Highlighting domestic terrorism it over a larger, clearly more dangerous issue is why it continues to repeat. In 2018, sixty women are dead. Where’s our political exposure? Why are men not being told to dob in their own?
This week, we discovered what officially constitutes terrorism. Alongside the who, we know the what. Yesterday Scott Morrison repeatedly called on the Muslim community to sort themselves out, and dob their own in. Mental health wasn’t the issue, terrorism was. Terrorism is an issue that will break us if we allow it to.
Strangely, issues don’t seem to matter, and one is seemingly not like the other. Peel back the layers of collective empathy and pity, beyond the shrine erected for the Melbourne shopkeeper, around the almost $100,000 raised for the homeless man who attacked the knife-wielding antagonist with a shopping trolley, and we see the truth. Terrorism is a bankable commodity, a horse of a different colour.
A GoFundMe page set up to raise money for a new mobile phone for the ‘Trolleyman’ – who had his phone smashed while assisting police during Friday’s Bourke St tragedy – has now raised more than $106,000: https://t.co/LOTEQt8JUZ pic.twitter.com/3d0ekricBv
— Herald Sun (@theheraldsun) November 11, 2018
The shrine outside Pellegrini’s keeps growing pic.twitter.com/CG6oBIdoVJ
— Luke Henriques-Gomes (@lukehgomes) November 12, 2018
According to Fairfax, the seemingly monumental task of curtailing terrorism on Australian soil would mean 9000 more staff, and an investment of $1 billion dollars. Which, presumably, would be met, considering the level of discourse from Canberra, and the closeness of the coming election. Fighting terrorism might be good for business. Peter Dutton already railed against the ALP for not doing enough to protect Australia, of which Scott Morrison followed suit. But whether or not we’ll have our own local version of the Department of Homeland Security is only half the issue, as I believe that our attention is on the wrong point, we’re hypnotised by the point of a knife, waved by an antagonist we all fear. That inert force of evil, the unreasonable unknown radicalised terrorist. The one who can’t be reasoned with, or calmed down, only glocked on notable pavers.
But what of those we personally know? At the time of print, 60 women have died this year at the hands of a similar, familiar evil, no less brutal, no less visceral than the screaming headlines and snapshot footage we shared last week. Toyah Cordingley met a similar (albeit less accessible) end, murdered and sexually assaulted as punishment for walking her dog to the beach. The aggressor was one of ours, and much like Bourke Street’s terrorist, was an antagonist we can’t understand, but seemingly we can abide it, we know we shouldn’t murder women, so Toyah’s death was seen as a tragedy, but not a large enough one to move the needle. There was nary a victim to celebrate, and a hero to honour. There were no donations of a similar magnitude granted to some organisation, or some individual representing the greater good, we just shook our heads at best, and then put her name to the list. It is a staggering list, perhaps too large to be taken seriously. I knew Kristie Powell, the Wollongong woman murdered on October 5, at the hands of a man who did so with her 5 month old child in the next room. She her knew her assailant, and that was the price she paid. If we’re looking for a national narrative to circle around, why not her? Powell’s fits the bill. It’s far uglier than lionised events on Bourke Street.
But, maybe that’s the problem.
To be perfectly frank, I suspect we’re suffering from compassion fatigue. We may have saluted Eurydice Dixon and what she represented, but momentum has fizzled, and her name has been replaced by 30 since, with the problem seemingly has spiralling beyond comprehension, and thus, solution. The noted sixty are merely the dead, what isn’t figured is the cost of those who survived, or those who endure the hands of violence and leave to an uncertain future; or stay, and stay within theirs, because no option is obvious. The unknown streets of suburbia, behind closed doors we don’t know, or under the din of drinking establishments might not have the romance or standing of Bourke Street, but it is far more important, and it is where the evil truly sits in this country.
If we’re going to throw money at a problem that is danger to the populace, how about we start there. Comparing the two, and it becomes obvious. One man with a knife and a crushed life and the indefatigable pursuit of his demons is one thing, but a repetition of the same act 60 times without change, or pause or speculation of funding on a national scale isn’t an accident, it’s deliberate. No politician openly asked men to get the rest of their gender in check, and no experts crunched the numbers it would take to solve writ large.
What we have, is a real problem, one without a real discussion to solve it, all while giving platform to those who influence the thinking of those who one day will add to the sixty already fallen.
We urge our followers to sign the @ChangeAus petition to prevent Proud Boys Founder Gavin McInnes from entering Australia. 60 women have been murdered in Australia this year, we can’t afford to be complacent about attitudes that condone violence. https://t.co/xpGe9O19Rp
— DV Vic (@dvvic) November 12, 2018
Sort it out, Australia.