Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Don't be offended if I say Go Back To Where You Came From

Goodness me, the chatter everywhere today is all about the first part of the doco/reality wake up call series of Go Back To Where You Came From.
For overseas readers it is a 3 part series in which 6 participants are taken to live, briefly, with re-settled refugees in Australia before hopping on board a leaking, broken down vessal and steaming their way 150 miles out to sea before the water starts lapping about their ankles and the ships engines begins spewing smoke...you know, the whole refugee boat experience.
Seriously, I was stunned that these 6 are an 'average' example of Aussies and their attitudes towards refugees, and if they are the face of Oz (as per media reports) then the media and the nation has a lot to be ashamed for.

Interesting to hear some of them continue to state some boat people were 'safe' and were 'irresponsible' to 'choose' to sail 'illegally' to Australia when it had been made clear to them that most are caught between a rock and a hard place, that they mostly have no time or resources to get the 'official' paperwork to plead for asylum through the correct networks.
One chap explained that he'd been pinpointed by insurgents due to working with the US Army as an interpreter and had no time to get out any other way except by leaky, over-crowded boat...poor bugger couldn't even swim and spent weeks sick and miserable on the sea before making his way through Malaysia into Indonesia then to Oz.

Got the Feral Teen to watch it, as part of his social studies plus to give him the opportunity to see what happens to refugees.
Thankfully this kid has always known that refugees -  who arrive by plane or boat - are equally desperate and needing a new life in this freakingly HUGE wide brown land....and has always known Oz's history, heritage and culture is made up of a plethora of multi-cultures - who came here in one way or another, for one reason or another - and that we have plenty of room.
So he was somewhat disgusted by some of the participants attitudes and was frequently muttering and cursing at the monitor with the one finger salute directed at a few comments followed by "Racist bloody pig!"

Loved episode one, looking forward to the following 2 episodes tonight and tomorrow night.. and we all reckon this should be made mandatory viewing for all high schools.

10 comments:

Watershedd said...

I had a horror shift at work last night and completely missed. Will be watching tonight. Will be seeing if I can find a copy of the first episode to watch as I think this is so important.

Jayne said...

You can watch it online at SBS, Watershedd, HERE.
Sorry about your dreadful shift, hope things are better next shift!

River said...

We certainly do have plenty of space in this land of ours, if only the interior could be developed a bit more. This country was built on refugees and convicts, I don't see what they've got to complain about if a few more want to join us. We've been multi-cultural since the Irish joined the English, then the Chinese in the goldfields......and of course the original Australians.

Red Nomad OZ said...

Good point River, the interior COULD be developed a bit more if we could but harness the energy and resources that go into political advertising, election campaigns and spin doctoring. Instead we're about to potentially contaminate the Great Artesian Basin with dodgy technology ...

Debby said...

We had a refugee at our house last week, a young boy from Chad. His mother was here for medical care after being tortured by guerrilla troops hoping to find out where her husband was. This young boy cut down his very badly injured mother, and got her, six younger siblings and himself to safety. They assume their father is murdered, because no one in their village has heard from him again. Know what? I love that boy. I'm glad he's here. And all of his family too.

Cazzie!!! said...

Wish I could have watched it! Will chase it up on the interwebs

Janine said...

What an interesting prog. Debby's comment tugged at my heart. I think some people are morons (me being polite) if they think like this don't happen and that its not a matter of shopping round for a new country it is survival.

Wonder if we will get this prog in NZ?

Colin Campbell said...

Finally a worthwhile discussion on refugees. Worked in a Vietnamese refugee camp in the Philippines. It was relatively open and had pretty good facilities. That said, it is quite something to say that people have easy choices when they chose to get into those boats.

Ann O'Dyne said...

I have met traumatised Sudanese refugees, who have experienced savagery beyond our belief.

the way to create acceptance of the good people is to stamp down hard on the bad ones already here - that circus of violent rampaging men in Sydney who were celebrating Ms Burka Matthews court victory for a start. Their sort ruin it for the deserving refugees.

Davoh said...

mm .. ok, not sure whether i specifically want to get involved with this "immigrant" issue since one of my grandfathers sort of turned up, undocumented, changed names - and sprogged quite a few children who WILL defiantly claim "Australian Heritage".

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