My reply to Bob Katter

On Sunday, we published a wall post that was allegedly written by Bob Katter. It has since been proven to have been not written by Bob, but nonetheless, it had you talking! Lyn wanted to share her views on the topic.

Oh Bob,

I don’t always have time to read every blog or all of the replies and how I wish that I hadn’t read the Bob Katter replies. I felt absolutely sick at heart.

It saddens me and I am surprised as all of my contacts and friends feel as I do and it is frightening to me that there are so many people who of course have the right to think differently. I wonder if these people saw the 7.30 report on the navy officers suffering post traumatic stress at the inhumane way the boats were turned back. I wonder if they know what atrocities these people are fleeing from and how impossible it is for them to have the luxury of time to go through the ‘proper’ channels. It is also a myth that they are doing something illegal. The UN Refugee Convention (to which Australia is a signatory) recognises that refugees have a right to enter a country for the purpose of seeking asylum, regardless of how they arrive or whether they hold valid travel or identity documents. The Convention stipulates that what would usually be considered as illegal actions (e.g. entering a country without a visa) should not be treated as illegal if a person is seeking asylum. This means that it is incorrect to refer to asylum seekers who arrive without authorisation as “illegal”, as they in fact have a right to enter Australia to seek asylum.

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I wonder if they know how it feels to be marginalised. Bob Katter is of Lebanese descent and he and his family are now accepted as Australian. Somewhere along the line we were all newcomers to this beautiful country.

I think as a race of humans, we are sometimes afraid of change. We feel threatened by anything that may rattle the cage of our existence. I know that not all change is good and I abhor the senseless desecration of life by extremists. I abhor fundamentalism in any description as it divides and takes away the opportunity for us to unite with all our differences. But if we accept differences and try to work together, the good can overcome the bad. I do believe that when people do enter our country they need to make an attempt to ‘fit in’. That doesn’t mean that we strip them of all their customs and it means a great deal of tolerance and compromise is needed from all parties, but with such an overwhelming feelings of prejudice, it is often difficult for people to assimilate.

Now I know this all sounds fatuous! I know that there are many challenges in my approach and humans being humans, there will always be those who may not be genuine refugees and who will attempt to violate our systems. There certainly needs to be a better way of processing. Maybe some of the energy and capital put into fighting wars could be channelled into processes that could be developed into a more humane and efficient way of assisting people who could be an asset to our country. What a boring country we would be without the effort and colour people of different cultures have brought to our country.

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There is a movie being made called “The Shift” which involves all sorts of wonderful people all over the world, including a more enlightened Russell Brand, talking about a shift in consciousness. I believe there is a shift happening but not everyone will want to be part of it. I think if we all believe that we could band together to make this world a better, more caring place, miracles can happen. I see it in small pockets from time to time so I know it is possible – and it feels so much better than hate and fear.

There, I have had my rant. I was quite disturbed the other night but realise that doesn’t help at all. I guess I can write stuff that may just touch a very few… And of course I have to accept it is just my point of view!

Do you agree with Lyn? What do you think about Bob Katter’s alleged statement and is it incorrect or correct in light of Lyn’s comments? Tell us below.