So far yet so far to go

To the Editor SMH

Brilliant, but so very sad piece by Tim Dick (He was just a little boy taunted to death by words SMH 28/11/2016)

As a product of rural “middle Australia” in the fifties and sixties I was brought up to believe “Coons” were lazy drunks, “Poofters” were all pedophiles, “Wogs” were smelly, salami eaters, Women were meant to make the sandwiches, Catholics probably voted Labor and were not to be trusted, Jews killed Jesus, Bob Katter Snr was the son of an Afghan camel driver (technically that may have been correct) and therefore did not belong in the “real” Country Party etc etc.

I cried with shame and guilt when the reality of my own sexuality emerged, causing tremendous harm to those I loved.

I have spent the last thirty years, hoping hatred and bigotry had been defeated.

But, in 2016!

A 13-year-old boy kills himself because of virulent homophobia and all the pain comes back to haunt us, Pauline Hanson reminisces fondly about the times when “wogs were wogs” and they did not complain, we are still arguing about a National identity for indigenous people, Donald Trump rides to victory on a “hate wave”

Scars become callouses, but scratch them hard enough and they still bleed.

We are, or could have been, a beacon of hope in the war against “Scratching”.

The death of Tyrone reminds us all, how shallow our civility still is.

Bruce Ingrey

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