Resident urges others to say 'no' to hate mail

READER'S STORY: What I consider to be racist propaganda has been circulating in Hervey Bay via email.

The writer of the email asks the recipient to send the email on.

Here is a sample of the content which I want to expose for what it is - racism.

An extract follows:

''Here is all I want our of life at this time...

"Borders: closed! Illegal boats: stopped. Dual citizenship: abolished, you're either Australian or something else. If
you're something else, be a visitor then leave.

"Language: English only. Flags: illegal to display another flag except for consulates and embassies. Culture: respect the Australian culture and stop trying to change it to the mess that you left back home. Stop trying to change us.

"No freebies to: Non-citizens. Look after Australians before donating to other countries.''

As a fourth generation white Australian of Scots/English ancestry, born on the land of the Wurundjeri people (Melbourne, Victoria), I am extremely grateful to be living here in beautiful Hervey Bay on Butchulla country.

I am proud to live in a democratic country as culturally and linguistically diverse as Australia.

I enjoy a circle of friends and relatives of diverse ethnic and indigenous backgrounds.

My friends are atheist, Christian, Buddhist, Islamic, spiritualist, heterosexual and gay.

I cherish the diversity. Here in the Bay I feel privileged to be able to choose my cuisine from Indian, Italian, Chinese, Mexican, French and Thai, and to drink tea at the Buddhist Sanctuary.

Isn't it great to live in a free country?

That's what I don't get about some people in our community who are out to perpetuate racism and to stereotype people.

I remember my ancestors: my father on a stretcher waiting for a hospital ship in PNG; my uncle being tortured on the Burma railway; my aunt driving a truck in the Australian Land Army - did they do all that for nothing?

Our freedoms came at a cost and our democracy can be lost.

Like many of you, I marched for reconciliation and rejoiced when I heard ''the apology''.

Our democracy will thrive when all "isms" of hatred are gone.

What is the alternative?

Turn on the TV and see what goes on in other parts of the world where groups of people divide themselves into ''us and them''.

The first article of the Declaration of Human Rights to which Australia is a signatory reads: ''All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.''

Those who would send this hate email on are not acting in a spirit of brotherhood.

They need to be reminded that all living humans belong to the same species - Homo sapiens.

We are not essentially different from those born across the sea.

Don't you get it?

We are all one family, one blood.

Those in pain, starving from famine, and escaping from conflict are our family.

I urge you to cultivate a spirit of love and compassion in your speech and in your actions.

I appeal to all Hervey Bay residents not to do anything that promotes division in our community.

Please stand up against this ignorance and say no to hate mail.

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