I miss the times of innocence! 15



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First and foremost, let me state for and on the record, I am not a racist! Never have been, never will be! I was raised in a loving, caring home where all people were equal regardless of race, colour, culture or creed. I grew up in the 50s, a time of innocence and trust. Where doors were never locked and neighbours looked out for you, making sure the washing was in, if it looked like rain. The groceries were put away, the chooks and pets fed if you weren’t home. We lived in a time, where “gay” meant ‘carefree and happy’ (it was also a brand of ice-cream!) and where parents socialised with all their neighbours and friends regardless of their social standing and beliefs. We experienced foods from all cultures and embraced our friends and their differences. The values instilled in me during those informative years have never left me.

More and more today, I wish I could find my hidden door and go back to that time. A time where the word “PC” meant ‘Police Constable’ (Personal Computers and Politically Correct were terms not in our vocabulary!) “Rainbow” was something beautiful in the sky and we forever chased that elusive ‘pot of gold’. Nursery rhymes were fun and we knew them all by heart. Little Bo-Peep, Georgie Porgy, Humpty Dumpty, Old King Cole, Mary had a little Lamb and of course Ba Ba Black Sheep. Enid Blyton’s “Noddy” books were read over and over. We knew every word, every character, lovingly caressed as we turned the tattered and torn pages held together with a mother’s loving touch! Where knowledge was an infectious drug and books of every genre and manner were precious gifts, cherished with revered respect and love.

We played Cowboys and Indians with all the kids in the neighbourhood, had cap guns and wooden rifles. We had our gangs and our hierarchy. We obeyed the rules set within this structure, at school and at play. Catholics and Protestants mingled together when they had to, especially on a cold and frosted Saturday morning all in the name of sport!

If we stepped outside the boundaries set for us, we got a swift “kick in the pants” from who ever happened to be the closest – policeman, parent or friend. No one ran crying foul and yelling, “that was assault” If we misbehaved at school, we got a belt across the knuckles from one of the teachers, or God forbid, “six of the best” from the headmaster. We accepted it, no questions… End of story!

My, how times have changed! The world we now live in will never be the same; almost all of us have memories of those beautiful times. It was ‘A time of innocence!’

Yes, we all learned of the Holocaust and the atrocities that took place during the Nazi occupation throughout Europe and other conflicts in the South Pacific. Many of our fathers and grandfathers will never forget the treatment of fellow humans by the Japanese, Germans, Americans and British… all in the name of what?

I’m sure we have all asked that question!

Now… Fast-forward 60 odd years and what has changed?

It’s sad to say, but today, we are no longer a tolerant society. It could be argued that 9/11 saw to that! We’ve become targets for extremists. We all know of this diaspora! The biggest threat seen today is their infiltration into Western society. Sadly, this in part is because of the media scaremongering and continued frenzy. Keeping this image to the forefront and fuelling it on a daily basis through many different outlets. Guess what? We have allowed this.  We have allowed in part, these extremists to breathe a foul breath of hatred against the western world.

Our right to celebrate our traditions like Christmas, Easter, our religious beliefs, or our cultures and their traditions, whatever they may be are dwindling. Children today are no longer allowed to recite Ba Ba Black Sheep, or read Enid Blyton’s classic “Noddy” books.

We have to accept that this is the way it is. We are indoctrinated that it must be ‘politically correct’. Sadly, folk just tend to shrug their shoulders and say “Oh well! ”

It doesn’t matter that our forefathers gave their lives to protect what we had.

Right now, America is in the grip of another hatred war. This time it is not ISIS, it is pure racism. The point blank shooting of another African American citizen has ignited a media feeding frenzy. This has continued with the shooting of twelve police in Dallas. These extremists must be laughing all the way to the bank!

Where will it end?

“There is a new war and it is only just beginning!”

Share your thoughts below.

Brian Portland

Broadcast Journalist.. Australasian Correspondent FSN Washington & London. Speech Writer..Motivational Speaker.. Production Voice Specialist.. Creative Writer.. (Speech, Print, Radio & Television) Double above knee amputee.. Motivational Speaker..(Available for any speaking engagement..)

  1. We are constantly being told of our threat to traditional celebrations Christmas Easter etc. I live in a multi cultural suburb, where I see Chrismas trees , carols, pageants etc from November on. Easter parade at my grandkids school, I watched many kids in head scarfs parading around with Easter eggs tied to them. . The kids all sing Advance Australia Fair to the accompanying music of a digeredoo, I can see no evidence that our passage of rites and customs are being eroded.
    My generation (grew up in the fifties) had a lovely carefree society, but but there was a fair degree of bigotry in Australia then. As I child, if one of our sponges in our bakery failed to rise we called it a bloody Protestant my mother was of course a Catholic. The lady in the house next door was a cripple as she was an amputee, the family up the road were abos as they lived in a small aboriginal community. And the iceman (yes we didn’t have refrigeration) was a simpleton as he was developmentally delayed, could have called him worse many of the others called him a retard. And of course there were the new “wogs” all Europeans lumped together with that word. And how could I forget “the whinging poms”, these names were all spoken with a degree of superiority and I really wouldn’t wish to go back to this time.
    I feel quite happy, safe and respected in my working class suburb. My grand children have a Vietnamese mum. My daughter in-law takes them to Auskick on Saturday and language school where they learn her native language on Sunday. My paraplegic son is no longer a cripple/retard, but a well respected teacher in his own career. And as for me. my grandkids say I’m “random” what the hell that means. I can also sleep with the aircon on when it’s stinking hot, instead of out on the back lawn as we did in our childhood, so life in Australia is not that bad.

    2 REPLY
    • Well said Cynthia. I think too many people see the past with rose coloured glasses.
      Another point I might add is the wonders of technology.
      When children ventured on the grand tour, parents were unable to keep in touch almost immediately by skype etc. And it was even worse if the children settled overseas and grandparents missed the young ones’ milestones.
      The best they had was airmail that took weeks to arrive.

    • Totally agree with you. I grew up in the 50s and 60s too and while it was an innocent time it was a time of white Australia. I can remember being told that the answer to the Aboriginal problem was simply to take all the Aboriginal children away from their families and give them to white families to raise. Simple! This supposed threat to Christmas and Easter etc – haven’t yet been told I can’t have a Christmas tree or have an Easter egg or go to church on Easter Sunday if I want to. I always love a sentence that starts “I am in no way racist”, you can always hear the BUT coming, just as it did in this article.

  2. Your right. Just filling in time waiting to see if my youngest son arrives safely at his destination. He posted a picture waiting for his plane at Tullamarine and is flying to Cairns. I am always concerned when he travels and he does s fair bit, as he is in a wheelchair and with that copious amounts of luggage.,But amazingly people always help out offering to carry bags etc. Making sure he can get a cab, or generally helping him. Travelled through Europe with the same assistance last year.
    When in Uluru last year he skyped home for a talk from the bar and surprise surprise, said he was waiting for another guest in the hotel, who was doing his washing down at the laundrette for him. Never fails to amaze me how most Aussies just want to lend a hand, but nowadays we only hear bad things and acts.

  3. The hatred is generated by this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-75dJc9Qbl8 Watch the video to the end. There’s no hatred generated. There’s no brainwashing. There’s no religious spiel, or political spiel either. But you need to take the time to watch this to fully understand how and why all of this hatred has been generated. And there is no plea for money to be sent, this information is genuine and genuinely free. Dr Steven Greer (the presenter of the video) gave up his career as a very much valued ER doctor to finally bring the information contained in this video to the world. In the process,having put aside his beloved career (and the lifestyle that it afforded), he now risks his own life to tell you what is REALLY causing the terrible attitudes of the last several decades, and how we CAN fix the problem. Because there is one core problem, and it’s NOT us. When you watch this for the first time you’ll be stunned, but all of it is true I assure you of that. So settle yourself down with something to eat and drink, become informed and I guarantee you will not be sorry you did

  4. I remember as a seven year old, in 1953, that I was the only child in my class who would sit next to the little blonde haired German boy (he was a “Nazi”). I remember sitting next to the Aboriginal kids, and the one from a poor background who “smelled”. I recall that we were taught to beware of the Chinese “The Yellow Peril”. then the Italians, the Greeks, the Poles and the Yugoslavs. Then there were the Vietnamese! I was not allowed to play with the Catholic kids, and even the English were suspect (they only bathed once a week). Australia has always been full of hatred and bigotry towards new arrivals.

    My Grandchildren still sing Baa Baa Black Sheep, and read Enid Blyton, and their friends of the Islam faith celebrate Christmas with them – I have NEVER been asked to refrain from this, and I have done a quick survey amongst my friends, coming up with the same answer. It would seem to me that your article is just perpetuating the story – it is just not happening – and never will without the Fourth Estate fuelling the fire.

    1 REPLY
  5. I am always wary of someone who starts off by stating that they are not”Racist”. There always seems to be a “but” statement following on in one form or another.
    I too remember the fifties and sixties as the years of my childhood, with some happy wonderful memories of a safer and more carefree time, but I also remember the poverty after the war, and the bigoted ideas that were rampant in the small town I grew up in. We had no running water, a toilet down the back with the seat, and we walked three miles to school and back in all weathers till our families could afford bicycles.I had no father as such, because he drowned just before my Mother found out she was pregnant with me. He was a returned soldier and like so many of those poor men he had a problem with alcohol, causing his accidental death. Myself and my poor Mother (who was brave enough to stand up to the terrible gossip and viciousness that she endured suffered most of her life, because she kept me, and was a solo Mother), were never allowed to forget the circumstances of my birth. Twin sisters in my class were also bullied into committing suicide at a young age because they were a little different….. They were my friends. No life was not that rosy, and bad and good things happened, but my grandchildren certainly live a happier and more fulfilled life with their educational and travel opportunities than I did. I also live with Indian, Muslim and African neighbours, and we never have problems sharing special holidays and festivals together.

  6. Georgy Porgy you’re to frightened to say the truth. Sad.

    2 REPLY
    • This comment makes no sense. If you think you demean someone by name calling think again.

  7. Let me know when you ‘Step BackThrough that Door’ because I want to come with you.
    Also a child of the late 50s & early 60s and life was so much nicer and simpler back then. I knew every family by name and still call my elders by Mr & Mrs or Sir or Miss if not known. So little Respect, Patience, Empathy and Tolerance is missing these days I just want to dissappear to a secluded island.

    1 REPLY
    • Yeah right, “nicer and simpler” when family violence and child sexual abuse weren’t talked about but swept under the carpet, Aboriginal children were taken away from their families, young men too young to vote were conscripted to serve the interests of the USA in Vietnam …. I could go on and on and on

  8. They were times of IGNORANCE, not innocence!

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