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Letter Of The Month: Lighten Up A Little

By B. Baynham on May 24, 2011 in Other

For some time now I have been seeing a change in attitude of people that I find quite disturbing. More and more, I read/hear complaints about things that have been said tongue-in-cheek.

A recent complaint I read stated that the greatest thing about Australia was its multicutural nature and its acceptance of others, no matter the colour of their skin or their religious beliefs.

While this is something to celebrate about Australia, the comment was used in a complaint about a jibe against Christians, and went further to espouse that similar comments made against other religions would not be made due to the flak that would be incurred.

This is only the latest complaint I have seen and therefore the one I mention. It is only a typical complaint used as a reference.

The point of this is that what people seem to be forgetting is that one of the best things about Australia, that is recognised around the world, is our irreverence to everything.

There are people that cringe at some of the things we do or say, but people that know the Australian culture, know that just because we say something irreverant, it doesn’t mean we don’t respect others’ right to believe in what they do or say.

Do you remember the outcry about the ‘blackface’ act on Red Faces? Australians knew that it was not meant to be racist in any way, as did people in other countries that understand what our culture is.

Whoopie Goldberg, on her program The View, upon hearing the other members of the panel crying out against the act, stated that if you knew Australians, you would know that the act was not meant to be racist. Yet even here in our own country, we had people crying out against it, simply because it was the popular thing to do.

When I was a growing kid in school, I faced and heard comments/ statements that would have some of the people I see complaining now, running for cover. If you complained, they knew that had something on you and you would cop more of the same. While in a perfect world, none of this would happen, we don’t live in a perfect world. Nor is it likely to become so anytime soon.

I can understand people from other countries not understanding that comments made need to be looked at more than once, but Australians should know this.

Just because it’s popular in other countries to cry out against the smallest indiscretions in comments made or acts done and ignore the fact that the intent was not malicious at all does not mean that Australians should adopt this attitude and forget part of OUR culture.

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