As racist and Islamophobic movements such as Reclaim Australia, United Patriots Front, Australian Defence League, unite to promote their point of view as the only truly Australian viewpoint that could be held (essentially calling any who hold a different point of view traitors to our nation), other Movements are rising in opposition such as No Room for Racism, to organise counter-rallies in hopes of representing a more embracing, compassionate, noble Australia.
Now these rallies were using famous tunes, expressing core Australian values as their anthems, while superimposing their own bigoted philosophies, and these Australian musicians don’t like it. One after another, these icons of contemporary Australian culture are speaking up, calling for the racist movements to NOT take the poetic license to defile their musical messages with their own racist overtones.
Jimmy Barnes, John Farnham, Men at Work, Midnight Oil – the list increases. One by one, they are making it clear that they don’t want their songs to be used in support of a movement that they do not support themselves.
Jimmy Barnes wrote,
It has come to my attention that certain groups of people have been using my voice, my songs as their anthems at rallies.
I only want to say the Australia I belong to and love is a tolerant Australia. A place that is open and giving. It is a place that embraces all sorts of different people, in fact it is made stronger by the diversity of its people. If you look at my family you can see we are a multicultural family. Australia needs to stand up for Love and Tolerance in these modern times.
None of these people represent me and I do not support them.
Then John Farnham through his agent made the following statement,
“John and I seriously oppose the use of John’s song at the rallies. It no way reflects our support in any way. There are other means to conduct protests. Just don’t use our song or Jimmy Barnes’ or Lee Kernaghans’.”
Colin Hay of Men at Work (who wrote the hit, “Downunder” in 1981) wrote in response to the use of his music,
“It has come to my attention that our song Down Under, which I co-wrote, has been used by Reclaim Australia protesters over the last weekend. I would much rather it wasn’t, We are Australians, we are all different, but therein lies our strength.”
Midnight Oil, in response to rallies in Adelaide using their song Short Memory, wrote,
“Midnight Oil does not endorse Reclaim Australia in any way. We ask that no Midnight Oil songs are played or used by the organisation. We are in favour of a tolerant Australia, made up of many cultures.”
So many of these artists wrote songs which were an inspiration to our generation growing up. We didn’t want to judge people merely based on where they had come from, or the colour of their skin, or such like superficialities, but on how they were seeking to contribute to the good of our society. The artistic soul of Australia is rising to show the way to a non-racist, unified Australian folk. Our diversity is our strength if we are united in the one goal of building up our nation.
May it be that another generation will find the courage to answer the call, “You’re the voice!” We can’t allow ourselves to be lulled into complacency. We need to be violent in our spirits to stand for the cause of truth and unity. We desire to see Australia become a nation known for its nobility and understanding.