Thursday, 22 November 2012

I was the victim of a hate crime...should I go to the Police?

Back in 1969 I was fresh off the boat from the other side of the world.  As I was just 5, my arrival coincided with the start of schooling and I happily started at the local C of E primary.    It was ok, there were 40 kids in my class, which seemed a bit busy, but I was learning to read and it was cool.   There was only one cloud...the other children kept calling me "Australian".   It used to feel like a punch in the mouth.  It hurt.  I went home and complained to Mum.  She was astonished!  How offensive! She told me to point out  to them that the two countries were 1000 miles apart.  Even this did not convince them to stop.   I had it from teachers, pupils, and parents. By the end of my first year of school I had shed my accent and the torment stopped.

Today I read about this and realised I could get justice!   I can't remember anyone's name now but if they interviewed everyone who was there in 1969/70 someone may confess?

WTF?  Last time I checked Australians and New Zealanders were broadly from the same race as Europeans.  When will it be a hate crime to call a Arsenal supporter a Spud?

Update;   Perhaps we should clog the courts with such cases? Have a "Call a New Zealander an Australian Day".     



20 comments:

Nomad said...

When I was about 8, my class had an exchange teacher from NZ for six months as our form-master.

To us littl'uns he seemed to be about seven feet tall; he had fuzzy hair and distinctive pointed chin encased in a short beard. Although I have not thought about him since those days, your post brought it all flooding back and I can still picture him standing in front of us! He was great fun, made us laugh all the time and taught us well. He showed us lovely pictures of Dunedin, his home town, and the surrounding mountains and lakes and regaled us with things he had got up to when he was our age. The one image that stuck in my mind was of the Milford Sound and it was during that period that I determined that one day by hook or by crook I would go there to see for myself - and as you well know, that part of the world became and remains one my favourite haunts.

PS: If you need some cash for your new house, going to court to claim for a wounded psyche is as good a way as any to get it! If kiddie fiddlers can be charged 30 years after the event why not racial insulters too?

lilith said...

Ah those Kiwi chins....I have my own variant :-) Milford Sound is one of the most beautiful places on earth.

Looks like you can get the same results by being Welsh and being rude about the English...here

Raedwald said...

Being naturally more inclined toward Kiwis than Aussies I always query an antipodean accent I can't place with 'North Island or South Island?'

Kiwis are delighted, and if the answer instead is a terse 'Queensland, mate' then I don't really care.

Nomad said...

I had a similar experience a few years ago on the plane home from NZ. I was wearing my nice comfortable souvenir woollen sweat shirt bearing the silver fern logo which I always use when travelling by air and was seated just in front of some Aussies who had had a tinny or two too many. They had obviously noted my pully as they boarded the flight and as the flight progressed they began making loud and rude comments between themselves about your countrymen and their apparent ineptitude when playing your national game. After about half an hour of listening to this, I got up to go to the gents. As I walked back to where they were seated,I commended them on their humour, but added that as I was English and from London, I was not sure at whom their barbs were aimed, but I thought that the the current English team would beat the Aussies at the upcoming match at Twickenham (which was apparently where they were headed).

After that, not a peep all the way home. Offhand I can't recall who actually won that match!


PS: Flanders and Swann had it right: The English, the English, the English are best. I wouldn't give tuppence for all of the rest. And Welshmen sing for too often, too loudly and flaaaaaat. :-)

lilith said...

Perfect, Raedwald!

lilith said...

Yes indeed Nomad, but what would happen if you called an Irishman a fat stupid English idiot? Utterly actionable.

Electro-Kevin said...

The country has gone bonkers.

The combination of American no-win-no-fee combined with EU 'rights' has meant that lawyers own the largest houses in our town ... and yours.

(Second only to pension actuaries)

lilith said...

Indeed, Kev. I notice my commenters are too polite or too litigation weary to call me a stupid fat Australian.

Scrobs... said...

I'm surprised your mobile phone hasn't got about eighty texts saying that they'll get compensation for you Lils!

They don't know your name, but they have your number...:0)

lilith said...

I do Scrobs, but they want to compensate me for that accident I have no memory of and I think they might be having me on. I have kept their number in case I remember having the accident one day.

Nomad said...

Lil, We English can all tell an Irish accent at 500 yards (oops, sorry, metres) so no danger there; besides which I am far too polite to even consider doing such a thing!!

En passant, hope you haven't got your feet and carpets wet over the past couple of days. Sounds rather nasty in your neck of the woods - and Kev's trains also seem to be affected. My sprog lives down that way but his area seems to have missed the rain havoc.

Blue Eyes said...

A friend of mine is one of that breed of "classic" campaigning human rights lawyers. He was saying that this case is an affront to freedom of speech but I couldn't help pointing out that it is a direct result of the kind of campaigns he used to and still occasionally runs. It's no coincidence that as soon as it becomes automatically "offensive" to make reference to someone's race that other identifiers will be next.

My main way of working our Aussie or Kiwi is to compare speaking volume. Australians cannot seem to hold a conversation at a normal level, they have to shout. Is it particularly noisy in Adelaide and Perth?

Blue Eyes said...

"When will it be a hate crime to call a Arsenal supporter a Spud?"

Well everyone knows that to be a Gooner you have to be French and to support Tottenham you have to be Jewish...

lilith said...

Very kind of you to ask Nomad. We are a little damp around the edges but no flooding here thankfully.

I don't have any human rights lawyer mates Blue. That must be a tough one. I do however know a science publisher who thinks catastrophic man made global warming is real...come to think of it, it's a while since we've been invited over....

Some Kiwis have a very harsh accent, and they are generally from Auckland. If in any doubt, ask them to say "Fish and Chips". A kiwi will say Fush and Chups. Or use Raedwald's method :-)

Nomad said...

Or ask them to differentiate between Yis and Yes, and six and sex..

All good fun :-)

lilith said...

You wouldn't want to be called Peggy, Nomad would you. The e becomes i and i becomes u.

Nick Drew said...

we had a Kiwi biology master (Olympic decathlete, BTW) whom we used to manouevre towards talking about cell structures, for the joy of hearing him say

a single cill can be compared to a hin's igg

lilith said...

Excellent Nick but surely a "Sungle cill...." :-)

Nick Drew said...

you knew him !

lilith said...

:-)