CULTURES UNITE: The parade of cultures in CQ was part of the Rockhampton Cultural Festival.
CULTURES UNITE: The parade of cultures in CQ was part of the Rockhampton Cultural Festival.

LETTERS: Friendship is the sure for racism

I WAS sitting with my class yesterday, sharing the lunch that one of my Muslim students had kindly brought in, when the conversation turned to racism and the culture that they have experienced since arriving in Australia.

Present were nine Australians made up of the following nationalities; one Brazilian woman, one Balinese woman, one Portuguese man, one Chinese woman, one Sri Lankan Man, one Indian Woman, one Australian man and two Australian women. English was the second language for all but the last three.

There was laughter, there was passionate conversation about politics, stories of activities done on the weekend, family outings, homework obligations, celebrations, work commitments, parenting challenges, and time spent relaxing. There was friendship. There was camaraderie. There was food shared. There was an ease and support that made me proud to be the leader of this little group.

It struck me that right here in Rockhampton we have found the cure for racism.

We discussed that too, and we decided as a group that we would love to take that message out to share it with the world.

We invite the Pauline Hansons, who fears the Burqa, The Michelle Landrys, who doesn't understand that commenting on a woman's choice of clothing and modesty is not her place and all the others who don't understand that there are many many ways to be an Australian to come and join us.

Come, share conversation and food with us. Come talk about your children and how they made you proud, come tell us about the challenges of having your partner on call all weekend, come tell us about marriage and love in your culture, come tell us about your struggles with life, come tell us about your child who doesn't really want to do homework, come tell us about how you celebrated your wedding anniversary, come tell us the story of how you met your love, come tell us about your goals and plans for the future, come tell us about your worries and fears.

Yes, when you sit and you share food and talk about life you begin to see how very similar we all are. The common thread that connects us all is our humanity. Our needs, our wants, our worries, our challenges, our fears, our joys, are all the same regardless of skin colour, nationality, language, religion, clothing, disability and intelligence.

You simply cannot participate in racism once you've seen the humanity in your fellow human's eyes.

Karyn Battersby

Mt Archer

High court ruling admission of guilt

THE High Court ruling to pay past and present illegal refugees on Manus Island a total of $70 million is an admission of guilt! How on earth? Please explain where we are responsible for that?

Did we, the Australian public footing the bill, misunderstand something about illegal boat refugees who paid their way through our backdoor and live[d[ in a detention centre for years at the taxpayers' expense? Televisions, mobile phones, three meals a day, power and water freely supplied, free legal aid, access to well-remunerated lawyers going in for the kill, like Man Monis. He lived off the taxpayers for over 10 years, laughing at our generous system and killing off two hard-working Australian taxpayers who financed his antics.

As PM Howard said: "We decide who comes here!” This should have been resolved by a free plane ticket back to the place of origin, not delay after delay and appeals in the High Court which even middle Australians cannot afford, let alone those on welfare and the homeless. Seventy million would go a long way to relieve the burden of homelessness in our nation.

Shame, High Court, shame. Go back to where you came form. The "do-gooders” in our political circles should be paying their plane fares home. What a disgrace that illegal people can rip us off so! Expect the illegal trafficking trade to start up, again, if it hasn't already!

Eloise Rowe

Tannum Sands

'Gay' is really a derogatory term

THE term 'Gay' used by many is a slang term no different to 'poofter', and should not be used as it is a slang degrading and vilifying term referring to homosexuals as females as 'Gay' is a girlie name.

It also means to be merry, light hearted, addicted to pleasure, dissolute (lax in morals). So if we are talking to a person on a serious matter and refer to them as merry-light-hearted, are we not denigrating them? To claim someone is addicted to pleasure or dissolute (lax in morals) is derogatory and is also a form of vilification. These derogatory terms should not be used, we should all use the correct term 'homosexual'.

G J May, Forestdale

Government policy is self destructive

THIS nation's future has never entered a self-destruction policy because of fantasy and mythical destruction of the Earth, like it has today, and the people and governments must carry the blame.

Not even the suspected invasion of Australia by Japan in 1943 was as threatening is this ridiculous governance.

The only solution is for the Turnbull government to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, but our national's government is incapable of making decisions for the better of this country and its peoples.

The Liberals' parliamentary members must dump the Prime Minister, drop the Paris Agreement, build some nuclear power generation stations and take control of the electrical distribution grid for the betterment of this nation.

Robert S Buick

Mountain Creek

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