Flat White

If it was anyone else, they’d be screaming ‘Racist!’

22 June 2017

5:17 PM

22 June 2017

5:17 PM

A new arrival from Africa is scared by a vacuum cleaner. Ha bloody ha.

It might have made a gag once upon a time. Now, it’s a little bit dated. Iffy. And it’s particularly iffy for the hyper-PC, all those who are so enthusiastic about taking offence on behalf of others — even when none is intended. Like the Fairfax media.

Last week The Age led the lynch mob chasing after Red Symons for his typically self-deprecating, dry questions on race (that, ironically, they were too ignorant in their haste to judge to realise mocked the ignorance of racists).

Yet this is how they were promoting their report on the first speech by Senator Lucy Gichuhi, Bob Day’s replacement on the red leather benches, this morning:

This is what Gichuhi actually said:

The themes of humility, blessing, divine reliance, agreement, unity and permanence are dear and close to my heart.

There was a sense of rescue after landing in Australia. The first few weeks and months were characterised by wonder and excitement. On arrival in Adelaide, there existed a meet-and-greet program, which supported my husband, our three young daughters and me, providing us with subsidised housing and other types of supports. I saw good roads, free schools and education, and the availability of, and ability to use, simple household appliances!

Years later it is hard to imagine our experience with a vacuum cleaner. Our house in South Australia, located in Kilburn, was fully furnished. But there was a piece of equipment, which had the shape of a tortoise, stuck to the wall. For the first few days, we stopped our children from touching or even going near it until we worked out what it was. Two weeks later we had a house inspection, and the inspector complained that the carpeted floor was dirty. I explained that I was doing everything possible to clean it, demonstrating how my husband uses a broom to clean the floor. The inspector asked why we were not using the vacuum cleaner. We explained that we did not have one. He pointed to the tortoise-look-alike gadget that was resting in the corner of the room. Lo and behold, before he left the carpet was spotlessly clean!

Every day, I wonder how many spiritual, emotional, mental, health, relational, financial, social and political tortoise look-alikes are stuck to the walls of our life just because we do not recognise them for what they are.

Where’s the word “scared”?

Gichuhi is an accountant who has worked for one of the Big Four, Ernst & Young.

Since her arrival in Australia she has qualified and now practices as a lawyer.

She and her husband, another accountant, own properties — plural.

She’s a good Australian success story; one who, in her own words, after her arrival in 1999 “could choose to be a victim and receive a handout for a long time, or … could choose the more challenging but empowering road and find a job and learn how to balance work and family life”, one who went for the latter and found success.

Yet to The Age she’s a silly black scared of a vacuum cleaner.

And they like crying racist.

It couldn’t have anything to do with the fact that Gichuhi is an evangelical Christian, could it?

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