I’d like to tell you all a short story about my childhood.
When I was a kid in London, there was lots of talk of racism, and at one stage I was accused of it myself 😯
Now I started school, at the age of three, as my mum was pregnant with my little sister (who later died, at the ripe old age of six months, from whooping cough and pneumonia… 😥 )
My mum was very sick, with the pregnancy, and spent months in hospital prior to giving birth, and so I just had to go to school, as there was no other option 😦
So off I went, to Findsbury Park, Montem Street Primary School, where at the time there were some 28 nationalities attending said school, around half of whom could not speak English 😯
Now I was very much a loner at school, and only found one boy that I called friend, and his name was… Photius Themostoclious ( I’m not sure if the spelling is right), a good Greek boy from mainland Greece.
I clarify that point, cos at the time, in our school, there was a lot of issues with Greek and Turkish Cypriots (Greeks and Turks from the island of Cyprus) who were the cause of lots of trouble.
Now Photius and I were on the outer with the other kids, cos we were always top of the class, reasonably big for our age, and kept to ourselves, playing in our group of… Just two 😯
One particular day we were in the playground, playing “Scuba divers”, which was a bit odd (at least for me, as I couldn’t swim, and had a real fear of water 😯 ), but there we were in the playground, being “Scuba Divers”, when we noticed about 20 kids milling around in a partially hidden corner of the playground ❓
So we decided to go and see what was going on. 😉
To our annoyance, there were all these Cypriot boys, picking on one little English kid 😯 so Photius and I went in and broke it up , freed the little English kid, and then went back to our game of Scuba Divers, thinking no more about it 😀
A little while later, we were called up to the Head Masters office, (A certain Mr Fish) and threatened with the cane, for picking on the Greek kids… WTF?
The upshot being that at the age of around 7, one English kid (With a European last name, and one Greek kid were accused of being racist for picking on around 20 Greek boys. 🙄
Luckily my Mum worked at the school at that time, and quickly told Mr Fish what he could do with his accusations and his cane! 😯
And that was my introduction to racism and injustice.
So we were told that we were naughty naughty boys, and not to pick on 20 greek kids again!
Now to be fair to the aforementioned Mr Fish, he was only responding to numerous complaints from the Cypriot kids parents without any knowledge of what really happened!
The truth is that the bullying and intolerance shown by those Cypriot kids came not from them, but from the racist attitudes of their parents, who were in the UK not to become assimilated into British society, but primarily to take advantage of the NHS, via a loophole in the immigration policy. 😦
Another example was the barber that my mum used to take me to, was taken over by a Muslim, and when she took me there for a haircut, the first thing he said to her was “You hate me… Don’t you?” 😯 Somewhat taken aback, my mum replied, “I don’t even know you!”
Now the majority of said Cypriots were Muslims, and arrived with a huge chip on their shoulders, but although many judged all people from Cyprus and Muslims according to the few that were seen as racist and and nasty people, there were many more that never caused any problems, just wanted to assimilate, and have a better life for themselves and their families.
The funny thing is that my family background includes everything from English aristocracy, to Scottish brigands, with a smattering of the Welsh and Irish, through to a very old Italian family that won our coat of arms during the crusades, (Those particular ancestors were artist and musicians, as indicated by said coat of arms, which included two daffodils (Roses) and a rampant duck (Swan)… or at least that’s how I describe it 😀 ).
But I digress 😯
So why am I telling you all this?
Because the part of London that we called home in the 195o’s, was a melting pot, with every nationality imaginable, and what I learnt during that time, was that there are good and bad in all races, which has only been reinforced throughout my life since.
We even had the Polish/Jewish Dr involved in the QB VII court case, Dr Dering, as our family doctor, who despite the claims against him, was a truly decent man and a brilliant doctor, who we watched deteriorate through the court case, which eventually killed him 😦
I’ve known good and bad Muslims, Jews, Germans, South Africans, Italians, Asians, Japanese, Croatians Americans, Enlish and yes, even Australians 😯
But in my experience, the vast majority of all nationalities are essentially just like us; people who just want to live in peace, and make a good life for themselves and their families.
IMHO we should all “Treat others as we would like to be treated ourselves!”
And everyone deserves to be treated with decency and respect, until THEY prove otherwise!
So the question is:
Reclaim Australia… From whom?