Monday, February 22, 2010

Love it or Leave it

The other day I wrote a post about Muslim women in France.

I read an interesting blog post over the weekend that relates to this somewhat. You can read the entire post here.

Foreign Parts Correspondent Julie Ann Getzlaff says:

'As I was walking home last week, I was greeted by a not-so-friendly message from the FNJ — the youth arm of Jean-Marie Le Pen's ultra-nationalist party le Front National (FN). Within the stencil of la belle France are the words "AIMEZ-LÀ OU QUITTEZ-LÀ." In English that translates to "France: Love it or Leave it."

If these eager young nationalists were talking to all French citizens — "Hey compatriots, love it or leave it!" — the slogan might be crass, but not terribly offensive. Mais non, they are addressing immigrants, a group of people that, by the FN's definition, includes French citizens whose parents were born in France.'

Does that remind you of anywhere? I don't know whether to be relieved or horrified that this is happening all over the world. Yeah, okay so I'm not relieved. And I guess in all honesty I'm not surprised either.

The most recent phenomenon of nationalistic behavior (which borderlines on racism) in Australia has been alarming. You know what I mean - the Australia Day palaver, the terrible opinion pieces (most recent in the Sun Herald on Sunday), the whole flag waving from your car thing, the tshirts telling people if they 'don't like it here to fuck off', and those Southern Cross tattoos. Now what is that all about?

So why is there this undercurrent of xenophobia and especially amongst young people? Where did it come from? I just don't understand - in a country that is built on immigration, in a society that is socially inclusive, and a country which celebrates diversity, how come all of a sudden this stuff raises its ugly head again?

Do you know what, I think if you don't like it here then you should fuck off. I love this country and am proud of this country. Why? Because the people that make this country their home do retain bits of their culture, stories, food, language, and religion. And when everyone shares those things - well that's what make this such an interesting place to live.

1 comment:

  1. Oh boy do I agree with you on this one. Since when does "loving" your country mean you think it's perfect and nothing can be improved or commented upon?