Goanna’s Shane Howard has joined Jimmy Barnes and John Farnham is voicing disapproval of his song ‘Solid Rock’ at the racist Reclaim Australia rallies.
Howard has penned a letter to Reclaim Australia with the message “I want to make it absolutely clear that this is an unacceptable use of a song that was meant to inspire Australians to look deeper into the historical racism and injustices suffered by Aboriginal Australia at the hands of Settler Culture since 1788”.
This week Jimmy Barnes ordered the removal of the Cold Chisel classis ‘Khe Sanh’ at the rallies and John Farnham’s manager Glenn Wheatley also announced that the use of ‘You’re The Voice’ was without approval and acceptable.
However, country star Lee Kernaghan sent a soft message to the racist group, falling short of calling for the removal of his ‘Spirit of the Anzacs’, instead offering the grey comment. “Any individual or group who chooses to play the recording of this song at a public event should see that it is consistent with – and respectful of, the memory of these Australians”.
Shane Howard statement
An Open Letter to ‘Reclaim Australia’
It was brought to my attention that recent Reclaim Australia rallies had been playing my song, Solid Rock, Sacred Ground, recorded by my band Goanna.
I want to make it absolutely clear that this is an unacceptable use of a song that was meant to inspire Australians to look deeper into the historical racism and injustices suffered by Aboriginal Australia at the hands of Settler Culture since 1788. Since its release in 1982, much has changed in Australia, for the better and Aboriginal Australia now has a voice and a seat at the table of national affairs, that was so long denied. There are also anti-discrimination laws to protect Aboriginal people and others, from racial vilification.
We have an unfortunate history of racism in Australia. We were a deeply racist country for much of our history and you could be forgiven for thinking that racism was something we had now left behind us. I’m generalizing here but in the mid-1800’s, we were racist towards the Chinese, whose history in Australia is as old as that of the Scots or the Irish. We went on to discriminate against Italians, Greeks, Vietnamese and anybody who came to our shores and was different.
Now, I fear that Reclaim Australia are encouraging racism against Muslims. Very few Muslims support IS or violent jihad concepts. Most Muslims, like the rest of Australians, want to lead peaceful, fulfilled lives and raise their families in a tolerant, pluralistic, society. There will always be an extreme few who use misguided notions of violence to achieve outcomes.
I love our diverse and multicultural society, its openness and tolerance. The many cultures who have come to these shores have brought the wealth and treasures of their own rich cultural history and they have all enriched our Australian identity; the music, the food, the ideas, the trade opportunities.
This was an Aboriginal country, for tens of thousands of years and the early colonial settlement of this country brought much misery to Aboriginal Australia. Aboriginal people are only recently in the early stages of recovery from the brutality of the racism that they had to endure, for too long. There is still a long way to go.
Martin Luther King said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”. We should remain vigilant but at the same time, tolerant and non-violent in the expression of our opinions. Reclaim Australia’s confused vision of what Australia is, or should be, is not my vision. I have no idea who they are trying to Reclaim Australia for? Such distorted feelings and actions belong to a handful of people who seem insecure about their own identity. Working to find our common identity and shared destiny, in this remarkable Aboriginal cultural reality is a more powerful, peaceful and rewarding way forward.
I ask that my song, Solid Rock, Sacred Ground, not be used at such rallies.
Lee Kernaghan statement
In response to media reports about the playing of the song “Spirit Of The Anzacs” at recent public events it is important that people consider the following;
“Spirit of the Anzacs” is a song about love, mateship, self-sacrifice, endurance and courage. The song was inspired and recorded to salute the members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps and support every man and woman who has served our country wearing the uniform of the Royal Australian Navy, Army and Royal Australian Air Force. It honours and remembers the 102,700 Australians listed on the Roll Of Honour at the Australian War Memorial, all of whom laid down their lives for the freedoms we have today.
Any individual or group who chooses to play the recording of this song at a public event should see that it is consistent with – and respectful of, the memory of these Australians.
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