First Nations Peoples ancestry chooses to identify as having it, and how, is THEIR PREROGATIVE, not that of a right-wing ignoramus. And while it is true that some people whose ancestry may be diverse, may not necessarily be inherently multicultural, it is their business. I mean, one person who had a Chinese great-grandfather who married an Aboriginal woman and whose other ancestors were European might say, "I researched these areas and I identify quite strongly as First Nations, and I've done a trip to China to see the town where my great-grandfather was born," while another might say, "Oh, yeah, I've got a bit of diverse ancestry, it's just there, that's all."

The right-wing ignoramus's comments are an insult to any Australian of diverse ancestry.

Most recently, a controversy has erupted over a schoolgirl refusing to stand for the national anthem. She says, and I agree with her, that the current Australian national anthem, Advance Australia Fair, is not respectful to the First Nations People, and it is not, either. Much of it is about forelock tugging to the British colonisers and based around a desire for Australia to be a British outpost in the Pacific given time. Australia has evolved from that and as such, a national anthem that is more inclusive is required.

The ignoramus also asks why they are more entitled than others, to which I say, if you read the history, you would know that this country was forcibly colonised without any type of treaty with the First Nations Peoples and without consent. Yes, two people may be born in the same country, in the same year, even on the same date, but the reality may be that one has ancestral connections spanning generations and others not so.

Criticism of the colonisation of one's country and acknowledgement of genocide does not make one disloyal or unpatriotic, rather it is an acknowledgement of reality and a desire to move forward and not see it occur again.

Australia has continually pointed the finger at Japan over the war, but if there's one other thing Australia must learn, it's that electing politicians who want to whitewash Australia's history and paint a picture of the colonisers as bringing good things to this country (how one considers tuberculosis or poisoning waterholes or genocide good, one will never be able to explain) while pointing the finger at another is not patriotic it is hypocritical!

Diagnosed with autism at 35. Explained a lifetime of difference.