The Northern Territory news Sat 23 Jan 2010
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Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin; Australian newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin
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Nationwide News Pty. Limited
36 Northern Territory News, Saturday, January 23, 2010 www.ntnews.com.au P U B : N T N E W S D A T E : 2 3 -J A N -2 0 1 0 P A G E : 3 6 C O L O R : C M Y K m g 3 0 0 6 2 4 Thornton caught in crossfire CONTROVERSIAL FIGURE: NT Australian of the Year Warwick Thornton has created some controversy with his comments over the Southern Cross becoming a symbol of racism. Picture: JUSTIN SANSON ByDANIEL BOURCHIER The Southern Crosstattoo is a way people say Im proud to be an Aussie. It is a sense of national pride and mateship, nothing to do with racism, swastika or a hate on Aboriginal people NOT IMPRESSED: Palmerston mayor Robert Macleod says the Southern Cross is a symbol of mateship and national pride Pride in being Australian meansnot attacking people from other backgrounds just because they are different. True Australians, those who reject racism as a crippling disease that limits our country, should reclaim the Southern Cross C LAIMS by a top Territorian that the Southern Cross has become a symbol of racism have split public opinion just days before Australia Day. The Northern Territory News website has been flooded with commentary by readers from around the country who were equally outraged and in support of the comments by acclaimed filmmaker and NT Australian of the Year Warwick Thornton. This week, the Samson and Delilah director said he wanted people to spend Australia Day reflecting on the significance of the Southern Cross. Aboriginal people have used the Southern Cross for the last 40,000 years as a beacon guiding them to travel through country for survival, and Im starting to see that star system symbol being used as a very racist nationalistic emblem and that is seriously worrying me, he said. We dont want to turn the Southern Cross into a swastika thats bloody important. Ros of Victoria commented that she has seen first hand the use of the Southern Cross as Thornton described. It is very disturbing, she said, I have seen it across bonnets of cars, tattoos, bumper stickers and more and no they are not being used as a message of pride for Australia as it should. Maybe the rest of us Aussies should all start flying our flags with pride, not just on Australia Day. Palmerston mayor Robert Macleod commented extensively on Thorntons claims. What a disgrace, he said, The Southern Cross is not a symbol of racism, I am sick of every time I turn around; someone is calling someone racist. The way it is today, people are worried about what they say or do, in case they offend someone. The Southern Cross tattoo is a way people say Im proud to be an Aussie. It is a sense of national pride and mateship, nothing to do with racism, swastika or a hate on Aboriginal people. Jazzy of Orrstrayleea surely a reference to Kevin Bloody Wilson slammed Thornton. Im Aboriginal and have also worked in Aboriginal communities/towns in East Arnhem, Tiwi and now Katherine region and I have to completely agree what a load of rubbish, she said. Get over yourself mate. The whole racism and stolen generation of people younger than 40 is getting a bit old now. My great-grandmothers were both taken from their family but never complained, they got on with the job of living. How about you do the same and stop trying to be a victim. Mene Freghista of Nunga Nunga Tribe said: Im not sure about the Southern Cross being used by racists, but there is definitely a large number of bogans sporting it. April Jones questioned a high-profile member of the community making such claims. The Southern Cross is an icon that many people choose to display their pride in Australia like our Australian flag, she said. It is sad that a cardcarrying member of the Aboriginal industry is against the use of this icon. Does he want white money for the use of the Southern Cross? I am sorry we cant go back in time. White people have arrived and development started look where we are. We should ban white bread its racist too! Some people just need an excuse to get up on their soapbox. Ex-Darwin resident Johnno said Thornton made very important points. The Southern Cross should be a genuine symbol of pride in Australia, he said. Unfortunately, as Thornton says, it is being hijacked by racists. Pride in being Australian means not attacking people from other backgrounds just because they are different. True Australians, those who reject racism as a crippling disease that limits our country, should reclaim the Southern Cross. Those who use it for hate dont deserve to have such a wonderful symbol. Strrretch of Darwin agreed with Thornton. When you think of the Southern Cross, you think of Oz, he said. Sad to see that bigots are appropriating it as their own, but so what. If not the S-Cross it would be something else. At the end of the day theyre not worth taking notice of, whatever they use. By the way, our flag sucks, a Euro/Pommy cringe. Wouldnt mind burning it myself. Keep it up Warwick, youre a top Aussie.