When I was in year 11, I could not understand how people in Australia – people in my classes at school – could look at refugees, both in Australia and overseas and see them as “different” to us, and convince themselves that these “different” people were in anyway less worthy of freedom and opportunity than us. People would say things like “Of course they are different, they have civil wars and want to kill each other, we don’t do that!”
I distinctly remember inking, “Of course we don’t fight like that, we have never had to! But, what would we have done if we were put in their place?”
As a challenge to myself I decided to write something imagining how a person might join a particular movement/political group/army in order to protect themselves and their families, even if they did not agree with the values and actions of that particular group. This short piece follows he journey of what happens when a person is forced to choose between his and his families lives, and his political beliefs or perhaps the safety of others,. Having never been placed in this position myself – I and other privileged Australians are in no place to judge those who have been forced to make such difficult choices.
Please forgive my rough writing, this was written over 10 years ago when I was just 16 years old, and in the spirit of authenticity I have left this unchanged.
This is a work of fiction.
you and them
The only way to fix the problem for your self is to join the movement. The only way to survive within the movement is to act like they do. And once you start you are stuck, and it is only a matter of time before you start to think like them. To entertain their sick ideas and concepts, and soon, you are able to see logic behind them, even able to believe them. At times you do stop to question, to ask you self what has happened, you know that you have not always thought this way, but then it happens. You hear the cries, the chants of your fellow clan members. The songs, and shouts penetrate your senses, and all your thoughts and doubts are drowned out. Lost amidst the sea of bodies of those around you. You let everything you knew go, allowing your self just to flow along with it. You know that so many of your fellow countrymen cannot be wrong.
You learn to watch your back, to be wary of the other side – to be wary of them. They hold nothing to you personally, but the colour of your skin, and the tattoos burned upon it give them reason enough to strike. Go nowhere alone, go nowhere unarmed – the first two rules of the clan. You can see the hate burning in your comrade’s eyes as they stare at them when they you pass by in the street. You can see the fire in their eyes as well; it is a burning that goes way, way back. To far, to deep to be measured in years or by any other means that you known of.
They hate you the same way that you hate them. But they do it worse. While you are defensive – they are offensive. You do only what you must do to keep them back. To keep them down where they belong. They are unclean and must be stopped before they can contaminate your pure blooded race.
When you see them your skin burns as though on fire, and you imagine the damage that they might do, to your homes, to your families, unless you stop them. The only solution that you know is to rid the land of them, before they come after you. When you look at that man, you thought of your sister too. And you wanted to make sure that he would not, could not touch her – ever. You don’t care how you stop it, however you know that you must. How else will they learn where they stand?
When you heard about your friends sister, and what they did to her, you saw red, but then you realised that he had a sister also. Justice is justice – you know that. And you know that they know it as well.
While the government lies to the country, and the politicians lobby for votes with slogans about equality, you are able to see clearly that they are only lying. No way is that possible, you know that they can never be equal to you – you are superior. You are insulted that such a thing is suggested and you are disturbed and ashamed that it is allowed to be broadcast, nationally. What kind of country did they think this was?
When you began your work for the movement you never knew that it would come this far, however, you know now that it was the right thing. Why else would God have made you different, if one copy was not the better of the other?? You are smarter than them; you are physically stronger than they are too. You are educated and lawful. You know that the law is on your side as you carry out your daily block. You know that your actions are justified by those of the venomous others, sent here by Satan to test your strength. You have passed this test by knocking them down, breaking their spirits, keeping your comrades and yourself on top.
When voting time comes around again you are pleased to see that once again they have been voted out. Even their own had not supported them. It only took a little force on your part to make them see sense. You know that they are back in their place, for now anyway, you have triumphed, your side the victors.
You will make sure that you remain the victors. You the victors, the Lords over them.
By josie, 2001