Tag Archives: Black Armband

The Culture Wars

23 Apr


Any organisation or movement which wants to curb full knowledge is dangerous. When that entity is an Opposition who wants to govern and use that power to rewrite history it is heinous and must never be permitted. Keeping people in the dark about the truth, about fullness, about understanding and moving forward from all that has gone before, is to enclose them in a bubble of fantasy which can only end in despair. Limiting knowledge and hiding history is what totalitarian regimes do. Look at North Korea. Is this the future you want to vote in either for yourself or for you children? Even if that statement leans toward the extreme, it does not compare with wanting to limit the history education in our schools. To once again wipe out the Indigenous peoples of a country, to deny harm was done to them, to sneer and claim any sympathetic interpretation of their experience, learned from their own mouths, is somehow a black armband view of history diminishes us all as an entire Nation.

To claim Australia only really started, became a nation or understands itself and sees its way forward from the deaths of soldiers on a far off beach, a defeat from a battle that should never have been ordered in the first place, is to claim false pride and promote ignorance. It is one of our stories, it is a day of shame for the British who ordered that landing on the Turkish Peninsula, on the beach now known as Anzac Cove; those men did us proud and we honour that with an annual national celebration but it is not our only story, nor is it our primary story. We are a rich culture, with many stories, old ones and new ones.Our stories enrich us all the more for their diversity, for their breadth and for what they can teach us about ourselves not just as Australians but as human beings.

We should never be afraid of any one of our stories. We should always be afraid of anyone person or group or power that wants to limit our stories and change the truths of all that has made us who we are. We are strengthened by what we face and tackle and overcome as much as we are by what we celebrate. Achievement is a powerful celebration. To try to disenfranchise the uglier aspects of our history is akin to having sparklers at a bonfire and no fireworks when we do celebrate who we are and who we are still becoming.

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