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Author Topic: Red Journalist: My Southern Cross Tattoo Now Brands me as a Racist

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  • Church Administrator, Creativity Alliance
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http://www.thepunch.com.au/articles/my-southern-cross-tattoo-now-brands-me-as-a-racist

By Monique Ross

Everyone looks at my neck and thinks I’m a red-necked Indian-bashing racist.

The day before Australia Day, I caught the bus to work. Sitting up the back, sweltering in the heat and breathing in the sweat of the others condemned to the ride, I was tapped on the shoulder. The man behind me, breath heavy with booze, declared me a “sister of the Australian cause”. 

Confused and a little scared, I tried to ignore him. But the curious journo in me won out, and I asked him what he was talking about. Beaming and red-faced, he pointed to my neck, and THAT tattoo.

Oh yes, ladies and gentlemen, I am the owner of a Southern Cross tattoo. When I was sitting in the chair pretending it didn’t hurt, way back before the Cronulla riots and ‘F**k off we’re full’ shirts swept the nation, nobody else had the tattoo. Well, almost nobody else.

But my first ink was destined to join a league of Asian symbols, dolphins and hip-adorning butterflies. Everyone has it. And now I hang my head low, because (according to everyone who doesn’t sport a tattoo of the Australian icon) it may as well be a swastika. My patriotism has been mistaken for nationalism.

“I used to think of the Southern Cross as very Australian and to me it had the associated connotations of what it meant to be Australian. Now it seems to be the complete opposite. I hate what the Southern Cross stands for now. It’s the compulsory tattoo for every racist, redneck f**k that hides behind this symbol that used to be quintessentially Australian,” wrote Corro on a website forum.

Jonathon Green lamented that the meaning behind Australia Day disappeared “about the time people started tattooing the Southern Cross on their shoulder blades, chests and ankles”.

And countless Facebook groups sprung up, demanding an end to the “racist” tattoo. It was even featured on cult site Things Bogans Like.

So while I was once proud of my patriotic ink, I am now ashamed to have anyone see it. My mum might have been wrong when she told me I would wind up looking like trailer trash, but she never could have predicted I would feel that way.  Hell, no one could. And yet I do. I cover it up as best as I can, for it attracts the same evil stares as a drunk pregnant woman shooting up inside a jail cell. Seriously.

I wish my neck was big enough to add a little disclaimer – something that spells out exactly why I love my country enough to ink those stars on my neck. Something that tells the world that I love my country because it is multicultural, and not in spite of it. Something that slams racism with an iron fist, and then spits on the crushed remains. Something that tells everyone that yes, I can locate the Southern Cross formation in the sky and no, I have never draped an Australian flag around my back and hooned around drinking beer at music festivals.

I don’t know the answers but I wish the Southern Cross tattoo could once again represent something more than hate. Maybe we all just need to remember not to judge a book by its cover, or tattoo as the case may be. Until then, it will be my cross to bear.

Comments:

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No the Media portrayal of what constitues a racist in this country, brands you as a racist.  I suppose as a ‘curious journo’ you only have yourself to blame.

Tags: http://www.thepunch.com.au/tags/racism | http://www.thepunch.com.au/tags/nationalism | http://www.thepunch.com.au/tags/australian-flag

Anyone who wishes to comment on the article should do so on the article's page as well as tell us here what they have submitted as a comment. I can't, I am known and hated by the Editor and the Deputy Editor of that red rag.  8)

Cailen.
Noli Nothis Permittere Te Terere
The only way to prevent 1984 is 2323

Reverend Cailen Cambeul, P.M.E.
Church Administrator, Creativity Alliance
Church of Creativity South Australia
Box 420, Oaklands Park, SA, Australia, 5046

Email: Admin@creativityalliance.com
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"In the beginning of a change, the patriot is a scarce man, brave, hated, and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." Mark Twain.


 

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