Saturday, March 25, 2017

The Problem with Pauline

Dear Pauline Hanson,
As I've observed to many friends the tricky thing about your representation in Federal Politics is not that you're a lone voice for racism, xenophobia and simplistic world views [or that you are deluded in thinking people want you to represent them]. It is that you do indeed speak for many average Australians. There are many people missing out and looking to blame, feeling unheard and seeking to speak out. The big problem with this is scapegoating.

I whole heartedly agree that our Leaders have lost their way in terms of ability to understand the concerns and issues of everyday people. You only have to see a government clamping down on our poorest people in the name of major economic reform to understand that they haven't a clue.
BUT here are a few of the problems with all this:

- You do not speak for me on any issue I can name
- I am not part of a vocal minority on this
- Blanket bans on peaceful people of faith [even different faiths] is a pathway through fear of difference into making the issues worse. It's logic is akin to me posting a hashtag #BANEVERYREDHEAD in order to have you removed from a position of power. The others have an unknown potential to be just like you so if in doubt insult all of them
- When you speak of banning sharia law, you are again generalising about extremes and don't really understand what you are talking about. Your lack of willingness to learn is lost on many of your supporters who react likewise
- Same with halal
- Nobody has truly held you accountable for your claim we are in danger of being swamped by Asians, simply allowing you to shift target onto the latest group many in our country don't understand.. so choose to get angry about
- Our country is not like a plane you can land, sort out the passengers to leave only those you know and like and then take off again. It is more akin to the EDS advert 'building a dream' in the air [while no analogy bears close examination] where we have to be a community, build relationships, be multi-cultural/global/modern/caring/just and mature along the journey
- Your perspectives and policies are as conflicted as the ABC radio program "Australia All Over" which rails against technology while inviting listeners to stream the program or interact in Facebook, SMS etc. The program celebrates much that is quintessentially Aussie but: glosses over multiculturalism; ignores development is the 2/3s world as linked to our prosperity; confuses jingoism with genuine worth and cultural value; and then runs a sublime piece on Blaze Aid, a local persons wonderful story etc etc... confusing times indeed
- Not everything in the world is better viewed through the globs of paint and fading coca cola stickers on the front window of the fish and chip shop. Neither is that true from the balcony of Cafe Sydney. Most people live somewhere in between on a spectrum of life issues, concerns and day to day dilemmas. Isolating people never helps.

As a person who seeks to participate in God's activity of reconciliation and renewal in the world, taking Jesus of Nazareth's values and ethos as an example, I find all the conflict, false pathways and troubles we are living through in Scripture [at the heart of it's story indeed]. I find none of your proposed solutions amongst the parables, stories and values [including from many OT heroes with feet of clay]. Instead I see invitations to 'welcome the stranger', the golden rule, care for widows, orphans, the poor and ill... stories promoting cohesion and flourishing. I see an image of God siding with those who are pushed to the very edge of our society. AND yes I see a 'church' that fails in its own attempts to live all this out... those shortcomings don't invalidate the invitation or the possibilities. There's much more to be written but even more to be lived by an alternative narrative to your fear and oversimplification...

No comments: