Friday, 26 March 2010

"We all came off a boat...." Well, no, really

The same old friend that took me to task for living in a place (Hong Kong) which was lacking in "soul" and had "no empathy for the have nots", which I countered here , sent me the above cartoon, part of a mail-round, which had the comment "Guess we all came off a boat some time ago".
To be frank I found the cartoon and the comment a bit perplexing, the more so the more I thought about it.  I presume that it's meant to be a call for tolerance, for tolerance of all the immigrants who would come to Australia for a new life.  We should remember that we "all came off a boat", we were all given the opportunity in the Lucky Country and we should open our hearts to those who would just do the same today.
But then... we didn't all come off a boat, did we?  I mean what about the Aboriginals in this cartoon?  The time is 1850 and Australian Aboriginals had been in Australia for about 30 or 40 thousand years before that, all presumably born en pays, and even their ancestors came across a land bridge, so they reckon now, though some may well have had some form of canoe.
But let's not quibble on that point.
What of the meaning of the cartoon?  Is is that the Aboriginals were tolerant of the British convicts, and that therefore we should be tolerant of immigrants too?  If it is indeed true that the Aboriginals were so tolerant -- "Oh, what the hell, there's only a handful of them" -- then it didn't turn out too well for them, did it?  After all, caucasian Australians auto-excoriate and are excoriated by Aboriginals, for having decimated the Aboriginal population and devastated their traditional way of life and culture.  That's why the Rudd government said "Sorry", after all.  So, it didn't turn out too well, did it, this tolerance for the immigrant?  The conclusion would seem to be, not tolerance but to fight.
And isn't that what the Aboriginals did anyway?  There were plenty of Aboriginals who didn't treat the "invaders", these Europeans, with the equanimity of those in the cartoon.  The Aboriginal resistance to European immigrants is now widely accepted and celebrated across the board, including by the same Left that finds in this cartoon a call for tolerance of any new immigrants.
Puzzling, no?  [or maybe I've just misread the cartoon and the drawer means us to draw exactly the conclusion that letting anyone into one's country can only have a lousy outcome?]
Myself, I have no qualms about immigrants to Australia, not for anyone from Asia, from Africa, from Europe, from anywhere really, as long as they do so according to Australian law.  There's just one group that we should be restricting and that's Muslim immigration, for unlike any of the other waves of immigration we've had in Australia, Islamic immigration has no desire to integrate, but rather to bring Sharia to our country.  Sure there may be plenty of fine and "moderate" Muslims, but if they are pious, then they are bound to support the spread of Sharia and that's in evidence in every country with even small minorities of Muslim immigrants.