• Emily Rigz

Change The Date: Tennis, Trash TV and an Open Letter to Bazza.

Ahhh Australian Day.


The date that has somehow become all about protecting the fragile self esteem of (some, not all) white Australians and not anything about the oldest living culture on earth that we happen to house.


That is a big call, you say?


It is. Because it’s not that fucking hard to change the day and that’s a fact.


It could be a simple gesture to show kindness and empathy and quite frankly some fucking respect.


But here we are, still crapping on about it after how long?


And so we are forced to delve into the real reasons why we still stubbornly celebrate Australia on the most racist day of the fucking year.


Like I said, there’s nothing sacred about the 26th of Jan, moving the day would be easy.


So what stands in our way?


You know, I think it’s the same people who watch Married at First Sight. Who are probably also the same people who voted a grumpy ‘NO’ against marriage equality because it spoils the ‘sanctity of Christian marriages’.


Ergh. I’ve been watching ads for that shit (Married at First Sight) during the tennis all week and it is the most cringeworthy garbage I have ever fucking seen in my life.


Every time one of their ads comes on I see Neil giving me the chronic side eye with a little grin, waiting for my reaction.


Whhyyyy do they advertise so much during the tennis? Is that really their target demographic - people who like tennis? Are people who like tennis inherently fucking stupid or something?


It’s making me self conscious about the fact that I have started enjoying the tennis.

Am I becoming a moron?


Is this how it happens? One day you're a decent human, going about your day with reasonable intelligence and then BAM! For no reason at all you start enjoying the tennis and watching Married at First Sight and before you know it you're drunk at 10am on a Tuesday tweeting about ‘all them black peoples come ere to take ouw jobs fuckn’.


Aaaanyway.


For ages I’ve had a theory about white Australians - that we are an insecure bunch because the country was colonised by convicts, who couldn’t have felt too good about themselves being basically told they were the scum of the earth.


We talk about intergenerational trauma and how this is such a huge thing affecting Aboriginal people today. But, and I don’t say this to try and garner sympathy for white Australians (white lives matter tooo waaaaahhhh *savage cringe*), but I think non-Aboriginal Australians need to heal from their own traumas and let go of their insecure, convict roots.


Why else would it be such a massive, tantrum inducing drama to just change the goddamn date?


It’s because people feel like this is somehow taking away from their right to be here, to be Australian, to have an identity. And they also feel like a tiny, incy, wincy, little bit of blame is being pushed onto them for the atrocities of the invasion of this place aaaalll them years ago.


Which is why we hear things like “I didn’t do it, I’m not saying sorry!!” From Barry at the pub, like a teenager who’s being blamed for the porn found on the computer that his sibling actually downloaded.


We know that you didn’t personally attempt genocide on the original inhabitants of the land, Bazza.


Nobody is saying that you must sail back to England and start a new life.


Nobody is saying you’re a shit idiot because you were born white.


Nobody is trying to devalue you as an Aussie and human with a right to live in your house.


We’re just saying that changing the date would be a happy, kind, easy thing to do with zero consequences for white peoples and enormous healing powers for Aboriginal people.


Close your eyes Bazza, and think.

Think about all the horrible, terrible things that befell the Aboriginal people that we learnt about in primary school.


Now compare that to this hardship you face, of having a public holiday in, say, March, or October, instead of on 26th Jan.


And now think about how much it would mean to the people who are still healing from all the bad, bad, horrible things that happened to them 250ish years ago.


It’s a small thing we can do to cause a lot of good! And causing good is, well, good! I mean why not do good? Especially when there are actually no consequences and no effort required on your part at all?


It’s a winner, Baz. Let’s do it!


A couple of years ago I wrote a bit of a frustrated ramble about why some don’t want to change the date. So if you feel like reading a less ragingly sarcastic article about that, here’s one I prepared earlier.



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