Sunday, 14 July 2013

Trayvon Martin and Australian politics. A rant. And a connection.

This post contains coarse language. And politics. And over-use of capital letters. And might not make a great deal of sense and you might not even agree with it.

Consider yourselves warned.

Happy Monday Peeps! Many thanks to those who commented on last post. I am feeling a bit better now, perhaps over the worst of it.

Now, the real purpose for the post. 


And when I say You, I don't mean the average American. The Americans I know are lovely people. It's the Powerful, Faceless Interests. The Faceless Men of the Labor Party have NOTHING on these guys. Big "too big to fail, too rich to jail" banks and bankers. Big Pharma. Big Tobacco. Big Oil. Big Religion. BIG STUPID WHITE MEN. (And a few women in there too, unfortunately).

Barack has his heart in the right place but I really do wonder what hope he has against all this.

100 million people with no health insurance. If they get sick, they are fucked. And a powerful right wing blocking Obamacare every inch of the way. Because it's unconstitutional or some shit like that.

It's really easy to get a gun though. It's in the CONSTITUTION, the right to bear arms. And should you get one, and shoot somebody with it, and go to jail, you will get free health care there, though....(I am not saying incarcerated people should be denied medical care, I am just pointing out the Lunacy).

Yet you may not NECESSARILY go to jail.

If you fire a warning shot at an abusive husband, you get 20 years. If you shoot a black kid dead because he looked dodgy - off. Beat a gay man to within an inch of his life - slap on wrists. Deny him the right to marry - hell yeah! But don't, under any circumstances, abort a foetus, 'cause that's MURDER.

Yes, that poor kid, Trayvon Martin. We have all heard about that. It's a bit more complicated than the whole black/white/poor/rich dichotomy, and more based on some convoluted laws related to self defence, but it's FUCKED. My eloquence escapes me on that issue, and that just seems like the most approprate descriptive term.

What a slap in the face for the Parents. For the community. What that ruling by the Florida court did, really, was tell them that Trayvon's death meant nothing. Was not even worth punishing. There is no doubt that Zimmerman killed that kid.

That would fill them with white-hot, desperate, hopeless rage.

Basically, all these examples I give are examples of inequality. From the common and everyday to the outrageous. 

On a more widespread level, it's really hard to see some people getting all the breaks, all the privileges, getting million dollar payrises, when you do it really, really tough. When you can't feed your family because you are on the minimum wage and there is no buffer there. When somebody hurts you and they get away with it. You live life frightened and just fucking angry. The risk of being on either end of a violent crime is high in that kind of environment.

Inequality is a real bitch. The countries with the best standards of living (Scandinavia, Canada, Australia) have good income, but also have economic equality. The technical term is the Gini coefficient. I am a Wikipedia nerd. They have less crime and better health outcomes and better just about everything.
[if you are still reading, bear with me - I am about to make a point here]

America ranks poorly in this area. Despite having shitloads of cash, it will not look after its poor. It openly and flagrantly shits all over them. 

Back to Australia. We have our problems, yes, but the vast majority of people have access to education and health care. Things are getting harder though, I look at the opportunities I was afforded 15 years ago, and doubt that I would have access to them now.

These things are being undermined, slowly and insidiously. As a wealthy nation we need to do more, make things more equal. Neither of the major parties are doing that. 

I went to a fundraiser yesterday, for Greens MP Adam Bandt. He was talking about dental care. Marriage equality. Putting more money into education. He proposed to fund it by taxing mining companies, big banks and people who earn over $1million a year. I thought "FUCK YEAH ADAM, YOU RULE".

It may seem a bit circuitous, a long bow to draw, between the murder of an American teen, and the Australian political system. And they way I have put it might be a bit clumsy but what I am saying is this -

Rather than vilifying those who are disadvantaged, it would not hurt us collectively to say "hey, you, I'm gonna give you a hand, and give you an opportunity to get out of that cycle". There is evidence that that helps all of us. It makes people less frightened and edgy. Less likely to commit crimes against each other.

We will probably still have those antisocial fuckwads who kill/rape - I am really distressed reading about the women in Melbourne who were abducted last week. In my ranty mood, for this, I would like to put up signs saying "hey, You, how about you leave others alone to go about their daily business".

But that is another rant. And that kind of crime, at the moment, is thankfully relatively rare.


  1. I know...I was livid about the two extreme verdicts yesterday. That smug smile when he got free didn't help and the shocked look of that poor woman. I needed some meds to calm me down!

  2. Bravo Cilla! I'm nodding away here at your rant!
    I know many of my friends from the US would be in total agreement too.

  3. YOU GUYS THANKS! I was a bit frightened that the rant would alienate some folks.....
    I shall rant away :D 'Cause it is, indeed, Fucked.

  4. Agree with the concept of taxing those with more to help those with less. Also strongly believe in fair working conditions/wages for everyone and then we all pay more for stuff we buy but so what? Most middle income earners have more than we need anyway

  5. Have you seen this video? I think he demonstrates aptly how angry people are. I read the verdict and was shocked!

    1. Lots of demonstrations throughout the us... Excellent