Where’s the Media Frenzy…

I find it really concerning that it has been 13 days since a mass coordinated sexual assault was carried out in Germany and I am still yet to see anything more than a snippet of info in the media about this, whereas cricketer Chris Gayle makes an ass of himself once on live TV and it’s all anyone can talk about and it’s all they are still talking about.

Ok so we have an international cricketer who, unintelligently makes a pass, in jest or otherwise, at a journalist on live TV. By all means, bad. But why are we still talking about it? There are worse things.

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Like for example, New Year’s Eve in Munich. As crowds of people gathered outside the main station to get a glimpse of the fireworks welcoming in the New Year, hundreds of women fall victim to a mass, carefully orchestrated attack, including sexual assaults and theft.
To date there have been 516 reports made, 40% of these being sexual in nature with at least 2 rapes. Only 31 people are currently under investigation for assault and theft, not the sexual assaults. Only 1 arrest has been made and that was for theft alone. And as for the rest of the perpetrators, who knows how many there actually were? Reports suggest as many as 1000 men carried out these attacks.

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Of the 31 under investigation 21 are believed to be asylum seekers in Germany illegally. The others are from countries, including Algeria, Morocco, Iran, Iraq, America, Germany, Syria, and Serbia, who are in Germany legally.
See that, not just one nationality, so all you far right people can’t go hurling abuse at all asylum seekers for these crimes, and all you far left people can’t proudly stay silent for fear of being discriminatory. The only people that need to be discriminated against are the criminals, regardless of their religious beliefs and cultural backgrounds, they are just criminals. That is how they should be viewed and portrayed, and they should be portrayed to the media, these things should be reported not covered up.

Even in Germany there have been various cover-up attempts due to a fear that the backlash against asylum seekers will be too great. Despite this, what little information was given to the public has caused a backlash anyway. Protests in the streets of Cologne have taken place on the streets, there have been allegations of authority figures deliberately withholding information, there have been politicians-a-plenty suffering from foot in mouth.

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This did not only happen in Munich by the way, there were eerily similar attacks carried out in, Hamburg, Nuremburg, Frankfurt and Berlin on the same night. Scary isn’t it? Scary that this has happened but also scary that no one was told about it.
Why hide it? Why hide the fact that bad people all over Germany are trying to sexually assault women? It isn’t going to go away if you pretend it doesn’t exist. And for the love of god do not tell women to change how they live their lives in order to avoid being sexually assaulted! I thought we had moved on from that?! Apparently not because that is the advice the Mayor of Cologne has given women.

Acknowledge that you have a problem with sexual assaults and try to deal with it. It isn’t a new problem, Germany already has a high rate of sexual assault, so if you maybe expose this then you can take some steps in the right direction towards preventing it from happening again.
It puts asylum seekers in danger, well yes, I could imagine that a myriad of bigots would ignore the fact that not all asylum seekers are rapists and attack them all anyway. But if you perhaps make a point of publishing the cold hard facts it may minimise this bigotry. If you say nothing people are just going to make up what they like, aren’t they?

Bottom line is not all Muslims are rapists, just some are, just as some Christians are rapists. Any type of person from any nationality can be a rapist. Not all people are bad people, but among the good there is always bad. You cannot blame just one group of people for all the bad on the planet.

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In this circumstance where majority of attackers were of a certain background, you are going to get some blame pointed at that particular culture. But that does not mean everyone should keep quiet about the whole ordeal.
Just because you are a feminist and you believe in equality doesn’t mean you cannot comment. Guess what, some cultures treat women like dirt, that’s just a sad fact. While some of the world is moving forward towards equality, there is some of the world that is moving slower and there is some that are not moving at all.

Why fear any backlash you may receive by commenting on this? Why fear the backlash you will receive while you are standing up for women out there who have been unfortunate enough to have just experienced the most harrowing night of their lives? Women who have suffered through this may never get justice for what has been committed against them, the perpetrators may never be caught and that is a fact. But the more publicity these incidents get the more likely it is that people will be identified and charged, the more chance there is that this doesn’t happen again.

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Not so, Australia Day

WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers are warned that the following piece may contain images of deceased persons.

 

I have never been one to celebrate Australia Day, well, I have never been one to celebrate being Australian anyway. I am rarely proud to identify as an Australian and these instances seem to be becoming few and far between.
Just recently I have found yet another reason, I had never made this connection before, perhaps because it has been a good 10 years since I have been taught anything about Australian history and then I was too young to make the connection. I had never realised that Australia Day lands on the actual day that the British invaded Australia, instead of it being on, oh I don’t know the day Australia became a federation. Why we would want to celebrate being Australian on the day of the invasion of this continent by the English colonisers and the continued oppression of Aboriginal people since that time?

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The thing is how would most of the population know? It is not like we are taught a subject in school that was called “how the British raped and pillaged the sacred lands and cultures of aboriginal people, and how they continue to do it to this day”.
We are taught Australian history, but the facts seem to be craftily left out of the materials we were fed, instead we were relayed a very white version of Australian history. It is not unless you dig a little deeper and do your own research that you find out the truth, so if you don’t do your own research, you live your life only knowing what you have been taught by your white teachers, at your white high school. Millions of people are raised not knowing how Australia really came to be Australia.

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These people who identify as “Australians” have no idea that they are not actually Australians, they are descendants of immigrants just like everyone in this country is, except for the Aboriginal people. They are the original Australians, for the simple fact that they were the original inhabitants and owners of this country. White people just came here and stole it.
Yes, it was a long time ago and since then we have come a very long way, and I am of the belief that all citizens of this country can call themselves Australian because we are a nation built on immigration and you cannot exclude anyone from that.
But that is precisely the point, we cannot exclude Aboriginals either, we cannot forget that this was their land first, so they should be no less entitled than the rest of us.

So why do we not acknowledge the wrong doing that was committed against them in our history. By ignoring our past vilification and suppression of the aboriginal people, we are only continuing the torment that has been inflicted upon them ever since the first white man landed in 1788.

We should be taught about our wretched history in school, not the glossy, white version but the raw, black truth, we should feel shame for our past even if we have never been directly involved in it. Why? Because just maybe this may lead to history never repeating. We learn about other countries histories of genocide and repression and we are disgusted by it, and yet we seem to voluntarily ignore ours.

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This ignorance is the reason for the continued oppression of and racism towards aboriginal people in Australia. This ignorance is the reason I feel shame in being Australian. I do not feel that I can call myself Australian in the traditionally accurate sense of the word, as I am not descendant of aboriginal people. But I do not wish to identify as an Australian if that puts me in the group of ignorant racists so prevalent in this country, as I am certainly not one of them.

I was born here, so my nationality is Australian, but I am aware I was born on borrowed land. None of my ancestors were directly responsible for any repression of aboriginal people, but I still feel ashamed that they never did enough to stop it either. They never questioned what they were taught. But I did and I still am. I may never know the whole truth, as I am sure a lot of it died with the victims of horrendous crimes, but I will keep searching.
Instead of celebrating being Australian on Invasion Day this year, I will be remembering those who had their lives, their land and their culture taken from them. As well as those who continue to suffer, and I will be committing to the fight that will ensure this ends, and never happens again.

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