“You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”
Divisive is one of those words that some politician used once to justify their racism, sexism, and/or homophobia and everyone else has just kinda jumped on the bandwagon.
The most recent example of this is the Council of Campbelltown SA refusing to fly the Aboriginal flag because apparently it would be ‘divisive’ to fly an official flag of Australia.
As reported on the AdelaideNow site, Cr Neville Grigg — with councillors Amber, James Nenke, John Kennedy and Dom Barbaro — was against flying the flag.
“This is by far one of the most divisive motions we can have,” Cr Grigg said.
“This is separating the Australian into two separate peoples.”
“We are one Australia, we have one flag, and that’s the way it should stay.”
Australia actually has around a dozen official flags of Australia, of which the Aboriginal flag is one, but don’t let that minor piece of trivia slow you down.
Australia has a long and sad history of councils refusing to fly the Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander flags and inventing all sorts of amazingly racist reasons to justify it. My favourite example, and there are many to choose from, was probably in Tenterfield where a Councillor argued that it was unrealistic to expect Aboriginal people to get up early enough to raise the flag each morning because we are an “undisciplined race”. In fairness though, that was back in the bad old racist era of 2011, and Australia has clearly moved a long way since then. I’m not entirely sure what direction we have moved in, but there has been movement nonetheless.
Before the recent resurgence of overtly popularist racism, Councils were one of the last political bastions of the really offensive dumbass types of racism that various Liberal senators and backbenchers seem intent of bringing back into the fray. It has long been common to hear of Councils refusing to fly the Aboriginal flag, or have Welcome to Country/Acknowledgement of Country protocols, or when they do have them insisting on including acknowledgements of ‘early settlers’ along side them.
Thanks to the all-purpose applications of ‘divisiveness’ though, we can expect to see a decrease in inane racist comments and a stark increase of just calling everything ‘divisive’ instead.
Don’t want to fly the Aboriginal flag? No worries, just call it ‘divisive’.
Breastfeeding in public? Sounds like a pretty divisive issue to me!
Same-Sex marriage? More like Divisive-marriage, am I right?
Don’t like the Safe School program? Avoid accurate calls of being homophobic by just calling it ‘divisive!’
Never mind that you are using the word ‘divisive’ to describe being inclusive of Aboriginal people, or whatever non-white-male-Christian-hetero group you are describing. Acknowledging that any of those groups exist makes you feel threatened and challenges the status-quo, and is therefore ‘divisive’.
The Australia flag is all inclusive, just like having Chaplains in schools, or putting a GST on tampons, or peeing in the elevator. Australia is the most inclusive country that ever inclusived, just ask any white male politician or shock jock.
The real divisive people are those ones who demand being included in things… because reasons.
Just remember that age old saying of ‘Include and conquer’ and you’ll be well on your way to making this country safe for those who are under threat of having their bigotry curtailed by having to acknowledge that other people exist.
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