20 Comments

Do I just give up the fight against injustice?

At what point does one just give up the fight against injustice? One minute I think it is just about my case so what the hell, just give up. Then I remind myself it isn’t just about me, it is about all the others out there, not just in Australia but globally. I remember the poor young father who ended up committing suicide fighting the USA system. I wrote about it somewhere but I can’t find it now – too many articles here to search through. The cases become more numerous as the population of the world becomes more mobile. Legislation doesn’t keep up with the the realities of life.

It seems I fight alone, however, and that is damn hard work. I don’t mean alone when we were fighting for the visa, we had a wonderful support team then. I mean now, fighting for recovery of the costs of the fight.  It is impossible, really, to fight on alone, but there is no more money to fund yet another legal battle. Justice, it seems, is only available to those who can afford justice.

The other day I wrote:

Paper warfare. It becomes paper warfare and I understand why people just give up. Let Goliath win. The battle for fairness, respect and recompense is just too hard, takes too much time, too much effort. We poor taxpayers have jobs to go to, children to raise, homes to run. Battling Goliath just becomes another problem we don’t need, so we give up and they win. So it continues and nothing changes.

http://teamoyeniyi.com/2012/12/31/heads-or-tails-are-lives-so-unimportant/

Today I feel like giving up. I feel I am just fighting a losing battle. This was said to me today, “ …  it’s the Australian people you are contending with. Politicians reflect sentiment“. True statement perhaps, when you consider this comment, below, I received on this site some time ago and didn’t allow through moderation. I was never going to publish it, but it fits with the statement made to me today, “politicians reflect sentiment”.  Is this a majority Australian sentiment?

You whinge too much about Australia. maybe you ought to just go back and live in Nigeria with your husband and kids.
Everything about your website is pure whinging about your personal life.
Guess what, no one gives a rats ass.
And for fuck sake, Australia does not owe you anything.

It’s obvious that your previous life was a major catastrophe, and now you’re stuck with 4 kids and a husband.
At this age of yours, one can only wonder what did you do to mess your life up.

You are more than welcome to leave Australia.

Notice the last line: “You are more than welcome to leave Australia.”  How many other Australian readers, I wonder, have similar thoughts? How many actually hate me THAT much for fighting an unjust system? As for the line of “Australia doesn’t own you anything” – too bloody right Australia does. What the hell did I pay taxes for, over nearly 40 years, may I ask? Yes, Australia does owe me. Australia owes me justice, fairness, an apology and recompense.

I was tempted to delete the second paragraph, it is such a personal attack. I decided to let it stand, for I can’t fathom such hatred from a stranger. Why would anyone express such vitriol? I don’t understand.

Someone else suggested as this is election year, a petition might be a good strategy. My reply was I don’t think there would be the support. People see this as a personal battle, not a battle to change a system that is unfair, unjust and destroys lives – the lives of citizens. My case is an example only. Just one example. GetUp! sent me a link: I looked at it. It all just seemed too hard. What on earth would I call the petition anyway? Surely my energies are better deployed publishing my book, hopefully it will have a greater impact that a petition.

I wonder if I were a man would I be treated the same way? Is this an example of the underlying misogyny in this country?  Should I just be ironing, I wonder? But if I ask that question, I’ll be accused of playing the “gender card”. I suppose I could ask our Prime Minister, given she is pretty experienced on the question of misogyny, but it is her government in charge, so I don’t think that would help. Is it because my husband is black? Well, if I say that I’ll be accused of playing the “race card”.  Or accused of just plain old “whinging” as the hater above accuses me.

A third person suggested to me a day or so ago that perhaps a certain department is still stacked with Howard appointees. I have no idea, but it is an interesting question.

A beta reader told me yesterday my book made her cry in parts. Another said the same thing today. Good. I hope it makes a lot of people cry. I hope it makes people rethink their attitudes.

I hope no other couple have to go through what we went through, yet I know from the comments and emails I receive and the search terms that find this site, many couples are suffering.

Do I just give up the fight against injustice? I don’t know. I’ll sleep on it. I’m tired of the battle, but I also fail to see why I, or anyone in my situation, should pay such a high price for justice.

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About Robyn Oyeniyi

We fought to be together as a team, we are now together as a team. Team Oyeniyi

20 comments on “Do I just give up the fight against injustice?

  1. Another thing I forgot to mention: the “sentiment” of the Australian people that friend mentioned is whipped up by politicians. So it’s a vicious cycle.
    I am a teacher, and if I could teach my students just one thing, it would be to think for themselves and do what they know to be right. This is so, so important. If people did this politicians would have to take notice.

  2. Dear Robyn, I am glad I have found your site. My partner and I are working on an Australian partner visa for him, and it is so good to gear from other people who have been in the same situation. I agree with Carla above about the frustration of faceless officials deciding whether or not they think our relationship is ‘genuine’. Personally I don’t think it’s any of their business, but if they want to read our 3000 pages over 5 years of Skype conversations, part Tagalog, part Spanish, part couple-speak, then we wish them joy of it! :)

    I know how it feels to feel like you’re fighting alone. I know the anger and the hurt when ignorant, misguided and fearful people, too cowardly to speak in real life and too brainwashed to see the truth for themselves, cower behind the skirts of the internet and take out their negativity on others. What I have been trying to do is to meet and find as many good, compassionate people as possible, who also know that if we don’t say something, who will (and there are many of those on the internet too) and stick with them. Together we are strong.

    You and your family are exactly the sorts of people who Australia should welcome and embrace. Multiculturalism and intercultural families are the best thing that can happen to Australia – or any country. I feel proud to part of one and I feel proud of you too.

    Stay strong, there are many people out there who are on the side of justice!

    • Thank you for your kind words and sharing your situation, Elisa. Lovely to hear from people in similar situations!

      I agree, most Ausyralians are fabulous!

      Best wishes with you bisa application! Do keep in touch and let us know how you go! Ow how you go!

  3. The bureaucracy is there to frustrate you… don’t give in.

  4. I think it should be the right of a citizen of any country to marry & have their partner admitted to their country without issue. The problem is that so many have taken advantage of the system & ruined it for those of us that are honest. It made me so angry that I had to be afraid that my sponsorship of my husband might be denied if our relationship was not deemed ‘legitimate’ by some faceless person sitting behind a desk reading a form that has removed all emotion from the process. Thankfully Canada was gracious to us, but it is still a worry that no one should have to endure.

    I can’t imagine what you have gone through. Kudos to you for continuing the fight!

  5. I am hesitant to step in here, but will! It won’t be the first time I’ve held a dissenting opinion. I read your story from far away. While I don’t share any specific elements of your struggle, I do get the concept, and I admire you. However, if you were my daughter or sister (well, maybe not my sister, but that’s another story), I would suggest to you that sometimes it is totally appropriate or necessary to “give up.” Either for a short time or a longer time. You should not necessarily view it as a “failure.” So it wasn’t an unmitigated success. But you must choose your battles. And you must choose the successes that are most important at a particular time and place. There is no “failure” in deciding to focus on some other important needs like the welfare of your family and you.

    Ease off for awhile and take the time you need. Human nature will be the same – both good and bad, and there will always be battles to fight when you choose to do so.
    It is easy for us in the blogosphere to say “Go get ‘em Robin!!!” But sometimes you shouldn’t pay us heed. Focus on something closer to home for awhile. You don’t have to carry the huge burden of humankind’s failings. A few heroes do, but you should decide if that is your choice.

    Wow. I was obviously touched by something here!

    • Thank you very much. Sound advice. Together with advice I received today, to publish the book then fight again as the book adds weight to the case anyway.

      The problem is I can’t afford to do things I need to do for the family because of the impact the repayments on the borrowings have on the cash flow. They make mistakes and I pay for it. Then they don’t even have the damn decency to put the claim in MY name would you believe. THAT pisses me off all by itself! How bloody insulting, as if I don’t exist as a real person!

      Glad you were touched. By beta readers are crying, which I see as a good thing.

      I wasn’t going to mention this process in the book, but now in it goes.

  6. I am sure you give others hope and that there is light at the end of the tunnel. There is a true saying in life. “The race is not won by the swift but by those who keep running” Think of yourself as running with the Olympic torch :)

  7. Dear Robyn,
    i understand how you are feeling. I fought ACC for 4 years and two court battles to get surgery that I was entitled to and needed to live any normal kind of life. So many times I wanted to give up. The other day i was having a conversation about another battle I am thinking of fighting. My friend said: “Why bother? It’s the government. You can’t win.” When I explained to her that I believed that sometimes the fight is more important than the winning, and that some battles – even if you KNOW you will lose – you still have to fight…she looked at me as if I were mad. I told her that if we all acted that way, never took on the hard fights, then our world was really doomed. I also told her one other thing. And this is I think very relevant to you and your family. I said: “The one thing that I want my children to learn from me more than enything is this. Apathy is a sickness that has enveloped our species. It is killing us. There are times when you MUST stand up and say – this will NOT do and I will fight you til I curl up and die. I don’t know if you will win. But your children will…because your example will stop them from giving up in their future…all great change came about because one voice yelled loud and hard enough to encourage others to understand what was wrong and what can be done if we don’t give up. I hope you won’t give up. Not just for the money…but for the lesson this will be for those bright young adults you are teaching about life and the world.

    • Jo, thank you so much! Tears welled as I read this – you have said it so well, just how I feel.

      If we don’t stand up and say “this isn’t right” then who will? Someone has to, you are right!

  8. Oh Robyn, try not to be disillusioned. The internet has made anonymous bullying much easier and if you give up then they win! The same goes for big business and governments!! My only advice is choose your battles in real life as well as the net, so don’t give up and don’t give in!

    Be strong and think non violence, peace, love and hope and maybe that will be catching! Don’t stoop to their level, never back down from your principles and fight hate with love and ignorance with facts. I hear you on the Australian Spirit. Sometimes these “patriotic” australians make me ashamed to be Australian. You fought a Goliath battle but don’t give up now, continue to fight. After all, we’re all from somewhere!!

    I hope you and your beautiful family had a great Christmas and Holiday break :)

    • Alison, thank you for your great support.

      I know THAT comment is not typical – let’s face it there are well over 4,000 positive comments on this website and only two bad ones – a pretty good ratio.

      I look at that comment as similar to the people who abused the poor French tourists – yes, we have such people (doesn’t every nation?) but those are not indicative of our nation.

      I will take a few days to regroup!

  9. I don’t think that you should give up; I think that maybe you need a change of tactics. Let’s see.Now head on full assault has led to a world war one scenario where everyone is entrenched in their positions. What you need is a different strategy. How about the propaganda war? No-one likes to think of themselves and their country as being backward or medieval do they? So why not try a sneak attack ‘attitude sandwich’.Start a new blog site.The battle against Goliath for your visas is over. You did beat Goliath personally, but the war against the Philistines hasn’t ended. So draw a line under the battle against Goliath, consider it won in your case and start a new campaign for 2013. You should,in my opinion, begin writing about how brilliant Australia has been for you, how much help you have had and praising the people who did help. Write a blog site about the help that can be got and how to do it. Then point out to Australians what needs to be improved, how Australia, as a much admired country in the world. ought to start playing a bigger part in leading the way. Write about great Australians, write about the rebel spirit in Australia, bring readers to the blog feeling good about Australia and then for the sandwich filling pick a couple of political or legislative targets, then write about how most Australians aren’t well reflected by these injustices. Write about Australian history in the world, get the readers all patriotic and sentimental, get all the macho assholes misty eyed about the great protective Australian spirit and then they will fight for you. Try to change the sentiment from within. It’ll be a long struggle, but you named the problem yourself when you talked about sentiment. Anyway that’s what I’d do. Having achieved objective one at some great cost in ‘casualties’, I’d say, I’d regroup, resupply, get rested and mount a long term battle campaign to outflank an enemy of superior force. Technically speaking you invaded from the sea and had to fight your way off the beach. Now the enemy is encamped in mass numbers right in front of you. Get some allies, try and get some big gun artillery, and then attack from several sides at once, using sneak attack tactics. Get in amongst them and pick them off one by one. Anyway, don’t give up. Change tactics, get allies and prepare for a long term war, but have short term plans for specifically chosen battles.

    • I’m not sure I have the resources for that strategy, Richard, as sensible as it is.

      I can’t run two websites, market the book, work, raise kids and be a wife. There is a limit to how much I can do!

      I have written about how wonderful people were, lots of times! :D

      Australia is a very lucky country and we want to keep it that way. At least, many of us do! :)

      Really, if I didn’t love my country, I wouldn’t fight so hard. We fight for what we believe in, what we believe is right. I’ve known Australia for a very long time – it is a wonderful place – but lately, just as in the USA, things aren’t the same any more.

      Yes, times change, people change, societies change. Sometimes the changes are not always for the better though.

      I just don’t have the resources, Richard, to adopt your strategy.

      • Fair reply! Then it looks like you need reinforcements, new boots on the ground? Maybe there is someone with the time to be the next wave? I suppose there is always the fall back of Henry V. get yourself a castle in enemy territory an defend that – which I suppose is your ideological and ethical stand now. Personally I like England, but in the words of ‘Crocodile Dundee’ “Fighting over land is like 2 fleas fighting over the dog they live on.” which for me reflects the idea that the concept of countries and nations has had its day, as far as I’m concerned. We are all citizens of planet earth, in my view and have a ‘common wealth’ right to share equally in the earth’s resources; the sooner human kind stop waving flags and begin tearing down borders the better for our descendants. Anyway ‘nough said.

      • I don’t know if there is someone with the time Richard. The problem is we are a small demographic. Which means little political clout, as I have written about some time back in the earlier days of this website.

        If there were thousands of us – sure, we’d have clout: there is power in numbers.

        Yes, I’m a no borders person too, but I recognise we have a long way to go before we can achieve that aim. Sadly.

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